If you work in the healthcare profession and face the day-to-day challenges that are unique to the industry, you may be slightly offended by this blog's title. Implying that assaults and violence could be considered "status quo" or acceptable in a field that is dedicated to helping others seems absurd on the surface. The problem, however, is that a majority of nurses have been assaulted on the job and it is well-known that incidents of assault on hospital staff are under-reported. Statistics can fluctuate greatly in terms of the percentage of nurses who report being assaulted, but I've never seen any research that puts the number below 50%.
Topics: Healthcare Violence
I received a link to a Security Magazine article from a colleague who simply said, "Interesting read" in the subject header of the email. Naturally, my curiosity caused me to click on the link. Perhaps it's the same thing that caused you to start reading this blog post.
In my situation, I was glad that I clicked the link.
The article was well-written (I've come to expect this from the folks at Security Magazine). It featured the summary of a webinar about whether or not to arm security officers in hospitals. What caught my eye, however, was the disparity between the term "armed" and the alternative (nothing). Implied in the article is the idea that "armed" only means lethal force and that the alternative is to “Take a zero incidence philosophy; or consider a mix of policies such as having a licensed police officer on site, particularly within the ER; and develop strong 911 ties.”
The impacts of CMS regulations on hospital security are widely misconstrued, and for good reason. The agency’s guidelines on Patient Restraint or Seclusion are more than 40 pages long, and strict interpretation of CMS guidelines can entangle your hospital in OSHA or JTC compliance issues.
Hospital security staff have long been in the difficult position of trying to keep an emergency department approachable as a valued service to the community, and yet protect staff and patients from those who are capable of extreme violence. This conundrum was at the core of a recent blog post appearing on the Joint Commission Leadership blog, titled Hospital Security – Different Approaches to Mitigating Violence, by Mark Crafton. The piece centered on discussion of the pros and cons of arming hospital security guards with deadly force weapons.
This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.
Security is a major concern for the hospital industry. With violent incidents on the rise, hospitals are looking for new ways to protect patients and staff from potential threats.
St. John's Hospital in Maplewood, Minn. is still reeling from an attack last fall that left four staff members injured. Video of the attack shows the panic that occurred when a man went on a rampage chasing workers with a metal object.
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