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  • Hospital Security Director

    Hi Everyone,

    I am interviewing with a hospital right now about possibly taking a position with them as their director of safety and security. The pay is decent, a little more than I am making now, and the job obviously comes with more responsibilities. I like the fact that there is more going on in a hospital environment than a shopping mall (which is where I'm currently working as a security manager), but I've got to be honest, I'm a little nervous after reading some of the things people had to say here about hospital security. Granted, I probably won't have to do the same kind of work the guards do (God bless you guys!), but I'm still wondering if anyone can tell me what it's like being a security director at a hospital? I should probably mention that I have not received an offer of employment just yet, but I have been talking to their VP of facilities services and he's confident it'll happen soon...

    Thanks guys.
    111th PAPD Class
    Bravo Platoon 4th Squad

  • #2
    I worked in many hospitals, but not in their security dpt.

    You will have alot of "interesting" things to deal with if you're in a

    Public/County hospital.

    If the pay is good, take the challenges. From your post, it seems you are getting an administrative position and most of your problems will come
    from staffing problems.

    From what I saw, 50% of the work is to escort the nurses to their cars

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by RatPatrol View Post
      I worked in many hospitals, but not in their security dpt.

      You will have alot of "interesting" things to deal with if you're in a

      Public/County hospital.

      If the pay is good, take the challenges. From your post, it seems you are getting an administrative position and most of your problems will come
      from staffing problems.

      From what I saw, 50% of the work is to escort the nurses to their cars
      Thanks. Curious to hear a little more about what these "interesting" things are.

      Yes, it's a New Jersey county hospital with over 300 beds. The pay is pretty good actually and the job would be more strategic than what I'm doing now (i.e., implementing infant abduction prevention plans, bioterrorism preparedness, etc. -- things of that nature.) I wouldn't mind dealing with staffing problems or arranging for my guards to escort nurses to their cars... what I am worried about, though, is the horror stories I have heard about hospital security. Hence my reason for wanting to know what I might be getting myself into here - lol.
      Last edited by Security; 03-07-2008, 03:13 PM.
      111th PAPD Class
      Bravo Platoon 4th Squad

      Comment


      • #4
        As the director of Safety and Security, you will have your hands full. If you have not already become familiar with The Joint Commission, you will need to become VERY well versed in their accreditation process. Specifically, you will need to know the entire Environment of Care section like the back of your hand, with additional emphasis on the Security Management, Fire Life Safety, Utilities Management, and Emergency Management standards. There are also areas of other standards, such as human resources, that include components applicable to security.

        Besides the accreditation from The Joint Commission, you will need to be aware of the following:
        • NFPA (National Fire Protection Association)
        • NCMEC (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
        • Medicare/Medicaid CoP (Conditions of Participation)
        • Local, Regional, and State Regulations (Such as California's Title 22 and H&S Codes)
        • OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)


        You will also, if you have not already done so, need to establish a very good working relationship with your local EMS, FBI, and your state DHS people. You will also need to develop a good relationship with the fire marshal. These contacts are invaluable as resources for up and coming threats, safety regulations, and much more.

        This is just the tip of the iceberg in all reality.
        -Jedi-
        Semper Paratus

        Comment


        • #5
          The most interesting case was a shooting victim.

          He was taken to our ER, during the transfer; a small gun fell from his pocket.

          20-25 of his gang member/family showed up and noisily flooded into the

          waiting room.

          Our Chief-of-Security got his men together, and backed by the local PD,

          began clearing them out. Only his immediate family are allowed to stay in the

          room. He did a very good job without further incident.

          (you should have seen the doctor's face, when the gun slid out)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jedi View Post
            As the director of Safety and Security, you will have your hands full. If you have not already become familiar with The Joint Commission, you will need to become VERY well versed in their accreditation process. Specifically, you will need to know the entire Environment of Care section like the back of your hand, with additional emphasis on the Security Management, Fire Life Safety, Utilities Management, and Emergency Management standards. There are also areas of other standards, such as human resources, that include components applicable to security.

            Besides the accreditation from The Joint Commission, you will need to be aware of the following:
            • NFPA (National Fire Protection Association)
            • NCMEC (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
            • Medicare/Medicaid CoP (Conditions of Participation)
            • Local, Regional, and State Regulations (Such as California's Title 22 and H&S Codes)
            • OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)


            You will also, if you have not already done so, need to establish a very good working relationship with your local EMS, FBI, and your state DHS people. You will also need to develop a good relationship with the fire marshal. These contacts are invaluable as resources for up and coming threats, safety regulations, and much more.

            This is just the tip of the iceberg in all reality.
            Yeah, I am all too familiar with JCAHO and OSHA regulations. This is actually not my first job working in a healthcare enviroment (I used to do clinical recruitment for a smaller hospital once before.)

            Thanks for all the other advice, though. It's much appreciated!
            111th PAPD Class
            Bravo Platoon 4th Squad

            Comment


            • #7
              Agree with Jedi - not sure if he mentioned HIPAA, but that's now a big part of the legal landscape with respect to risk management. Also, in the area of emergency management, bone up on HEICS (Hospital Emergency Incident Command System).
              Last edited by SecTrainer; 03-07-2008, 10:25 PM.
              "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

              "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

              "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

              "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

              Comment


              • #8
                Is there a locked psych unit there? That adds a whole dimension to hospital security.

                I worked hospital security for 4 years at a "nice" hospital. But, as a rule, hospital security is more dangerous than police work and injuries among officers are common. You are dealing with people at their worst. They might be high or drunk or literally psychotic.

