ED security

  1. Just realized last night that this place I am traveling at has no metal detector or screening for security. I've been there about 3 weeks and have seen a few knives smuggled in.

    I'm particularly concerned because I worked in an ED that got "shot up" 4 years ago. It freaked me out, but since then I have always worked with Metal detectors- thought it was sort of standard equip for any ED.

    I asked someone and was told that the management did not think that installing metal detectors was "worth it"

    So, I am wondering what will it take to make it "worth it"?

    Also, wanting to do an informal poll-

    Does your ED/ER have metal detectors or security screening?

    Do you feel confidence in your security guards being able to actually secure anything (One we have is a lovely guy, retired cop who sufferred from CA, now better, but frail...and I love him but can't see him taking down anyone from the local gang).
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  2. Poll: Are you confident in your ER's security system?

    • Yes, for the most part

      24.49% 12
    • Not at all

      34.69% 17
    • It could really use some upgrading.

      40.82% 20
    49 Votes
  3. 14 Comments

  4. by   janejoeben
    Hi! Just read your post and it made me smile. I work in the UK in an A&E Dept, aka ER. We have no security whatsoever!! Anyone can turn up, we have direct alarms to the police station, but it still takes them 10 minutes to arrive! The hospital porters help us out if we have trouble, but it is not part of their job, they would not see us get hurt. I am going to find working in the US very different!!!
  5. by   traumaRUs
    No metal detectors but we do have fairly fit security with pepper spray.
  6. by   kaycee
    No metal detectors, one lone security guard per shift, that has to round the whole building. No security stationed in the ER. Two camers and monitors that don't work half the time. We are a community hospital that has approx 22,000 visits a year in a not so nice part of town. Unfortunately Administration will never do anything until something bad happens.
  7. by   canoehead
    Hope you don't mind, I added a poll to this thread.
  8. by   mshooha
    Oh, toucy subject with me. Our security is our maintenance department and 2 cameras. We are totally isolated in our ER, the rest of the staff may not know that we are having a problem. During the evenings and night, my department is very vulnerable. I have repeatedly asked for a panic button or something--we are very small, but since the first of the year, we have had several incidents that could have easily resulted in a nurse injury. I am the manager of our department and have done as much education about safety, keeping yourself between the patient and the door, etc, but I am not satisfied with that. I have approached administration many times, we are told, call maintenance in. I don't think that they understand that sometimes you cannot get to the phone to call for help. Unfortunately I agree, that it may take a serious incident for someone to listen to me.
  9. by   bluestar
    When I worked ED (Level 1 trauma in an urban area) the security officers were armed. Most had either police or military backgrounds and you could depend on them.
  10. by   LeahJet
    I've worked in several ER's in several areas of the country. One ER had NO security....you just called the police for major ordeals and otherwise YOU had to maintain peace as well as care for your patients. Another ER had one old guy with an artificial hip and a can of mace....Two other ER's had very efficient protective services...but no metal detectors. The ER I'm in now has a metal detector and seemingly competent security staff.... BUT someone was shot and killed in the hospital last year.... so we'll see. Oh...and the metal detector will detect metal that is from about the neck to mid-thigh....

    I think the bottom line is that if anyone is intending on doing harm...they will. Security is good for keeping situations from deteriorating but if some crazy person....or a disgruntled former patient.... is coming in with the purpose of harming....it will happen.
  11. by   LeahJet
    Quote from mshooha
    Oh, toucy subject with me. Our security is our maintenance department and 2 cameras. We are totally isolated in our ER, the rest of the staff may not know that we are having a problem. During the evenings and night, my department is very vulnerable. I have repeatedly asked for a panic button or something--we are very small, but since the first of the year, we have had several incidents that could have easily resulted in a nurse injury. I am the manager of our department and have done as much education about safety, keeping yourself between the patient and the door, etc, but I am not satisfied with that. I have approached administration many times, we are told, call maintenance in. I don't think that they understand that sometimes you cannot get to the phone to call for help. Unfortunately I agree, that it may take a serious incident for someone to listen to me.
    The maintenance dept?? What are they gonna do... Plunger someone's face?
  12. by   KatieBell
    Leahjet-
    that is too funny, plunger to face- you know who's going to have to fix up the face after right?

    My first ED job was in a "Zero-Tolerance" facility, the Manager was extremely serious about staff safety- we had guards with guns, metal detectors the whole nine yards. It was in major drug/crime territory, but I think anywhere, it takes just one person to get crazy....
  13. by   Aneroo
    We have metal detectors at the guest and ambulatory entrance. However, if someone comes in via EMS, they could have a loaded gun in their purse and we wouldn't know it.
    If it is a psych patient, we've been changing them into gowns and getting all their belongings and placing them at the nurses station until dispo. But we still get some shady folks in who might feel the urge to use it.

    I am also wary of the officers having guns. At a state run mental hospital about an hour away from here, several months ago, a patient managed to wrestle a deputy and get his gun, shot the deputy before turning the gun on several employees and then himself. I believe he was the only one who died, but still a frightening incident.
  14. by   grammyr
    This has been an ongoing argument in our department. We, the nursing staff (all female) have requested over the years some sort of security. We have a line to the police department which is nice, but if I get stuck outside trying to get a patient out of the car, I am sunk. I am the only person in the dept after 11pm except for the supervisor. There is rarely a man in our facility at night except for the ED doc and he is way down the hall. I guess it is going to take someone getting hurt for us to get any help.
  15. by   ClaireMacl
    I find it amazing the difference between UK and US - in schools as well as hospitals! The only place we see a metal detector is in the airport, that's it.

    My ED, we have hospital security who cover the whole place and at times can't be with us. I've had a knife pulled on me before, tho thankfully he didn't want to use it, just to let us know he might kill himself with it *sigh*.

    We have alarms everywhere which link to security when we are really in the stick, but you have to wait until someone has located the area its in before help comes. Sometimes I find it easier to call the crash bell when in trouble, everyone runs for that and ours only link to the department and don't put out a proper crash call

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