Workplace violence is a serious issue in all workplace settings in the United States, health care included. It is unfortunate that places that offer services to help better people’s health and lives are also places that experience terrifying life-threatening situations, but this is sadly the case. Between the years of 2000 and 2011, there were 154 documented, hospital-related shooting events in 148 hospitals across the nation that affected 253 victims (Kelen, Catlett, Kubut, & Hsieh, 2012). Not only is workplace violence physically harmful to the health care staff and patients, but it also causes emotional harm. According to Blando, O’Hagan, Casteel, Nocera, and Peek-Asa, “Potential for violence affects nurse performance, job satisfaction, employee turnover and retention, and patient satisfaction” (2013).
Hospital security has evolved drastically over the years. Starting in the early twentieth century, there was a minimum effort exerted to protect hospitals and health care settings. However, in the mid-twentieth century, a large number of police officers were hired to help secure health care settings because there was a notice of criminal activities occurring in areas relatively near the health care facilities. “It became fairly common for larger police departments to station a police officer at a hospital or at least use a hospital as the hub of the neighborhood beat.” As the threat became more apparent, more police officers were hired to provide additional security (Colling & York, 2009).
In the 1960s, security became a “specialized management service touching all departments and functions of a healthcare organization” which resulted in “the creation of a security department that reported to an admin...
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...tment (ED). United
States Department of Labor. Retrieved from: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/hospital/er/er.html#content
Official California Legislative Information. (2014). Bill number: AB 508. Legislative Counsel
State of California. Retrieved from: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/93-94/bill/asm/ab_0501-0550/ab_508_bill_931008_chaptered
Peek-Asa, C., Cubbin, L., & Hubbell, K. (2002). Violent events and security programs in
California emergency departments before and after the 1993 hospital security act. Journal of Emergency Nursing, 28(5), 420-26. doi:10.1067/men.2002.127567
Sandrick, K. (1995). Out of harm’s way. Health Facilities Management, 8(10), 20. Retrieved
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