Violence in the workplace: implementing the Instant Aggression Model

Paramedics, by the nature of their work, often enter into unknown, critical and sometimes hostile situations. Danger can emanate from the patient, particularly if they are confused, in a state of panic, inebriated or psychotic, from friends and family, work colleagues, or from members of the public. In such situations the best advice is undoubtedly to withdraw and summon support. This paper, however, addresses those situations where that is either not possible or appropriate. A model for understanding aggression as it unfolds is offered together with an examination of the interpersonal defusing and de-escalating skills.

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