Sweetwater Memorial Hospital Board to Review Weapons Policies

Sweetwater Memorial Hospital Board to Review Weapons Policies

Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater county. SweetwaterNOW photo

ROCK SPRINGS — Safety protocols concerning weapons on the hospital grounds was a main topic of discussion this week during the Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees meeting.

The Board discussed policies that would prohibit employees, visitors, and patients from bringing weapons into the hospital.

The hospital’s current workplace violence prevention policy states:

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MHSC prohibits the possession of ‘dangerous or deadly weapons’ by employees on hospital property at all times, including hospital parking lots and hospital vehicles. A ‘dangerous or deadly weapon’ is one that is likely to cause death of great bodily harm.

MHSC Workplace Violence Prevention Policy

However, hospital security officers are allowed to carry and use a stun gun.

The policy also reserves the hospital’s right to inspect personal belonging on its premises including briefcases, purses, gym bags, and personal vehicles.

While trustees didn’t have many issues with the proposed workplace policy, trustee Marty Kelsey wanted to know if the hospital has a policy for visitors on violence prevention.

MHSC Chief Nursing Officer Ann Marie Clevenger said there is a policy dealing with the contraband definition which is any kind of a weapon or sharp object, illegal substance, or anything that could cause harm to the patient or others while they are in the hospital.

MHSC Board Chairman Barbara Sowada said she believes that policy was written four or five years ago and there was quite a discussion on it. Trustee Taylor Jones recalled that discussion saying that the specific definition of a weapon was addressed.

“We’ve got to be careful about defining it because anything can be a weapon,” Trustee Ed Tardoni said.

Kelsey said he just wanted to make sure that patients and visitors aren’t allowed to have weapons in the hospital.

Kelsey also wanted to know what the hospital’s policy is regarding concealed carry permits.

“Well, no weapons are allowed in the hospital, so that takes care of it,” Tardoni said.

MHSC attorney Geoff Phillips said there is a federal law that addresses the concealed carry permits and the hospital will follow federal laws.

Both Phillips and Clevenger said they would look into the policy and laws and provide the board with more information.