Design flaw – can you see it?
Neither did they, until we showed it to them.
Meticulously designed and created for helping and healing, every hospital has this dangerous flaw. It is not in the foundation, the structural supports, walls, wiring, plumbing, or roof. It is within the very heart and soul of the entity, the hospital,as a whole, its spirit itself.
The almost single-minded vision of “patient” as a “customer” blinders didn’t allow the original creators, caretakers, or overseers to see the flaw as it began to grow from its inception to the epidemic it is today.Their once sterile place for healing has become a breeding ground for horrific acts of violence perpetrated upon staff. Not by a confused grandmother, a person with a head injury, or having a heart attack, but by most often, drunk or drug fueled, angry criminals.
So blinded by the desire to be more efficient in saving lives, at a quicker pace, obtaining better patient satisfaction scores, and saving money in the process, they ignore the flaw. Behind desks, in access controlled offices, many leaders have unwittingly led their staff to teeter on the edge of the abyss. One in which if the true scope were exposed, would cause even the most seasoned police officer, to stand frozen with disbelief.
Policies of under-staffing nurses, having maintenance staff double as security, and not recognizing or training staff to deal with violence has exposed this flaw, and actually worsened it. Untold dollars are spent, or written-off caring for strangers entering the hospital. Heaven forbid any money be allocated for the safety of the most precious resource each hospital has… the staff.
While not all assaults are life-threatening, they are however, life-altering.
The nurse who is violently attacked, like a crumpled piece of paper, never to be wrinkle free again, is changed forever.
Now,imagine that nurse being told a criminal assault is “part of the job.” How effin flawed is that?
The more we expose the flaw, the more pressure on those in power to address it.
Impossible as it may be to stop every attack, DT4EMS has proven many, if not most ,can be mitigated through prevention and/or escape.