Ask Chip: Workplace Safety

Confrontational Patients or Guests

Question: We just read that disturbing news from Hopkins that a patient verbally accosted another patient and told them to go back home (apparently, a patient from another country was being escorted by a Hopkins employee when the verbal assault happened) – I am so shocked this happened in a hospital setting – could you please provide some non-confrontational language we could use if that situation ever happens to us at Sibley? Let’s pray we never have to use it.

Answer: Thank you for your timely question and your concern for all our patients and visitors. While incidences of intolerant and insensitive behavior have been increasingly recently, fortunately, we have not experienced such unacceptable incidences at Sibley. But we must be prepared for such acts even as we hope they never occur. If you are confronted with or observe such abusive or intolerant behavior directed at a patient, visitor or staff member, please take the following steps.

  1. Remain calm.
  2. Do not engage the individual(s). Separate yourself and the affected patient/visitor from the individual(s) and report the incident immediately to Sibley security at 202-537-4674.
  3. Move toward other people. There is safety in numbers.
  4. Note the location, time and any unique descriptors that will help security locate the individual.
  5. Be prepared to provide as much detailed information as possible to the responding officer(s).

One of our core values is diversity and inclusion and we must be vigilant in insuring this value is safeguarded and respected by all who visit our hospital campus.

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