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Tips to Stay Safe

As nurses we have to unfortunately deal with aggression in the workplace.

Developing and finding tools to help nurses deal with aggression is challenging. No matter how hard we try it is difficult not to take physical or verbal assault personally.

We as nurses have to realize that not everyone reacts in the same way to aggression. We all have different backgrounds or experiences that have an effect on the way that we cope with situations.

The best thing we as nurses can do for ourselves and our patients is to be prepared and have a plan as to what we would do if a situation does occur. We need to ensure our employer works with the nurses to make our working environment safe.

Here are some general safety tips that can be followed...
  1. Have a plan in place to safely provide care.
  2. If you have a person in your care that is escalating and getting angry in their behaviour, the nurse should use a firm but non-threatening approach. The nurse needs to set limits and state consequences for client's actions. The nurse must be prepared to enforce the limits. Ensure the limits are within the policies and procedures of your facility.
  3. Nurses must take accountability to ensure their employer is offering them training courses in how to stay safe.
  4. The nurse needs to know who and when to call for assistance, and when to leave a situation.
  5. A nurse should not ever put the patient between themselves and their escape route.
  6. If you know you are dealing with a potentially aggressive patient a two person visit may be warranted.
  7. Try not to over react in situations, at the same time not under reacting is just as important.
  8. Learn safety techniques to avoid, bites, kicks, hair pulls and other forms of physical aggression.
  9. Document, Document, Document, because silence is acceptance.

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