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Check Your Wall Clocks - Hidden Cameras

Posted

From the "L.A. Times"

November 18, 2004

Nurses Find Hidden Cameras at Hospital

Good Samaritan workers fear intrusive monitoring. Officials cite security concerns.

By Jia-Rui Chong, Times Staff Writer

It was the wires dangling from a wall clock that first caught the eye of the nurse, who was taking a breather after a stint in the labor and delivery unit of Good Samaritan Hospital.

A closer inspection revealed a tiny, pea-sized camera lens above the numeral "9."

Within minutes, nurses at the hospital just west of downtown Los Angeles hit the phones, alerting colleagues about the device in the break room and asking them to check other clocks for hidden cameras. In all, they found 16 tiny devices hidden within timepieces placed on the walls of lounges, a fitness center, a conference room and a pharmacy, among other locations.

"We feel they have violated our rights and our privacy," said Sussette Nacorda, 50, a nurse in the coronary care unit, who found a camera in a lounge.

Hospital officials said they installed the cameras over the summer as part of a security effort. They said they had intended to put up signs to notify people about the cameras but had not had an opportunity before the devices were discovered. The cameras had not yet been turned on, they said.

"Our goal is not at all to spy on" nurses, said Sammy Feuerlicht, the hospital's vice president of business. "Our goal is to make employees feel more comfortable, not less comfortable."

Feuerlicht contends that the hospital installed the cameras after employees expressed concern that some break rooms and other facilities were vulnerable to burglaries.

"There had been some thefts occurring in break rooms in the past," he said, adding that the plan was for security officers to review the footage if someone reported a theft.

Nurses said they were particularly incensed because they believed some of the cameras had partial views of locker rooms and a visitors' area commonly used by mothers to breastfeed. Break rooms are often used by nurses to change clothes, they said.

Hospital officials countered that the rooms should not be used for changing clothes and that they did not consider them private areas.

Jim Lott, a spokesman for the Hospital Assn. of Southern California, said it was standard practice for hospitals to install cameras and that these were the first complaints about privacy he had heard.

Hospitals have grown more concerned about security since a man killed two employees and a patient on a shooting spree at West Anaheim Medical Center about five years ago, Lott said.

"I don't know that it's wrong, bad or problematic [to have cameras] in a break room so long as people are aware that they are there," Lott said.

Cameras have also sparked controversy at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, where nurses discovered cameras last month.

"We don't know where all the surveillance equipment is yet," said Chris Swanson, a labor representative at the Bakersfield hospital. "We have discovered surveillance cameras near some nurses' stations."

She said she believes hospital management has made inappropriate use of the cameras by monitoring the nurses' work habits.

A spokesman for the hospital said that about five cameras have operated for three years in hallways and common areas around nursing stations at Memorial Center, a satellite campus that treats patients with psychiatric disorders and chemical dependency.

"They are security cameras," said hospital spokesman Ken Keller. "They are not cameras to monitor workers or anything along those lines."

Keller said the hospital has put up signs warning visitors and employees that cameras may be operating. He said the hospital has not installed any cameras in break areas.

"That's a line we don't want to cross," he said.

That is twisted! What are we, criminals ? I was under the impression that you had to provide reasonable notice to anyone that cameras were being used.

PS, I worked at a facility that was mentioned in this article and their security is sooo bad, we have had assaults, thefts, graffiti in common areas, patients in isolation walking out of the hospital late at night and returning early the next morning (she had broken open a sharps container, removed syringes and was selling them on the street to her junkie pals for fun and profit) and in one instance a family member threatened a physician with a gun. Not to mention the fact that anyone can breeze through the front door and cruise onto any floor they want, concealing anything they choose with an understaffed crew expected to enforce visiting hours etc. I personally had to call 911 to deal with a threatening patient ( the same little junkie who came after me with a used syringe because I refused to buy her story of "injecting herself accidently into her picc line with some MS she found in the elevator and she needed some METHADONE right away!" ) she actually chased me down the hall and we had no available security! The cops showed up, had a little chat with her and that was that.

Maybe a security camera in the hallway would have reinforced my story and she would have gotten the boot?

Today while you went about your everyday routine,

Did you go to the bank or to an ATM?

Did you buy gas?

