Over 60 security personnel of public sector hospitals attend training session to hone their interpersonal skills.

For a security guard doing a 12-hour shift in a tertiary-care hospital like the Government Medical College Hospital (MCH), which in a year handles more than eight lakh patients in the outpatient clinics alone— 4,000 patients daily—life cannot be very easy.

Apart from ensuring that general rules and regulations in the hospital are maintained, they have the tough job of crowd management, especially during emergencies. Security guards doing the night shift have tougher responsibilities such as preventing thefts or throwing out unruly and inebriated men.

On Saturday, for over 60 security personnel working in the MCH, SAT, and the Dental College, it was indeed a pleasant surprise to learn that despite the stressful nature of their job, it was possible to be more pleasant and friendly and yet be stern with the thousands they had to manage daily.

“More than a pleasant ‘yes,' a grumpy and harsh ‘no' comes more naturally to them. But as persons manning the ‘front office' in a busy public sector hospital, it is imperative that they are given training in interpersonal management,” says C. Jayan, Associate Professor of Surgery and one of the directors of People's Health Initiative, which has launched a series of training programmes for the medical college hospital staff in better people-management.

The programme was envisaged as a first step to make hospital employees realise that along with doctors who provided medical care, they also played a crucial role in making a hospital visit or stay a pleasant experience, Dr. Jayan says.

The programme, titled, ‘Say Yes,' is to educate hospital employees to improve their communication and problem-solving skills so that rather that say an outright ‘no,' they are encouraged to adopt a positive approach to daily issues they encounter while at work.