SOUTH SHORE HOSPITAL

HOME AND COMMUNITY SERVICE DIVISION

Guidelines for Personal Safety

YOUR PREPARATION

1. Be alert and observant; develop a sense of consciousness regarding your effect on your immediate environment.

2. Do not daydream or let your thoughts wander; keep your mind on getting safely to your destination.

3. Carry a minimal amount of money, your driver’s license, and ID. Do not carry credit cards. Keep wallets out of sight and not in your nursing bag. Keep a record of all items (credit cards, etc.) at home and/or office in the event of loss or theft.

4. It is not advisable to carry a purse while in the field.

5. Appropriate grooming and a general appearance that maintains an image of professionalism are important at all times. Keep jewelry to a minimum. It is not advisable to wear engagement rings or other valuable jewelry while on duty.

6. Keep a duplicate set of house and car keys with a relative or neighbor in the event of loss or theft.

7. Discuss your fears or apprehensions with your manager, because these are commonly shared concerns.

8. If you have any doubts or fears about a certain call, do not make it until discussed with the manager.

IN THE COMMUNITY

1. Be cautious when entering the home unless an adult gives permission to enter.

2. Be cautious when entering a house with bars on the windows or with deadbolts.

3. Avoid walking in dark, deserted places. Do not take shortcuts through secluded alleys or vacant lots.

4. Walk in the center of sidewalks away from buildings, lines of parked cars, and tall hedges.

5. Observe windows and doorways for loiterers.

6. Identify and make yourself known to appropriate tradespeople in the community.

7. Do not accept rides from strangers.

8. When approached by strangers, be courteously alert, maintain vigilance, and convey the idea that you are expected somewhere.

9. Walk around, rather than through, groups of people.

10.Never give your name, home address, or telephone number to strangers.

11.Look for and observe working order of public telephones in the neighborhood.

12.When unrest occurs around schools, neighborhoods, apartment buildings, etc., do not enter areas and notify your manager immediately.

13.To avoid appearing lost, if an address or building is not visible, drive down the street until the building is identified, then return to the patient’s building and park.

14.If you choose to have a whistle, wear it outside your clothing on a breakable chain; if you choose a shrill alarm, carry it in your hand.

15.If you suspect you are being followed while walking, enter a business.

16.If a car is following you, cross the street and walk in the opposite direction.

17.If you suspect you are being followed while driving, drive to the nearest police, fire, or gas station.

18.If you are lost, call the manager from a public phone, or ask a police officer, fire fighter, mail carrier, or business owner for directions. Do not follow strangers.

19.If a group of people are loitering in the street and you feel uncomfortable, cross to the other side of the street.

20.If you are threatened by a bag-snatcher, do not attempt to resist. Give up your nursing bag and notify the police and your manager immediately.

21.If accosted by someone with a weapon, do not resist.

TRANSPORTATION

Cars:

1. If driving a car, lock the doors and keep windows up at all times. Keep valuables out of sight. If necessary, keep windows only partially opened while driving.

2. Keep your car in good working order. Before you leave home, have enough gas to carry you through the day. A gas cap that locks can prevent siphoning of gas from the tank.

3. Carry car keys in your hand for accessibility as well as a means of protecting yourself.

4. Before entering your car, check the back seat. When approaching your car, be sure to look under the car.

5. If using the car trunk, place items in it when leaving the office, your home, or a patient’s home — not before entering a building.

Winter Weather Tips:

1. Keep salt, sand, or cat litter in your car or use a car mat beneath the rear tires; also have a shovel available.

2. A heavyweight chain (bicycle chain) placed in front of rear tires will provide traction.

3. When pulling out of an icy parking space, go in reverse first.

4. Some have had success asking drivers or city trucks to pull them out.

5. Keep a survival kit in the car containing food, additional clothing, flares, and blanket.

6. In sub-zero temperature, in addition to using some form of heat in the gas line, check to make sure the gas cap is tightly in place.

7. Keep your gas tank more than half full.

MAKING THE CALL

1. When you encounter someone, look the person in the eye, nod, say "Hi," and keep on going.

2. When entering an elevator, look before you enter. If concerned, do not enter. When on the elevator, stay near the door and control panel. Be observant of other passengers who enter the elevator. If the trap door is open, do not enter the elevator until checking with building/maintenance. Press the appropriate floor number; do not ask anyone else in the elevator to do it.