There are more calls for strengthened security measures at Yellowknife’s Stanton Territorial Hospital after another violent incident involving a patient.
An individual had to be physically restrained on Friday night, two months after staff were forced to hide when another patient began throwing equipment and issuing threats.
“A patient was quite violent and it took a lot of people to restrain that person,” Sheila Laity, a nurse who represents Stanton’s unionized workers, told the CBC, which reports several staff required medical attention following the incident.
Laity says staff are seeking “ready assistance should a violent episode occur” in the form of security personnel able to physically restrain patients.
“They’d like to feel that when they go to work, they are safe and the people they are caring for are safe as well,” she added.
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However, the territorial health minister, Glen Abernethy, says the hospital practises “an operating philosophy of non-crisis intervention”.
“The bottom line is that Stanton (emphasizes) non-crisis intervention as opposed to physical restraint when dealing with violent or potentially violent clients within the facility,” Abernethy told the Yellowknifer newspaper last week.
Abernethy, who is waiting for a working group to report back on the issue in three months’ time, admitted recent incidents “may require a philosophical change in the way they approach safety within the institution”.
The health minister believes current territorial legislation allows for hands-on security operations at the hospital, and would not need to be changed to accommodate tougher security measures.