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Straub nurses demand safeguards after patient brings gun to hospital


By ‘A’ali’i Dukelow

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    HONOLULU (KITV) — Nurses at Straub Medical Center are demanding safeguards after a patient brought an unregistered gun to the hospital.

The incident happened in late March, but some of the center’s workers tell KITV4 they’re still emotionally scarred — and they feel their employer is not doing enough to protect them.

According to the Hawaii Nurses Association, the union representing the employees, nurses at Straub screen patients’ belongings before entering the hospital.

Daniel Ross, the president of the union, argued trained security should be checking patients to protect the nurses.

Additionally, Ross insisted management should consider hiring extra-duty police officers to secure the hospital.

“Just having the presence of a uniformed officer is often enough to calm things down,” Ross said.

Additionally, Ross suggested the hospital also install metal detectors, which Queen’s Medical Center has done in its emergency room.

“That’s very unobtrusive, you wouldn’t even know it was a metal detector, it kind of looks like those shoplifting devices when you walk through the store, you just walk by it and they signal, and they (Queen’s) have caught weapons on that already,” Ross said.

Ross claims management at Straub has not been responsive to the nurses’ concerns. After Ross sent hospital heads a demand to bargain, he claims he was told by management any discussions would be premature because they’re still looking into the cause of the incident.

“This is something that should be in the open, that we should be talking about to find the solutions for,” Ross said. “We’re trying to make sure that safeguards are in place so we don’t have a tragedy.”

Hawaii Pacific Health (HPH), the system that runs Straub, sent us the following statement from Travis Clegg, the hospital’s chief operating officer:

“The safety of our patients, staff and visitors is our top priority. The Hawai‘i Nurses Association has been involved in our review process. We continue to meet with and support our staff while reinforcing our existing security measures and evaluating additional technologies to further enhance safety. We are committed to keeping our medical center safe.”

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