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Maggie Rew, Terry Ferns
British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 14, Iss. 4, 24 Feb 2005, pp 227 - 232

The Government has introduced tough measures in dealing with violence and aggression in the workplace. Employers have a duty to provide adequate safety measures and training to reduce risks and ensure, where possible the health, safety and welfare of their employees. This article highlights the responsibilities of employers and the pressures in both hospital and community environments on staff at risk from violent or abusive incidents. The patient’s perspective is discussed, suggesting that more understanding between patients and staff is needed. The article looks at the ‘NHS Zero Tolerance Zone Campaign’ and whether this can be enhanced by introducing training of an empathetic nature along with other practical environmental issues. It suggests that there are alternative, and more effective, techniques in dealing with violence and aggression that can be used to defuse a situation before it ever becomes a physical altercation. The philosophies of eastern martial arts can teach us a lot about personal self-esteem and confidence which are two key elements in managing conflict situations.

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