Top 5 Utterly Ridiculous Reasons We Have Heard for Failing To Train


No matter the plethora of testimonials, the veracity of the evidence, nor the personal-heartbreaking stories, some still have reasons for not training their staff. What I am going to do with this Chronicles post is share with you some of the most common utterly ridiculous reasons given for failing to train staff for the violent encounter, and my opinions of well, their opinions.


#5″ Our People Will Use It”  When it comes to DT4EMS’ EVE, we sure hope, actually we implore, staff use what we teach. When they do so,  not only are they safer, but true patients are safer, and the precepts we share with staff will have the community view them as the exemplar patient care advocates.  I postulate much of this comes from these administrators having a bad experience in the past, and therefore never even taking the time to research what we do with our workplace violence prevention program, our true culture changing EVE courses. I base this on the premise that had they done their research, spoke with their peers who already use us, they would too… and would be happy their staff use what we teach.

#4 “Its a liability to train our staff in self-defense.” I know what you are thinking, and the answer is “Yes”, we have actually had this come from the mouths of several holding one form or another of an administrative title. It is blatantly apparent those who feel it is a liability, have not seen what happens when certain staff members respond with ” what felt right” at the moment, during a violent encounter. Staff have been arrested, some sentenced to prison, agencies lose lawsuits and public trust, all due to heavy handed reactionary responses. When staff train with DT4EMS, we give them a solid understanding of reasonable. You know, the word they will be judged by?  When faced with a violent encounter, staff WILL respond. How they respond will be based upon their training…or lack of it.

#3 It Costs to train.” Agreed. But that doesn’t make it right to not do so. We train for blood- borne pathogens, driving, proper lifting and moving, hazmat etc., yet the leading cause of lost work time is violence.  One doesn’t have to die to be changed forever.  I have interviewed countless providers who, as they share their story, obviously relive gut- wrenching moments in time. In healthcare we preach how prevention is better than any cure. Well, we can help prevent criminal assaults in medicine with our EVE courses, so it’s time to put some real skin in the game for preventing injuries, due to violence, for your staff.  It is unethical, yes, I said it, unethical to not provide staff with the tools to have a safer work environment. Here is one for you. I actually had a national speaker tell me to my face “If that [violence] occurs, well, I’m sorry…but it doesn’t come out of my budget, training does.” As you read this, ask yourself how much would you pay to prevent yourself from being the victim of a life-altering event? 

#2 “We tell our people to stage for unsafe scenes.” Fantastic, I 100% agree that staging for known hazardous scenes is a fantastic idea. There is only one sanguinary problem with that excuse… most assaults (according to my research) happen on supposed “safe” scenes, meaning there was no prior knowledge of the hazard (of violence) being present. It is much less likely for assaults to occur on scenes deemed “safe” by law enforcement.

#1 “We don’t have a problem with violence.”  Glad you live in a bubble. Urban, suburban and rural places have all had providers criminally assaulted. For nearly 20 years, I have shared study after study, and survey after survey, even went great lengths to create our own Assault on Staff Logs, have a minimum of 80% of every room full of people I teach admit to a criminal assault… Not to mention the ENA, NAEMT, OSHA and even  the Bureau of Labor Statistics saying that injuries from violence is THE leading cause of lost work time in healthcare… but, at your house… you don’t have a problem.

Wake up scooter- that kind of thinking is part of the problem, and why there is a lag in culture change.

*Drops Mic – walks off stage…

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