                Emotions run high in hospitals. Families gather to make life and death decisions about loved ones. Those discussions sometimes turn violent. Patients need to be restrained. Drugs seekers come in all the time. The liberal nature of health care workers makes your job even harder

                Sgt. Newby would be a good guy to talk to. He works at a large county hospital with all the bells and whistles.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by CorpSec View Post
                  .....Drugs seekers come in all the time.... .
                  Not to side track the thread, but this is a problem that causes innocent people to suffer longer than need be. ERs delay narcotic pain relief until they are confident that the patient isn't faking it for a fix. I had a nurse tell me this when I complained about the time it took for pain relief.
                  Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post
                    Agree with Jedi - not sure if he mentioned HIPAA, but that's now a big part of the legal landscape with respect to risk management. Also, in the area of emergency management, bone up on HEICS (Hospital Emergency Incident Command System).
                    HEICS is old news... the big thing now is HICS (really just HEICS IV). The good news is that as being part of a hospital opens up some top notch training opportunities usually only available to government agencies through CDP (Center for Domestic Preparedness).
                    -Jedi-
                    Semper Paratus

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Best of luck - it will be valuable experience and as mentioned before yes Risk Management will come into play in this business. I would if you have not done so or need to brush up would extensively cover your RM Matrixes or even follow what standards may apply (I have a feeling this was on another forum before) as this will be of great use for you in the future.

                      Let us know how it all pans out.
                      "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jedi View Post
                        HEICS is old news... the big thing now is HICS (really just HEICS IV). The good news is that as being part of a hospital opens up some top notch training opportunities usually only available to government agencies through CDP (Center for Domestic Preparedness).
                        Respectfully, and I don't want to get into a food fight about this, but it's an area I know something about and I don't want the original poster to be misled.

                        HEICS is by no means "old news" or in any way "gone from the scene". HICS (HEICS IV) is nothing but a refinement and extension of HEICS III, primarily incorporating certain NIMS refinements, and as yet by no means universally adopted by hospitals (although it was introduced in late 2006, as of November 2007 only 3 in 10 hospitals--most of them over 400 beds--had "substantively" adopted HICS). This is not surprising since, as the Project Manager for HEICS-IV herself specifically stated, "You don't have to dump HEICS for HICS to be NIMS-compliant". HEICS-IV/HICS streamlines the organizational chart, adds some flexibility and revises the JAS - but the core is HEICS' implementation of the principles of ICS/NIMS, and always will be. Oh, yeah, and the colors of the vests have changed. Big whoop.

                        So, you can't "bone up on HEICS" (by which I meant all aspects) without (a) understanding HEICS and (b) following along into the latest version, which is called either "HEICS IV" or the new term "HICS".

                        To quote NIMS, "HICS will integrate the latest emergency management principles and ensure consistency with NIMS, but it remains based on the principles established by ICS and HEICS."

                        To the original poster: The chances are still good that your hospital EMS will be either be based on HEICS-III or will have adopted some of HEICS-IV. Either way, get a good grounding in the ICS principles founded in HEICS and then HICS will be a breeze. Most literature on HICS (and every class I've attended on HICS) will assume you understand its antecedent, HEICS and won't spend much if any time rehashing those principles for you.
                        Last edited by SecTrainer; 03-08-2008, 09:47 AM.
                        "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                        "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                        "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                        "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post
                          Respectfully, and I don't want to get into a food fight about this, but it's an area I know something about and I don't want the original poster to be misled.
                          My bad, I meant the comment to be tongue-in-cheek, as our organization is still struggling with transitioning from HEICS III to HICS. This is one of my goals for '08. The OP is doing well just to have the organization recognize the need for an effective ICS. At a recent class, I was disheartened to find that of the 40 hospitals represented, only 10 have any type of ICS structure in place.

                          To the OP: The best place to start are the FEMA online IS courses, specifically 100, 200, 700, and 800. You will also need to take 300 and 400, but those are only offered in a classroom format. Also, find a peer at another hospital who has a well established program and pick their brain until it hurts.
                          -Jedi-
                          Semper Paratus

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jedi View Post
                            My bad, I meant the comment to be tongue-in-cheek, as our organization is still struggling with transitioning from HEICS III to HICS. This is one of my goals for '08. The OP is doing well just to have the organization recognize the need for an effective ICS. At a recent class, I was disheartened to find that of the 40 hospitals represented, only 10 have any type of ICS structure in place.

                            To the OP: The best place to start are the FEMA online IS courses, specifically 100, 200, 700, and 800. You will also need to take 300 and 400, but those are only offered in a classroom format. Also, find a peer at another hospital who has a well established program and pick their brain until it hurts.
                            Your hospital is typical, apparently. I don't think it was anticipated that the organizational changes in HICS would cause problems, but hospitals that are fully compliant with HEICS-III have usually put automated call-out/notification procedures in place that must be changed, have designed training classes and drills that have to be rewritten, etc., so it's been a bigger headache than expected. Since a lot of them had become compliant with HEICS-III not long before HICS came along, there's a certain amount of "WTF is this?", too! Someone joked to me that they were just going to wait for HICS-II, which they expected would come out any minute.
                            Last edited by SecTrainer; 03-08-2008, 06:50 PM.
                            "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                            "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                            "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                            "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I think that one of the other big distinctions about healthcare security is the extent to which you are involved in the actual operations of the hospital.

                              In many hospitals, security officers are involved in doing patient restraints and are considered by medical staff to be a part of the healthcare delivery team. Restraints of this type are considered to be a medical procedure and are typically done under the supervision of a physician or the charge nurse.

                              In my opinion, hospital security requires a different type of officer with a much higher degree of training. I recommend that you look at the training and other resources offered by International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety (IAHSS) if you haven't done so already. www.iahss.org

                              Good luck with the position!
                              Michael A. Silva
                              Silva Consultants

                              Comment

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