Pittsburgh Hospital Psych Nurses ‘Fearful of Getting Hurt’

PITTSBURGH — New consultant reports released Thursday by the Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr., recommends that the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic undergo security upgrades in the wake of the fatal shootings at the facility in March.

In one of the reports, nurses said that they are “fearful of getting hurt,” because they are subjected to a series of hazards on a daily basis, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Nurses reported being approached by patients with knives and razor blades. Additionally, one patient strangled a nurse through an open medicine dispensary area.

Security recommendations from the reports include $2.1 million upgrades, including adding a central command and operations center, video surveillance, a new card access system for employees, panic buttons and emergency call stations. Additionally, consultants recommended reducing the size of the medicine dispensary window.

During the March 8 shootings, mentally ill gunman John Schick opened fire in the hospital, killing a worker and wounding five people before police fatally shot him. Zappala is still investigating whether anyone might be criminally liable for not preventing the shooting, the Associated Press reports.

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