Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

Workplace Violence Prevention for Nurses

Remember this code to continue the course later AGBCLHWF
Remember this code to continue the course later AGBCLHWF
Course Progress

Late Stage: Setting Limits

Limit-setting techniques, properly applied, can help by placing some external control on the escalating situation, defusing it and facilitating decision-making.

Example: "Mr. Jones, please control yourself and sit down, otherwise I will have to call security."

The keys to effective limit setting are 1) using a command form to express the desired behavior and 2) providing a logical and enforceable consequence for non-compliance. Continue to acknowledge the agitated person's feelings and be empathic, reminding him or her that you're there to help (Lancee, Gallop, McCay & Toner, 1995).

Do not confuse setting limits with issuing threats which can signal to the patient that the situation is more hopeless than they had perceived, and may precipitate a violent response. Also, avoid arguing, as that may precipitate a violent resolution of crisis.

SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL - Example: of limit setting versus threats

Limit Setting Versus Threats

Threat: "If you don't stop I'm going to call security!"

Limit Setting: "Please sit down. I don't want to involve security but I may have to if you can't control yourself."


Threat: "If you keep pushing the call button like that I won't help you."

Limit Setting: "Ms. Ferris: I know you need help, but please don't ring your call like that, and give me a chance to get to your room."


Threat: "That type of behavior won't be tolerated!"

Limit Setting: "Mr. Barron: Would you please stop yelling and screaming at me... I'm trying to help you."

Stage 3
TOP