to combat workplace violence in the health
Piloted in the Gauteng Department of Health, South Africa
by Dr Susan Steinman
"The outcomes are magnificent..."
See bottom of this page for
project on the Management of Violence in the Workplace was developed by the ILO/ICN/WHO/PSI
as a 3 day workshop to mobilise action against violence in the workplace. The
program is based on the 2003 ILO/ICN/WHO/PSI Joint Program's Framework
Guidelines to Address Violence in the Health Sector.
Workplace violence - be it physical (homicide,
attacks, beating) or psychological (mobbing, bullying, harassment) - affects
practically all sectors and all categories of workers. The health sector is at
major risk. Under the strain of reforms, growing work pressure and stress,
social instability, demoralisation of workers and the deterioration of personal
interrelationships, workplace violence is rapidly spreading in the health
sector. Increasingly domestic violence and violence in the streets is spilling
over to the health institutions. The negative consequences of such widespread
violence heavily impact on the delivery of health care services, which can
include deterioration of the quality of care provided and the decision by health
workers to leave the health care professions. This can result in a reduction in
health services available to the general population, and an increase in health
costs. In developing countries particularly, equal access to primary health care
is threatened if health workers, already a scarce resource, abandon their
profession or migrate.
In response to these problems the International
Labour Office (ILO), The International Council of Nurses (ICN), The World Health
Organisation (WHO) and Public Services International (PSI) produced, in 2002,
Framework Guidelines for addressing workplace violence in the health sector.
The Guidelines provide definitions of workplace
violence and guidance on general rights and responsibilities; best approaches;
violence recognition; violence assessment; workplace interventions; monitoring
This "Companion Education and Training
Kit for Practitioners" to the Framework Guidelines, hereafter
called VETO, a practical, user-friendly tool which complements the policy
approach of the Framework Guidelines. If used in training situations with
participants representing governments and social partners, it will foster social
dialogue among the interested parties.
The two documents constitute a package
that will encourage proper dissemination and utilization of the Framework
Primarily targeted at workplace situations but also
suitable for being used, in a flexible way, in awareness-raising contexts,
VETO is targeted to a wide range of operators in the health sectors,
including medical and paramedical staff, administrators, members of professional
associations, trade unionists, managers, trainers, decision makers and
practitioners in general. It focuses on:
Awareness raising on the
issue of workplace violence in the health sector
understanding of the main messages of the Guidelines and their practical
orientation to concrete action to combat violence at the workplace
Following the structure of the Framework Guidelines,
VETO consists of seven modules:
Choosing the best
Recognising and assessing
Monitoring and Evaluation
In order to achieve the maximum impact in training
sessions, VETO has been designed and should be applied using the
The kit is based on the full interaction and
involvement of all participants in the training course and aims to promote the
ownership of its messages by such participants.
The kit delivers an unequivocal message that workplace
violence can be largely prevented, provides the means to develop prevention and
encourages preventive action.
Success can only be measured
by the results obtained. Taking immediate action to combat violence should be
the natural follow-up to using the kit. The kit also shows how strategic and
immediate objectives are compatible and addresses the monitoring and evaluation
of action taken.
Situations are complex. Solutions are multiple. One single
approach to a particular problem does not work in all environments and cultures.
Several approaches and options are presented and discussed so that users can
develop programmes and action that meet their unique needs.
Successful programmes and action are highlighted focussing
on those that are developed at the workplace level, showed positive results,
could be modified to meet changing circumstances and were cost-effective.
VETO is tailored for a three days workshop or in intense training sessions
it can also be done in 2 days. international training, because of better
transport facilities, usually opt for the two day VETO. It can be used in a modular way
according to timetables specifically elaborated for the particular situation. As
indicated in the sample schedule, the first day could be devoted to module 1, 2,
.3 and 4, the second day to Module 5 and the beginning of module 6, and the
third day to the finalisation of module 6 and module 7. It is also possible to
concentrate VETO in one day focussing on a limited number of
presentations and exercises only.
TRAINING IS AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE
on VETO for the health sector
Brochure on VETO for the
corporate and services sector
Special offer on VETO for massive
roll-out in South Africa
COUNTRIES (EXCLUDING SOUTH AFRICA)
Brochure on VETO
for the health sector
Brochure on VETO for the
corporate and services sector
Special offer on
international training by Dr Steinman
If you are
interested, please contact Dr Susan Steinman.