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HOME HEALTH CARE PLAYING IT SAFE: PREVENTING VIOLENCE ON THE JOB

By Barrow Group Staff / July 12, 2022

Care for elderly

Home health care workers provide care to patients in the patients’ homes, without the protections of a hospital setting. Because of this, home health care workers can be vulnerable as they face an unprotected and unpredictable environment each time they enter a patient’s community or home.

Verbal abuse from the patient, family members or people in the community is a form of workplace violence.

During home visits, use basic safety precautions:

  • Be alert.
  • Evaluate each situation for possible violence.
  • Watch for signals of impending violent assault.

The following are tips for managing a potentially violent situation:

Vehicle Safety

  • Keep your vehicle well-maintained and in good working order.
  • Keep your windows rolled up and doors locked.
  • Park the vehicle in a well-lit area, away from large trees or shrubs.
  • Keep health care equipment, supplies and personal belongings locked out of sight.

On Location

  • Consider working with an escort in high-crime areas and schedule visits during daylight hours.
  • Ensure you have accurate directions to the house or apartment.
  • Always let your employer know your location and when to expect you to report back.
  • Check the surrounding location and activity before you exit your car.
  • Stay in your car and contact your manager if you notice anything that might threaten your security.

During the Home Visit

  • Notify your employer if you observe an unsecured weapon.
  • Maintain behavior that helps to defuse anger by presenting a calm, caring attitude.
  • Avoid behaviors that may be interpreted as aggressive.
  • If possible, keep an open pathway for a quick exit.
  • Always trust your judgment.
  • Avoid situations that don’t feel right.
  • If you are being verbally abused, ask the abuser to stop. If the abuser does not stop, then leave.
  • If you cannot gain control of the situation, shorten the visit and remove yourself from the situation.
  • If you need help, use your cellphone to call your employer or 911, depending on the severity of the situation.
  • If you observe a crime, contact the police.

Topics: False Workers Compensation Claims, STAFFING INSURANCE, HOME HEALTH CARE

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