Providing safety and security to hospitals, healthcare facilities, and medical centers ensures they can run smoothly, allows hospital staff to perform their job of providing care properly and uninterrupted, and keeps those who are vulnerable protected.
Hospital security staff are essential to keeping this type of peace and facilitating a safe environment for everyone within the establishment. Landing the important role as a hospital security officer requires some straightforward skills and prerequisites, as well as specific healthcare security training.
This blog will cover:
- What security officers do at hospitals
- How much money security officers make
- How to become a hospital security officer
- The requirements for a security job in your area
- How to apply for the job
- How to start your career as a hospital security officer
What Do Security Officers Do At Hospitals?
Hospital security officers have many duties, but their main priorities are to provide a high level of customer service and high visibility. A safe and secure environment where one must detect security issues, manage escalating behaviors to keep patients, visitors, and hospital staff safe, and maintain public safety and order on-site at hospitals or medical centers. This is done by managing patient-generated violence, screening visitors and clients, patrolling corridors, monitoring video surveillance systems and other security technology, assessing risks (such as unlocked doors, blocked entrances and exits, mechanical issues, and other security breaches), investigating events of theft and so much more.
Healthcare security officers need to be always on alert and watch for potential breaches like assailant attacks, property theft, and infant abductions. Keeping medical staff safe from abuse and battery can be both a matter of looking internally at mental health or other disruptive patients and externally at guests or family members of patients. Because assailants and thieves may dress in medical staff scrubs or uniforms to blend in, security officers also need to be able to identify suspicious activity to help prevent tragedy.
When an incident does occur, hospital security officers respond to alarms and emergency calls for assistance as part of the hospital’s overall healthcare security services. They handle and de-escalate high-stress or problematic situations and mitigate and neutralize threats. Healthcare security offices are part of the front-line defense of a hospital and call for backup when needed by radioing other officers or calling the police.
Once an incident is dealt with, hospital security officers follow up with the appropriate paperwork and reporting. Writing detailed reports about the situation, any irregularities that were noticed before things escalated, and everything that occurred during the incident helps to ensure justice is properly served.
Do Hospital Security Officers Make Good Money?
The reward of serving the protection needs of hospitals is first and foremost found in being a part of the greater good that is the healthcare industry. The intrinsic rewards of knowing you are helping someone get the important care needed in a safe, healing environment are most gratifying. And the good news is the typical earnings of a healthcare security officer outpaces most all other security industries. And there is a reason – the job has a high demand for professionalism. The role typically has a competitive starting pay with increases denoted for certain levels of tenure and achieved certifications offered by the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS) and other defensive equipment that an officer may be asked to carry.
Healthcare security is a career and there are ample opportunities to professionally grow which provides even more opportunity for pay enhancements. From Emergency Department Ambassadors to Security Shift Supervisors all the way to Site Lead and Security Program Managers, the opportunity to grow is unlimited – and the compensation is competitive at each step of the way.
How to Become a Hospital Security Officer
Applicants must meet or exceed the following requirements in order to become a hospital security officer:
For applicants to be considered they must be at least 18, 19, or 21 years of age, depending on the state or province they are applying in.
Job seekers must have a high school diploma or GED. It is favorable to have some form of college education in criminology or law enforcement to help with promotions and advancement within the role. Relevant post-secondary includes a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice or Emergency & Security Management.
To be considered as a candidate for a hospital security officer role, applicants must have specific training depending on the location they are applying in. Typically, you will need to have completed your Basic Security Officer Training (BSOT) and have obtained your Security License for your geographical location.
It is also beneficial to obtain additional training and certifications such as IAHSS Basic Healthcare Security Officer certification or IAHSS Advanced Healthcare Security Officer certification.
Job seekers must be authorized to work in the country they are applying to. For example, you must be a citizen or permanent resident of the country you are applying in or have a valid work visa or permit.
Applicants must also pass a criminal background check and a drug screen and other credential verification and be willing to obtain other medical inoculations that have been proven to keep healthcare workers safe. It is also beneficial to have a valid driver’s license, making you a more desirable candidate for hire.
Skills that a hospital security officer must possess include good judgment, attention to detail, and the ability to communicate effectively in person and in writing. They must also be honest with a high level of integrity and moral standards.
Hospital security jobs can be physically demanding at times. If you are required to de-escalate a disruptive patient, you will need to be in good physical shape to protect yourself and your fellow care providers.
As a security officer, you will be wearing various layers of equipment while on the job (e.g., ballistic, concealable, and stab armor), so physical fitness is very important. The job also requires a lot of time on your feet as you will be constantly patrolling the area. At a minimum, you must be physically able to stand and/or walk for an entire work shift and move or lift objects up to 80 lbs.
What Are The Requirements For A Job My Area?
The requirements listed above may vary based on your location. Read our full details on becoming a security officer or look for hospital security officer job postings in your area to see exactly what type of requirements, certifications, and training are required in your area.
Applying For The Job
The best way to find job listings for hospital security jobs is to check online job boards such as LinkedIn or Indeed. You can also turn on alert notifications on Google when relevant job listings are posted online, and Google will send you a notification straight to your email inbox.
Your resume should include your education, any relevant training or experience, and skills. Make sure there are no spelling mistakes on your resume or cover letter and remember to keep language professional and formal.
Start Your Career As A Hospital Security Officer
PalAmerican Security offers security officer job placement and training that far exceeds current industry standards. We cover the fundamentals of patrolling, emergency response, legal and fire safety procedures, as well as additional hours of advanced vertical and site-specific training. Our program ensures each officer is ready to perform as soon as they arrive at your location. Start your career as a healthcare security officer with the tools and confidence you need to be successful.