Friday, July 29, 2011

Patient Violence Against Healthcare Staff (Research, Video 2:46)

The first time I saw a female nursing home resident with dementia attack a female nursing assistant (CNA), I really wasn’t surprised. Violence has become so embedded in our society that it’s expected, even in healthcare facilities. I was a hospice volunteer in an urban nursing home. The incident happened so quickly, I almost missed the facial punch that struck the CNA so hard I thought she would fall to the floor. What followed the punch is what impressed me most. There was a brief pause while the CNA steadied herself and walked away. Another CNA immediately interceded and calmed the resident who may have forgotten what she did later.

Long-tern care staff members are at high risk for experiencing aggression from residents. They need ongoing safety information to prepare themselves. Reported in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, results of a focus group study involving the interviewing of 30 nursing home staff caregivers revealed these three caregiver themes regarding patient aggression:

1)   Caregiver explanations regarding the occurrence of aggressive behavior and contributions of residents and caregivers
2)   Measures for handling the aggression of residents
3)   Caregiver self protection and coping with aggression

While staff caregivers use many interventions to reduce aggression, too often they ignore their own practical knowledge about connections between aggressive behavior, pain, and other physiological issues that may cause aggression. More education and emphasis on a systematic approach, including factors leading to aggression, is needed to help staff caregivers better manage resident aggression and their own coping strategies.

This video reminds us that violence against healthcare workers impacts everyone:

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback at many booksellers and in e-book form at Amazon and Barnes and Noble booksellers.

1 comment:

  1. This is a very frightening reality of working in a long term care facility. I agree that training and education are the best tools for preventing and dealing with these instances. Great post!