In the current healthcare security field it is of the norm to lose security personnel. The problem is not finding personnel, but finding qualified applicants that actually want to do the job. The reason that most people apply for the vacant position is because they have no understanding of what a security officer actually does.
The other day my director interviewed a person from outside the hospital for a vacant security officer position. During the interview the director felt as if the person had a misunderstanding of what the requirements were for the position so he decided halfway through the interview to go straight to the physical training test (P.T test). Our basic test involves running up six flights of stairs. You start at the basement level a run up a level 5 then up to the penthouse elevator room. The reason for this is our level 5 area is also our psych department and it is possible for you to be in the basement and have to respond to a fire alarm on level 5. When the person being interviewed walk into the basement and looked up the spiraling staircase she shook her head and said, “never mind I thought all you did was sit around and sleep” and walked right out.
This is a typical response because most people think a security officer is the same as security guard. A security guard is someone who is hired to sit down and observe and report, also at times take several naps throughout the shift. A security guard is often untrained and needs to have no prior experience in the field. A security officer on the other hand is supposed to be a highly trained and educated individual. At times you are just sitting and watching closed-circuit television, but for the most part you are dealing with the public, assisting in arrests, asked to participate in court, and in the healthcare field aiding the sick and injured.
In our hospital we have hired two new employees. The first person is a young ex-Marine who lacks discipline, I know it should be an oxymoron, and a retiree who works one day a week and is as slow as a snail. The two seem to be able to handle the basics duties of a security officer one of the new hires, the ex-Marine, seems to actually like working in the hospital. The other day I got my chance that training the retiree and he seemed a bit skittish when it comes to dealing with the mentally insane and potentially dangerous people. Unfortunately in our hospital this is a norm and he will have to get used to it or go back to his day job. In a few days I will get my chance to train the ex-Marine and hospital safety and security. In my past I have had a chance to train ex-Marines, Navy Seals, and ex-police officers in healthcare security. I am sure I will have a story to report back to you since I will have him for two days for training and it takes place on a Friday and Saturday night.
Corrections: I got to train the ex-marine and I assumed wrong. My assumptions were based on other security officer who trained him prior. They were wrong and I was wrong. He seemed lazy because the training officers told him to. They gave me another ex-marine/ ex-sheriff deputy. Both worked out great and we are building a great team.