Did you drive pass a police officer who was using a radar detector?

Did you talk on a cordless phone?

Did you go to a convenience store?

Did you go to a department store?

Did you use a dressing room in a clothing store?

Did you ride a city bus?

Did you ride a subway?

Did you go into an office building?

Did you work on a computer network?

Did you use a credit card or a shopper's discount card?

Did you give out your Social Security number?

Did you apply for a job?

Did you drive through a toll booth?

Did you call a customer service or technical support help line?

Were you tested for drugs?

if you answered yes to ANY of the above, you were under surveillance.

Big Brother is here to stay.

bagladyrn, RN

Specializes in OB.

If the cameras were legitimately for the "protection" of the staff, why did they need to be hidden in clocks,etc.?

If the cameras were legitimately for the "protection" of the staff, why did they need to be hidden in clocks,etc.?

Thats what I was wondering too Baglady...why not display them prominently as a deterrent?

I remember working at a hospital once for 6 months before someone warned me the nurses station and break room had hidden cameras and male security guards would sit and watch the female nurses at night..then gossip about what they saw the nurses do while they were unaware they were being watched. I was so disgusted and felt violated...I should have been told this was occuring.

Hope these nurses sue and win. :(

bagladyrn, RN

Specializes in OB.

Thats what I was wondering too Baglady...why not display them prominently as a deterrent?

I remember working at a hospital once for 6 months before someone warned me the nurses station and break room had hidden cameras and male security guards would sit and watch the female nurses at night..then gossip about what they saw the nurses do while they were unaware they were being watched. I was so disgusted and felt violated...I should have been told this was occuring.

Hope these nurses sue and win. :(

If I found out something like this was happening, I'd be likely to stand in front of the camera and pick my nose, scratch my butt or do something else equally rude!

Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN

Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

My issue with hidden cameras is patient privacy.

They could film me all they want to at work, because i do my job the way i'm supposed to, and that's that. But i feel that hidden cameras violate pt. privacy.

They could film me all they want to at work, because i do my job the way i'm supposed to, and that's that. /QUOTE]

So...we're 'not doing our job the way we're supposed to' if we don't wish to be spied on without our knowledge?? I hope that's not what you're implying.

Roy Fokker, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER/Trauma.

If the cameras were legitimately for the "protection" of the staff, why did they need to be hidden in clocks,etc.?
Exactly! Well said!

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 28 years experience.

Today while you went about your everyday routine,

Did you use a dressing room in a clothing store?

Please tell me the cameras are outside of the doors and not inside. Please?

about the signs stating that cameras are in use...a small sign out in the parking lot will be all these people need to support their case that the employees knew of possible cameras

note post about big brother

If the hospital is watching people in a clandestine way, they have clandestine motives.

Please tell me the cameras are outside of the doors and not inside. Please?

Tweety I can tell you that Parisian Department Stores have cameras INSIDE their dressing rooms. I can't speak for other stores but I would bet quite a few others do as well. My mother used to work security there and I have been back into the camera rooms. They told me it was legalbecause women watch the women's dressing rooms and men watch the men's. Well, that is absurd if you ask me. :angryfire

This makes me wonder now about where I work. Our night supervisor was telling us about a nurse that was stopped as he was about to leave because he had a Vicodin in his pocket. He said he had forgotten it was there. When us nurses asked how management knew he had it, she just smiled and shrugged her shoulders. Maybe we have a camera in our med room?!! I will have to check the clock.:rolleyes:

If the cameras were legitimately for the "protection" of the staff, why did they need to be hidden in clocks,etc.?

bingo! and how long does it take to have someon print off a sign alerting personnel to the cameras? That's bull crap. If you want to "prevent" crime with cameras then the criminals better d@mn well know they are there so they can think twice! How are cameras going to discourage theft and assault when the potential criminal has know idea he/she is being recorded?

Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN

Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

So...we're 'not doing our job the way we're supposed to' if we don't wish to be spied on without our knowledge?? I hope that's not what you're implying.

Did i say that? No i did not. I stated how i felt if i were the one being filmed, and my objections to it.

What i'd said is not an implication of anything.

Did i say that? No i did not. I stated how i felt if i were the one being filmed, and my objections to it.

What i'd said is not an implication of anything.

I agree w/ mattsmom81

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