Hospital security...

Discussion in 'Security and Bouncers' started by CNida, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. CNida

    CNida Green Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2013
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Northwest Arkansas area
    Just thought I would like to share somewhat of a gripe I have with my current employment situation.

    For those that don't already know, I work as a Security officer for a local hospital in a city of about 70,000. It is not a quiet community but its not what I consider to be overly dangerous.

    At any rate, it is at an almost daily rate that I have to physically restrain a patient either in the defense of medical staff, a fellow officer, or myself. It hasn't gotten incredibly severe yet (knock on wood) and the worst injury I've seen was an inattentive officer getting stabbed in the neck with a pen, which missed his jugular by half an inch (reading a newspaper instead of being vigilant).

    Needless to say, working in a healthcare facility that has a psychiatric unit, there is always a slight risk of bodily harm. That is not so much the issue.

    My issue? Our company, Securitas, does not provide adequate training. True you can't possibly train someone for every issue that may arise here but at the very least every officer needs to know what the basic disaster codes mean and what to do. For instance: a code black for us is a bomb threat. We are not trained how to handle this, and the hospital (owned by CHS) only has a silly little checklist you are supposed to ask the person making the threat.

    I have, for lack of proper direction, had to implement a policy for security that, in the event of a bomb threat (I've had two since I have been here), security is to initiate a complete lockdown of the facility, save for one entrance, and we are to take post at that entrance and visually inspect each incoming person and their belongings for suspicious items.

    Anyway, back to my gripe: we don't have any equipment to do our job effectively. We have around one square mile of exterior property we are responsible for, as well as three different internal areas of the hospital, each with 7 floors. Two people are expected to be able to efficiently patrol all this regularly while still maintaining a security presence in the Emergency room. Aside from obvious manpower deficiencies, we lack training and protective equipment. We have latex gloves, flimsy plastic goggles, kenwood radios, a pager and keys. I have no way to effectively deal with an armed aggressor.

    We do have a large and clunky mag-light but it is against both Securitas' policy and the hospitals for us to use a weapon. That right there? Makes no sense.

    Most hospitals in our area have an armed presence in either armed security, a police substation, or both. We don't have either. If something goes south we just have to make a pitbull face and hope that deters enough, or call the police. Typical police response time, when I call them, is about 5 minutes.

    A lot can transpire in 5 minutes.

    CHS, or Community Health Systems, is notorious for weapons free campuses. Now sure, I can see why we don't want every Tom, Dick, or Harry coming in with a gat, but wouldn't you want some sort of armed presence to keep people safe in the event of an armed conflict?

    The guy with a gun doesn't care about a weapons free policy.

    Just my $.02. Would love to hear some comments.


    ____________________________

    "Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens."
     
  2. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Messages:
    4,177
    Likes Received:
    816
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    England 43 Anno Domini
    I would have thought that you would have pepper spray for that type of hospital. I am a senior security officer in my job and I can share some sentiment with the above. You pretty much need to have a degree to read our bomb threat check list. Had a situation not that long ago where someone threatend to blow up the casino, thankfully a hoax. Not that we could do much, the police response was fifteen minutes. Not supprising considering that Sussex police only have about 15 officers on duty some nights. But yeah, two of you to effectively patrol that amount of space is shocking. One bright spot is that I work for a very good security company so we undergo quite a lot of training, so if the **** does hit the fan, we all confident of dealing with the situation. Thankfully the worst weapon I have faced was a broken wine bottle. Would have loved some pepper spray then :D One question, does Securitas use AI's (assignment instructions)?
     
  3. CNida

    CNida Green Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2013
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Northwest Arkansas area
    No, not really. At least, not here. There isn't even any training on proper report writing. I have yet to receive any actual, legitimate training from Securitas. When they hire you and put you through orientation, you watch some garbage about how Security guards have no authority, and you are just to "observe and report". If you witness a crime, report it. Intervening in any way could be cause for legal action against you or the company. Arkansas state laws dictate that private security officers can not detain anyone, unless they witnessed a felony take place, to which they have the "authority" to make a citizen's arrest, which again: is only a verbal detainment. I can not physically detain anyone; even if I were to witness a murder.

