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Active Shooter Preparation for Your Medical Practice

While an active shooter situation may last just a few minutes, the recovery process takes much longer. So what can you and your staff do to mitigate, prepare, respond and recover from such a situation?

While large hospital systems have made active shooter plans and trainings commonplace, are such efforts relevant for your medical practice? The answer is yes, very much so.

Active shooter situations often happen quickly and without a definable method or pattern. It is not uncommon for selected victims to be easy, soft targets located in a confined public area. Your office offers just these demographics: the soft targets and a confined area - where a shooter may attempt to kill or harm indiscriminately.

While an active shooter situation may last just a few minutes, the recovery process takes much longer. So what can you and your staff do to mitigate, prepare, respond and recover from such a situation?

John Hopkins Nursing has released an informative (and free) webinar which addresses the active shooter situation in both clinical and non-clinical environments. You may access the webinar via the Johns Hopkins online learning system.

This webinar is based on the run, hide, and fight principals – giving examples of each in real life situations. For example, if you must hide: turn off the lights, take cover and silence all cell phones, beepers, etc. If you must fight – grab the fire extinguisher so it can be used as a weapon.

The webinar is full of tips which can be used and/or adapted for your practice. Additionally, these practices can be transitioned for personal use should you or your staff members encounter an active shooter situation outside of the practice.

Preparing and dealing with an active shooter is one situation where remaining calm and knowing what to do can make a difference. Your practice should be ready and prepared for such a situation by considering the following tips:

  • Make time to watch and discuss the Johns Hopkins Active Shooter webinar with your staff 
  • Commit to being prepared for an active shooter situation before it happens
  • Discuss and implement a realistic plan for your office
  • Check with local law enforcement for their tips and insights
  • Ensure all staff members are thoroughly trained on and knowledgeable of the active shooter plan
  • Continue to enhance your plan as necessary 
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