RMH Emergency Department staff
23 February 2018
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Media releases

A new video highlighting acts of violence and aggression against hospital workers has been created by the frontline staff who experience and witness it every day.


Help Us, Help You was created by Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) Emergency Department (ED) staff to raise awareness of occupational violence and aggression in healthcare.

Royal Melbourne Hospital Emergency Department Nurse Unit Manager, Susan Harding, said the video was a very personal approach to showing what ED staff see and experience on a daily basis. 

A 2017 WorkSafe and DHHS awareness campaign said that up to 95% of healthcare workers have experienced verbal or physical assault.
Up to 95% of healthcare workers have experienced verbal or physical assault.

“We hope the video, which incorporates examples of what emergency staff experience and CCTV footage of actual incidents, has a positive effect on people in the ED waiting room and watching this on social media,” Susan said. 

“We want our patients and visitors to understand we are committed to providing the best possible care for them, but to do this we must ensure the absolute safety of the people who provide that care.”

The video supports the Department of Health and Human Services and Worksafe Victoria’s Occupational Violence and Aggression campaign, launched in 2017.

At the RMH’s City Campus in 2017, there was almost 7,500 planned and unplanned code greys. Of the incidents reported, the most common forms of violence and aggression in the Emergency Department were physical violence and threatening behaviour and harassment.

Susan added there needs to be a significant mind shift in the workplace and in the community about what is acceptable.

“In healthcare we sometimes tend to think that occupational violence and aggression is ‘just part of the job’,” Susan said.

“But occupational violence and aggression wears many different hats and takes many different forms. We really wanted to change the thinking and help our staff to understand that violence and aggression in their workplace is unacceptable, and that’s not what they come to work for every day.”

Susan presented the video, along with a range of initiatives developed by the ED team, at a national conference last week on improving hospital safety and security. The video will be played in the emergency department waiting room and on social media.

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