How Hospital Staff in China Are Preventing Healthcare Violence  

August 26, 2015
A stethoscope and a mask laying flat.

Sixty percent of medical staff in China report experiencing verbal violence and physical harm.

This statistic from the Chinese Medical Association is alarming, but it might not be surprising if you work in healthcare. Hospital violence is all too common around the world, and healthcare professionals in China—like staff in most countries—have a lot to handle.

To help address the problem of workplace violence in China, CPI’s Daniel Gugala and Zheng Zhu have been working with care professionals on how to prevent and manage the issues they face.

Daniel and Zheng recently spoke to groups in Hong Kong and Macau, and gave three presentations to various physicians’ groups in mainland China on the subject of the growing incidence of violence in health care settings.

In Beijing, Zheng shared strategies from the Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® program with doctors and nurses at Tiantan Hospital.

One of the things she discussed was the internal and external factors­—like being in pain or getting bad news—that affect patients’ behavior. She used the analogy of a soda can to illustrate how each factor that mounts up for a person is like one shake to a soda can.

What happens when the can’s been shaken repeatedly? And what happens when a staff member unintentionally opens it? Staff need to know how to respond safely. And better yet, they need strategies for recognizing the signs of a potential explosion and skills for preventing it from erupting.

So staff at Tiantan Hospital learned verbal and paraverbal de-escalation skills to help them handle—and prevent—explosive situations. They also practiced disengagement skills like how to block and move away from strikes and grabs.

“We learned as much as we taught,” Zheng told me, “and we were grateful to build relationships with amazing, dedicated people.”

Keep an eye out for more news! In November, we’ll be bringing the full Instructor Certification Program and the One-Day Foundation Course to Hong Kong.

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