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Key Components/Elements of a Safe Environment

The Council for Safe Environments has collected resources to help psychiatric-mental health nurses define safe environments, identify their key components, and implement strategies within their workplace.

1. Culture and Ideology

  • APNA Recovery Resources
  • Supporting a Psychiatric Hospital Culture of Safety
    Mahoney, J.S., Ellis, T., Garland, G., Palyo, N. & Greene, P.K. (2012) Supporting a Psychiatric Hospital Culture of Safety. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. 18, 299-306. doi:10.1177/1078390312460577
  • Patient Safety Systems 
    The Joint Commission 2015 Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals
  • Attitudes towards Aggression
    McCann, T. V., Baird, J., & Muir-Cochrane, E. (2014). Attitudes of clinical staff toward the causes and management of aggression in acute old age psychiatry inpatient units. BMC psychiatry, 14(1), 1.

2. Engagement

(Safety via staff efforts to engage patients, expert practices on de-escalation)

3. Space and Equipment

4. Staff resources, education and training

5. Patient assessment and monitoring

6. Rules

(sensible application of rules, movement, visitation, etc.)


7. Emergency Management

8. Error Prevention

(handoff communications, distractions, blame-free reporting)