hospital security guard training for the security candidates.

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A hospital security guard is deployed for the protection of hospitals or health clinics. The security personnel in the hospital must acknowledge the complex environment and the presented challenges. The specific roles and responsibilities may vary depending on the size of the facility, and services.

However, the security team in the hospital perform the following duties;

  • Patient/ Customer service
  • Access control
  • Traffic control
  • Internal and External Patrols
  • Emergency response
  • Physical intervention & public safety
  • Surveillance and investigation
  • VIP escort and protection

Hospital specific threats and hazards

The security staff should aware of the threat and hazards that impact the hospital’s operational capabilities; the security threats to the hospital may vary in consequences, likelihood, and risk. If the following threats occur, may cause major disruptions to the health care provider

  • Fire
  • Breach of information security & patient confidentiality
  • Theft of medicinal supplies or equipment
  • Abduction of children or babies
  • Sabotage of life support equipment
  • Contamination of food or water supplies

To mitigate these risk requires the balance on the strong security policy and procedures, monitoring and surveillance systems and vigilance of the security guards,

Hazards in the hospital

There are a variety of safety hazards in the hospital related to the healthcare industries. Security staff should be aware of these materials and ensure they are stored properly and report immediately if found at the risky level.

The different location presents the different types of hazards in the hospital, security staff must inspect all the locations and record and report to the Control room.

Potential hazards in the hospital

  1. Physical hazards
    • Slips and falls (most common in hospitals)
    • Traffic accidents in loading/unloading areas
    • Compressed or flammable gasses and liquids
    • X-Ray exposure
    • Electrical wiring and outlets
    • Patient or visitor violence
  2. Mental illness (Psychological) 
    • Substance abuse
    • Stress and worry
  3. Biological hazards
    • Used needles, surgical equipment
    • Blood and saliva
    • Infectious diseases
    • Deceased persons
    • Medical waste e.g.
      • Bandages
      • Soiled bedding
      • Allergies
      • Powder lined Latex gloves
      • Pollen from flowers
  4. Chemical hazards
    • Mercury spills from damaged medical devices
    • Portable blood pressure readers
      • Thermometers
      • Cleaning materials
  5. Psychological hazards
    • Stress
    • Fatigue
    • Burnouts
    • Death of patients

Mercury is the metallic liquid used for medical devices. If it exposes to the human can bring serious health risk. If any place has mercury spills, follow the procedure below;

  1. Evacuate everyone from the room, shut the door, and turn off any ventilation system.
  2. Put on a face mask, remove any jeweler or lose items, and put on latex gloves
  3. Identify the type of surface the mercury was spilled on. Any absorbent surface needs to be disposed of.
  4. Locate all the beads of spilled mercury, and use a piece of cardboard to push them together
  5. Use an eyedropper to suck up the mercury and dispense it into an air-tight plastic container
  6. Place the plastic container in an air-tight Ziplock bag, seal and label the bag
  7. Hand over to management for proper disposal

Access control in the hospital

The access control in the hospital will conduct through physical security, however, the zones may have defined according to the hospital needs. The security zones in the hospital defined depending on

  • Staff and specializations
  • Building size and layout
  • Site access points e.g.
    • Pedestrian
    • Vehicle
    • Ambulance
    • VIP
  • Equipment and facilities
  • Substances and materials stored in the hospital
  • Assets Value and distribution

Level of access in the hospital

  1. Public zone Areas;

    • Drop off and pick up
    • Parking
    • Lobby and registration
    • Cafeterias
    • Patient wards

Users permitted in Public zone

  • Patients
  • Visitors
  • All staff
  • Deliveries

2. Staff zone Areas

    • Administrative offices
    • Surgery/treatment wards
    • Staff Break areas
    • Clinical laboratories and Stations

Users permitted in staff zone

  • Security staff
  • Authorized staff (as per job requirement)
  • Patients receiving treatment
  • Pre-cleared and escorted contractors or maintenance