    The observe and report mentality works in a loss prevention environment, perhaps, like our contract with Tyson's. Our guards on Tyson sites will regularly check freezer temperatures and stuff like that to minimize risk of spoilage. Not really an adequate use of a security officer in my opinion.

    In a hospital environment we don't always have the luxury of just letting the local PD handle it. Sometimes a quick reaction is necessary to insure the safety of patients and medical staff... And ourselves.

    But no, ideally we would have pepperspray, batons, and handcuffs. Nothing overtly lethal but things that can act as effective deterrents. I dont feel particularly deterred, personally, to see an unarmed security guard telling me I can't do something... Give that guard a weapon and some training? I would probably think twice.

    The hospital is at fault too of course. We don't have proper surveillance. Cars have been broken into, stolen, and property has been vandalized, all because of a lack of surveillance. Whats worse is that the hospital actually had cameras, but there is no access to the feed and a lot of the cameras are broke. Just a little bit of time and money, and that could all be fixed.

    But at the end of the day, it seems like more value is placed in the dollar than the actual safety of this hospital's staff.


    ____________________________

    "Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens."
     
  4. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    20,311
    Likes Received:
    539
    Trophy Points:
    248
    Location:
    NH
    That is a very tough situation to be in.

    Part of the problem is that I suspect that Securitas does not know of the hospital's particulars. That's not a slam at Securitas, its more of a statement that disaster operations are anything but standard -- including the codes used. A code black for you might be a bomb threat. A code black for another hospital may be an infection threat. Both may result in the closing of a ward, a building, or a campus but courses of action could be quite different.

    Because codes can vary from hospital to hospital, so can procedures. The hospital would be the one setting the procedure. And unfortunately, not all of the procedures are sound self defense, they are procedures to minimize perceived liability to the underwriters.

    It is not just security guards that have to grapple with this. Here is a story from my area:

    http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/1018674-469/nashua-gas-station-clerk-halts-robbery-with.html

    A man was working third shift at a 24 hour gas station/sippy mart, at a time when the largest two cities in the state are seeing an uptick in the number of armed robberies. He was legally carrying concealed, but by doing so he was violating company policy. Ultimately, he stuck to his own principles and the company stuck with theirs. When the unfortunate happened, he thwarted the robbery, saved his own life, and lost his job.

    I agree with you, that the perp with the gun won't care at all about a no weapons policy. However, its the hospital's choice as to whether they contract out for an armed guard or a standard security guard, and naturally it is technically your choice as to whether you will continue working there...even if it may not feel like much of a choice.
     
  5. CNida

    CNida Green Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2013
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Northwest Arkansas area
    I understand completely that its the hospital's choice. The question is: why? In a city that is seeing a steady increase in crime rate (both violent and otherwise), why is safety held at such a low regard?


    ____________________________

    "Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens."
     
  6. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    20,311
    Likes Received:
    539
    Trophy Points:
    248
    Location:
    NH
    Damn good question. Wish I had a good answer, but I only have speculation.


    I believe much is driven by acutarial risks. The larger the organization, it seems the more likely that they have policies detailed specifically in response to underwriting/insurance/liability reasons. My employer is roughly 50 people. We don't have a policy as to whether someone may carry concealed or not. The fellow linked in the article works for an energy company that owns many fuel stops in many states. There may be acutarial evidence that safety is important, but workers carrying is not always the solution. Perhaps the fuel stop chooses to lock their doors at, say, midnight, and do business during the overnight hours from behind bulletproof glass and a secured steel drawer. There may be other factors as well. Are retail pharmacies are more likely to have armed guards than fuel stops? If they are, is that due to what's being stolen at gunpoint (controlled rx drugs vs. cash)? Is it due to something more uncomfortable such as a highly paid worker such as a pharmacist is more likely to be protected than a lower paid worker such as a fuel stop clerk?

