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simulation, training program, workplace violence



  1. Brown, Robin G. BSN, RN, CHEP
  2. Anderson, Shauna MSN, RN, NE-BC
  3. Brunt, Barbara MA, MN, RN-BC, NE-BC
  4. Enos, Trish BS, BSN, RN, CPHQ
  5. Blough, Keith MBA
  6. Kropp, Denise BS, CCRP


Workplace violence in health care settings is increasing dramatically nationwide. In response, an interdisciplinary team at an Ohio health system developed and piloted a model of training to address workplace violence. The model included classroom learning, a code silver (person with a weapon or a hostage situation) simulation training, and hands-on self-defense techniques. Based on data collected in the pilot, the team revised the model to offer a more comprehensive approach; the new, revised training program is known as Violence: enABLE Yourself to Respond. The team designed four distinct five-minute simulation scenarios depicting a range of threats from "escalating behavior" to "active shooter" and enacted them with standardized participants (health care personnel trained to perform specific behaviors in educational scenarios). Immediately after each simulation, the instructors facilitated a debriefing of the participants. Participants' pre- and post-training program self-evaluations of how prepared they felt to react to violent situations, as well as experts' evaluations of the participants' performance in simulations, provided evidence of the effectiveness of the model. Analysis of the data demonstrated a statistically significant positive difference in both participants' perception of their preparedness and experts' evaluation of their performance. The combination of classroom learning and simulation training is an effective, evidence-based method to prepare employees to respond when a situation escalates to violence, including the use of a weapon. This approach was designed for acute care but can be adapted to other settings. Skills learned can be used in both personal and professional life.