(Memphis) When it comes to our health, nurses are on the front lines of providing the care we need.
In a hospital, they are often the first faces we see and the first to deal with frustrated even volatile patients.
The On Your Side Investigators shows us why some nurses now need protection from the people they are trying to help.
The ER is where you go when your health is in crisis.
Most patients and their families are thankful for the care but it’s the few who aren’t that are forcing hospitals to look for ways to protect employees.
“Our clinical assessment person had someone identify, watch their car and did find out where they lived based on their car,” said Carri Ann, St. Francis ER Nurse.
Next came a direct threat
The nurse said it was an issue of the person telling the staff member what street they lived on and threatening to find her later on.
Situations like that are why St. Francis Hospital in Memphis is focusing more on employee safety.
“You look at the news unfortunately and you take a look at what’s going on in society these days. I think all of us have an escalated sense of what we need to do to make sure that our employees are safe,” said Marilynn Robinson, VP St. Francis Hospital.
In an age where violence is becoming the norm in public places like airports, shopping malls and movie theaters, hospital administrators are making changes.
Some changes you can’t see. Others are more obvious.
Employees in the so-called sensitive hospital areas no longer have their last names listed on their badges.
“It gives them some anonymity in case people get upset about something related to the care or if those individuals may have some issues,” said Robinson.
We checked other major hospital systems in the Memphis area.
Baptist and The MED say employees have their full names on their badges.
Methodist said it also has an amended badge policy for areas where there might be a unique safety concern.
St. Francis employees are well aware of these concerns.
Carri Ann said, “A lot of patients assume because we’re in medical care that we have easy access to medications and supplies and it reduces the risk of them coming to my home and causing any life threatening complications.”
Hospital administrators say she isn’t aware of any St. Francis employees being hounded by patients for narcotics but they’re not willing to take any chances.