Cory Hunte is the UF Health Shands Security officer who switches off with Hicks to work the day shift. He had a similar role at New York Presbyterian Hospital before joining UF Health Shands. He also prefers his new job here in Gainesville.
“The weather is great,” Hunte said. “There’s no snow and, generally, the people here are much nicer.”
Hunte has also been here since 2017 and said his transition was seamless. He has always appreciated the patient care environment.
“We want to make sure everyone who comes through our hospitals is safe and has the best experience we can give them,” Hunte said. “My favorite part of working here is helping people. That’s the highlight of our job.”
The most difficult cases for our Security teams involve patients with medical conditions affecting their behavior or people suffering from addiction. They often have to help staff by restraining patients who have become noncompliant and aggressive. The security team’s strength is their training and skill in de-escalating tense situations through careful verbal intervention.
Hicks said that in disruptive situations and difficult patient care scenarios, each person is “a soul that needs to be tended to, like anybody.”
Hunte agrees, describing their team as “mediators” who regularly meet hostility and the threat of violence with understanding.
He added, “(Patients who act out are) not really mad at you. They don’t know you. They’re mad at the situation, and you can’t take it personally.”
In stressful situations, Hicks draws inspiration from his pastor. A saying that he reflects on is, “It doesn’t matter how people treat you, but it does matter how you react.”