    I know of a recreation area that has had an issue with park rangers being jumped, to the point where some of the toughest souls at my own park have said they will not go there without a "bodyguard". What manager would want to send someone in to a situation like that? Yet rangers are strictly forbidden to carry. I can't help but think this is the result of some calculation or some outside influence (insurance policy, etc).
     
  7. CNida

    CNida Green Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2013
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Northwest Arkansas area
    I can totally understand where you are coming from.

    However, I think this situation is slightly different than what a gas station might be dealing with. Now, this is NOT to say that their safety is any less important than anyone elses, because I truly believe that noone should have to work in a situation that could be dangerous unless they have proper training or equipment with which to protect themselves.

    The situation here is slightly different. CHS IS a big company, with many hospitals and clinics under their name. However, while the security department is a part of the hospital and hospital employees, we are different in the fact that we are often times called upon to be an enforcer, even that its not something we are trained to do. We have to walk a very fine line when it comes to asking someone to leave, or detaining a patient at risk of committing suicide.

    I don't think it makes for an extremely safe work environment when everyone who comes in to work is carrying. But the people who's job it is to PROTECT the facility? The guys wearing the badges are usually the first target, whether or not they are armed.

    You don't expect a janitor to clean without cleaning supplies. A doctor can't practice medicine without medical equipment. Maintenance can't fix things without tools. How can security perform their function without the right gear/training?


    ____________________________

    "Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens."
     
  8. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    20,311
    Likes Received:
    539
    Trophy Points:
    248
    Location:
    NH
    Makes a lot of sense. I didn't mean to go too off the mark with the discussion of the fellow from the news, he's just someone who has been on my mind -- he's pretty close to some people I know.

    I think this is a big issue:

    I do not have an answer. I hope someone else has some more insight?
     
  9. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Messages:
    21,089
    Likes Received:
    1,824
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Northern VA
    You're probably not going to like this.

    You're not cops. Tools don't give you authority, and I don't particularly think OC is necessarily a bright idea in an ER. You've got people already having trouble breathing there, you've got docs and nurses who will likely be exposed when they need to function... Lots to go wrong; it's not going to be my go-to if I'm dealing with someone at the ER. (By the way -- neither is the Taser. Sparks and oxygen... not exactly a really good mix.)

    Your employer isn't the hospital; it's Securitas. Work with your contract manager if you feel you need more tools or more training. Work with the hospital's contract authority to support that argument. But realize that your paycheck doesn't read "Whatever Hospital"; it reads "Securitas." Guess whose policies need to win, unless you want to lose your job? You're a private security officer, with very limited authority. (The exact bounds vary by state, sometimes by whether or not you're armed, contract, or proprietary.) Your primary job is to be a visible deterrent and walking/talking alarm service. That's it. If you're having to do more, regularly, you need to have your employer deal with that -- or go elsewhere. That's your power in the equation.

    Things you can do, if you want to stay there, is work with the hospital risk management and whoever else sets security policy there to write SOPs and site training standards that are appropriate, and get your employer to hold employees there to the standards. Develop a site training program; be realistic - you're not going to get 16 weeks of field training. You'll probably be lucky to get more than a few hours, and "here; read this, there'll be a test to see if you understand the policies."

    But -- the reality is that, to Securitas, you're a body in a suit. And they would probably melt down if you told them you're going hands on for just about any reason. Honestly, they probably would prefer very much that you run away if someone punches you. And I bet that's what the contract says, too. So, if the hospital staff is expecting you to do more -- then there's a disconnect between the contract managers and the people there. And that needs to be addressed.
     
