Sensitivity needed when armed hospital security encounters patients

February 12, 2016

IN THE NEWS: More and more hospitals across the country are arming their security guards, raising the question of whether weapons improve, or pose a threat, to patient safety. An article in The New York Times details an incident at a downtown Houston medical center, in which a patient with mental health issues was shot by hospital security guards. The guards were off-duty Houston police officers.

The story quotes UC Irvine Medical Center security director Scott Martin’s approach to hiring applicants with law enforcement and military backgrounds. He says working in a healthcare setting requires a very different mindset.

“If they come from law enforcement or the military, I ask them directly, ‘How would you respond differently here than if you encountered a criminal on the street in L.A. or when you are kicking down a door in Iraq?’ You have to send the message that these are patients, they’re sick, the mental health population has rights – and you need to be sensitive to that.”

Read The New York Times story here ›

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