Front-Line Workers with a Security Uniform: A Security Guard’s Role in Mitigating Violence for Healthcare Workers

security guard talking on walkie on hazardous area

Amid COVID-19 fears and health concerns, time and time again we’ve seen countless ways our healthcare workers and the healthcare industry have stepped up to care for our most ailing community members, despite hardships with lack of resources.

What has the physical security industry, specifically guarding, done to support these efforts? While the industry has faced challenges with some areas including, increased demand for specific industries and others have suffered contract cancellations, one thing is clear – security guards and personnel are an essential part of upholding holistic healthcare security protocols. Why is this so? More than a deterrence, the security guard has an essential role in maintaining order and, most importantly, mitigating violence in hospitals. What measures are being taken to protect healthcare workers against violence?

Security Guards as an Integral Part of the Team

Security as status quo is no longer how operations are handled at one US hospital; to mitigate violence toward critical healthcare staff, both the security company and healthcare security executives founded an initiative that drastically shifted the role of the security guard – one that included security as an integral part of the overall care team.

“The role of our security officers has changed now with much more emphasis on being another facet of the care team”

Security guards adapted as they became involved in actively communicating with patients and clinical staff. Security guards gained a better sense of ongoing situations so that violence was prevented, or deescalated, if occurred.

The Shifting Role of Security Guards

What can security professionals take away from having their guards play a strategic role in mitigating healthcare violence? For those charged with overseeing hospital security, expanding the role of your security guard not only prevents potential violence but contributes toward the patient and staff mental health and destress. Preventing a security silo starts with active communication. By having guards learn to communicate with nurses and other clinical staff on patient or family concerns, felt wrongs can be addressed before they escalate into potential violence.

Aiding Healthcare Staff to “Do Their Jobs” with Peace-of-Mind

Healthcare security is a unique sector that involves strong chains of command and stringent regulations, not unlike other institutional organizations. Everyone has a part to play – whether it be the doctor, nurse, cleaning crew, or other healthcare staff. Security is no different. Security guards ensure that healthcare staff – and the facility at large – can function as it was intended by easing the burden that patient and family stress can naturally bring. So how can you ensure your security team is up for the challenge? With optimal training, visitor management, and workforce management tools.

Adapting to Changing Circumstances During Times of Need

As we see the healthcare industry inundated with caring for COVID-19 patients, security guard tasks, while important, aren’t the first thing on a healthcare administrator’s mind during a pandemic. What does this mean for security guards and professionals? It’s an open opportunity to provide bigger value to the service provided. This means taking on traditional tasks, like guard tours, and integrating them with the entire hospital team. For instance, a guard’s tour will no longer solely be a walkabout but will be natively aligned as part of the healthcare staff’s rounds.

Doing so allows the role of security to be adaptable to any pressing need and allows critical healthcare actions to be performed without disturbance or violent outbreaks.

If you have questions on how or would like us to explain anything in detail, please contact us.