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Old 01-09-2013, 07:05 AM   #1
princesspumpkin
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Excuse me...your bag wasn't that large when you came into the hospital!

I work on a maternity unit where every baby has a security monitor attached that will alarm and shut down the elevators if someone tries to steal a baby. Periodically, we will have drills where a security tag will be applied to a doll and we are observed on our actions when someone tries to get off of the unit with it (once the tag crosses the exit doors on our unit, an alarm goes off and lights flash). No one has ever had an issue approaching the person and assessing the situation.

Well now the security check was something different. The scenario was "What if there was a failure with the system and alarms didn't go off." The test was that they sent someone to our maternity floor with a bag that wasn't very full looking, and then the person left with the same bag that was full. We were expected to approach the person and ask if we could check their bag.

I'm all for security on our unit, but I don't know if I could actually ask someone to open their bag because it looked bigger than when they entered and I was making sure that they didn't have something extra (like a baby) in there. Plus to be honest, I can't say that I would be that observant, unless it was really obvious (like I could see something that looked like a baby in there).

Fortunately, the secretary that is stationed at the doors, and lets people out (we are a locked unit and you must be buzzed in and out), does have the Kahoonas to actually ask someone, so we didn't fail the test.

I guess I'd get fired
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:07 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princesspumpkin View Post
I work on a maternity unit where every baby has a security monitor attached that will alarm and shut down the elevators if someone tries to steal a baby. Periodically, we will have drills where a security tag will be applied to a doll and we are observed on our actions when someone tries to get off of the unit with it (once the tag crosses the exit doors on our unit, an alarm goes off and lights flash). No one has ever had an issue approaching the person and assessing the situation.

Well now the security check was something different. The scenario was "What if there was a failure with the system and alarms didn't go off." The test was that they sent someone to our maternity floor with a bag that wasn't very full looking, and then the person left with the same bag that was full. We were expected to approach the person and ask if we could check their bag.

I'm all for security on our unit, but I don't know if I could actually ask someone to open their bag because it looked bigger than when they entered and I was making sure that they didn't have something extra (like a baby) in there. Plus to be honest, I can't say that I would be that observant, unless it was really obvious (like I could see something that looked like a baby in there).

Fortunately, the secretary that is stationed at the doors, and lets people out (we are a locked unit and you must be buzzed in and out), does have the Kahoonas to actually ask someone, so we didn't fail the test.

I guess I'd get fired
I would have no problem approaching someone. It's not like they are at a mall. Who knows what they could have stuffed in a bag.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:24 AM   #3
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I wouldnt have a problem approaching someone either. I'll just explain "sorry ma'am, its hospital policy". Simple! Glad the secretary has no problem with it thou. Puts less pressure on you.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:30 AM   #4
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Pardon my ignorance, but are babies stolen that often from hospitals?? It sounds intense.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:40 AM   #5
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Pardon my ignorance, but are babies stolen that often from hospitals?? It sounds intense.
Actually compared to the amount of deliveries per day in this country, no babies aren't stolen that much at all. But one baby stolen is one baby too much.

Assessing visitor bags is kind of difficulty - there are sooooo many visitors on a maternity floor; everyone brings in huge bags of gifts for the baby and lots of people leave with large bags (taking home some of mom's things so that it's easier for her on the day of discharge).

I can just see all of the complaints that we would get if we started searching everyone's big bag when they're leaving. UGH!
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:43 AM   #6
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So what are they going to do when someone brings a baby doll in the bag & swaps it with a real baby? I would think that the people working are a bit busy to notice how big someones bag is when they come in vs when they leave...
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:47 AM   #7
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I can definitely see being uncomfortable with that. Two years ago I would have felt the same way. However, having worked in a inner city trauma hospital I feel differently. I constantly have to empty patients belonging bags because they are filled with hospital supplies. The situation is different because these are frequent visitors and we know they have a tendency to fill up bags. But having worked here my skin has thickened and I would have no problem asking.

My hospital frowns upon saying "it's hospital policy". They prefer we say we want to make all of our patients feel safe and these are some of the steps we can take to obtain that.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princesspumpkin


I can just see all of the complaints that we would get if we started searching everyone's big bag when they're leaving. UGH!
Ehh, just a simple sign at the unit entrance "ALL bags are subject to inspection" in large lettering, with a smaller font at the bottom, "This may be randomly enforced or at the discretion of security/ reception." would quiet any real resistance. I think most nurses have far too many other responsibilities to have this one heaped on them too.

All bags are searched before we enter WDW, why would anyone have an issue with a similar policy at a hospital maternity unit?

Sent from my iPad using DISBoards App, please excuse any typos or autocorrects!
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:52 AM   #9
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So what are they going to do when someone brings a baby doll in the bag & swaps it with a real baby? I would think that the people working are a bit busy to notice how big someones bag is when they come in vs when they leave...
That would be my train of thought as a nurse. Let me do my job, which is nursing. If your that afraid of someone stealing a baby, hire security guards, post them at the entrances to the ward and have them search all bags going on and off the ward. That's what their job is, providing security.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:24 AM   #10
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You know, everything seems to fall to Nursing.

If it were fairly obvious that the visitor had come in with an "empty" bag and was leaving with a full bag, I'd stop and ask to inspect it. But of course, that's just one more task that takes away from what I am supposed to be doing, which is patient care.

I do agree with signage being posted at the elevators to make people aware that their bags may be subject to search. Then it's no surprise....
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:47 AM   #11
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I wonder if the new measures have anything to do with this story: http://abcnews.go.com/US/california-...ry?id=16949111
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:52 AM   #12
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I would have no problem approaching someone. It's not like they are at a mall. Who knows what they could have stuffed in a bag.
I agree...its a hospital.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:22 AM   #13
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Like nurses need something extra to focus on.

I'm all for the security measure but have it be someone else's (like a security guard) responsibility to enforce it.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:39 AM   #14
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Like nurses need something extra to focus on.

I'm all for the security measure but have it be someone else's (like a security guard) responsibility to enforce it.


I worked in a trauma hospital in high school and college. Whenever there was a problem, we immediately called for one of the many security officers. That was their job! Mine was to answer phones and check people in. I didn't carry a gun and, therefore, wasn't about to approach a stranger because their bag looked full. I would have obviously done anything I could to save a baby/child I felt was in danger, but checking a bag because it looked full? Um.....no!
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:46 AM   #15
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I like this test, but only as a redundant back up. I like hospital staff being trained to be observant of such things. We cannot just assume someone is going to have those skills. Those skills have to be honed and practiced. That said, I also understand the mental taxing nature that a nurse or doctor has simply caring for the health of a patient, especially in a maternity wing. Security measures such as lock doors/tagging infants, and active security personal is critical and should never be relaxed for the hope of human observation catching something.
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