SDW news brief: NJ hospital group teaches gang awareness

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, February 18, 2011

Here's a pop quiz on street gang affiliation: Can you tell the difference between a Crip and a Blood, or a Latin King, a Neta, an Aryan Brother, a Pagan, or an MS13? More importantly, can your staff identify a gang banger when he walks through the doors of your emergency department seeking treatment, or helping a wounded "posse" member with a work-related injury?

So far, we appear to have dodged a bullet—literally and figuratively—on the issue of gang violence spilling into the hospitals. Violence, however, is intrinsic with street gangs, and there is an uneasy fear that at some point, somewhere, rival gangs seeking treatment for their injured friends could confront one another in the emotionally charged confines of an emergency department.

Police estimate that there are hundreds of thousands of gang members of every race and ethnicity in every state in the union. That being the case, it's probably a good idea to provide staff with education on street gangs, how to spot them, and how to respond when they're in your ED to defuse potential violence.

Since 2007, hospital and law enforcement officials have been preparing for that contingency. The New Jersey Hospital Association has worked with the state's Parole Board to offer a one-day crash course called "Gang Awareness Training for Healthcare Workers."

To read more detail about each of the steps, click here for the rest of the free article.

Source: HealthLeaders Media

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