When we think about violence in the workplace, we assume violence only occurs among police officers or in the sports arena such as football or hockey teams. Who would consider that hospital staff are too commonly exposed to violence by their patients. After all, are they not the ones who are taking care of us when we are suffering from pain or are critically ill?
Across the United States, hospital staff members are punched, kicked, scratched, bitten, spat on, and are verbally threatened with violence against themselves, and or their families on a daily basis. “Today, despite much progress on the national and worldwide issue of violence, nurses rank just after police and firefighters for rates of injury and even death on the job” (John Howard, M.D, Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health).
There are various reasons why assaults on hospital staff are on the rise. Primary reasons include:
- Patients feel they are not getting adequate treatment from medical staff
- Patients may be suffering in pain, both physical and emotional
- Patients are not comfortable in their surroundings
- Patients use of illegal narcotics
- Patients have psychiatric disorders
In addition, the patient’s family and or friends can be involved in assaults against medical staff. In one Bay Area hospital in California, it is not uncommon for two rival gang members to be placed in the critical care unit at the same time. This can lead to escalation of not only violence against hospital staff, but other patients who may be caught in the cross fire of retaliation.
There are a number of techniques to assist in preventing assaults against hospital staff. One beneficial technique is having a “trained” hospital security team in place. Statistics show that having a security team greatly reduces the likelihood of hospital staff becoming the victim of violence related to patients, family, and or friends who may act out in a violent manner. A well trained hospital security team can provide monitoring access doors, patrolling the inner and outer perimeter of the hospital campus, investigations (internal and external), training hospital staff, responding to missing patients, infant abductions, bomb threats, and or an active shooter incident.
We at California Special Investigative & Protective Services, (CSIPS), understand the importance of providing highly trained agents to your hospital campus. Many of our agents are certified in Workplace Violence Prevention for Nurses through The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Threat Assessments, and the Incident Command System for Hospitals through the US Department of Homeland Security.
The following are some of the services provided by CSIPS:
- Security and surveillance in uniform and or business attire
- Armed and or unarmed security
- Monitor access doors and closed circuit television cameras
- Provide an onsite call and dispatch center
- Provide security escort
- Respond to combative patients,
- Threat assessments
- Internal and external criminal investigations
- Establish a working relationship with local law enforcement agencies
- Provide security for hospital administrators at their place of residence
In addition, our agents can provide the following training to medical staff members:
- Verbal judo
- Workplace violence prevention
- Basic defensive tactics involving hostile patients
- Active shooter response
For further information or to have security consultation at your hospital campus, please call us at 888-803-6974.