HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Orlando, USA or Virtually from your home or work.

6th Edition of Nursing World Conference

October 27-29, 2022 | Orlando, USA

October 27 -29, 2022 | Orlando, Florida, USA
NWC 2022

Heather Marker

Speaker at  Nursing World Conference 2022 - Heather Marker
Mayo Clinic, United States
Title : Creating a layered approach to hospital safety


Keeping staff safe within the hospital walls has become a challenge that requires a deliberate, multi-faceted approach.  There is no single intervention, technology, or policy that will effectively address workplace violence and help staff feel safe.  Staff safety must be looked at systematically and a layered approach to interventions must be put in place to maximize effectiveness and minimize risk.  Mayo Clinic is creating a layered approach to staff safety in our Rochester hospitals.  With Global Security as the foundation, we are implementing multiple interventions to keep our staff safe and combat workplace violence.  The layers of this approach include measures to address access management, psychological safety, and physical safety. 

As mentioned, Global Security is the foundation of safety and this begins at the entrance where we are addressing access management by implementing passive weapons technology at all patient and visitor entrances to minimize the risk of weapons of mass destruction from entering the facility.  Trained Security Ambassadors greet patients and visitors, assist them through the screening and perform secondary screening when a suspicious object is detected.  In addition to the weapons detection system, our Ambassadors receive suspicious indicator training and de-escalation training to further enhance our ability to stop those entering the facility with the intent to cause harm at the door.   

To add a layer of psychological safety, we are implementing measures to help staff feel more empowered to speak up against workplace violence without the fear of being harmed by a patient or visitor.  These measures include removing the last name on name badges of Allied Health staff, providing de-escalation training to nursing staff, creating resources for nurses to answer questions and support them when they choose to take legal action against an assailant, and providing education about the various forms of workplace violence.  In addition, we have contracted with our local police department to have police who are trained in hospital safety on site 24 hours a day.  These officers are available to assist with legal issues and are a liaison between the hospital and the police department. 

Adding physical safety interventions through technology and resources helps ensure a rapid, effective response when incidents of workplace violence occur.  Using BluFiTM technology, we are implementing duress alarm badges that will notify the security command center and colleagues on the unit when activated.  This technology enables staff who are responding to the distress call to locate the person via GPS-like technology so they can get to the person and assist sooner.  In addition to de-escalation training, nursing staff is being trained in self-defense tactics and security officers attend a week-long training academy where they learn interventions specific to patient populations they will frequently encounter in the hospital.


Mrs. Marker holds a Bachelor of Nursing degree from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay and holds a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Colorado State University.  Mrs. Marker has experience working as a Registered Nurse in the specialties of psychiatric intensive care, child psychiatry, addictions, and physical rehabilitation.  She began her career at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in 2003.  In her current role, Mrs. Marker is the Operations Manager for the Hospital Safety Pillar and she and her team support multiple initiatives related to patient and staff safety, focusing much of their time on addressing workplace violence