DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Don’t bring weapons to the hospital.
That’s the message from Duke Health. Weapons detection systems will soon be installed at Duke University Hospital, as well as, Duke Raleigh and Duke Regional.
“We have a weapon-free campus; we want to make sure we protect that to ensure that our staff are safe, and our patients are safe, and our families are safe,” said Duke Health’s Chief Employee Experience Officer, Ian Brown.
Brown says weapons detection systems are being put in place after an increase in violent incidents at hospitals across the country.
“If you look at the American Hospital Association data, what you’ll find is that workplace violence issues escalated over the past many years,” he said. “During the COVID period, 44% of nurses [nationwide] experienced violence to them; that’s what they’ve said.”
The systems Duke will use are similar to those you see at public events. You don’t need to empty your purse or pockets or take off your belt.
“It’s a quick walk through, so we’re not concerned about queueing or lines or anything like that,” explained Brown.
According to Duke, the scanners are safe for pregnant women and people with medical devices. They can detect guns or medium-sized knives or other weapons, so anyone who comes to the hospital with those is asked leave them in their cars.
“If we detect one of those weapons, we’ll confiscate it,” Brown noted, adding that there is a process by which people can get legal weapons back.
People can choose to be screened with a hand wand rather than walking through the device, but anyone who refuses to be screened at all cannot go into the hospital.