Majority of health professionals lack necessary training to prevent workplace violence

New online/in-person training offers verbal de-escalation solution

By Susan Driscoll

According to a recent study, workers in health occupations in Canada had the highest probability of reporting workplace violence and harassment on the job over the previous year. Last year, Canada’s Ministry of Labour established a program to specifically address workplace safety. The most common form of workplace abuse among Canadian women and men is verbal abuse – with women more likely to report abuse than men. It is a growing problem that can no longer be ignored.

Recent research by the Crisis Prevention Institute Inc. (CPI), the leading international workplace violence prevention trainer, indicates healthcare workplace violence prevention training needs are increasing and going unmet. Healthcare professionals predict training needs will increase by 20 per cent or more over the next three years driven by regulatory pressures, employee demand and increasing risk exposure.

To address these concerns, CPI has created its new Verbal Intervention ™ Training. The program features verbal and non-verbal de-escalation techniques blending online and in-person learning to provide an impactful and cost-efficient approach. One component of the program includes scenario videos which allow employees to visually see and hear the best ways to handle situations verbally. CPI has more information available at

The program builds learner competency while minimizing time off the workplace floor. The training was developed specifically for healthcare staff who need the confidence and skills to identify and productively respond to disruptive behaviors. This evidence-based program is rooted in CPI’s proven philosophy of Care, Welfare, Safety and Security for staff, patients and caregivers to ensure a culture of safety for everyone. Providing workers with the skills to address potential workplace violence early on will help reduce the number and severity of workplace violence incidents.

Hospitals, clinics and others know that the cost of workplace violence directly impacts employee morale and turnover, contributes to worker’s compensation claims and increases exposure for legal and reputational damage. The goal of CPI’s Verbal Intervention ™ Training is to reduce exposure to the growing concerns many healthcare organizations are facing today.

The program is forward-thinking, using a “train-the-trainer” model so the trainer can then teach the techniques to other professionals in their workplace.  Verbal de-escalation training helps to quickly mitigate and decrease risk before situations get out of control.

Susan Driscoll is the president of Crisis Prevention Institute, an international training organization committed to competency-based learning and safe behavior management methods that focus on prevention. Founded in 1980, CPI’s mission is to reduce the likelihood and severity of workplace violence incidents. Over 17,000 facilities, 37,000 Certified Instructors, and 15 million trained professionals trust CPI to help create more confident and productive employees. Learn more at