California Hospital Association Offers Workshops on Shootings
The California Hospital Association over the past year has trained more than 600 hospital employees on how to prepare for a shooting in the workplace, the Los Angeles Times' "Nation Now" reports.
The popularity of such training courses has grown in the wake of several mass shootings in the U.S. in recent years, according to "Nation Now."
The California workshops were prompted by a Johns Hopkins study released last year, which found that there were 91 shootings inside of U.S. hospitals and 63 outdoor shootings on hospital grounds between 2000 and 2011.
The study found that the most common site of hospital shootings was the emergency department. According to the study, staff accounted for 20% of those killed or injured during hospital shootings.
Details of the Workshops
Each CHA workshop session lasted eight hours and included training on how to:
- Assess an active shooter situation and determine whether to run away, hide or incapacitate the shooter;
- Distract and incapacitate a shooter who enters an operating room during surgery; and
- Deal with other scenarios.
Nurses, hospital executives and receptionists have attended the 17 workshops that have been conducted over the past year.
The sessions were funded with grants from the Hospital Preparedness Grant Program.
Cheri Hummel -- vice president of disaster preparedness at CHA -- said that "everyone should know and understand how to handle this kind of an event because these shootings tend to be over before law enforcement can get there."
Hospitals workers "have very, very unique challenges," Hummel said, adding, "Not only do the workers have to protect staff, they have to protect patients and visitors."
Caryn Thornburg -- an emergency preparedness expert at Stockton Hospital -- attributed the rise in hospital shootings to:
- The slow economy;
- Drug and alcohol misuse; and
- State laws allowing concealed weapons (Susman, "Nation Now," Los Angeles Times, 7/16).