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Safety vs. Hospitality: A Healthcare Dilemma

The root problem is our society is mentally sick. Violence is the symptom. All the security in the world won’t stop someone who is intent on hurting others. Any solution must address the problem.

Will Mattox, writing for D Magazine:

But the issue seems to be getting worse. The American Hospital Association says that 44 percent of nurses experienced physical violence, and 68 percent experienced verbal abuse during the pandemic. Given the rise of violence in the workplace in healthcare settings, one might expect these facilities to be as secure as a sporting event or airport, with metal detectors at every entrance, guests and staff asked to empty their pockets while being searched, and visible security forces throughout the facility.

But herein lies the growing tension in healthcare, especially around hospital operations and design. Healthcare leaders don’t want their facilities to feel like locked-down institutions. Walking into a new hospital these days is more likely to feel like entering the lobby of a luxury hotel with engaging art, attractive light fixtures, natural light, and multiple seating areas. A metal detector, security guard with a wand, or other deterrents might ruin the ambiance medical centers want to exude.