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Violence Prevention

The point-of-care interactions between staff and patients/clients/residents or public pose the greatest risk of injury to staff. The Provincial Violence Prevention Curriculum (PVPC) e-learning modules are intended to help health care workers recognize, assess, and respond proactively to violence and aggression. 

To go directly to the mandatory curriculum (Provincial Violence Prevention for Low Risk Departments – 7 Modules) scroll to the bottom of this page and click on the link.


The most important information I need to know.

Assessing Risk

Identifying Behaviour

Mitigating Risk

Assessing Risk

All staff should conduct a quick, informal check-in known as a Point-of-Care Risk Assessment (PCRA). This assessment can be done by all health care workers in the moment. It includes observation of the person’s behaviour and the environment, a review of the task required, and a personal check-in. The intent of this assessment is to confirm that it is safe to interact with or provide care to the person at this time, and focuses on use of observation as the key assessment tool.


  • Am I informed of any risks with the client?
  • Am I prepared both physically and mentally to deal with them?


  • Poor physical design (e.g. access to exits)
  • Items that can be used as weapons
  • Poor lighting or visibility
  • Unknown people in the area
  • Working alone or in isolation (e.g. working too far away to call for help)
  • Slip/trip hazards


  • What is the task I am being asked to do?
  • What is the potential of the task to trigger a reaction?


  • Is the person displaying signs of an emotional crisis or behavioural emergency?
  • Does the person have a history of violence? (e.g. reported through police, other health care agencies, the community, or other health care workers)
  • Does the person have a previous Violence Risk Alert?
  • Does the person have known risk factors for potential for violence?

Emotional Crisis versus Behavioural Emergency

A component of recognizing risk is to identify the behaviours we are observing to determine if the person is in an emotional crisis or a behavourial emergency . This helps us decide how to respond safely.

Emotional Crisis

A process during which a person’s coping skills and abilities are significantly challenged by a combination of internal and external events.

Behavioural Emergency

An acute situation when an individual is displaying behaviour that indicates there is imminent danger of serious harm or death to self or others.

Behavioural Care Plan

To mitigate the risk, an Alert is placed on a patient’s chart which means there is a Behavioural Care Plan in place.

A Behavioural Care Plan identifies:

  • Target behaviours
  • Stressors, Risk Factors/underlying causes
  • Warning Signs (identified behaviours that occur prior to target behaviour)
  • Interventions/Instruction to Staff to mitigate the risk


Tips to help me take care and stay safe.

Complete a Point-of-Care Risk Assessment

Complete a Point-of-Care Risk Assessment prior and during  interaction with the client.

If an Alert is present:

STOP and read the Behavioural Care Plan in chart. The Behavioural Care Plan will identify known behaviours that put you at risk and will provide strategies to mitigate the risk.

Be informed and check case notes

Be informed and check case notes to see what happened during the night. Ensure you have what you need to complete your task according to the Behavioural Care Plan.

Report if violent incident occurred

Call the Workplace Health Call Centre (WHCC) at 1 (866) 922-9464 to report your incident as soon as possible. This step should be done after you seek first aid or medical attention (as required) and notify your manager or supervisor.


What would you do if a Behavioural Care Plan was not in the chart?

Click here to access and complete the mandatory Provincial Violence Prevention Curriculum applicable to your role.

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