Maine hospital adds 24-hour security team

Houlton (Maine) Regional Hospital has created a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week security force, including two people in the emergency room waiting area. 

The hospital has observed an increase in assaults on medical personnel, Shawn Anderson, Houlton Regional Hospital CEO, told Bangor Daily News on Aug. 29.

“Sometimes it is just that folks are tired of waiting. Sometimes it is aggressive patients, whether it is a mental health issue or it is drug-related," Traci Peabody, BSN, RN, the hospital's chief nursing officer, told Bangor Daily News. Ms. Peabody said she hopes seeing security present will deter patients and visitors from violence. 

Previously, the hospital used a private contractor for security, but their shifts only lasted 12 hours on weekdays. By creating its own security force, Houlton Regional can save money while retaining tighter control over the unit, Mr. Anderson told the newspaper. 

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