By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It is a sad reality that many hospitals have to prepare for potential shootings which could be directed at physician’s nurses and patients.

An article published in the journal “The Doctor Weighs In” takes a close look at a shooting last June at the Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center.

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According to the article, things could have been much worse if it was not for preparation and quick thinking. But the key word here is preparation.

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Those who work in hospitals providing care for patients cannot put their heads in the sand. They need to understand that there is potential for harm to them and their patients at any time by the very nature of the fact that they are dealing with people at very emotional times in their lives.

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This is why it is important for hospitals, long-term care facilities, and physician’s offices to be prepared for what all of us hope never will happen.