The Trustee Quarterly newsletter for Fall 2022 is now available, with the theme focusing on a safe work environment and preventing violence against healthcare workers.
Hospital and health care workers face significantly more risk for violence than the average workplace. It is the job of hospital leaders and board members to instill a culture of safety. This includes working together with experts, employees, and the community to simultaneously provide the best care for employees, patients, and families.
Violence against health care workers is rising and according to the American Hospital Association (AHA), since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare field has experienced an increase in workplace violence. Specifically, 44 percent of nurses reported physical violence and 68 percent experienced verbal abuse during the pandemic. Some examples include:
- Patients or Family Members Physically or Verbally Abusing Employees.
- Hospital Shootings.
The South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations (SDAHO) has taken an active role in providing members and healthcare communities the tools and resources they need to create safe work environments across South Dakota.
As hospital and health care workers face increasing incidences of violence in the workplace, the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations (SDAHO) has amped up its efforts with additional resources, and education to combat violence in the workplace while instilling a culture of safety. No matter how small, large, urban or rural, workplace violence can happen anywhere, and South Dakota’s healthcare communities are not immune to this growing problem. The SDAHO Education department has increased its education options, with several webinars aimed at protecting healthcare workers against violence at work, focusing on both their colleagues and patients. Burnout rates have skyrocketed during turbulent times in healthcare. Resilience programming has shown to improve staff wellbeing and retention, as well as improve patient safety and satisfaction. This past year, SDAHO offered a four part series with Kristen Bingaman, PT, RYT, NBC-HWC, to allow participants to gain a deeper understanding of burnout and the factors that influence it.
- January 12, 2022: Thriving Beyond Burnout: Resilience for Healthcare Providers
- March 31, 2022: The Fundamentals of Resilience
- May 26, 2022: The Mental Domain of Resilience
- July 28, 2022: Connection at the Core of Resilience
SDAHO provided members additional learning opportunities that included data and usable strategies. On April 20th Brian Blenner, Director of Safety Services with Monument Health presented: Workplace Violence, Strategies to Reduce Workplace Violence Against Caregivers. Attendees were presented with data, resources and strategies that can be utilized in the high need areas for reduction in workplace violence. This included strategies that have been implemented to include reactive and proactive approaches. Providing members with tips on dealing with difficult people was an area of focus for SDAHO. Rhonda Kemmis, a Consultant with Elite Consulting presented on May 10, Dealing with Difficult People. They come in every variety and no workplace is without them. How difficult a person is to deal with depends on our own self-esteem, awareness of human behavior, and our professional courage at work. The training reviewed, the most unwanted behaviors employees can exhibit, and often get by with unless confronted by someone skilled enough to handle the task. Participants were able to reflect on real-life situations and help one another analyze strategies that result in best-case solutions for all concerned.
Healthcare is a rewarding profession, but it comes with many complexities sometimes resulting in uncomfortable situations, even violence. SDAHO will remain committed to focusing on the needs of our members by providing the most up-to-date and needed education and resources. Focusing on a healthy and safe work environment is key to building and keeping happy and dedicated employees. Providing our members with the tools they need to not only react in certain situations but to also be proactive will remain part of our educational mission. All of SDAHO’s webinars and educational options are available to members, through the educational portal.
As healthcare leaders – it’s important to know where to begin and what questions to ask. In this edition of the Trustee Newsletter, learn what questions boards should be asking to create a safe workplace.
- Is our board committed to workplace violence prevention? Is it on our “radar screen”?
- Do we understand what it means to have a “culture of safety,” and have we adopted a “no tolerance” position on workplace violence?
- Do we conduct an annual hazard vulnerability assessment to identify potential threats of violence?
- Do we collaborate with other community organizations to promote physical and emotional safety through a public health approach?
- How do we engage employees in efforts to prevent workplace violence?
- Do we have a formal reporting and record keeping process? Does our board periodically review incident reports and corrective actions?
- Is reporting of events encouraged to promote sharing of information, including mistakes, in the interest of transparency and improvement?
- Does our organization have a committee chartered to address workplace violence? Are external stakeholders such as first responders and public health representatives included on the committee?
- Do we support and invest in recovering and counseling to build resilience in our workforce after a violent incident has occurred?
- Does our hospital or health system have a comprehensive written workplace violence prevention program? Does it address recommended components identified by OSHA, The Joint Commission, HHS, and others? Does the board annually review a program report?
- Are clear, written policies governing workplace violence provided to employees and posted publicly?
- Are measures of workplace violence included on our board’s dashboard? Does our board monitor the organization’s progress in reducing incidents?
To read the Fall 2022 Trustee Quarterly Newsletter or to view past issues, visit us: Trustee Resource Center.