That hospitals have CCTV Systems in place is no secret and I am sure everyone notices the cameras and CCTV Signs, especially upon arrival at a hospital car park. There are obvious reasons why hospitals require a great number of CCTV cameras and even people monitoring the movements in and around their hospital. A hospital should be a safe environment where patients can feel at home while being treated. But unfortunately this also means there are a lot of criminals and opportunists who are looking to take advantage of vulnerable people. Many people have their pockets or handbags picked. There is also a great number of people who are behaving in a threatening manner and staff at hospital can be put at risk, not that the CCTV cameras help them in that moment but it can deter some people and the people who still carry out their action can be caught using the CCTV footage.
Car parks are well known areas where theft and vandalising takes place so monitoring these areas by CCTV systems make people feel that little bit safer. Most of the time car parks in general are very dark, not well lit and they are not always manned, which can make you feel quite unsafe, especially at night time. This is even the case in many hospital car parks, they are often dark and at the side of the hospital which means there is little people walking around. You often see large CCTV camera housings in car parks, not only to keep the camera safe and vandal proof, but as they are so obvious it does also deter some criminals from vandalising or stealing. Other large public areas within the hospital such as a canteen / cafe is also a potential high risk crime area. Monitoring these areas with CCTV cameras makes staff, patients and visitors feel that little bit safer. The car parks could also be improved with better lighting and if they are manned that the security cards/parking wardens walk around the car park more frequently.
But there’s another use of CCTV Camera Systems within a hospital other than trying to catch a criminal in action.
The first time I became aware of how useful a CCTV Camera could be within a hospital department was when my father was treated for cancer. When I first found out my father had cancer, it came as a big chock it is completely true that you never think something like this will happen to yourself or your family. Luckily although you never know with cancer, it was not life threatening but still as my father is not that young anymore it has its risks having operations and treatment. It has taken its toll but I am very fortunate to say that he is still alive and kicking!
My father first had to have an operation to remove the tumour. Once he had recovered from the operation, he had to undergo further treatment. Amongst other things he had to have some chemotherapy.
The way he described it being done was that he was taken into a secure department within the hospital, in this department they had a room with one wall that was mainly glass panels so the staff outside could easily see into the room.
Once inside and treatment had begun, he was not allowed out of the room for 24 hours. The reason for this was because of the high level of radiation. It could be harmful to anybody entering the room, so he only was ‘let’ out again once the levels had dropped. While he was in this treatment room the nurses were monitoring him using a CCTV camera system. The camera was set up inside of the treatment room and the nurses were watching his every move in a room opposite the treatment room.
This meant that not only the nurses who looked after my father was safe from radiation but they could watch his every move carefully and still carry out other vital duties.
Luckily my father has recovered well and is free of cancer and hopefully he stays well, it was horrible finding out about his illness and it makes you realise how precious life is.
I have since this experience had the pleasure of taking part in the process of getting such a CCTV system installed in various hospital departments. There are also people who set up similar systems in their homes to monitor for example people who suffer from epilepsy. People with severe epilepsy need constant monitoring in case they have a severe fit. Unfortunately many people with severe degree of epilepsy have to be monitored by family or hospital staff. This can be a great help of assisting family and staff that somebody is watching to ensure the patient is safe.
In my personal opinion I believe these types of CCTV camera systems are life savers. There are so many areas within treatment departments a system like this can be used to a great benefit for both staff and patients. I have always been a great believer of CCTV and a security system, my motto is ‘if you are doing no wrong, why mind being watched’. But after my fathers experience I also understand the importance of being able to monitor patients securely and privately.