Providing security at hospitals during tense and chaotic situations


MACON, Miss. (WCBI) – Police in Eupora are searching for the person accused of pushing a nurse practitioner inside a hospital after a deadly shooting Sunday morning.

The hospital worker is employed at North Mississippi Medical Center.

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Police Chief Greg Hunter said the medical worker was pushed into a wall, which is a felony charge.

Charges have been filed but an arrest has not been made.

As you can imagine, dealing with large crowds and chaos can put hospital workers in an unusual and stressful position.

Hospital workers said these incidents can actually keep them from giving the patient the medical attention they need.

“A lot of times in an emergency situation or traumatic situation, you’re dealing with the worst day of their life and that sometimes brings out the worst in people,” said Danny McKay, Noxubee General Hospital Administrator.

McKay said those traumatic situations can create havoc, confusion, and cause people to act out.

“When we have a big crowd outside that might hinder other patients from coming to the emergency room, that’s where the sheriff’s department and the police department play a role in helping us to clear out those areas,” said Beverly Clark, Director of Nursing at Noxubee General Hospital.

Clark said at their facility, they have cameras rolling at all times and they also have professional security to help them handle these situations.

“Sometimes just the presence of a uniformed officer here defuses things that otherwise wouldn’t,” said McKay.

McKay said they never know when these incidents will occur, that’s why they’ve implemented emergency procedures.

“We lock down different areas of the hospital and we take guests out and allow only a few people at a time back with the patients,” Clark described.

“Smaller hospitals generally have a code that they can call and it will call all the able-bodied people to a certain area,” McKay explained. “Without saying we have a security risk in Room 3, we generally page Code Gray to Room 3, and then all of the able-bodied people will appear there. Sometimes that’s intimidating and it settles the situation down.”

McKay said they’ve experienced hostile incidents before and they use them as learning experiences.

They meet with law enforcement agencies to critique their plan and find things they can do improve their plan.

“Security is important and we do utilize them and it seems to make people a little bit more cooperative and calm, but you can never prepare for some of the situations that you face,” said Clark.

The hospital administrator said security for patients, employees, and visitors is their number one goal.

He also stressed the importance of practicing their safety plan, so if anything happens everyone will be on the same page.