There is no doubt that the role of a health establishment security guard is a conflicting one. While some people within health establishments see their security staff as rule enforcers, enforcing the procedures and policies that they lay down; others see security personnel as partners in the patient care process. It’s this ambiguity in the perception of how people perceive hospital security roles that often causes conflict between health care professionals and security personnel.
In order for health care establishments to get the best out of their security team, guidelines need to be set. Here’s how to do just that…
Define the role from the start
Any security company will be adept in dealing with criminals and law breakers, but clearly this is different from dealing with behaviour driven by mental illness, medical complications, or declining cognition. For this reason, roles need to be defined from the start so that everyone is clear and the correct training put in place so that security personnel can deal with such issues quickly and calmly.
Setting realistic expectations
At busy health establishments security personnel will have other responsibilities that are not directly related to patient care. As well as responding to problematic patients, staff should also be aware that security personnel are monitoring movement of patients and visitors in and out of the building, keeping watch on outside perimeters, and checking for suspicious vehicles etc. As a result realistic expectations need to be set in terms of them serving as primary care responders. If for instance you have a multi-floor hospital and there are only two or 3 guards who are responsible for the security of the entire building and its perimeter and you expect them to be part of the primary care response team, there will come a time when there will be too many situations happening at once to enable them to cover every aspect. Clearly this isn’t a good situation to be in as it puts both staff and patients at risk.
Choosing the right team
Often a cost-effective way to manage your security is to outsource your entire operation. While there are many security companies who will take on standardised security operations, clearly hospital and health trust security requires specialist skills. In this case it is far better and far more economical to choose a company who has trained health security staff on their payroll. This means that hospitals don’t have to carry out in depth training taking up precious time and resources which could be better spent caring for patients; and also, the security team in question will be far better equipped to fit in because they already have the experience.
Here at MA Security we’ve been providing security services to the health sector for many years. As such we offer protection to patients staff, visitors and assets with a professional, caring attitude. For further details on how we can help contact us on 1300 020 406 to find out more.