Security in a healthcare setting is tricky enough, especially when it involves a patient attempting to commit self-harm, putting themselves and others at risk. Professionally-trained security officers have the unique ability to serve as a middle-ground or intermediary between a medical professional and a disturbed patient. By employing skills learned in training, a security officer can defuse potentially violent and dangerous situations, confront the patient and gain control of the crisis before the patient causes significant harm to themselves or someone else.
A 2018 study conducted by Scott C. Williams, PsyD, Director of the Department of Research at the Joint Commission, and co-authors, revealed that approximately 49 to 65 hospital inpatients commit suicide each year. Among these, 75 to 80 percent of suicidal patients were in a psychiatric ward of the hospital. These researchers analyzed national data sets, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Violent Death Reporting System and the Joint Commission’s Sentinel Event database from 2010–2017, to establish an evidence-based estimate of the number of hospital inpatient suicides and the methods used.
Hospitals are intended to be a safe place for patients to heal safely while finding a level of stability in their lives. When a security officer is present at a healthcare facility, it allows medical professionals to focus on caring for other patients in need. At Eagle Systems Security, we recently received feedback from a healthcare provider client commending one of our officers who stepped in to intervene with a suicidal patient. Here’s what our client had to say:
“There have been two such incidents at [the facility] where [the officer] jumped in and helped [a police officer]. Yesterday’s incident involved a [patient] who was trying to hang himself in his room. The [other present police officers] were almost to the point of having to TASER the [patient]. That’s when [the Eagle Security Systems officer] stepped in and was able to get a dialog going with the [patient]. Right now, the only person who the [patient] will respond to is [the Eagle Security Systems officer],” our client said.
Because our security officer was able to be personable with the at-risk patient, police asked our client if they could reassign the officer from his regular duties in the emergency room to stay with the patient until the patient could move to another facility for further care.
The best security officers work in cohesion with other officers and first responders to help a situation reach a resolution, providing critical and timely assistance.
At Eagle Systems Security, we’re proud to employ some of the private security industry’s finest officers, available for employment in corporate, small business and healthcare settings. Seeing how our officers seamlessly fit into hospital staff and go the extra mile in their work is a reminder of why we do what we do! Call us today at 877-766-4610 to learn more about what a private security officer can do for you and your business or healthcare facility.