Dealing with Workplace Violence, Dementia, Behavior Management and Wellness Initiatives in Health Care Settings

Patients who seem confused about where they are or who they are. Patients who act out in violent or aggressive ways because of drug interactions or mental imbalance.  Patients or clients who create a hostile or dangerous environment.

These are just some of the potential scenarios that those working in the health care, long-term care and social service fields may face in the course of a work day that can put both caregivers and patients at risk for serious injury. OSHA encourages employers in these fields — which are expected to see their employment numbers grow significantly — to establish violence prevention and behavior management programs and track their success in reducing work-related assaults.

While the risks above are often unique to the health care and long-term care industries, other risks related to basic health and wellness also bring widespread concerns.

With most Americans spending more than half their waking hours at work, for those with desk or office jobs, working in these types of roles can contribute to sedentary or stressful lifestyles that can lead to unhealthy habits and health issues. A survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2011 found:

  • The prevalence of obesity among U.S. adults age 20 and over has increased from 19.4% in 1997 to 28.7% in 2011.
  • The prevalence of diagnosed diabetes among adults age 18 and over increased from 5.4% in 1999 to 9.2% in 2010.
  • The percentage of adults who experienced serious psychological distress “during the past 30 days” has increased from 2007-2011.

To help our health care and long-term care customers deal with whatever risks they face, United Heartland is committed to providing resources to help them stay safe and healthy. The second phase of our 2015 Health Care and Long-term Care Wellness campaign examines behavior management programs, workplace violence and dementia with materials examining:

  • How employers can improve their behavior management programs and establish clear goals and objectives.
  • The risk factors that can contribute to workplace violence.
  • Training resources that can help workers better understand the scope and nature of violence in the workplace.
  • The challenges of handling individuals with dementia as well as details on a new program utilized by United Heartland that helps our health care and long-term care customers better understand dementia and its impact so they can better serve those with cognitive challenges.
  • The best methods of dealing with hostile individuals.

This phase also explores the issue of aging and obesity in the workplace and the impact of wellness initiatives with materials examining:

  • The benefits of workplace wellness initiatives and how to gain support for wellness committees and similar programs.
  • The impact of an aging workforce on all businesses, with particular focus on the effect to the health care industry.
  • The increase of comorbidities and obesity-related issues and how it is impacting workers’ compensation claim costs.

We are committed to working with those in the health and wellness industries and provide information to help them work safer. If you know of others at your agency who may be interested in receiving updates about our ongoing health and wellness campaign, please forward them this email or encourage them to subscribe to our monthly Risk Connection e-blasts hereAdditional materials related to other risks and exposures in health care and long-term care settings are also available. We’re confident our health and long-term care campaign is your prescription for injury prevention.