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Episode 148 - Dr. Erin Kelly: Workplace Violence and Staff Well-Being: Everyday Hassles and Acute Crises

Monday, August 04, 2014, 8:16:42 AM

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While working at an inpatient psychiatric facility early in her career, Dr. Erin Kelly became interested in workplace violence, struck by the tension of maintaining staff and patient safety. She also developed an appreciation of the importance of building relationships with patients and other staff in such a challenging environment. In this episode, Dr. Kelly discusses her research on the impact of workplace violence on staff at a large psychiatric hospital. Dr. Kelly suggests a number of strategies to ameliorate staff conflict as one method of reducing staff-patient conflict. She also makes suggestions for the individual clinicians working in settings with elevated levels of conflict.

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Average Rating: 5stars  great podcast on workplace violence, Wednesday, December 02, 2015

By Robyn :

This podcast helped me better understand the issue and extent of workplace violence. As the podcast mentioned, a survey of one thousand social workers found that nearly 86% experienced psychological aggression and over 30% experienced physical assault. Dr. Kelly’s comments resonated with me, and she provided strategies for prevention that make sense and will be useful to me. As an MSW student, I am interested in this issue because my field placement agency deals with many conflict situations with clients in group homes. In the past, I worked at animal sanctuaries where I could be physically attacked and increasing worker safety became something personally important to me.

Dr. Kelly mentions that giving staff more autonomy and control over their work was an important measure. This seems essential. However, when violent interactions occur, it seems like management could react by exerting more control. I would like to learn more about ways social work agencies have at created greater worker autonomy.

I appreciated Dr. Kelly’s comments on navigating the tension of maintaining a secure unit for staff that still respects patients’ rights. Along with this, there is the difficultly of remaining on guard while building relationships with patients. Dr. Kelly’s research showed me how this tension can impact the staff and client relationship. The research on worker reactivity was fascinating; I did expect that result she found of greater risk for being assaulted among the less reactive staff.

Another important area Dr. Kelly focused on was the way staff conflict increased patient conflict, and how building better staff relationships could be a protective factor against workplace violence. This podcast has incredibly valuable information for social workers given the seriousness and extent of the problem.








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