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The Person With Aggressive Behaviours




Aggression and violence are increasing in health care settings so containing client aggression can be part of the role of every health worker and carer. As carers you will, on occasions, encounter physically or verbally aggressive outbursts from clients so you need to have a repertoire of skills to cope with such incidents. Aggressive outbursts have the potential to escalate from verbal abuse to physical violence and may place at risk the client with the aggressive behavior, other clients, carers and property. Swift, appropriate decisions need to be made, and this chapter discusses interventions that can be implemented to either prevent escalation, or act appropriately if violence is imminent.


Contents include

  • social context
  • recognising aggressive behaviours
  • aggression in the health care environment
  • the carer and aggression
  • causes of aggressive incidents
  • caring interventions.
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Author / Editor Biographies

Bernadette Keane is a highly experienced nurse educator who lectured for nine years in the psychiatric nursing programs conducted at Royal Park Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. In addition to psychiatry, her clinical background and qualifications include medical, surgical, midwifery and infant welfare areas of care. In 1982, as a Kellogg Nursing Fellow, she studied at the University of California, San Francisco. Since then she has published journal articles and textbook chapters on health care and professional issues. In 1986 Bernadette launched her private practice, called Continuing Educati...
Carolyn Dixon was, from 1995 to early 1999, the psychiatric clinical nurse consultant in the Emergency Department of St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Her work there began as a project to study the effectiveness of this innovative role. Carolyn is a trained psychiatric and general nurse who has worked in hospital, education and community settings both in Australia and overseas. It was while she was working as a nurse teacher at Royal Park Hospital in Melbourne that she first worked with Bernadette Keane. Carolyn has presented a number of conference papers on aspects of psychiatric...

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