Seminar Detail

Psychiatric Emergencies: Effectively Handle the Most Agitated, Assaultive and Unpredictable Scenarios You’ll Face in Your Own Non-Psych Setting

Friday, October 11, 2019 at 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

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For more information: Call (800) 844-8260
Crises are never scheduled, convenient or easy. But they do happen, and you will face them. Imagine if you could come to work knowing that you and your co-workers would be able to confidently manage the most unpredictable and dangerous patient behaviors. In one career-changing day, you can learn the latest, safest, and best practices for the psychiatric emergencies that can take place in your non-psychiatric work setting. Catherine Mortiere, Ph.D., understands well the types of challenges that healthcare professionals encounter in the emergency department, the med/surg floor, long-term care… in practically all settings/departments, there are opportunities for patient and family interactions to suddenly go frighteningly wrong.

You've heard the horrific stories… and perhaps have a few of your own!
  • Healthcare professionals attacked, bit, scratched, kicked, hit – while simply trying to deliver patient care
  • A nurse was taken down and arrested for refusing to allow an officer to do a blood toxicology on an unconscious patient.
  • Inpatient behavioral health beds are just not readily available, which means you may find yourself responsible to provide time-consuming and challenging psych care in a setting or on a floor that isn't well equipped to meet such needs
  • Situations dramatically worsened by ETOH, drug addiction, TBIs, delirium, dementia… and the out-of-control family members/visitors

Catherine will provide you with actual solutions to all these challenges! Crisis prevention skills, medication updates, how to protect your own safety, effective verbal interventions and the emerging new trends to get ready for. Full of practical tools and tips, this seminar will teach you how to make crisis situations more manageable, overcome your worries and improve your readiness to handle psychiatric emergencies related to violence, alcohol/substance abuse, suicide risk, dementia, agitation… and more!

You already know that these high-risk situations open up the possibility of legal risk… the growing risks are taking place due to short staffing, inadequate training, outdated policies, and sometimes just honest mistakes made during extremely stressful and challenging moments. Confidently walk away with new insights to be able to protect your own safety, your license, your liability risk… and ultimately explore strategies that will allow you to more effectively provide the very best care to patients experiencing a psychiatric emergency.
If there is no CE tab, please refer to the course brochure for continuing education information.
  1. Distinguish between the symptoms from each major mental health disorder.
  2. Select effective interventions for each symptom, including medication and physical interventions.
  3. Analyze solutions to work effectively during a variety of psychiatric emergencies.
  4. Choose a protocol/procedure to manage agitated and assaultive patients.
  5. Design education/training for your unit to more effectively intervene during psychiatric emergencies.
  6. Plan for safety, and the most therapeutic outcome, for your patient during a psychiatric emergency.
  7. Assess the effects of trending issues in our communities, including: the opioid epidemic, increased suicide rates, utilization of ED and med-surg beds for psych patients, and the latest applicable legal risks.
  • Psychopharmacology Updates: Know Your Patient's Medications
    • Choose antipsychotics, antidepressants, antianxiety (Benzodiazepines), sedatives, mood regulators
    • Anticipate and treat side effects
    • Contraindications
    • Design medication protocols for different disorders
    • Solve legal implications related to psychopharmacology
  • Keep Your Patients and Your License Safe: Tips to Decrease Risk
    • Medication - voluntary vs. involuntary
    • Physician orders and unit protocols
    • Seclusion and/or restraints
    • Commitment
    • Licensed and unlicensed staff: Utilization, training, comfort
    • Specific training for seclusion/restraint and suicide prevention
    • Screening and searching of patients and visitors
    • Decreasing liability through charting, staffing & supervision
  • Trending Issues: Your Changing Responsibilities
    • Opioid Epidemic
      • Intoxication vs. withdrawal
      • Drug seeking
      • Narcotic and benzodiazepine antagonists
    • Increase of Suicides
      • Approved assessment tools
      • Interventions including safety plans
      • Prevention utilizing 1:1 supervision
    • A BH/Psychiatric Bed is Not Available
      • Commitment process
      • Standards against jailing psychiatric patients
      • Scarcity of psychiatric beds
    • New Skills to Address Your Patient's Acute Psychiatric Symptoms
    • Scenario 1 - The patient is suspicious, resistant to treatment, fluctuates between anger and fearfulness
      • Determine whether delusions or hallucinations are influencing thoughts and response to staff
      • Distinguish between intoxication, mental illness or organic impairment
      • Try out effective use of simple directions, presenting reality and giving choices
      • Choose intervention and/or medication based on presenting symptoms
      • Decide when/if restraints or seclusion become necessary
    • Scenario 2 - The patient is hyperactive, impulsive, hypersexual or assaultive, becomes angry about staff intervention, refuses meds, is not eating or sleeping
      • Distinguish behaviors due to mania, delirium, intoxication, or organic impairment
      • Modify environment and decrease stimulation to increase safety and decrease behavior
    • Scenario 3 - Patient is anxious to a panic level, fight or flight behaviors, manifesting high blood pressure, pulse, sweating, and increased respirations
      • Distinguish behaviors due to anxiety disorder, delirium, dementia, or intoxication/withdrawal
      • Modify environment, decrease stimulation, 1:1 supervision, toxicology/drug and other lab screens
      • Keep verbal to minimum but explain procedures, give choices and observe/supervise
      • Choose appropriate medication
      • Decide if/when restraints and or seclusion necessary
    • Scenario 4 - Patient fluctuates between calm, manipulative, passive behavior and demanding, angry, physically threatening (drug seeking)
      • Assess for personality disorder such as antisocial personality, borderline personality or narcissistic
      • Set and keep limits
      • Assign same staff and keep consistency between staff and shifts
      • Avoid medication but increase personnel or security
  • Nurses
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Case Managers
  • Social Workers
  • Law Enforcement
  • Security Officers
  • Risk Management
  • Legal Nurse Consultants


