In his session on how to respond to if a gunman begins to shoot people at your workplace, J. David Weidner, Director of Emergency Preparedness for the Health Care Association of New Jersey, emphasized the importance of trusting your instincts. “Run – Hide – Fight” was Weidner’s most important message, when staff from six New York City nursing homes gathered last month for a Labor Management Project conference titled Preparing for the Many Faces of Aggression. The conference was part of an ongoing LMP program to reduce workplace violence.
“Go back to your work space and check if there is a lock in your area or windows with blinds,” Weidner advised. “Also, check if there are any chairs that you can put near the door during an active shooter situation.” The nursing home teams practiced managing various consequences of active shooter incidents and reviewed elements of a comprehensive policy and procedures guide through interactive exercises.
Dr. Jeanne Devine, Director of Training for PscyhAssociates, facilitated a theater-in-the-round event in which each nursing home team performed a skit about managing aggressive residents or visitors. After each skit, Dr. Devine engaged participants in providing support and options for staff to consider. At the end of the day, one CNA commented: “I thought only my nursing home admitted residents that are hard to manage. Now I see that we all share these challenges!” Each nursing home received an Oscar-like trophy award for their great work in performing the skits. (In photo above, L to R: Gabrielle Fairfax, Jacqueline Byfield, Shermine Pope, Helen Duncan, Antoniette Miller Brown and Tillmatti Sukhdeo.)
Participating homes included Terrace Healthcare Center, Kings Harbor Multicare Center, Crown Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Kingsbridge Heights Rehabilitation and Care Center, Bronx Center for Rehabilitation, and Healthcare and Laconia Nursing Home. With ongoing support from LMP consultants, each facility will continue to work on its own action plans to address workplace violence issues affecting staff, residents and visitors.