A Day in the Life: Angel Gama-Diaz, security sergeant

October 29, 2019  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

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Across the organization, thousands of employees spend their days carrying out exceptional patient care, education and research.

But each individual’s role is unique — and with that in mind, the A Day in the Life Headlines series introduces an employee and gives readers a snapshot of their daily life at Michigan Medicine.

Today, meet Angel Gama-Diaz, a Security Sergeant who helps keep patients, families and staff members safe while at the academic medical center. Gama-Diaz and fellow officers are focused on creating a community where everyone feels comfortable and cared for at Michigan Medicine.

5:45 p.m.: Gama-Diaz arrives at work, gets dressed in the department’s highly-recognizable uniforms, and learns about any issues that may have arisen during the day shift.

“Our security teams work together seamlessly to make sure nothing falls through the cracks between day shift and night shift,” Gama-Diaz said.

6 p.m.: The new shift starts with Gama-Diaz in his office in UH South, tying up any loose ends from during the day, briefing officers and answering a question from the Survival Flight team.

6:40 – 7 p.m.: He drives in a vehicle along East Medical Center Drive, looking for anyone having concerns, issues or trouble.

7 p.m.: Gama-Diaz attends the Children’s Emergency Services safety huddle.

“We consider ourselves part of the care team — and that’s how others view us, as well,” Gama-Diaz said. “By being a part of the daily safety huddle, we learn of any concerns going on and we can share valuable information that all departments should know about.”

7:30 p.m.: Immediately after the huddle, Gama-Diaz is called to Adult Emergency Services, where officers are managing a combative patient.

“Our officers are well-trained and were able to handle the situation on their own,” Gama-Diaz said. “But after the fact, I make sure I debrief with the officers and check on how the call was handled and how surrounding staff members are doing.”

7:35 p.m.: Returning to CES, there’s a huge group of staff by the Superman statue. They ask if he could take their picture and he happily obliges.

7:45 p.m.: Gama-Diaz patrols by walking through the UH Courtyard. He finds no issues. He then walks through various units, checking in with officers and staff.

“I make sure I talk with nurses, MAs, clerks and others because they are the front-line staff. They need to feel supported and know that we aren’t just here for patients and visitors; security is here for staff too,” Gama-Diaz said. “They’re the heart of our organization and the heart of how we patrol.”

8:20-9 p.m.: Gama-Diaz goes back to the office, checks and responds to emails and starts a shift summary.

9:10 p.m.: He carries out another walkthrough of AES.

“We patrol high-traffic areas as often as possible during the night, as situations can change in seconds,” he said. “We won’t just go through once and assume everything is ok.”

9:25 p.m.: Gama-Diaz attends the AES safety huddle.

9:35 p.m.: It’s time to get back in the car, this time to not just look over East Medical Center Drive, but to check that everything and everyone is safe and secure in the Fuller Pool parking lot.

“A lot of what we do is making sure we keep our employees safe, whether in the hospital or walking to their cars,” Gama-Diaz said. “Part of our job is to make sure you get home safely.”

10:20 p.m.: Another combative patient is brought in, this time via ambulance. Once the situation is calmed, Gama-Diaz again checks with officers and staff to assure they are ok.

11 p.m.: He escorts a lost visitor to a unit host so they can find the patient they are there to see.

11:30 p.m.: Gama-Diaz stops and talks to multiple security staff in Mott, making sure no situations have come up since his last visit. All is clear.

11:45 p.m.-1:30 a.m.: Finally, some time to sit down and take a quick break in the office. He checks email, updates shift reports, works on creating new standard operating procedures, answers officer questions on a suspicious report and talks to the administrator on call.

1:30 – 3:05 a.m.: It’s time to patrol again. Gama-Diaz visits CES, chats with Entrance Services and the guest services specialist, before visiting 10E in Mott. The nursing supervisor reports that everything is secure. Finally, he heads back to AES and talks to the staff over there, who report no problems.

“So much of our job is talking to other employees,” Gama-Diaz said. “We work very hard to build a strong relationship with them because we need them to trust us and we need to trust them.”

3:05 a.m.: It’s time for the Mott safety huddle, where Gama-Diaz reports on behalf of the security team.

4 a.m.: Back to the Fuller Pool lot. Everything is safe and the lights are on, making it a more secure atmosphere for arriving employees. He checks again at 5 a.m.

5:10 a.m.: Back in the office, Gama-Diaz finishes up any outstanding paperwork, prepares the shift summary and makes sure information is ready to be passed on to the incoming shift.

5:45 – 6 a.m.: The dayshift sergeant receives the necessary information and Gama-Diaz’s shift ends.

“This can be challenging work, especially working nights,” Gama-Diaz said. “But if our community doesn’t feel safe, our employees won’t be at their best and can’t do the important work they do. I am very fortunate and happy to hold this position with Michigan Medicine Security.”

Do you want to share your typical day in Headlines? Email headlines@med.umich.edu with a description of your role at Michigan Medicine!