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Cover image for lecture: De-escalating Aggression and Violence

Lecture Overview

Unfortunately, aggression and violence in the healthcare setting have become commonplace. Patients, residents and even families and friends may behave erratically as a result of their medical conditions or extreme circumstances. Despite taking all precautions, you may still find yourself face to face with a stressed and aggressive person. In order to keep yourself safe, it's essential you have the skills needed to de-escalate a dangerous situation. This session explores methods and insights that help to prevent workplace aggression.


Portrait of Sean Smith
Sean Smith

Sean Smith has had the privilege of working in health care for three decades in more than a dozen countries around the world. Commencing his clinical career as a registered nurse, Sean progressed into hospital management, before spending eight years as the CEO of a large healthcare provider. Sean has built two healthcare businesses and consulted to industry around health informatics, healthcare management, and healthcare strategy. Sean is currently the CEO and DON of Mackay Private Hospital and Adjunct Senior Lecturer for Flinders University’s Master of Hospital Administration degree in China. Sean has experience with clinical and non-clinical systems planning, implementation, and deployment in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and the United Kingdom. With a passion for healthcare education, Sean has educated from university healthcare students in Australia to community health workers in Papua New Guinea. Sean provides clear, concise consultation through his experience in clinical management and information technology, to ensure projects are delivered with the best possible outcomes for all stakeholders, on budget and on time. His passions are strategy in health care, quality in clinical practice, and excellence in health management. Sean holds a Master of Business Administration, a graduate diploma in advanced nursing, and is a member of the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Authority, the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and the Health Informatics Society of Australia. Sean continues to provide leadership and strategic direction for all stakeholders to deliver the highest possible standards to exceed current and future healthcare needs. See Educator Profile


48 Total Rating(s)
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Saskia Stomps
21 Mar 2020

This activity is directly relevant to my scope as a registered nurse, and is an area of my practice where I wanted to gain more confidence since aggression in general appears to be on the increase so I think it is good to have the knowledge how to best respond.

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Moira Munro
02 Mar 2020

Interesting topic from an experienced lecturer

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Rachel Michael
22 Feb 2020

Excellent presentation

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Gary Macreadie
22 Feb 2020

Good resource with tips on de escalating and managing aggressive and stressful situations

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Donna Marguerite Murnane
04 Feb 2020

Very helpful lecture.

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Lesley Baker
02 Feb 2020

Good lecture and well worth listening to

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Michael Howard
22 Jan 2020

Very helpful.

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Shweta kamlesh shukla
03 Jan 2020

It is very helpful and easy to understand.

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Fiona Ronalds
05 Dec 2019

Good talk from Sean, has reinforced that calm approach, communication and listening are paramount when dealing with aggression and violence

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Gladys Chelangat
07 Nov 2019

Detailed and well researched lecture