Q&A with Sue Higginbotham

May 8, 2018 | News

Sue Higginbotham has been facilitating violence prevention workshops for SafeCare BC for the past two years. As a nurse for 40 years in two countries, Sue has seen a lot of violent incidents. This week, we learn more about her.

Q: What do you like most about teaching?
A: I enjoy the experiences that people bring to the workshops. I love the synergy that happens when health care staff get together away from the workplace and have the time and opportunity to reflect on the way things are being done.

Q: Why are you passionate about the SafeCare BC programs and workshops?
A: Since the beginning of my career, I became interested in people who tried to hurt the people caring for them. I always knew that the causes were multifactoral and needed a diverse set of responses. I didn’t like how often care staff felt alone in trying to deal with this issue, and in many cases came to believe that being scratched, kicked, bitten and hit was part of their job. As a nurse manager, I made sure that I stood with the staff in trying to limit and deal with this behaviour.

Q: How would you describe your teaching style?
A: It is important to me to create a place of safety in the workshop, which allows for the telling of authentic stories and a chance to reflect on how some things might be done differently.

Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
A: I knew that education was key to make sense of the violence that care workers face. I am grateful for the work being done by Safecare BC and for the opportunity to facilitate the Provincial Violence Prevention Curriculum, which presents staff with a standardized approach to clients who exhibit violent behaviour.

Q: What do you hope participants get out of your workshops?
A: It is always my hope that participants will take away something they can try out in practice, leave with more confidence in their ability to handle violent situations and with an assertiveness that allows them to evaluate and suggest creative solutions to current practice.

Learn more about becoming a SafeCare BC facilitator.