The place where I work is instituting a new parking policy.
To get to the lot where we are to park, we have to exit the rear of the hospital, go past a row of big dumpsters, past a lot full of vans and fleet vehicles, cross a main down-town street, enter a huge and poorly lit lot that is about a quarter of a mile down the street from Suzi's XXX Adult Video Superstore. We know the lot is not safe because cars that are parked there are frequently broken into.
During the meeting at which the new policy was introduced, nurses asked about safety. Here is what the "safety" officer told us.
1) Yes, cars are broken into. No, we can't do anything about it. 20,000 car break-ins occur each year in our city. The police cruise the lot when they can. It's your responsibility to keep back-packs, purses, GPS units, etc. out of sight.
2) No, we cannot light the lot any brighter than it currently is because that would cost too much money.
3) No, we cannot have the lot on camera in real-time but only the scanning system we have now that is not continuously monitored. To do better monitoring would cost too much money.
4) No, we won't have a shuttle to take you to and from your cars except in very bad weather. To provide shuttles would cost too much money.
5) Yes! We will provide you an escort to your car. However, after hours we have only 5-6 officers for the whole 800 bed campus so you will have to wait. And while you're waiting, make sure you're clocked out.
In addition, there was a nurse who outran an attacker within the last month. Also, we're the major trauma center and have all the gang-bangers in our ER. We have no guards in the ER. We have no metal detectors. (It would cost too much money.) We had a deranged man shoot himself in the parking lot on the other side of the hospital last year.
I tried to do some quick research on attempted assaults on nurses, but only found articles related to work-place violence, a related concept, but not what I was looking for. It is my suspicion that it is not uncommon for nurses to be attacked going to and from hospitals at shift change but that it is not reported as such. For the police, it's an assault and would be recorded that way. For the hospital, there is every reason to sweep such incidents under the rug.
Does anyone have any anecdotal stories relative to assaults on nurses or know of any research on the topic? I am thinking about contacting our police and getting crime statistics for our area of the city, if they will give them to me.
Any other ideas out there?