Impact Factors in Hospital Violence
The following causal factors are based on the US Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) analysis of risk factors for violence in hospital services.
- Use of hospitals by police and criminal justice agencies for criminal holds and the care of acutely disturbed persons
- Acute and Chronic mental health patients
- The availability of drugs and/or money at the hospital
- Situational factors such as open facilities with basically unrestricted movement of the public, as well as the presence of drug abusers, trauma patients, distraught family members, and frustrated clients
- Lack of staff training relative to recognizing and managing escalating hostile and
- Isolated work situations during client examination or treatment
- The increased presence in healthcare setting of gang members, alcohol and other
drug abusers, trauma patients, and distraught family members
- One-person workstations in remote locations
- Long waiting times for care in emergency areas, which can lead to patient frustration
- Prevalence of dangerous weapons
- Low staffing levels at various times
When we as a company begin our training needs analysis in a hospital environment, we use resources such as this list to begin to pinpoint the specific areas where we need to work on the Impact Factors in Hospital Violence.
Often if the specific Impact Factors in Hospital Violence are with the levels of acute violence happening in certain areas and we need to reduce the risk to the hospital by providing effective teamwork and physical solutions, then we may start there.
Otherwise, where there are endemic ‘lifestyle factors’ in the way the hospital interacts with its patients, visitors, relatives and staff, then we will deal with the conflict causes and communications factors.
Gerard O’Dea is a conflict management, personal safety and physical interventions training consultant. He is the training director for Dynamis, a specialist provider of personal safety and violence management programmes and the European Adviser for ‘Verbal Defense and Influence’, a global programme which addresses the spectrum of human conflict. www.dynamis.training