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The best de-escalation training for healthcare workers

Handsome doctors - emergency preparedness

It’s Thursday night and you thumb through your Hulu feed to find that medical drama you’ve been watching for years. Cue a handsome doctor walking down the hall of a hospital when suddenly a patient appears wielding a scalpel they found lying nearby.

The patient is thrashing their new-found weapon in every direction. More attractive doctors arrive and the music darkens until finally one doctor says: “Let’s talk about this.” The situation is fake, but the occurrence is real. The best de-escalation training for healthcare workers involves communication, body language, and knowing how to adjust to the circumstances.

It’s a scene we’ve seen repeated in dramas and movies. A disgruntled former employee returns seeking revenge or a patient is misdiagnosed and isn’t on the proper medication. If it’s not that, then an employee has problems with a lover and breaks down into self-harm.

In every instance, de-escalation techniques are used on TV and in real life, albeit with a bit more drama for audiences on TV. For healthcare workers in all sectors, the risk of violence is growing. But the highest risk is to nurses and other frontline patient caretakers, particularly in the ER, geriatrics, and psychiatric settings.

Despite how effective some de-escalation techniques appear on TV, there is no significant research in real life about their efficacy.

Vantage Point offers de-escalation training, but there is no known single best practice for de-escalation. So our goal is to train people to:

  • Prevent violent behavior
  • Maintain safety
  • Reduce anger and frustration
  • Help people develop a sense of hope and security

Workplaces have been doing a form of de-escalation training for years under the name of “conflict resolution” or “crisis management”. Vantage Point’s own de-escalation training takes things a step further and is designed to help teams identify instability in their environment, prevent it, and know how to handle it in their own best defense if the situation worsens. This “Run, Hide, Fight” paradigm is law enforcement’s go-to technique for civilians when a situation escalates to violence or a weapon.

Going beyond “Run, Hide, Fight”
VPC has developed a higher standard for what to do during an active threat.

Read more about R²EBA →

For healthcare workers who are sometimes required to go into a situation where physical force is necessary, like securing a patient with hand restraints, we train health care providers to use positive reinforcement through the interaction. This includes affirming a patient’s problems, setting clear limits, respecting the patient, and remaining calm above all else.

Further, VPC trains people to recognize assets and hazards in their environment, how to secure their area if they need to shelter in place, and techniques for escaping if an opportunity to do so arises.

A de-escalation training program for healthcare facilities

Empower physicians, nurses, and healthcare professionals

Reduces instances of:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Aggressive behavior(s)
  • Workplace violence
  • Verbal abuse
  • Patient agression
  • Risk factors for violence

Ideal in:

  • Mental health facilities
  • Emergency departments
  • Ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs)
  • Psychiatric units
  • Autism service providers
  • Partial hospitalization programs
  • Inpatient behavioral health programs

Train all staff, including:

  • Nurses
  • Physicians
  • Hospital security
  • Health administration
  • Mental health nurses
  • Social service workers
  • Safety and maintenance staff
  • Telephone operators

Physical and mental safety training and incident minimization

Violence in healthcare is often from patient violence, frequently in the form of self harm to themselves. Medical staff can use the techniques in de-escalation training to calm agitated patients, reduce the use of physical violence or restraints, and stage positive interventions.

See what healthcare providers and professionals will learn
  • Numerous environmental, social, and physical prevention strategies, triggers, and responses.
  • Contributing factors to agitated and challenging behavior, including trauma, reinforcement, mental illness, and neurological conditions.
  • How to assess the likelihood someone is suffering a mental ailment and not is “just” physically violent.
  • How to interact with a calm, respectful manner through drills and practice exercises.
  • Practical applications suited to your healthcare facility and patient population.
  • Physical restraint techniques used as a last resort.
  • Debriefing and after-action techniques to assess, report, and react to the next incident.

Refresher trainings are also available for those who have gone through de-escalation before. Additional training, such as active threat awareness and cybersecurity response for healthcare facilities are also available.

Ready to train your team or request more information?

  • Each training is tailored to your organization’s size, needs, and budget.
  • Small ASCs can receive trainings that meet their patient population, and large hospitals can offer multi-day training.
  • Available online or in-person.
  • Conducted at your location for in-person training.
  • All course materials are included.

Use the form on this page or call (844) 982-6824. You can also email vpc@vantagepointc.com. We respond to most emails in about 1 business day.

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