This fall, MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center Director of Security, Christopher Wade, attended an informative program presented by the Maryland Hospital Association and the Maryland Nurses Association, which outlined positive steps associates can take to prevent hostile exchanges before they start, ways to identify and monitor potentially difficult situations and steps MedStar Southern Maryland can take to prevent workplace violence.
“We’re committed to keeping our staff safe,” says Wade. “With early intervention, and employing techniques that de-escalate situations, we can prevent workplace violence. We also rely on training and working together because it takes a collaborative effort.”
Wade urges associates to be proactive. An example of this occurred when he saw a frazzled mother of a three-year-old waiting in the ED. After asking her to have her son not run across the row of chairs, Wade went to the front desk for a coloring book and crayons for the little boy, giving them to his grateful mother, helping them both better endure waiting for service.
“I look at it this way: we have an opportunity to help,” said Wade. “In healthcare, this job gives you the opportunity to impact people’s lives in a positive way.’”
In 2018, Wade will be implementing additional ways for the hospital to create a safer environment, including installing panic buttons, additional cameras, a visitor management system in the main lobby and emergency call towers. He says all MedStar Southern Maryland Security associates have participated in a verbal de-escalation training and he plans to present the information he learned at this forum at the next quarterly in-service day. Wade is a member of the MedStar Corporate Workplace Violence Committee, which is finalizing a MedStar Health system-wide plan to combat workplace violence.