  10. ballen0351

    ballen0351 Sr. Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Messages:
    10,155
    Likes Received:
    889
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Read your rules and regs know them front and backwards. Don't stray from them. If your asked to do anything outside of them refuse and explain why. The hospital staff will need to change its rules of engagement. Also you stray even slightly beyond the rules and accident hurt someone your going to be in big trouble and your employers not going to help they are going to throw you under the bus. At the end of the day if all your allowed to do is observe and report then that's what you do. Next time something gets crazy call the police. When the docs or nurses look at you show them the policy and ask them to complain to hospital administration to change the policy

    When your job puts your safety at unnecessary risk and your not comfortable with it then its time to find a new job.
     
  11. CNida

    CNida Green Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2013
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Northwest Arkansas area
    What not to like? I asked for an opinion and I got it.

    I am not, nor have I ever been, under an illusion that I am a cop. In fact, quite the opposite. The client contact manager wants us to report policy violations and ask hospital employees NOT to violate them. In essence, he wants us to confront someone who is smoking on the property, tell them to not do it, and then report it.

    That is not observe and report. That is a means of enforcement that the hospital wants us to do, and our company is apparently fine with us going above and beyond the "observe and report" stage and kinda in a cross between "walking talking alarm service" and "hospital police".

    I don't "want" a taser, or OC spray. Honestly? I think handcuffs would be appropriate given that the local PD will often release violent people into the custody of the hospital... People that come in cuffed and as soon as the cuffs are off and police are gone? They get violent again. I think until we are at least somewhat certain that they aren't going to flip out, security should be able to handcuff the person in order to mitigate harm to themselves and others.

    Also, in the event that there is a shooter on the grounds, perhaps a sidearm or something to help respond to such a threat, given that there are many critical minutes before the police can arrive.

    I won't get into the "whys" of why I am still here and the "why nots" of why I don't leave. I enjoy the job.

    As for rules and regs? Like I said. There really isn't anything set in stone. Securitas (at least the local branch) has no clue what to do. The hospital has their expectations which differ from what our branch office is doing and if we fail to please one or the other then we face termination.

    It's not cut and dry but I do believe there is a better solution.


    ____________________________

    "Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens."
     
  12. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Messages:
    14,814
    Likes Received:
    3,257
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    Pueblo West, CO
    After more years in the ER than I think I care to admit, I've reached a conclusion...
    Who needs a taser when I've got a defibrilator? :D
     
  13. ballen0351

    ballen0351 Sr. Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Messages:
    10,155
    Likes Received:
    889
    Trophy Points:
    263
    I find it hard to believe that a corporate security company does not have 1000s of rules for every situation. they may not have filtered down to your level. Have you expressed your concerns with your boss or your bosses boss? Id make sure corp. HQ knows whats going on. Sometimes we assume bosses know but don't care when in reality they don't know because people don't tell them and are always blowing smoke up there rear ends.
     
  14. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Messages:
    21,089
    Likes Received:
    1,824
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Northern VA
    Just curious -- but what are your thoughts on OC and Tasers being used in the ER? As I said above, neither is my first choice if I happen to be in the ER with someone. Doesn't mean I won't use either one... just that I'm going to asess whether they're appropriate to the entire circumstances.
     
  15. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Messages:
    21,089
    Likes Received:
    1,824
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Northern VA
    I did a little research on Securitas last night. Apparently, each branch and each contract site can run very differently, ranging from the worst stereotypes of private security guards all the way up to the serious pros who work at the nuclear power plants. That said -- I'm with you; I'm pretty confident that CNida is describing actions way outside the scope of the contract. And that means that, if something goes wrong, neither Securitas nor the hospital is likely to have his back. Like if someone he has "restrained" gets hurt... or dies.

    I recently took a very agitated, uncooperative subject to the hospital. As in one of my partners rode in the ambulance with the medics as he was transported, and I followed. We finally took the cuffs off at the doctor's direction before we left, and soft restraints were placed on him. The security guards didn't put the restraints on; the medical techs did. Security stood by, but that was about it. And I don't believe that security there carries anything more than a radio, either.

