Workplace Violence Training Programs for Health Care Workers: An Analysis of Program Elements

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Commercial workplace violence (WPV) prevention training programs differ in their approach to violence prevention and the content they present. This study reviews 12 such programs using criteria developed from training topics in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers and a review of the WPV literature. None of the training programs addressed all the review criteria. The most significant gap in content was the lack of attention to facility-specific risk assessment and policies. To fill this gap, health care facilities should supplement purchased training programs with specific training in organizational policies and procedures, emergency action plans, communication, facility risk assessment, and employee post-incident debriefing and monitoring. Critical to success is a dedicated program manager who understands risk assessment, facility clinical operations, and program management and evaluation.

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