3. High-security zone Areas;

    • Main data center – I.T Server Room
    • Telecommunication Room (TR)
    • Medical waste disposal Loading bays
      • Delivery and removal of medical equipment
    • VIP wards
    • Drug and medicine storage
    • Security Control Centre

Users permitted high-security zones

  • Security staff
  • Authorized staff (as per job requirement)
  • Pre-cleared and escorted contractors or maintenance

Security control Centre in the hospital

The security staff work through the control room protocols, to monitor the following;

  • Parking and traffic areas
  • Public gathering areas
  • Security sensitive locations
  • Elevators
  • Security staff on duty
  • Incident reporting and resolution
  • Crowd control
  • Entry and exit control
  • Investigation
  • Hospital incident management system (HIMS)

Stander incident code in the hospital;

Color  standard code for
Pink Unresponsive child or infant medical emergency
Red  Fire or smoke
Silver Weapon or hostage situation
White  Violent person
Yellow  Missing adults
Amber  Missing infant or child
Black   Bomb threat or suspect object
Blue Unresponsive adult medical emergency
Brown Hazardous material spill
Gold Utility / I.T failure
Green Internal disaster
Grey Severe weather
Orange External disaster

 

Steps in response to code white (Violent person)

  • The control room will coordinate calling the police if required
  • Proceed to the reported incident location
  • If violence is still ongoing; Intervene using physical restraint methods
  • If violence has stopped but the offender is still present;
    • Separate the victim and offender
    • Engage the offender in conversation and request their cooperation
    • Provide first aid to the victim if required
    • Request the offender remain in Security custody until the matter is resolved
  • Secure any evidence, document and record the incident, and take witness/victim/offender statements

Steps in response to code blue( Unresponsive adult medical emergency)

  • Proceed to the incident location
  • Provide first aid/CPR until relieved by emergency response team (ERT)
  • Control the incident site (crowd control) allowing space for the ERT to perform the duty of care
  • Clear access through the hospital for ERT to move the casualty to the appropriate treatment area.
  • Ensure only authorized personnel cross access control zones during the transfer of the casualty.

Stroke alert – stroke symptoms can be identified through the FAST method

  • F – Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • A-Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downwards?
  • S – Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
  • T– Time: If these symptoms are present, quickly report the stroke alert to nurse staff

Security response: if these symptoms appear in person you must report immediately to the nursing team and make sure the speedy response in this condition to save the person’s life.

Steps in response to code Red (fire)

R.A.C.E is An acronym that hospital personnel use to remember their duties in case of fire

  • R = RESCUE: anyone in immediate danger from the fire, if it does not endanger your life
  • A = ALARM: sound the alarm by calling the fire brigade and activating a pull station alarm box
  • C = CONFINE the fire by closing all doors and windows
  • E = EXTINGUISH the fire with a fire extinguisher or EVACUATE the area if the fire is too large for a fire extinguisher. How to deal with fire click here

How should a hospital security guard deal with External emergency threats? code orange;

external emergencies may put a heavy burden on treatment facilities and are often central to receiving large numbers of casualties. In the event of a code orange, Security staff will be expected to provide direction and control within the hospital site

  • Occupy access control points at hospital entries
  • Screen entering the personnel for access permission based on medical assessment (triage) or operational requirement
    • This judgment may be made by medical staff or hospital management
    • Assist hospital staff to transfer incoming patients by;
    • Clearing internal routes
    • Enforcing access zone rules
    • Directing vehicles through emergency drop off zones
  • Be prepared to lock down the hospital

Hospital security guard – Infection control

Hospitals are unique in the way that they are a concentration point for possible infection and outbreak of disease. Hospital management will prepare strict policies to be followed by all staff in order to minimize the risk of infection and the spread of disease.

General precautions to prevent the spread of infection

The security staff working in the hospital should be aware of the basic principles for preventing the infection. Make sure the following things are present which contributes to decreasing the infection and containment of the disease.

