My Husband "Subvet" says that when our first son "Sonshine" was born the sun rose on our world, when our second son "Gator" was born the sun laughed and when our daughter "Sugars" was born all the flowers bloomed. That says it all.

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain."

Your mind is the garden, your
thoughts are the seeds, the harvest can either be flowers or weeds. — William

Saturday, February 2, 2008

worker safety.

On my first day or two of work I asked my Director of Nursing if I could bring my (legal) gun to work to keep in my (locked) locker. He nearly peed his pants. Guess me carrying a gun didn't fit with his impression of me. There are no signs posted anywhere in this hosp that it's "gun free" so I thought it was a fair question.

Later, during hosp orientation I asked the guy in charge of the facility including security if it was a gun free zone. He said yes, but they didn't have the signs up yet.

Here's what happened last night.

We have 2 floors, each with 25 patient rooms. After 8pm the front doors are locked and EVERYONE except me, 1 other RN and the 5 patients leaves. There is no security guard, although one is promised to be obtained at some point in the future.

All the patients and us nurses are on the second floor. At about 9pm a call light starts going off ON THE FIRST FLOOR.

Here's a quandry. There's not supposed to be anyone down there to set off the alarm, we're both female, we're not to leave the patients unattended. What do we do?

Well, we couldn't ignore the damn thing as it's LOUD and OBNOXIOUS and we had a long night ahead of us. So, we both go downstairs to check on the call light as neither wanted to go alone. We didn't see anyone or anything amiss and were able to fix the light.

Then at 9:30pm we get a call from a "family member" saying they were downstairs at the door and wanted to be let in to visit. Linda, the other nurse, goes down and lets them in and all was well for the rest of the night.

I ask my supervisor the next morning what to do about this sort of thing and when visiting hours end, she says "We always just let em in.....they're supposed to be getting a system where you can see on the computer who's at the door...."
That'll do me a whole lot of good as I don't know the pts' family members by sight.

Tomorrow I'm going to call my DON and try and pin him down on a) security, b) posted visiting hours. Then I'll get in touch with that guy in charge of facility maintenance and give him a piece of my mind.

Hubby and I have been talking for some time now about how "gun free zones" are really just great big bull's eyes for those wanting to do harm.

Where do these people go shooting? Malls, Schools, Churches. Who is to say that hospitals aren't next?

Now, here's a video that I got from Cookie on this topic, I found it rather illuminating.


Cookie..... said...

LOL...Sarah, maybe y'all could have a sign made up with just the gun and a caption stating that "Afet 7:00 PM, Nurses are Armed and will not abide by the Hypocritical Oath."

Susan said...

Serious post and consideration, Sarah. Keep us updated.

Glenn B said...

Well you will not likely get to change the Gun Free status of your workplace, not unless you rally hard with others to have laws changed so that a public place like a public hospital cannot declare itself gun free; private hospitals though would be another story, forget it if they are private property.

As for your response to the alarm, is that what is was an alarm of some sort, well I would think your callig 911, then barricading yourselves somewhere with whatever could be used as a weapon would have been prudent. Of course, a head check of all patients, to make sure one of them had not wandered downstairs in a stupor or something, would also be reasonable.

As to letting in family members of patients afterhours, not on your life would I do that. Now not only are you talking potential danger to yourselves (since you do not know who is a bonafide family member) but you also open yourselves up to MEGA liability. What if the after hours visitor does something bad, hurts a patient, damages hospital property, brings in illicit drugs for use by a patient - whatever they do is a big potential liability problem not only for the hospital but for you too. You should slam that point home to the hospital administration.

All the best,
Glenn B

nancy said...

These are serious matters, Mom. You better scream bloody murder and quick.

Subvet said...

Glenn, you took the words right out of my mouth. Coming from an officer of the law gives them an added "oomph".

... said...

i've never really thought about, what you've written about, to any great detail. i wouldn't want to carry a gun but i'd be a little scared to work the late shift with a skeleton crew. i'm sure you'll be keeping us updated on this situation.

Stephanie D said...

I can't believe the place opened with no security in place. They are leaving themselves open for a great big lawsuit! However, having a gun there isn't appropriate, either.

As for visiting hours, most hospitals end them by 8:30 pm so their patients can get their bedtime meds and rest. No matter what the supervisor says, I wouldn't be letting anyone in after the front doors are locked, because that is unsafe and unreasonable. Anyone coming that late is either inconsiderate, intoxicated, or not a close family member.

If someone is coming back to stay overnight with the patient, they should be issued a pass that can be held up for you to view, and must be signed in and out to keep track of them, or else is dated for that night. That should be only one person, and if no pass is available, that person can be given a code word, which should be changed daily.

If someone is just getting in from out of town, they can wait til morning to see their loved one, as yours is not an acute care hospital.

Anonymous said...

Dang, what a delimma. Did this work out in a way that you and SubVet are comfortable with? I don't like this at all!