Healthcare Heroes: Security Guards
May 27, 2020 Katie Rosenblum
By now, we've all heard inspiring stories about medical personnel stepping up during the COVID-19 pandemic, but one group of staff at Cedars-Sinai that doesn't get enough recognition for their efforts is the security team.
With so much changing, this team has adapted quickly to meet the growing demands placed on them.
"It's a stressful job, but we love it."
In addition to the team's regular duties of keeping patients, visitors and staff safe and secure, they are now helping to protect against COVID-19 at the hospital.
"Since the start of COVID-19, we've had to assist medical staff more," says security officer Christian Hernandez. "We assist with temperature screening, passing out masks and helping with hand sanitizer."
Security guards are screening each person who passes through every entrance to the hospital. They are also issuing badges to anyone coming on-site to help ensure everyone has been screened.
Due to increased visitor restrictions, security has often been left to be the bearer of bad news for those who want to see their loved ones.
Like her colleagues, command center operator Emilia Silva takes this responsibility to heart. She recalls telling a patient's wife that she couldn't be with him in the emergency room.
"She started crying," says Emilia. "I offered to call her husband's room so she could at least say goodnight to him and hear his voice. When she hung up, she wiped her tears. She said thank you for being so kind and understanding."
While the team works extra hours and has taken on new responsibilities, one source of motivation is the support staff members have been getting from the community.
"Whether it's sending food or visitors standing outside of the hospitals with signs thanking everybody for what they do, being able to witness that is a constant reminder of why we're here," says Christian.
"It's a stressful job, but we love it," says Emilia. "I've been doing this for 17 years, and I wouldn't change it for anything."