Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Safety

A respiratory therapist in our hospital was assaulted in a stairwell the other day. She was knocked around a good bit and the man took her ID badge and ran off. He has not been identified or found. He didn't attempt to steal anything else from her, keys nor phone; there was no attempt at rape. The badge was immediately deactivated, so I guess he'll have to pay the $2 to get out of the garage. When I think about the things that could have happened, I get the willies.
Our hospital has been involved in some acquisitions in the past several years. As they continue to grow and expand, the other facilities are converted for use as necessary. The building I work in, where this occurred, is one such facility. Once a hospital of its own right, for the past 10 years or so it contained mostly admin. offices and - of course - psych. Slowly, they began to add one medical floor, and then another, and now plans for yet one more. They have built a cross-over to connect the two hospitals and now have a tunnel for patient transport between them as well.
The tunnel has cameras every few yards.
The major public access areas also have security cameras.
We have security personnel who make rounds at least once per shift.
While the bulk of the secure-ness is maintained at the "main" campus (especially the ER), we never really worried much about our building.
On our floor, we have three security cameras to monitor the patients in the hall and the people who wish to gain access at the front door - but none of these have feeds to the security office. If we aren't sitting at the nurses' station to watch the monitors, we have no idea what is going on.
They don't record.
There are no cameras in the stairwells, nor near the entrances to the stairs or elevators.
Whoever did this probably had a pretty good idea of when the last security officer passed through, and just waited for the right moment to jump.
What did he want? Why her? She didn't have keys to any med room. Her badge didn't allow access into our top-secret alchemy lab. She holds no clout with the HMOs.
Coming off shift tonight, walking the long empty halls to the parking garage, knowing that one camera's view drops off for about 10 yards before the next one picks up, and peeking into every cubby hole, blind corner, and sunken doorway along the way, I wished I had my pepper spray. Or an alarm. Even a whistle. But who would hear it? The areas I had to navigate are quiet and without traffic at midnight. Should I have asked for a chaperone?
How safe do you feel at work?

4 Comments:

Blogger ID Crossroads said...

Thanks for reminding everyone to be alert at work. Sometimes we forget that a hospital is a public place afterall.

27 July, 2007 00:32  
Blogger CoffeeGal said...

You have to be very careful...cameras only can record or capture the event. They can not protect you from injury. By the time security sees something you could be really hurt by the time they get to you. Perfect example is how long they take to get to "stat" calls. In every thing I have read, violence in hospitals towards healthcare workers is on the rise. I feel so-so at my hospital. My floor is on the 1st floor and "smokers" keep sticking things in the exit doors on one end of my unit to prevent them from getting locked out when they go outside for a smoke. It's been a nightly battle to get them to stop, so now I just call security and report them. They get so mad at me but they don't realize how they are putting all the people (patients and staff) on my floor in possible harms way..or they just don't care.

02 August, 2007 12:34  
Blogger A Friend said...

The hospital I worked at started making all of us nurses who left after dark have a security escort after two rapes in the parking garage. Good luck with the BSN. I really like your blog. It's so...real.

02 August, 2007 22:50  
Anonymous Gynecologist Woodstock GA said...

I used to work in a large research hospital in one of the academically-oriented buildings of the complex. During the time I was there, another research assistant was attacked and raped in a stairwell of the building. In that case, it turned out to be a homeless person who had been camping out in various places on the complex. I think a lot of the concern about hospitals is that they do attract all sorts of people, many with illnesses in various stages of treatments, and doesn't really keep track of them.

20 October, 2011 11:56  

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