Are Hospital Security Guards Necessary?

  • In today's pandemic world hospital security is very challenging.
  • Learn the many benefits hospital security.
  • Hospital security guards put a stop to small problem from accelerating.

Hospitals are hailed for being a haven for the sick, afflicted, and dying. With these positive connotations, it can be difficult to imagine the need for security, but don’t be fooled, hospitals don’t get a pass on problems. Whether it is combative patient, an angry family member, a visitor attempting to breach into restricted areas, or simply a patient needing a calming presence, security guards are an essential part of day-to-day hospital operations.

Hospitals aren’t immune to threats of violence or violent acts perpetuated against patients and employees.

In today’s times, you will be hard pressed to find a hospital without a regular security presence; however, there is still much debate as to whether these guards should be armed or unarmed. Thus, each hospital will run things slightly different based upon the perceived pros and cons of each. Continue reading to learn more about how guards can maintain a safe and calm environment for everyone at the hospital.

The Many Benefits

Hospitals aren’t immune to threats of violence or violent acts perpetuated against patients and employees. Hospitals regularly see assaults, bomb threats, and other crimes like theft. These buildings are a packed full of patients, family members, and employees, making it easy for criminals to blend in with the crowd. Those who are unwell or dying need to feel safe and secure. Being exposed to additional stress due to threats of violence or criminal activity would be extremely detrimental to these patients.

Perceiving Risks in Advance

Security guards are key players in preventing small issues or threats from escalating into violence or injury. These experienced professionals have the skills to notice when something is off and take the needed actions to mitigate the issue. This applies to security issues of all types, even those not directly related to criminal activity. For example, security guards can keep their eyes out for hazards like fires, ice outside the building, spills, etc. that could lead to harm to those inside. In many cases, guards will patrol the grounds and identify a small issue before it snowballs into a larger and more damaging problem. Additionally, guards will look for suspicious activity, people, and objects, which they will promptly investigate to ensure all occupants inside the hospital remain secure.

Addressing Violence

Security guards are tasked with descaling situations with patients and family members alike. Those admitted to the hospital are typically not at their best physically or emotionally, due to the burden of illness or injury. Thus, they are likely stressed, overwhelmed, or even frightened. Some will be dealing with the news of a terminal illness, life altering injury, or even the loss of a loved one. As such, it is not unsurprising that some people may lose control for a moment and react in an especially negative way.

When people become unable to cope with a situation, they often look for someone to blame. In the hospital, this may lead to a patient or family member lashing out at a hospital employee. Sometimes the blame for a situation may be placed on a family member leading to violence or outrage that must be contained. If the nursing staff is unable to de-escalate the situation, security will be called.

Guards have specialized training and a great deal of experience calming people down. They know the tactics and ways in which to reach people where they’re at, lend a listening ear, and help to ease tension by talking it out in a calm, collected manner. If a situation cannot be handled by mere de-escalation tactics, security guards can ensure the person is restrained and or removed from the hospital.

Ultimately, guards are necessary so that hospital staff can effectively do their jobs and ensure no one is unduly injured.

Combative Patients

Sometimes hospitals see patients that become combative by no fault of their own. These patients may experience psychosis due to a physical or mental health problem. Patients who are going through the experience of withdrawal from drugs or alcohol may be especially reactive. Even though these patients are not in their right mind, this fact alone, does not make their behavior any less dangerous.

When people become unable to cope with a situation, they often look for someone to blame.

During a psychotic episode, hallucination, or health condition like dementia, a patient experiencing symptoms may become confused and violent with staff leading to an injury. Some patients are at the hospital because they are a danger to themselves. Security guards are non-negotiable in these situations as they keep patients and hospital staff safe.

Monitoring of Critical Areas

Hospitals are generally easily accessible to the public. This allows for the facility to treat patients and ensure helpful support systems are in place. The downside to this is anyone can come in or out, largely unnoticed. Simply put, while hospitals should be open to all people, there are some areas that must have limited access in order to protect patients.
In years past, limited security measures made it easy for addicts to obtain medications they were not authorized to have. Most hospitals now have extensive security measures, like badges that are only issued to those authorized to enter restricted areas. This helps keep critical supplies, samples, records, and information out of the wrong hands.

This is where guards come in. They can regularly monitor points of access and require random ID checks on those entering and exiting these areas. This prevents a sneaky employee or visitor from slipping undetected into a secured area using a stolen badge. This is especially true in maternity wards where infant abduction is an ongoing concern. Guards must be vigilant to look for suspicious activity and check security measures that are in place such as matching wrist bands between the baby and parents. Guards work to secure the most sensitive areas and ensure that visitors don’t wander where they are not permitted. Guards can also function to help lost guests find their way to the bathroom, the cafeteria, etc. and avoid ending up in an employee only area.

Points of Entry

Furthermore, guards remain vigilant to who is entering and exiting through hospital entry points. If certain areas of the hospital are closed to the public during nighttime hours, they make sure all traffic is diverted through the proper avenues. They can immediately identify suspicious behavior and keep an eye on problematic persons. Guards will also be able to quickly identify any person who has been banned from the hospital and prevent them from slipping undetected inside.

Hospital security guards do so much more than meets the eye. From protecting, to deescalating, to helping visitors find their way, these compassionate individuals work tirelessly to protect and assist all people at the hospital.

Dan Redd

Twin City Security - A Trusted Security Guard Company in Dallas

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