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Administrative and Information Managers
Hospital Security Officer
- Does not provide treatment to patients, but is a very visible hospital employee, often greeting patients when they enter the facility.
- Main duty is to protect people, property, information, and reputation.
- Responds rapidly to security emergencies within the hospital or health care setting.
- May help people into and out of their cars, receive hospital deliveries at night, and escort patients as needed.
- Typically has completed a basic security officer’s program covering subjects from laws of arrest to weapon safety. Requirements beyond this program vary by state.
- Reports to a shift supervisor, operations chief, or hospital security supervisor.
- Becomes involved with patients when assistance is requested by medical or nursing staff, or when patients or their families ask for assistance or information.
Who is a Hospital Security Officer?
What does a Hospital Security Officer do?
Hospital Security Officers are charged with protecting:
Preventive patrol or inspectional service is the method employed by Security Officers to determine that conditions are normal in a given area and to provide a visible deterrent factor. This function takes on greater importance at night by providing a feeling of safety for staff, patients, and visitors. While on patrol, Security Officers routinely turn lights off as an energy conservation measure. They also check windows and doors to afford better protection to building occupants and to safeguard unoccupied buildings.
An especially important function of Security Officers with respect to hospital staff is their rapid response to security emergencies within the hospital. Whether for psychiatric or medical reasons, patients sometimes become violent or threaten medical or nursing staff. Residents should never put themselves or other staff at risk in these situations but should immediately call for Security Officers’ assistance in subduing or restraining such patients. Security Officers may also be called upon for external emergencies, such as assisting in providing aid for disaster victims.
Security Officers give directions to hospital patients and visitors. They may also help people into and out of their cars, or assist them with dead car batteries. Security Officers may also be involved in receiving hospital deliveries at night and escort duties.
What education, training, and experience must one have to function as a Hospital Security Officer?
Most Hospital Security Officers complete at least a basic security officer’s program. These programs can run as long as 24 hours and cover subjects ranging from laws of arrest to weapon safety.
How and by whom is a Hospital Security Officer supervised?
What are the typical day-to-day activities of a Hospital Security Officer?
A typical day at the hospital for a Security Officer will include:
- Post/patrol duty:
- providing protection, assistance, and control
- monitoring activity in and around an assigned area
- being alert for suspicious activity
- enforcing access to the property and regulating removal of equipment
- patrolling the hospital and reporting findings
- Information reporting:
- gathering, compiling, recording, and reporting information
- reporting security or safety hazards
- treating all information as confidential and respecting everyone’s right to privacy
- Situation response:
- responding appropriately to routine and emergency situations in a timely manner
- evaluating a situation and taking appropriate steps to resolve it in a professional manner
- using only necessary force, as appropriate to the situation
- providing traffic control, when necessary
- monitoring a given situation until completed
- acting with restraint, not allowing emotions to dictate actions and/or reactions.
Must a Hospital Security Officer be licensed or certified to function in his or her role as part of a health care team?
What types of patients would benefit from the care of a Hospital Security Officer?
How and when does a Hospital Security Officer become involved in the care of a patient?
Professional organization for Hospital Security Officers:
Joe Forte, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania