Mercy’s security director explains how medical professionals protect themselves

Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 4:08 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Medical professionals have been through a lot in the past few years, many facing violent attacks from patients.

Mercy Hospital director of public safety, Ernest Plus, said as times change, safety practices adapt.

”Society has changed. The population bases are changing,” said Plus. “That’s going to have an impact. The best thing we can do is come together now.”

Coming together for change that’s what Plus said is a must in healthcare.

“Evolving changes, we’ve had to deal with the fact people are very upset currently, especially when there were so many unknowns relative to the pandemic,” said Plus.

Plus said pandemic-related violence has made them prepare the medical profession more and be locked in on one practice.

“De-escalation, the goal being to eliminate as many violent outbursts or tendencies towards violence as possible,” said Plus.

Plus said they deal with people in high emotional states and who have unknown triggers. He said medical professionals have education on how to calm people down, including those working in their urgent care clinics.

Plus said self-defense is involved.

“The goal is not to address harm with harm, but to address harm with techniques that reduce harm for both the individual seeking care and the individuals trying to provide care,” said Plus.

And Plus said plans are constantly adapting to recent violent events locally and across the country.

“More attention and focus on those, so plans have been developed,” said Plus. “Now we just continue to develop those plans so that they’re more prudent to today’s emotional setting and society.”

We reached out to CoxHealth, and they denied an on-camera interview but gave a statement. Representatives said they continue to build upon their security practices and training for a safe workplace.

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