  1. Hand hygiene

    • Dirty hands: 
      • Wash with soap and water
      • Rub hands together for at least 15 seconds
      • Rinse and dry with a disposable towel
      • Use a towel to turn off the water (if required)
    • Unsoiled hands: 
      • Rub with antibacterial rub
      • Rub all surfaces of hands and fingers until dry
      • Performed after
        • Contact with a person‟s skin
        • Contact with body fluids
        • Removing gloves
        • Handling phones, doorknobs or other communal surfaces
        • Entering a new zone within the hospital
  2. Using PPE: Make sure you or medical staff have worn the personal protective equipment if the operation is required;
    • Wear a gown, covering the torso from neck to knees
    • Use a face mask
    • Wear sterile gloves
    • Dispose of all PPE after use in a medical waste container
    • Perform hand hygiene after disposal of PPE
  3. Cough etiquette
    •  Cover mouth and nose with a tissue
    • Use the nearest rubbish bin to dispose of the tissue
    • Perform hand hygiene
    • Encourage dispersion of coughing personnel e.g. extra space around each person in waiting areas etc.
  4. Airborne infection precautions 
    • Put a mask on the patient
    • Isolate the patient in the airborne infection isolation room (AIIR) or
    • private room if no AIIR available
    • Restrict access to the room for people with low immunity e.g. have symptoms of illness
    • Restrict transport of patient unless medically necessary
  5. Textile and laundry handling 
    • Ensure disposable patient gowns are placed in appropriate bins
    • Bedding linen is handled with minimum movement to prevent contamination of air, surfaces, and people
    • Laundry is disposed of in approved chutes for collection and washing

Special patient types;

  • VIPs
  • Heavily drugged or under the influence of alcohol
  • Criminals under police custody
  • Mentally disabled or genetic disorders e.g.
    • Alzheimer‟so Dementia
    • Schizophrenia
  • Unaccompanied children (no guardian found or available)

Special needs and people of determination

Hospital security guard always encounters patients or visitors with special needs. You should pay attention to their needs when moving into the hospital. Simple acts such as holding the door, directing the wheelchair to the elevator, can build a positive environment.

Note: These above acts are not the primary duties of the hospital security guard, so, you can request the medical staff to perform these kinds of tasks and remain vigilant for the safety and security of the hospital.

Why Empathy and discretion are important? 

The hospital security officer should display empathy and discretion to reduce the emotion and stress among the hospital users including staff, patients, and visitors. The people who visit the hospital are fearful, anxious, and stress, however, this approach helps to deescalate the stressful situation from the beginning.
You also know the commonly used tool among the hospital staff is “HEART” 
  • H = Hear the story (of the upset person)
  • E = Empathize with them
  • A = Apologies for the fact they are upset
  • R = Respond with suitable resolution options
  • T = Thank them for their time and cooperation

The hospital security guard should use the “START” method when greeting and welcoming the customers in the hospital facility.

S = Smile and greet

T = Tell your name

A = Actively listen

R = rapport and relationship building

T = Thanking the person

Roles of the hospital security guard for Patient confidentiality

The hospital security guard should help to maintain patient confidentiality because every medical clinic or hospital is obliged to protect patient confidentiality and there are very serious consequences if they can not do so.  The hospital security team can stop potential breaching through awareness. Some example of a patient confidentiality breach;

  • Theft of patient records
    • From wards, bedside, or filing areas
  • Observation of patient condition, and disclosing this information to others
  • I.T systems being breached
  • Identity fraud
  • Criminals posing as hospital staff to obtain personal information about a patient

A hospital security guard is responsible for the protection of people such as medical staff, patients, visitors, and vendors. Apart from this, securing the hospital properties including medical equipment and classified information also part of your job. So, be mindful of the hospital-specific security policies to perform the job effectively.

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