BEST REACTION BY NURSES TO A HOSPITAL ATTACK
These are risky times when people initiate attacks on civilian institutions because of personal prejudices or terrorist motivation. Even hospitals are at the risk of attacks from individuals, militia groups and militaries like it happens in countries such as Syria. Although hospital shootings are rare, they still happen occasionally. The rise of mass shootings and attacks on public facilities, management in various hospitals enhance their security but nurses as the primary caregivers should also prepare better on how to handle the scenario. The tips below will help nurses to keep themselves and their patients safe.
If you happen to be the first nurse who notices a shooting incident and unsure if someone has informed law enforcers, make it your duty to inform the relevant security departments for them to take proper response measures. Call the hospital security and at least 911 to report about the situation. After informing authorities, start distributing information about the attack to your colleagues and patients who may be unaware about the happening. Do it clearly and calmly.
It is important to stay calm when an active attack situation occurs so that you can respond to the situation in a rational way. After informing patients and other staff, you should prioritize your safety and follow the emergency evacuation procedures.
Escape To A Safe Place or Take Shelter
If you do not know the location of attackers, try taking the less obvious route to get out of the building. If you know the place where the attackers are shooting from, use an exit that keeps you farthest from them as possible. Distance helps to minimize the risk of an attack as you try to escape. You should not that an escape can be impossible. If the attackers are on your floor as you attending to a critical patient or issue you cannot leave the room. If that is the situation, find a safe point to shelter.
Rooms with locks are preferable. Those without glass on doors are a safer choice as chances are higher that the attackers may walk past without knowing if there are occupants. It is also a deterrent as getting in requires breaking in and it will take much time. Remember to turn off lights in the room you choose to shelter so that it does not attract the attention of the attackers and hide behind large solid objects in case they open fire.
Deny Access to the Attackers
If the attackers are around the room you are sheltering in, there is no way you will escape. You should increase chances for your survival by blocking the access to the room or the point you are sheltering from access by attackers. You can deny access by locking doors firmly and barricading them as well as windows with furniture. If blocking the openings will attract the attention of the attackers, hide underneath a counter, desk, table or bed to stay inconspicuous.
If an attacker catches up with you when escaping or discovers your hiding point try to persuade him or her to spare you. However, if you notice that they are aggressive, take the last resort which is to defend yourself. Although it is a difficult thing, it is not entirely impossible. You can, for example, throw an object or pour splash liquid on their face. Your counter attack may surprise the attacker long enough for you to take advantage of the few seconds of confusion to run.
A few hospital attacks and shootings should not make you paranoid but it is still necessary to familiarize yourself with emergency evacuation at your place of work just in case it happens. You should also learn about recommended response plans by local security and emergency response teams in case of an attack by criminals or terrorists.