Safety

Tip of the Week: Handling an unruly patient

Hospital Safety Insider, December 16, 2010

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When handling an unruly patient, there are ways security officers can ensure safety and prevention from injury. Steve MacArthur, safety consultant at The Greeley Company, provides insight about how to handle these patients.

Q. What do my security officers need to know about handling unruly patients before they are restrained? There have been some news items about serious injury and death after security used force to subdue patients.

A. Steven MacArthur, safety consultant at The Greeley Company, a division of HCPro, Inc., in Danvers, MA: Security officers must be absolutely competent in crisis intervention, from verbal management of events to—as I like to call it—“the laying on of hands.” The possibilities, in terms of practical knowledge, are almost limitless. A good place to start is with your local or state chapter of the International Association of Healthcare Safety & Security (www.iahss.org), which may be able to help you connect with peers in your area who are likely experiencing similar patient demographics. By networking with peers, you’ll have access to what other folks are doing in terms of education and competencies.

Your mention of “some news items” makes me think that I should also bring to your attention The Joint Commission’s most recent Sentinel Event Alert, which focuses specifically on violence in the workplace. There are a number of helpful suggestions in the alert. 

Visit the Briefings on Hospital Safety archive to read more.



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