ACT calls for end to violence and aggression against healthcare staff

    Practitioners experiencing high rates of physical and verbal abuse

      • Sector News
    • 01.09.20

    The Government of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has launched a campaign calling for patients and visitors to be kind and respectful to healthcare practitioners.

    The campaign highlights the high rate of occupational violence nurses and midwives are subject to, which can have far-reaching effects upon their happiness, mental health, wellbeing, relationships and ability to care for patients.

    Physical abusive behaviours experienced by practitioners include:

    • Hitting, kicking or pushing 
    • Choking
    • Biting, spitting or scratching
    • Throwing things

    Non-physical abusive behaviours include:

    • Aggressive body language or gestures such as eye-rolling
    • Shouting or yelling
    • Standing in the way of a staff member doing their job or in their personal space
    • Banging fists on a desk
    • Name-calling or swearing

    Campaign resources are available for organisations to download and use on the website.

    Health Act.gov.au: Be kind and respectful to our nurses and midwives

    Maybo perspective

    Staff working in hospitals strive to provide the best care for patients who can have diverse and often complex physical, psychological and emotional needs. As a result of these, some patients can present 'challenging', unpredictable and risky behaviours. Added to this, staff can experience conflict with relatives and other visitors.

    Maybo’s award-winning training provides staff with positive approaches to behaviours of concern, including safer working practices and effective communication and de-escalation skills.

    Where necessary we can teach simple positioning skills to reduce vulnerability to injury when working in close proximity to patients, plus low arousal disengagement, guiding and redirection skills. In higher risk areas this can extend to clinical holding skills.

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