Catherine Mortiere, Ph.D., is a forensic and clinical psychologist who works as an expert for New York State in the areas of dangerousness and risk analysis in forensic populations, as well as the treatment and evaluation of sexually violent predators. Forensics is second nature to Dr. Mortiere, having been a police officer and sergeant for the Detroit Police Department for 11 years. Her experience with psychiatric patients has covered a broad spectrum, including individual, group and team-based treatment for borderline and anti-social personality, psychopathy, trauma/disaster, dual diagnosis and substance/chemical abuse.

Dr. Mortiere works in a maximum security facility for the criminally insane, where the majority of her patients have been adjudicated as not guilty by reason of insanity. In addition, she has a successful clinical private practice in which she treats a variety of disorders including depression, anxiety, and specializes in treatment of sexual abuse, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered patients.

Additionally, Dr. Mortiere is a clinical supervisor in the College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry of New York University. She recently published a textbook called Violence Against Women, which is the leading authority in the field of intimate partner violence. Dr. Mortiere also provides volunteer psychiatric services in her private practice, as well as previously to victims and volunteers of the Haitian earthquake disaster and Ground Zero.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Catherine Mortiere maintains a private practice. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: Catherine Mortiere has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.
Credits listed below are for full attendance at the live event only. After attendance has been verified, pre-registered attendees will receive an email from PESI Customer Service with the subject line, “Evaluation and Certificate” within one week. This email will contain a link to complete the seminar evaluation and allow attendees to print, email or download a certificate of completion if in full attendance. For those in partial attendance (arrived late or left early), a letter of attendance is available through that link and an adjusted certificate of completion reflecting partial credit will be issued within 30 days (if your board allows). Please see “live seminar schedule” for full attendance start and end times. NOTE: Boards do not allow credit for breaks or lunch.

If your profession is not listed, please contact your licensing board to determine your continuing education requirements and check for reciprocal approval. For other credit inquiries not specified below, or questions on home study credit availability, please contact or 800-844-8260 before the event.

Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of mental health professionals. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your professions standards.

The planning committee and staff who controlled the content of this activity have no relevant financial relationships to disclose. For speaker disclosures, please see speaker bios.

PESI, Inc. offers continuing education programs and products under the brand names PESI, PESI Healthcare, PESI Rehab and Psychotherapy Networker.

Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and Clinical Nurse Specialists
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PESI, Inc. is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Nurses in full attendance will earn 6.3 contact hours. Partial contact hours will be awarded for partial attendance.

Pharmacology Nurse Practitioners
This program offers 120 instructional minutes of pharmacology content which is designed to qualify for 2.0 contact hours toward your pharmacology requirement to receive credit. It is your responsibility to submit your certificate of successful completion and a copy of the seminar brochure to your licensing board.

Psychologists & Psychiatrists

PESI, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. PESI, Inc. designates this live activity for a maximum of 6.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The following state psychologist boards recognize activities sponsored by PESI, Inc. as an approved ACCME provider: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wisconsin. This activity consists of 6.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Certificates of attendance will be issued for you to submit to your state licensing board to recognize for continuing education credit.

Other Professions
This activity qualifies for 380 minutes of instructional content as required by many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations. Save your course outline and certificate of completion, and contact your own board or organization for specific requirements.

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