    Again -- if the actions being expected are outside the scope and standards of the company's contract, they need to either conform to the contract, and either modify the contract or modify the client's expectations. They are bound to the contract, no more, no less. I would consider it a reasonable and likely expectation for a contract guard to take steps like confronting someone about minor policy issues like failing to display an ID badge, or smoking in a non-smoking area. i suspect that they most that the contract stipulates in "enforcing" that is to tell them to stop, tell them to wear their badge, and report it up the chain if they don't. The site really should have a policy & procedures manual spelling all that out for the guards, because the reality is that they probably don't have access to the contract.
     
  16. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    28,175
    Likes Received:
    3,682
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    North American Tectonic Plate
    I spent many years in security and part of that was in 2 different hospitals, the worst was a Catholic Hospital with a mental health and detox unit. Hospital one with no religious affiliation and no mental health and detox I think in 5 years I had probably a dozen violent to semi violent confrontations. Hospital 2 the Catholic hospital with the mental health and detox, I think I had over 100 violent and semi violent confrontations in 3 months.


    The Catholic hospital held a mandatory patient restraint training program that was actually give by a Nun. It was the most civilized and ineffectual restraint training I ever saw.

    The state I live in requires that all people in security get certified and are background checked but you are still not a peace officer or police officer. I had a real good working relationship with the LEOs in my area and many were good friends of mine and I knew NYS Law. I knew how far I could take it and that was generally restraint (occasionally with extreme prejudice)...occasionally it was absorb and redirect into a wall of the floor but it always ended in restraint.

    I also know that if things went really bad that the people in charge at the hospitals would not back me up at all.

    So, basically, I feel your pain but it is what it is and I learned that verbalfu and an appearance of not caring and acting board in the face of idiots tended to give them enough pause to decide to not do what they were planning on doing.

    Once had a guy destine for mental health, who had been nothing but trouble for the guy that was on the shift before me, look at me and say "I like you, but the voices are telling me to kill you" I responded (with no emotion at all) "do us both a favor and don't listen to them because I really don't want to hurt you either" He sat down and was real easy to deal with after that
     
  17. CNida

    CNida Green Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2013
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Northwest Arkansas area
    Hear hear. I actually just discovered that a couple of months ago that if I feign disinterest and not respond immediately to people "acting out", it more often than not serves to defuse a situation.

    It's actually gained me a bit of criticism from the more empathetic nurses and doctors, who feel that even security should be more therapeutic and try and keep the patient calm and be reassuring.

    I am of the mind that I am not a therapist. I don't get paid to sit there and discuss a patient's personal life with them. And while I might make small steps, for safety's sake, to keep a patient calm, I can't sit there and Dr. Phil somebody who is flipping out. Either they calm down, GET calmed down, or we get acquainted with them physically until they do calm down.


    ____________________________

    "Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens."
     
  18. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Messages:
    14,814
    Likes Received:
    3,257
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    Pueblo West, CO
    Tasers are fine. Room air is normally 21% O2, 78% nitrogen and 1% everything else. A couple of people in a room on O2 won't actually change those numbers unless you measure it right by their noses. Unless the person being tased is soaked in something flammable as well as being on O2 I don't see a problem.

    But if you spray OC in one of those crowded rooms, I will kick you so hard your testicles lodge in your nostrils.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk.
     
  19. ballen0351

    ballen0351 Sr. Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Messages:
    10,155
    Likes Received:
    889
    Trophy Points:
    263
    hmmm guess id make sure when I spray to accidentally spray the staff as well then run
     
  20. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    28,175
    Likes Received:
    3,682
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    North American Tectonic Plate
    Ran into that as well back in my hospital security days, bottom-line your not a counselor your a security person. Had a nurse get made at me in the ER because I stopped a kick from a guy, with qinna, that damn near kicked her in the face. She was mad because I could have hurt the guy. I didn't much care, she went home safe and healthy, I went home safe and healthy, and ultimately the patient got safely to the detox unit to get the care he needed so they could try and get him healthy
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

securitas martial arts