April 2, 2024

Upcoming events for Workplace Violence Awareness Month

Throughout the month of April, Vanderbilt Health will recognize national Workplace Violence Prevention Awareness Month in alignment with the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The goal is to further broaden awareness for recognizing, preventing, and responding to workplace violence throughout the health system.

The  VUMC Policy describes workplace violence as any conduct or comments that are inappropriate, demeaning or otherwise offensive and create an uncomfortable, hostile, or intimidating environment.

“The incidences of workplace violence are on the rise across the country, and particularly in health care settings. In our organization, we have seen a marked increase in the number of events reported, mostly due to a near doubling of verbal assaults said Chad Fitzgerald, JD, executive vice president, Shared Clinical Services Division. “That’s one of the leading reasons we want to raise awareness this month, so that that everyone understands this issue, knows where to go for helpful resources and has tools to address situations that can and do arise.”

On Tuesday, April 16, staff from the Employee Assistance program, Occupational Health, Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD), the multi-disciplinary VUMC Workplace Violence Steering Committee and others will be on the Vanderbilt Plaza on the 21st Avenue campus from 7a.m. to 7 p.m.  to answer questions and provide resources.

Throughout this month, look for visual reminders, including digital signs on clinical workstations and physician signs in high-traffic areas. Additionally, patient-facing awareness messages will run on the Get-well screens within inpatient rooms, patient point screens and will run on the marquee digital board in the Vanderbilt University Hospital Lobby.

Workplace Violence Steering Committee members and leaders will round on units and departments throughout the coming weeks. Entity leaders will share specific dates and locations.

All are encouraged to visit and bookmark the VUMC Workplace Violence web site and review the comprehensive resources available. Consider adding workplace violence awareness tips to standing meetings throughout the month and initiate conversations with your supervisors to discuss work environment-specific questions. Any additional questions can be directed to Nicolette Kostiw at nicolette.kostiw@vumc.org.