The Unthinkable: Violence in Healthcare from Bullying to an Active Shooter

Dr. Susan Strauss

Dr. Susan Strauss

Dr. Susan Strauss is a national and international speaker, trainer and consultant. She has worked as a psychiatric nurse and her undergraduate degree is in psychology and human services. Her specialty areas include discrimination, harassment, and bullying; management/leadership development, and organization development. She conducts harassment...
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120 Mins
Dr. Susan Strauss

Are you prepared to deal with an active shooter on one of your patient floors-which happened in a hospital in Minnesota?  As we hear more and more about mass shootings, it causes us to pause and wonder if it could really happen in a hospital, clinic, or when visiting a patient’s home. Fortunately, most violence does not rise to that level, but nonetheless, the violence that commonly occurs in healthcare has profound consequences for all involved.  It is essential you prepare to prevent and react to minimize violence that occurs.

The healthcare environment creates a major challenge in the prevention and intervention of violence. The rate of injuries and illness from violence in the healthcare industry is more than three times greater than violence in all private industries. The COVID pandemic has caused an increase in violence to nurses and physicians. Healthcare organizations include hospitals, outpatient clinics, medical office clinics, home health care, home-based hospice, long-term care/memory care, paramedic and emergency medical services, mobile clinics, drug treatment programs, and ancillary healthcare organizations.  What makes violence in healthcare unique is that it carries negative ramifications for quality patient care.

In the U.S. some states, such as California, have passed legislation specifically addressing violence in healthcare. There are other federal and state laws that require the employer to address the hazards of workplace violence, and laws that protect the victims of workplace violence.OSHA identifies healthcare as one of three “high risk” industries for violence and has written a Guidance document specifically outlining steps healthcare should take to combat the risk.

Violence in healthcare is perpetrated not only by patients, their families, and visitors but as well among the health professionals themselves.  It may include a patient admitted to the ER high on drugs and wielding a knife.  Or it may be an enraged physician in the operating room flinging a scalpel at a nurse.  And the violence may be one nurse bullying another nurse - depending on how the word “violence” is actually defined.

The Joint Commission has even taken a stand on dealing with unsafe patient care due to abusive (which may constitute violence) behavior by health professionals. Your role as a leader in your healthcare organization equates to a responsibility to create and sustain a safe working environment for your employees AND a safe and healing environment for your patients.  This webinar by expert speaker Dr. Susan Strauss will review the critical elements required to plan, design, develop, implement, and evaluate your healthcare organization’s violence prevention plan.

Webinar Objectives

  • To define workplace violence
  • To provide examples of workplace violence in healthcare
  • To discuss the relevant laws that address workplace violence
  • To state the impact  and consequences of violence to the healthcare victims, the organization and patient care
  • To examine the causes of healthcare violence
  • To discuss a violence prevention program to ensure patients, families, visitors, and staff are safe
  • To outline the roles and responsibilities of the organization’s stakeholders
  • To explain how to help the workplace and workers recover following a violent episode.

Who Should Attend

  • Director of Risk Management
  • Director of Safety
  • Director of Quality Improvement
  • Occupational Health Nurse
  • VP of Nursing/Chief Nursing Officer
  • Legal counsel
  • Chief Medical Officer
  • Chief Operations Officer
To access this webinar, kindly reach out to our customer support team at

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