Nurse Taken Hostage by Patient at Royal Melbourne Hospital

21 April , 2017

On Monday April 17th at about 6:30pm a nurse was taken hostage by a knife-wielding man in the surgery ward of the Royal Melbourne Hospital. The offender, a 60-year-old Wandin North man threatened two female staff members and took one hostage in one of the hospital toilets.  Both regular uniformed police officers and special response units responded to the call and successfully managed to rescue the woman unharmed. Both nurses who were involved in the incident have reportedly been left traumatised. The hostage taker was arrested and remains in hospital under police guard.In a statement, Royal Melbourne Hospital said "Victoria Police were called to assist and the situation was diffused. Both the staff and patient involved were physically unharmed and the patient's medical treatment continues. Debriefing support was provided to the staff involved. Our priority is always the safety and wellbeing of our staff and patients." Violence against frontline hospital staff is a well-publicised issue, with the Health Services Union previously calling for hospital guards to be armed. Common reports of violence include patients physically assaulting hospital staff and threatening them with weapons and needles. Last December, Queensland Health introduced body cameras, duress alarms and extra security for hospital staff with an estimated 3000 employees assaulted in the state each year. A hostage situation is just one of the different types of threat scenarios that can happen within a workplace. Knowing how to respond to such incidents is critical to staff wellbeing. With the ever-increasing number of threat incidents reported across the country, undergoing threat response preparedness training has never been more important. The First 5 Minutes Team of experts is available to provide advice and further information on the subject. Contact us for further discussion.

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