Date of Graduation

Fall 12-16-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing and Health Professions




Family Nurse Practitioner

First Advisor

Dr.Alexa Curtis

Second Advisor

Dr.Lee Nah Hsu


Problem: Home health clinicians (HHC) are at high risk for workplace violence. Providing necessary health care alone in unpredictable and remote environments are associated with poor outcomes from physical violence. Background: Pepper spray is known for its active ingredient, oleoresin capsicum (OC), as a self-defense tool. OC gel is used worldwide as a non-lethal incapacitating agent. There is an opportunity to expand workplace violence prevention (WPV) in home health by training and allowing HHCs to carry OC gel. Intervention: This DNP QI project implemented a safety intervention for HHCs, including nurses, aides, medical social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists. 16 voluntary baseline surveys were completed. The intervention group consisted of 6 HHCs trained and certified to carry OC gel. They were administered a pre and post-survey using Thackrey's 10-question Confidence in Coping with Patient Aggression (TCCA) instrument. Results: The baseline survey found that 63% of respondents reported they occasionally experienced aggression/violence while at work and occasionally felt unsafe doing their job due to aggressive patients. The intervention group found that 100% of respondents recommend that all HHCs carry OC gel for safety. We found an 84% increase in the average TCCA instrument scores across all questions. Carrying OC gel decreased reports of insecurity, with all but one minimum confidence score increasing. Conclusion: Multi-layered WPV programs that are tailored to the HHC work environment and allow access to self-defense tools, such as OC gel, can promote the clinician's safety and confidence in dealing with violent scenarios.

Included in

Nursing Commons