Reducing the risk of violence towards remote area nurses: A violence management toolbox

Document Type

Journal Article


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Nursing and Midwifery / Clinical Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre




Mccullough, K. , Lenthall, S., Williams, A. , & Andrew, L. J. (2012). Reducing the risk of violence towards remote area nurses: A violence management toolbox. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 20(6), 329-333.


Objective: To explore the knowledge of a panel of experts to develop possible ways of minimising the risk of occupational violence towards remote area nurses. Design: The Delphi method using open-ended questionnaires and an online survey to measure support for suggested control measures. Setting: Remote area nursing posts across Australia. Participants: A panel of expert remote area nurses (n=10) from geographically diverse regions. Main outcome measure: Identified and described measures with the potential to reduce the risk of violence. Results: A 'toolbox' of strategies was suggested in recognition of the complex nature of occupational violence within the remote health context. Job-specific education included de-escalation techniques, risk assessment and cultural safety training. Professional support included access to counselling and debriefing services. Organisational responsibilities included: adequate staffing to provide backup, policies and procedures and action from management when hazards are identified. Community collaboration with the health service in developing orientation programs, safety plans and addressing violence within the community was also recommended. Conclusion: A variety of strategies were identified that could be used to reduce the risk of occupational violence towards remote health care staff. Further development and assessment of this 'toolbox' of strategies is recommended to address the high incidence of violence towards remote health professionals in Australia and overseas.