After fatal shooting, Oregon nurses feel unsafe despite increased security

After a shooting at Portland, Ore.-based Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital left a security guard dead and injured a worker, the hospital outlined tighter security measures, but nurses told The Lund Report they still don't feel safe.

Seven days after the fatal shooting, Legacy Health President and CEO Kathryn Correia said metal detectors will be installed at all of the system's six hospitals; bullet-slow film will be added to hospital main entrances, emergency departments and glass in internal entrances; and trained security officers will be equipped with tasers.

The Oregon Nurses Association wants more.

On the same day Ms. Correia issued the security updates, the union rallied to request metal detectors and security at all entrances, more security officers, restricted access to parking garages, and a "zero tolerance policy for anyone displaying threatening or violent behavior." 

Police have responded to 250 calls to Legacy Good Samaritan in the past year, and 38 have involved weapons, according to data from the Portland Bureau of Emergency Communications.

"Every healthcare system and hospital administration in Oregon is responsible for protecting the safety of healthcare workers and our patients," Kevin Mealy, a spokesperson for the Oregon Nurses Association, told The Lund Report. "Yet this is what it took to force Legacy into action. Every healthcare worker has a half dozen stories of workplace violence they've seen or experienced. And it's only getting worse."

Teddy Glemser, RN, an emergency department nurse at the hospital, told the outlet the new security measures were not enough to assuage her fears of workplace violence.

A Legacy spokesperson declined to provide further comment than Ms. Correia's letter, the news outlet reported.

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