As of 2014, there were 33 states that had laws designating penalties for attacks on nurses and/or required employers to run workplace violence prevention programs (American Nurses Association).
Healthcare employees need to be actively involved in developing a workplace violence prevention program or committee. Employers have to work with employees in making sure such programs are formulated and implemented. According to OSHA, an employee participating in a workplace violence prevention committee should be able to:
- Participate in the development, implementation, evaluation, and modification of the workplace violence prevention program.
- Participate in safety and health committees that receive reports of violent incidents or security problems, making facility inspections and responding to recommendations for corrective strategies.
- Provide input on addition to or redesign of facilities.
- Identify the daily activities that employees believe put them most at risk for workplace violence.
- Discuss and assess policies and procedures pertaining to work violence prevention—including complaint and suggestion programs designed to improve safety and security.
- Ensure that there is a way to report and record incidents and near misses, and that issues are addressed appropriately.
- Ensure that there are policies in place, so employees are not retaliated against for voicing concerns or reporting injuries.
- Ensure there are employee training and continuing education programs in place.
Individually, training programs (such as this course) will help the healthcare worker to:
- Detect which healthcare workers are at the highest risk for violence
- Identify where and when the highest risk for violence can take place
- Know what their role is in the process of violence prevention
- Identify growing levels of combative/aggressive behavior
- Be able to properly respond to different levels of combative/aggressive behavior