Hospi­tal’s self-de­fence bid

Broome Advertiser - - Front Page - Jakeb Wad­dell and Glenn Cord­ing­ley

All emer­gency depart­ment staff at Broome Hospi­tal are to un­der­take self-de­fence lessons in the wake of new fig­ures show­ing they deal with about 10 in­ci­dents each week in­volv­ing al­co­hol or drug-fu­elled vi­o­lence from peo­ple seek­ing treat­ment.

Fig­ures ob­tained by the Broome Ad­ver­tiser from the WA Coun­try Health Ser­vice re­veal there were 488 re­ported in­ci­dents of vi­o­lence out of 24,354 pre­sen­ta­tions in 2017.

That equates to 2 per cent, or about 41 peo­ple ev­ery month.

In 2016, the fig­ures were slightly worse, with 522 re­ported in­ci­dents of vi­o­lence with fewer pre­sen­ta­tions to­talling 21,955.

In the pe­riod to the end of Jan­uary there have only been three re­ported in­ci­dents of vi­o­lence, but the WACHS said the data could be af­fected by se­vere weather in­volv­ing two trop­i­cal lows and a cy­clone.

The WACHS said emer­gency depart­ment staff had al­ready com­pleted on­line ag­gres­sion preven­tion and man­age­ment train­ing.

In June, the the­ory-based learn­ing will shift to phys­i­cal self­de­fence train­ing, al­low­ing staff to learn about pro­tect­ing them­selves, avoid­ing as­sault and mit­i­gat­ing en­coun­ters threat­en­ing to flare up.

A spokesper­son from WACHS said look­ing af­ter em­ploy­ees was a pri­or­ity.

“The WA Coun­try Health Ser­vice takes very se­ri­ously the safety of its pa­tients and staff,” she said.

Broome Hospi­tal cat­e­gorises types of emer­gency depart­ment ad­mis­sions as part of a lo­cal ini­tia­tive.

The WACHS said other Kim­ber­ley hos­pi­tals had not col­lected the in­for­ma­tion. The lat­est round of train­ing will in­volve all emer­gency depart­ment staff, in­clud­ing doc­tors and nurses.

“The day-long train­ing would in­volve prac­ti­cal in­di­vid­ual re­sponse train­ing, which in­cludes dis­en­gage­ment and avoid­ance skills,” she said.

“The course would give skills in de­fus­ing and calm­ing sit­u­a­tions, self­aware­ness and a proac­tive ap­proach to cus­tomer ser­vice.”

Pic­ture: Gareth McKnight

Broome Hospi­tal’s emer­gency depart­ment.

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