Why should security staff teach Work Place Violence (WPV) de-escalation training in your facility?

The violence epidemic in healthcare has necessitated that every facility implements de-escalation training. Some facilities have chosen to build training programs from scratch while others have purchased curriculum from outside groups like the Crisis Prevention Institute. No matter what program your facility chooses to use, it is even more critical that your organization chooses the right staff to teach it. Security staff should be your primary instructor pool for any form of workplace violence prevention training, including de-escalation training.

Security staff make the obvious choice for three main reasons:

  • First, security is always called to respond to acts of violence and therefore they have the front-line experience in dealing with the types of situations staff are training to encounter.
  • Second, security staff are the leading de-escalation experts in your facility due to their role in front-line response.  Using security professionals to teach this type of curriculum helps to build staff confidence in response capabilities.
  • Finally, associating this expertise with security and allowing them the direct interaction with staff during training helps build a more collaborative response between clinical staff and security staff.

De-escalation training serves many purposes in a workplace violence prevention program.  The most important role it plays is building staff confidence in personal response time and effectiveness.   Leveraging security staff to teach only helps to bolster the confidence building qualities of the training. Additionally, the relationship building and barrier breaking that occurs during class interaction translates to everyday real-world situations naturally over time. The longer security staff are engaged in teaching regular classes, the more clinical staff will utilize them in everyday situations to help prevent instead of just calling them to react. This same kind of translation does not occur in facilities that utilize clinical or human resource staff as instructors for this type of training.

When organizations use security staff in this way, they also help improve the expertise of primary responders. Equipping security staff to be instructors in violence de-escalation requires building a deeper level of knowledge within that staff. Additionally, the continual repetitive nature of teaching a core de-escalation curriculum helps ensure a significant transfer of learning. All of that translates into improved response time and effectiveness within your primary response force. 

When security personnel teach de-escalation techniques it creates a cyclical process of continuous quality improvement in addressing volatile situations.  Equipping security staff to be instructors builds deeper knowledge and a deeper confidence in decreasing violence. Associating education and expertise with security staff also builds clinical staff confidence and trust relationships within classroom interaction which improves proactive response for everyone in the field.

Who teaches de-escalation in your organization? Do you see the connection outlined above? What type of de-escalation training do you use in your organization? Join the conversation in the comments below, and don’t forget to like, follow and share to support the proactive security blog.

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