Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital Keeps an Eye on Kids
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital wants to make sure that what happened at Children's Hospital in Seattle doesn't happen here. A baby was kidnapped from Children's last week, and an Amber Alert was issued.
Memorial employees have a plan in case of an abduction, but they take security measures too. They won't go into all of the details, but they have several ways of making sure the children who are admitted there, stay there.
Shirley Sackmann, a nurse manager, says, "All of the nurses are educated and trained in looking for people, and being aware of the environment."
They run abduction drills three or four times a year, using a special code. Every employee gets involved with the search for a missing child, so do police. Many of the employees didn't know a recent drill was practice, because they weren't told.
Linda Haralson, another nurse manager, says, "It was very emotional and traumatic for the staff because they take great ownership in making sure these infants and children are safe."
A child has never actually been abducted from Memorial hospital. Newborns are of particular concern, so employees here have ways of identifying who's allowed to be carrying a child, and who isn't.
They also make sure parents know they're a big part of keeping their children safe. "It is up to them to let us know there's a problem, if they see somebody that shouldn't be in the room." says Sackmann.
Hospital employees say the situation in Seattle was a tough one, because the suspect was the baby's mother. They say they are informed though, if a parent is not allowed to see their child.