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In a hospital setting, an active shooter represents a massive threat since it implies that the people exposed to danger have health issues, some of them being quite severe. Therefore, an exercise scenario for ensuring that all people involved can survive the supposed shooting scenario unscathed both physically and mentally has to be considered. Although there is no uniform strategy that can be applied to manage any shooting scenario, increasing the levels of preparedness and keeping patients and staff members alert are essential measures.
The process of planning the exercise will require creating an ethical platform based on which decision-making will take place. Specifically, the hospital staff will need to be fully aware of their priorities in the identified situation. A patient-centered approach and the essential principles of Utilitarianism ethics will be incorporated into the ethical framework to ensure that the staff members will make decisions to maximize the well-being of patients (Bhimji & Goldstein, 2018). Afterward, several response plans will have to be adopted, with the staff members receiving extensive training to learn to apply an appropriate response to a particular shooting scenario.
For instance, the following approaches will be included as possible means of addressing a shooting: the Run-hide-Fight paradigm, the Avoid-Deny-Defend one, the 4As response, and the ALICE framework (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2017). To be able to accomplish each of the suggested strategies, a nurse must be capable of locating evacuation opportunities, determine the areas where patients can hide safely, and contact law enforcement units or any other legal authority available. In other words, staff members must receive the training that will help them to develop resourcefulness, critical thinking, and communication skills.
However, to conduct the exercise at the target facility, one must meet the existing legal and administrative requirements. Specifically, it is crucial to involve law enforcement officials in the process. Thus, a hospital can receive the permit to conduct the drill and use the services of law enforcement officials, who may participate as well and provide the hospital staff with essential information and necessary resources. Furthermore, the specified step will help avoid any legal issues that may emerge. Afterward, the hospital managers will have to develop a communication plan that will allow transferring crucial information within the shortest amount of time possible (Wexler & Flamm, 2017). As a result, the threat of omitting essential data or misinterpreting it and, thus ultimately failing will be mitigated.
Finally, one will have to assess the building and check it for the characteristics that may either inhibit the evacuation process or assist in accomplishing it. One will have to take note of every available exit and locate all places that can be potentially dangerous for patients or any other stakeholders involved in the case of a shooting. Besides, the device that will allow locking the building down and preventing any passer-by from entering it in a scenario involving shooting will have to be designed (Rorie, 2015). The specified step will require the use of advanced technology and the promotion of communication and cooperation among the staff.
Over the past few years, the instances of the mass shooting have become shockingly more common. Therefore, to secure hospitals and other healthcare facilities where patients may become victims is essential. For this reason, an exercise that will allow healthcare staff members to learn crucial steps for safeguarding patients and minimizing the threat to their lives is required. By using the available resources, including legal ones, and creating an elaborate management strategy, one can help to keep patients and other possible victims safe.
Bhimji, S. S., & Goldstein, S. (2018). Active shooter response. Web.
Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2017). Active shooter planning and response. Washington, DC: IAEMSC.
Rorie, S. (2015). Implementing an active shooter training program. Emergency, 101(1), C5-C6. Web.
Wexler, B., & Flamm, A. (2017). Lessons learned from an active shooter full-scale functional exercise in a newly constructed emergency department. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 11(5), 522-525. Web.