How Can Nurses and Doctors Help Increase Security Measures in Hospitals and Clinics?

August 15, 2017

Doctors and nurses are responsible for providing their patients with the best possible care. However, quality healthcare goes beyond medical treatment. Patients also have a right to heal in a safe and comfortable environment. Most people consider security to be an administrative issue. While this is technically true, doctors and nurses have an important perspective that can be useful for creating more secure facilities.

Communication

Communication is essential for all types of security. Not only between those in need and reinforcements, but among all parties involved. Doctors and nurses communicate with more people in a medical facility than anyone else. This means that they can be vital in spreading the importance of established security measures. While there are codes and protocols in place of emergency situations, utilizing medical personnel to share these procedures can be more effective than monthly staff meetings. It is also a good way to reduce the opportunities for crime to occur. Talking with those around you, and making sure that everyone knows how to look suspicious activity, will help your facility run smoothly.

Hospitality and Beside Manner

All medical personnel, surgeons, nurses, phlebotomists, and even janitorial staff should be friendly and welcoming to patients.  Patients should know right when they walk in the door that they are in a safe place, and that their every need will be attended to.  This will not only encourage the growth of trust, it will help the process of healing, even more than might be apparent at first. Personnel should introduce themselves with a smile, and let the patient know that they can help them out with anything they might need.  This helps facilitate cooperation, and helps everyone feel more comfortable. Doctors should spend more time with their patients than anyone else, since they are the ones in direct control of their care.  Patients should know that they are in good hands.

Patient Safety

Every patient that enters a hospital or health clinic wants to know that despite the amount of activity and potential for accidents to happen, they are safe and secure.  Some people have a legitimate fear of hospitals because of the risk of infection from a myriad of diseases, and others fear that security is going to fail, and something bad is about to happen. Some of these fears may be from hypochondria or irrational fears, but regardless, medical personnel should make every effort to make patients feel welcome and safe during their time there.

Patient Responsibility

Patients must realize that they have the ability to make their chosen healthcare facility, whether it be a hospital or clinic, safer for everyone.  Doctors and nurses should inform patients of current happenings within the hospital, in regards to protocol and safety practices. The staff should encourage patients to ask questions if they think of something that is of concern or interest to them.  Patients should feel empowered, not helpless.  If a particular patient feels unsafe or worried when they have to go to the hospital, (in particular) they should bring someone with them to stay by their side to aid and give them comfort.  This can be a lifesaver for individuals with agoraphobia, social anxiety, or other condition that needs monitoring or assistance.

Report Every Sign of Danger

Major threats, such as a fire, are easily recognized, which allows for a quick response. There are, however, serious hazards that present in a more subtle way. Doctors and nurses in medical facilities have access to many patients and their families. They can identify potential problems and take action before the situation gets out of control. For example, there are two patients who were involved in a serious car accident. The nurses notice that the families are blaming one another and being openly hostile. If this tension is acknowledged, then dangerous conflicts and be avoided.

Add Extra Eyes & Ears

Although doctors and nurses are in the perfect position to report dangerous activity, they may not be able to respond as quickly as they should and continue to save lives. Another way doctors and nurses can help increase security measures is to request a nurse certification program at their facility. Besides providing an opportunity to have quality nurses in-house, the students will be able to observe and report any threats to safety. They can be an added line of defense for hospitals and clinics.

Patients put their lives in the hands of doctors and nurses every day. In every facility, these are the faces that they know and trust. Because of their interactions with the public, these professionals also have the skills and experience to recognize certain threats and vulnerabilities. It is only logical to allow them to share their knowledge. With the proper incentives and acknowledgment, doctors and nurses may actually be eager to help protect their hospital or clinic.

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