How CPI Certification Can Help Prevent Workplace Violence

young boy lying on the ground in pain - How CPI Certification Can Help Prevent Workplace Violence

Workplace violence is an ongoing concern in healthcare settings. The incidents are disruptive, costly and can put the health of patients and employees at risk.

Developing a plan to respond to violent situations can help prevent them. For instance, hospitals and long-term care facilities can equip their staff with Nonviolent Crisis Intervention training.

De-escalation Strategies

When people hear the term “workplace violence,” they often think of active shooter situations. But there are many other forms of behavior that can fall under this umbrella, including stalking, harassment, aggressive contact, destruction of property and more.

While it’s impossible to prevent all incidents of workplace violence, CPI training can help. By teaching nurses how to recognize and de-escalate troublesome behaviors, they can reduce the risk of a violent incident. And if an incident does occur, they will be better equipped to deal with it effectively.

A nurse’s job can be stressful, especially if they work alone or with patients who are having a medical crisis. Having skills to handle these difficult interactions can make all the difference. De-escalation strategies include being empathetic to the person, not taking things personally and respecting their personal space. It’s also important to keep calm and use non-threatening verbal communication, such as asking open-ended questions or allowing them time to respond.

If a person begins making threats of physical violence, it’s essential to follow established emergency procedures and seek safety. This includes following predetermined escape routes, avoiding being alone and using available resources such as panic buttons or alarms. It’s also critical to be able to assess a situation and take note of any physical cues, such as clenching fists or tightening jaws.

Sometimes, de-escalation does not work and a dangerous situation must be addressed by staff members who have been trained in safe physical intervention. Nurses who have completed CPI training learn how to safely restrain a person, which can be done without causing injury or unnecessary pain. They also learn how to minimize the amount of force used and the likelihood that an individual will be injured in the process.

While certain professions are more prone to workplace violence than others, anyone can be subjected to disturbing behavior. This is why all workplaces should be prepared to respond quickly and appropriately if an employee is at risk of harming themselves or others. Having an action plan and training in place can significantly reduce the risk of disruptive or violent behaviors in a workplace and improve overall patient and worker safety.

Physical Intervention

CPI training teaches professionals how to safely handle potentially unsafe situations. The training includes de-escalation strategies that don’t involve force or physical restraint.

CPI trainers also teach participants how to identify situations that could escalate into aggression or violence, and help them develop plans for dealing with them. These plans may include securing potential weapons and creating escape routes. They may also involve contacting the appropriate person to report incidents and ensure that the safety of everyone is kept in mind.

When it comes to workplace violence, the statistics are grim and troubling. Countless lives have been changed or even destroyed by this type of behavior. The numbers represent real people — healthcare workers, patients, students, clients, loved ones, bystanders and others.

While it is impossible to eliminate all violent and aggressive behaviors, health care organizations can significantly reduce the risk of violence in their facilities by establishing prevention programs that incorporate the best practices recommended by regulatory agencies. Vigorous prevention programs combined with timely intervention and appropriate responses by the workforce can reduce violence, injuries, liability, attrition, and fear, all of which are associated with health care workplace violence.

For example, caregivers in assisted living centers and nursing homes can attend specialized CPI courses designed to address their particular work situation. These classes might teach them nonviolent crisis intervention methods for dealing with elderly or mentally ill clients, and include self-examination to help them understand their attitudes and beliefs that might contribute to disruptive and hostile behavior.

Similarly, hospitals can take CPI training to prevent violence among their nurses and other clinical staff. One study published in the fall of 2013 found that nursing students who received CPI training were less likely to report being threatened or assaulted than those without it.

As an added benefit, CPI offers a combination of online and in-person courses for medical professionals that combines MAB and CPI training. This allows the professional to gain confidence in their ability to de-escalate a dangerous situation while gaining the knowledge that they will have support in case of an actual incident. The cost of these classes is minimal, making them an effective investment in employee safety and well-being.


young girl holding fist up in anger - How CPI Certification Can Help Prevent Workplace Violence

When you have CPI certification training, it equips you to recognize the early signs of a potential crisis situation. Then, you can take steps to defuse it or avoid it altogether. This may mean involving a supervisor or calling law enforcement. It may also involve making it clear to employees that all reports of threatening or violent behavior will be taken seriously and that no one will be retaliated against for reporting it.

Workplace violence is a real threat in many industries, but some are more at risk than others. Specifically, businesses that employ a lot of delivery personnel and those that require regular customer interaction are at higher risk. Additionally, workplace violence tends to occur more frequently in healthcare-related, law enforcement-related, and social service settings.

As a business owner, you want to be prepared in the event of a violence incident. That’s why it’s important to establish a clear policy on workplace violence and provide all employees with the training and support they need. Additionally, installing effective surveillance systems and providing easy-to-use mass communication technology is another way to improve your organization’s ability to handle violent situations.

During a workplace violence assessment, you should also make sure to consider the perpetrator’s relationship to the affected workplace. OSHA has developed a model typology of workplace violence that includes the following types of incidents:

Type 2: Customer, Client or Patient Violence
This type of workplace violence involves an assailant who has some relationship to the business. The assailant could be a client, customer, passenger, victim of a crime, or even someone who has been incarcerated.

This type of violence typically occurs in conjunction with robbery or shoplifting. To prevent this from happening in your business, you should keep cash on hand to a minimum and use an electronic payment system. You can also install a locked drop safe and ask for frequent surveillance by local law enforcement. Lastly, be sure to provide your employees with information on resources that can help them deal with domestic violence and other issues outside of work.


Having CPI training boosts nurses’ confidence to deal with tense situations, especially in hospitals and emergency care settings. It also increases their ability to recognize early warning signs of behavior changes, which allows them to help patients avoid a full-blown crisis.

CPI’s foundation train-the-trainer course, Nonviolent Crisis Intervention, is an evidence-based four-day program designed within the context of adult learning theory to teach staff safe and effective de-escalation and physical intervention strategies. It’s based on the CPI philosophy of Care, Welfare, Safety and SecuritySM which is inherently person-centered. This approach is rooted in the belief that all people, including students, patients, teachers and caregivers, are capable of changing their own behaviors when given the right tools and support.

For many healthcare workers, particularly those in a direct patient-facing role, verbal de-escalation is the first line of defense against a potential workplace violence incident. It’s a forward-thinking approach that can help lower worker’s comp claims and reduce exposure to risk by teaching staff how to quickly mitigate and decrease risk before situations escalate.

According to a recent survey by Hospital IQ, almost two million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence each year, and nearly three-quarters believe they are at risk of being the victim of a violent incident in the future. The costs associated with workplace violence are significant, contributing to lower morale, increased employee turnover, higher health insurance premiums and workers’ compensation claims, as well as legal and reputational damage.

To combat this growing problem, hospitals and clinics are turning to CPI’s proven training and prevention methods. By implementing CPI’s de-escalation and physical intervention training, they can save money in the long run while increasing patient safety, reducing worker’s comp claims, meeting regulatory compliance and improving overall culture.

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