Metal Detectors/Wanding/Frisking

  1. For those of you that work on locked inpatient psych wards, do you ever wish that visitors and patient's on high levels returning from off unit passes would have to walk through metal detectors, be wanded with a detector, or frisked upon/before return to the unit (especially if they're unhappy that they have to come back?)?

    Whenever I check the food/bag of clothes that a visitor brings for a patient I'm always wondering if there is anything in that visitor's cargo pants that could get passed to a patient.

    I dunno, maybe it's just me and I'm stuck in worst case scenario model. Or, maybe I just have to go easy and watch less of those reality TV shows that start some segments off with the narrator saying: "This metally ill person that police are negotiating with is armed and holding ______ hostage...".

    I'd like to get your thoughts, am I overreacting?
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   edorn
    you are NOT over-reacting. We have had lots of potential weapons brought in that even the wands did not detect. Our institution recently upgraded this security level after the run of school shootings last month. You cannot be too scrupulous about this matter. We have those who enter pull out their pockets. Yes, this is offensive to some.
  4. by   IMustBeCrazy
    We metal detect, but there is another issue I have thought about time and again. There have been many times detoxes on our unit seem to 'relapse' after meeting with a suspect 'friend' that visits them on the unit. I can't even imagine how awful I would feel if someone had their dealer visit them in the hospital, then I add meds on top of that and something happens. Makes chills run down my spine.
  5. by   LoriAlabamaRN
    At my inpatient child psych facility, we search all patients upon admission and after any outing, they have to go to the searchroom with an MHT, remove their clothes and put on a hosiptal gown, their clothes are searched and wanded as are their bodies. Then they carry their clothes back to their room and change back into them there.
  6. by   sparky28546
    When I worked psych, our unit would conduct an unclothed search on all pt's upon admission and whenever they came back from any outing off the unit. They also stayed in gowns for their 1st 48 hours on the unit as well. As far as visitors go, they had to pull their pockets inside out, take their shoes and socks off and turn their socks inside out. This was after we had a visitor sneak in a razor blade to a patient inside her shoe, under the insole.
  7. by   aloevera
    all we do is check bags that visitors bring in....pity, I wish we could search them also....we have had pts. on detox get drugs, kids on adol get sharp objects, cigarettes, etc. (one parent brought his son cig.!!)
    yes, it would be great if we could wand/search them.....one woman's husband kept bringing her so many drugs we finally did a body search on her and found them (internally)....it is a pity...

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