Security in the ED

  1. I am trying to find out how security works in other ED. We worked in a locked ED- someone has to let patients/visitors in the door. Only 2 are really used at night- the EMS door and the locked door from the waiting room to the main ED. All employees have to badge in to get in. We have 2 security officers. 1 for the waiting room, and one in the main ED. Every person that walks in the ED waiting room comes directly to the triage window. The triage nurse stops whatever she is doing, speaks to the person at the window, and either signs them in to see a Dr., sends them immediately to the back, directs them to a patients room in the back (asks them who they want to see, is there anyone else in the room with the patient, sorry- you can't take the cell phone, drink, outside food to the room, opens the locked door), directs them to the security guard in the corner so they can get in the main hospital, ect.
    All of the patient/visitor control takes a lot of time away from the patient you are attempting to triage.
    So does anyone have any ideas? Does anyone have a security officer posted at the main door to take care of visitors, etc.? Does anyone else have armed security officers in the main ED? What are their roles? Do you feel safe?
    We are attempting to make some changes to make things work smoothly- and have the SECURITY officers actually secure the place.
    Any ideas? Suggestions? Thanks in advance!
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    About TexNurse

    Joined: Mar '02; Posts: 16
    ED Nursing


  3. by   ER_RN07

    We have an armed Police Officer sitting in the ED at all times! He/She has a desk in the waiting room and lets visitors thru the locked doors. They are a true god send! Makes us feel 100% safer! They will even walk us to our cars at night and help get rid of thoes patients who refuse to leave after being dc'd
  4. by   Caveman
    The ER where my sister works has secruity 24/7. The officers, while employed by the hospital, are legally "special police" with arrest powers and guns. Their presence cuts WAY down on the foolishness that used to take place in the ER. The occasional fool who tries to cause trouble is quickly made aware of his error in judgement.
  5. by   Uptoherern
    HEAVY SIGH...we have one security officer for the entire house. We call if we need them. Luckily, we have quite a number of male nurses, techs, radiology around the corner. I would love to have a police base station located in the er. I suggested it...nothing came of it.
  6. by   Chiaramonte
    Our nightly {soon to retire} maintenance man is our security "officer". He is armed with a motorola radio.
  7. by   altomga
    there is a police officer in the ED all the time. The doors are NOT LOCKED though.....We have more than one officer in house at all times....I know at night there have been 4 come to my floor at once to assist us!
  8. by   webbiedebbie
    In the two hospitals where I work, neither are locked. We have special police around the campus, patrolling the parking lots, etc.
  9. by   RainbowSkye
    I work in a very small rural hospital. We do not have security at any time. As a matter of fact, we can't even lock the ER door (because it's broken and management has not decided it's important enough to fix yet). If we have a problem, we call the police and hope they're nearby.
    Not the best situation, that's for sure.
  10. by   Jay Levan
    All I can do is roll my eyes!@#*?+*&@# I have posted many times about this subject. We, as nurses, are caught in the vice of Customer Satisfaction vs. working in a safe and secure environment. I have personally disarmed three individuals who came to the E.R. armed. These incidents happenned over a span of 31 years experience. Two of the weapons were knives, and one was a thirty eight caliber pistol. I have been slapped, kicked, spat on, which reminds me about another incident, I have also had to disarm a discharged patient, when he re-entered the E.R. through the Ambulance entry. He had a four foot 2" X 4" board with nails protruding from it, and was lining up two of our diminutive ladies, for a whack or two! I sailed a metal backed chart in his direction and yelled at him that "I'm the one you want!" to distract him from his intended targets, then let him chase me around the nurses desk several times, staying just out of reach, until finally a local police officer, came through the same ambulance entrance, with his 9mm pistol drawn, everything just stopped immediately. As I was facing the police officer, who was aiming his weapon at this individual, I could literally see down the barrel of this weapon. I have also saved several Physicians from physical harm from patients. Security is very different from institution to institution, some security personnel are armed and some aren't, but even if they are armed there are so many constraints placed on them that they are virtually handcuffed as to what course of action to take. In summation "Security" is non existant in my view. They can only re-act, they can't act on a dangerous situation, until after the incident has already happened
  11. by   redshiloh
    This is just a sign of the times we live in. I don't really have any great suggestions except to explain to families/patients that increased security is for their as well as your protection.
  12. by   zudy
    Our ED has officers 24/7. there is always at least one officer at the ED entrance. Our officers are sworn police officers, they carry guns. All walk-ins go thru a metal detector, all purses are searched, everyone must empty thier pockets. Our ED is always locked, and when we are very busy(or have trauma) we have a no visitor policy. Our officers can arrest people, and they are transported to the local jail and booked. This is the fifth ED I have worked in, and by for the safest. I have so many horror stories about working in unsafe ED's, I couldn't even begin to post them all.....the bottom line is,we need and deserve a safe enviroment to give good care to our pts, and any administrator that doesn't provide this to you is doing a terrible job.
  13. by   TexNurse
    Oh man, I didn't realize how lucky we are! My director cares a lot for our safety. We not only are locked down, but have a hospital securtiy officer in the waiting room and an armed police officer every night in the main ED. I wish you would all go to your directors and discuss better security. A maintenance man is not going to cut it. The cost of security in the ED is cheaper than the cost of a lawsuit if something happens to an employee. Good luck. And thank you for all your responses!
  14. by   MtnMan
    I get to go to court at the end of the month as the result of a midnight incident with an angry couple. Luckily the nurse I was working with reacted quick and the local cop was close. I got out of it with some curses and a little shove, unfortunately for the idiot in question he is being charged with making terroristic threats, disorderly conduct and simple assault. He is a state emplyee and probably will lose his job.