An educational program to increase staff knowledge and skills in the therapeutic management of violent behaviors by patients

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Nursing


Work place violence (WPV) is an unfortunate fact of life for health care workers and has evolved into a serious health hazard among both in the United States, and worldwide. Health care workers, facilities, and patients themselves often suffer negative consequences, both physically and mentally, by experiencing or witnessing WPV. An educational intervention, consisting of a pre-test, PowerPoint R presentation, and a post-test, was conducted to increase health care workers' knowledge regarding the therapeutic management of WPV. The intervention group (N=18) consisted of a variety of the direct care employees of an adult inpatient psychiatric facility in a rural/frontier western state. The educational intervention and tests were based on the Centers for Disease Control, Workplace Violence Prevention for Nurses Program (Centers for Disease Control [CDC], 2014). Topics covered in the intervention included: definition of violence, types of violence, workplace violence consequences, and risk factors for violence, prevention strategies for health care workers, and intervention strategies. The goal was to compare the pre-test and post-test mean scores, in an effort to see if the educational intervention could significantly increase the participants' overall knowledge of WPV. Test data was analyzed using a dependent sample t-test of mean scores, as the same group completed both the pre-test and the post-test. Results indicated that the educational intervention significantly increased WPV knowledge of the participants. Future research would benefit from using a larger sample size and by conducting a long term project to identify if there was a correlation between the evidence-based WPV education and the overall reduced incidents and/or injuries related to WPV. Continued research is important as an effective system needs to be implemented to safely manage potentially dangerous situations while protecting health care workers.




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