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Recognizing and Treating Acute Agitation in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Patients

The Young and the Restless: Meet Crysten Hester

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  • Overview

    This program discusses the need to quickly and accurately recognize the signs and symptoms of agitation in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and to differentiate agitation from akathisia and other disease therapy-induced symptoms that may mimic it. Agitation can escalate quickly into aggressive and potentially dangerous behavior that puts healthcare personnel (HCP) and families at risk of verbal or bodily harm. Nationally recognized expert consensus best-practice guidelines provide clear direction on how to triage and manage agitation in the emergency room setting, but knowledge and implementation gaps remain. As data emerges for new approaches to treatment, clinicians need to know the novel pharmacological and nonpharmacological options to care for agitation in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This program focuses on the recognition and management of agitation, best practices, and novel treatments. It will distill essential information for everyday clinical practice that offers an alternative to the “sedate and restrain” treatment approaches of the past.

  • Target Audience

    This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of the interprofessional team, including HCPs who specialize or work in Emergency Medicine, as well as EM specialists and psychiatrists (MD, DO), NPs, PAs, nurses, and pharmacists, and other clinicians involved in the management of patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

  • Learning Objectives

    After participating in this educational activity, participants should be better able to: 

    • Recognize the unique signs and symptoms of agitation in a person with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder who presents to the emergency department in a crisis situation
    • Differentiate between symptoms of agitation in people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder versus akathisia or other disease therapy-induced symptoms that may mimic agitation
    • Integrate consensus best-practice guidelines for treating agitation in people living with SCZ or BD, beginning with triage and moving through steps towards nonpharmacological management of SCZ or BD patients experiencing psychomotor agitation
    • Evaluate injectable and noninjectable therapies to incorporate into treatment protocols for agitation symptom management when patients living with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder present to the emergency department
  • Accreditation and Credit Designation Statements


    In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by Global Learning Collaborative (GLC) and TotalCME, Inc. GLC is jointly accredited by the American Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

    This activity was planned by and for the healthcare team, and learners will receive 1.25 Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credits for learning and change.

  • Faculty Disclosure of Commercial Relationships

    Disclosure Policy
    In accordance with the ACCME Standards for Integrity and Independence, Global Learning Collaborative (GLC) requires that individuals in a position to control the content of an educational activity disclose all relevant financial relationships with any ineligible company. GLC mitigates all conflicts of interest to ensure independence, objectivity, balance, and scientific rigor in all educational programs. 

    The following faculty have disclosed:

    Scott Zeller, MD, chair for this educational event, receives consulting fees from BioXcel.     

    Michael D. Gooch, DNP, APRN, CCP, ACNP-BC, FNP-BC, ENP-C, faculty for this educational event, has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies.  

    Sharlena Wilson, MD, faculty for this educational event, has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies. 

  • Planners and Managers Disclosure List

    The following planners/reviewers/managers have disclosed:

    Canan Schumann, PharmD/PhD, planner for this educational event, has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies.

    William Mencia, MD, FACEHP, CHCP, reviewer for this educational event, has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies.

    TotalCME, Inc. planners and managers have no relevant commercial relationships to disclose.

    All the relevant financial relationships for these individuals have been mitigated.

  • Disclaimer

    The views and opinions expressed in this educational activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily represent the views of GLC and TotalCME, Inc. This presentation is not intended to define an exclusive course of patient management; the participant should use his/her clinical judgment, knowledge, experience, and diagnostic skills in applying or adopting for professional use any of the information provided herein. Any procedures, medications, or other courses of diagnosis or treatment discussed or suggested in this activity should not be used by clinicians without evaluation of their patient's conditions and possible contraindications or dangers in use, review of any applicable manufacturer’s product information, and comparison with recommendations of other authorities. Links to other sites may be provided as additional sources of information. Once you elect to link to a site outside of MedEd On The Go, you are subject to the terms and conditions of use, including copyright and licensing restrictions, of that site.

    Reproduction Prohibited
    Reproduction of this material is not permitted without written permission from the copyright owner.

  • Acknowledgment

    This activity is supported by an independent educational grant from BioXcel Therapeutics.

    Jointly provided by Global Learning Collaborative (GLC) and TotalCME, Inc.

  • Fee Statement

    This activity is FREE to all participants.

  • Instructions for Completion

    During the period 4/28/2023 through 4/28/2024, registered participants wishing to receive continuing education credit for this activity must follow these steps:

    1. Read the learning objectives and faculty disclosures.
    2. Answer a pre-program question.
    3. View the program.
    4. Complete the post-test with a score of 100%. 
    5. Complete activity evaluation.
    6. Apply for credit and either bank your credits or print your certificate.

    For Pharmacists: Upon successfully completing the post-test with a score of 100% and the activity evaluation form, transcript information will be sent to the NABP CPE Monitor Service. This may require you to add or update the e-profile ID/date of birth information saved in your account.

  • System Requirements

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  • Publication Dates

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Schedule23 Apr 2024