In recognition of Healthcare Security and Safety week (October 13 to 19), we would like to celebrate the role of Healthcare Security Officers by acknowledging the vital work that they do and the importance of these challenging roles.
When you consider the role of a Security Guard, your mind may be flooded with stereotypes due to Hollywood’s often comical misrepresentation of this role as slow witted ‘wannabe’ police officers. However, the men and women working as PalAmerican Security Officers are highly trained and in fact first responders who possess a variety of lifesaving skills.
More specifically the role of a Healthcare Security Officer is a critical position in any healthcare environment and can offer a very rewarding career. Security is an important aspect of any healthcare facility and a safe environment contributes to the overall healthcare mission of providing quality health services to patients, residents or clients. Working in these types of settings brings the opportunity to gain insight into the world of healthcare and to become part of the complex healthcare delivery system.
The Role of Healthcare Security Officers
Healthcare Security Officers are primarily responsible for maintaining the security and safety of the healthcare community (hospital staff, patients and visitors) while contributing to the overall patient experience with a customer service approach. Officers must also provide an empathetic approach to safely managing patient aggression and support the clinical teams with at risk patients in the healthcare environment.
This role can be particularly challenging, as it involves playing a key part in supporting the safe management of aggressive persons. Frequently these are unique situations involving mental health and addiction – statistically healthcare workers face a greater risk of violence while at work than any other occupation, even including police and correctional officers. Officers must adapt quickly to situations such as an ecstatic family welcoming a new born to dealing with an agitated family member demanding attention, as a loved one is in critical need. These complex duties and responsibilities, in such a sensitive environment, require very well-trained Officers who possess skills and characteristics such as strong observational abilities, a customer-focused approach and emergency response.
Qualities of a Healthcare Security Officer
Healthcare facilities are open environments which pose diverse, dynamic and complex security situations. Officers working in these circumstances must not only be qualified, well trained and strongly motivated, but also embody a variety of other qualities to be successful.
Outlined below are the desired qualities of an effective healthcare security officer.
Good customer service in a healthcare setting cannot be taken lightly, as it is the foundation for a successful security program. An officer can be the first point of contact for staff, patients and visitors and is responsible for creating a sense of safety and security, in the course of performing all their job responsibilities.
Feeling and conveying empathy can build trust and calm patient, visitor and even staff anxiety. An Officers ability to demonstrate empathy, to truly “walk in the shoes” of others, will enhance the patient experience and differentiate a remarkable from a just an average security officer.
A healthcare setting can be very demanding and physically and mentally grueling when compared to other working environments. Officers must be comfortable with a variety of responsibilities and a high level of patient interaction, including restraining and transporting a patient under clinical guidance. Healthcare security staff can be standing for eight hours (and longer) and often walk several miles in the course of their shift.
There are many situations that Officers are exposed to that they typically won’t experience in other security settings making adaptability and flexibility crucial. Officers must recognize and work through any given scenario appropriately as taught in training and as their experience and skillset allow.
Healthcare facilities such as hospitals run 24/7 and Officers should be willing to work long hours consisting of days, nights and graveyard shifts.Officers need to also demonstrate that they can interact with a diverse clientele with good judgement and team spirit.
Rewards of Working in Healthcare
Helping People & the Community
- Make a profound difference in many people’s life
- Be someone’s support system during a challenging/emotional time
Positions at All levels
- Healthcare security industry is rapidly growing, creating a demand for Officers
- Positions available at all skill levels
- You can grow within the company/industry
- A great stepping stone for a career in law enforcement, firefighter or paramedic
Diverse Work Environment
- Work with a variety of people (mental challenges, addictions, terminally ill)
- Work in different healthcare settings (hospital, clinic, etc.)
In addition to employing the most suitable people to work in these environments, we also use the International Association for Healthcare Safety & Security (IAHSS) guidelines as the foundation of all our security operations and staff training. Furthermore, we strive to hire Officers who are empathetic and understanding, but most importantly, people who are committed to supporting the safety and well-being of patients and clinical staff.
We are extremely proud of the important work our Officers are performing in these, the most sensitive of environments. We would like to recognize the amazing work they are doing every day that goes above and beyond!
Healthcare Opportunities with PalAmerican
Understanding the vital role that security staff serve in hospital settings, PalAmerican takes the time to carefully select Officers suited to meeting the challenges of the healthcare environment. These are people committed to supporting the safety and well-being of patients and medical staff. If you are considering a career in healthcare or would like to learn more visit: www.palamerican.com/careers/