New security trainings designed to save lives

May 16, 2019  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership,

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For more than 30 minutes last Tuesday, nurses from 7C and 7D sat through an important security training session in a classroom within the Clinical Simulation Center in Med Sci II. Quickly, however, the training became a lot more practical — and realistic.

That’s because officers from Michigan Medicine Security carried out a mock active attacker scenario, during which the nurses learned how to react should a real-life situation occur at Michigan Medicine.

“While it’s highly unlikely that an event like this happens here, we want all of our faculty and staff to know the best ways to keep themselves safe — and keep those around them safe,” said Lynetta Smith, associate director of security, who helped lead the training.

While the program is currently in its pilot phase, the security team is planning to bring it to more and more employees in the months and years ahead.

Teaching the basics

To start the training session, a security officer discussed the three basics of what to do should an active attacker enter the workplace.

“You have three options — run, hide or fight,” said community engagement officer Billy Burton. “Remembering those three simple rules will give you a better chance of making it out safely.”

So what do those options actually entail? Here’s the breakdown:

  • Run: If you can get out safely, do so. Find the nearest exit and get as far away from the attacker as possible. Do not call for help until you are a safe distance away, with multiple obstacles between you and the attacker.
  • Hide: If you can’t exit safely, find a hiding spot. The best place is a room with a door that opens inward and can lock. Once in a room, turn out the lights and barricade the door with as many objects as possible. “The key here is creating layers — put as many things between you and the culprit as you can,” Burton said.
  • Fight: If you have no other choice, fight back against the attacker. “Find anything in the room you are in that can serve as a weapon — a mop, a water bottle, a chair, anything that can distract the attacker and give yourself a chance to get out,” Burton said.

To better learn these options, the nurses from 7C and 7D were dispatched into the Clinical Simulation Center, where they were asked to act as though they were going through a typical work shift.

A mock “attacker” then entered the hallway, and the clinicians had to carry out the run-hide-fight scenarios.

“We went through the scenario three times, debriefing after each one,” Smith said. “That allowed everyone to learn as much as possible and it will help them stay calm should a real situation play out in the future.”

More trainings on the way

The active attacker training is just one of several programs that Michigan Medicine Security is set to unveil.

Earlier in the week, the team carried out the first session of its Situational Awareness and Violence Prevention Training. The program helped attendees observe and identify suspicious behavior or activities.

“This training focuses on how to teach staff tactics to stay safe before work, during work or after work at the grocery store,” said Brian Uridge, director of Michigan Medicine Security. “This program will help them be mindful of behavior that may be considered pre-incident indicators and find out how they can alert law enforcement officials before a crime or dangerous situation takes place. We’re unaware of any other health system carrying out this type of training.”

Finally, Uridge and his staff are in the process of creating a more clinically-based training program. Last Thursday, he worked alongside the nurses in the Adult Emergency Services Department to see what their typical day is like.

“I was honored to spend a few hours with the nurses in AES and have a whole new level of respect and appreciation for their amazing dedication and compassion in such a dynamic environment,” Uridge said.

In the end, the purpose was to get a better understanding of the dangers clinicians face every day.

“That way, we’ll be able to better develop scenario-based trainings that fit their needs,” Uridge said. The new programming will be developed soon.

In the end, all the trainings are designed to prevent dangers before they happen or to limit their magnitude — and in the end, save lives.

“We all have a role to play in keeping Michigan Medicine safe,” Uridge said, “and the security team takes its job very seriously to best equip our employees to do just that. That’s what these trainings are all about.”

Check out The Wrap below for a closer look at the recent training sessions!