Hospitals and Health Care
The Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations, JCAHO, is requiring new standards for “disruptive behavior” among professional healthcare staff. Disruptive physician behavior has been determined to increase medical errors and risk patient safety. These new requirements have created a Cottage Industry for specialized anger management facilitators nationwide. Resources designed to address this issue are now available on-site as well as locations in a number of major cities.
The dramatic rise in the incidence in “traumatic stress disorder” among returning Iraq veterans has increased the need for Clinical Social Workers, Psychologists and Psychiatrists to seek certification training in anger management since person directed aggression is a chronic problem for veterans with this diagnosis. As experts in the treatment of post- traumatic stress disorder, VA Hospitals and Veterans Resource Centers are aware of the need for specialized intervention for PTSD and are moving to seek anger management facilitator certification for its treatment staff.
Criminal Justice System
The state of New York joins California and Texas in offering anger management in jails and prisons for inmates whose original offense included person or property directed violence. Research conducted by the Bureau of Prisons in Canada and Australia have demonstrated the value of anger management in the reduction of recidivism in violent prison inmates. California now requires anger management for inmates as well as parolees prior to completion of their parole status.
Business And Industry
The average cost of litigation in alleged cases of a “hostile work environment” is $720,000 per case. Businesses small and large have quickly discovered that offering anger management for interpersonal conflicts at work is a saving rather than a cost.
Organizational anger management can be offered by Certified Anger Management Facilitators to small groups of 10 to twenty participants. These courses are between two and four hours. They are proactive and are designed for prevention. Prevention is far less costly than crises intervention following a violent incident at work.
For many years, “going postal” was used to describe employees whose workplace violence led to injury or death. Eight years ago, the U.S. Postal Service began offering anger management on the clock, without cost to any postal employee. In addition, employees who appeared to be experiencing stress or anger at work were mandated to take anger management classes. This approach was so successful, one rarely hears of violence in the U.S. Postal Service.
Pre-employment anger assessments are excellent in weeding out potentially aggressive employees. Pre and Post Tests are routinely used for employees mandated by their HR Managers for aggressive/inappropriate behavior at work.
Bus and rail transportation is stressful for both passengers and staff. Given the rapidly deteriorating condition of America’s inferstructure, rapid transit authorities are finally recognizing the need for anger management, stress management, communication and emotional intelligence.
A number of transit authorities have contracted for organizational anger management training including pre and posttests for new employees.
Anger management is one of the most rapidly growing interventions in human services. Anger management is a course offered in an individual coaching format for physicians and executives or in small groups for referrals from a wide range of organizations including Health Care, Criminal Justice and Business. All anger management courses must begin with a non-psychiatric evaluation that is designed to determine the clients’ level of functioning in recognizing anger, stress, assertive communication and emotional intelligence. Physicians and executives undergo a more comprehensive series of assessments which include “burnout”, “leadership”, “decision making” and “time management” scales.
For anger management resources, visit the website of The American Association of Anger Management Providers at http://www.aaamp.org.
George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP
Diplomate, American Association of Anger Management Providers
Anderson & Anderson®, The Trusted Name in Anger Management