Shellharbour Hospital security guard Brett Sheridan wants to apologise.
He wants to say sorry to the mother and sick child who had to listen to the vile language being used by a highly intoxicated patient he was trying to calm down.
He's sorry too that an elderly patient was forced to witness the scuffle that broke out as security tried to restrain an ice-affected patient.
And he wishes the sick and injured in the emergency department didn't often have to put up with aggressive - and sometimes violent - incidents as they awaited care.
Yet it isn't Mr Sheridan's apology to make. Indeed, the veteran security guard - who has been spat at, punched, kicked and verbally abused more times than he cares to remember - is also deserving of an apology.
Not that he wants words; what the vice-president of the Shellharbour branch of the Health Services Union (HSU) wants is action.
"I've worked at Shellharbour Hospital for six years and the aggression and violence is getting increasingly worse," he said.
"I've seen nurses grabbed by the throat and thrown up against walls; I've seen security officers coward punched; I've seen patients standing on beds swinging poles around trying to hit people.
"I've been tested for HIV and everything else, and sweated on the results of blood tests for months, after being spat at in the face several times. I've been punched and kicked.
"You come to expect it."
Yet, Mr Sheridan believes there are measures that could be taken to protect workers against the escalating violence in hospitals in public hospitals across NSW.
That's why he'll join a statewide four-hour strike on August 1, along with 22,000 other HSU members - including security, allied health, catering and administration staff and paramedics.
The NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association is supporting the HSU campaign, but nurses will remain at patients' bedsides during the action.
"We need more resources - we're understaffed and we need better training, and better maintained security equipment," Mr Sheridan said.
"We also need more powers and better tools to be able to do our job - to be proactive, not reactive.
"We get instances where six to eight police officers bring in someone in handcuffs, so affected by ice they have the strength of 10 men.
"Then the handcuffs come off and these highly agitated and unpredictable people are left with a couple of security officers with none of the powers or tools available to police."
Mr Sheridan said Shellharbour Hospital - home to four mental health units - was in dire need of additional security staff.
"We're seeing more drug and alcohol affected people, more issues with elderly people with conditions like dementia, and just generally patients and their relatives becoming more aggressive," he said.
"Hospital is a very emotional place and it doesn't take much for that emotion to overflow into violence."
The union wants at least more 250 security officers stationed at hospitals and health facilities across the state, including at Shellharbour and Wollongong.
And, like Mr Sheridan, HSU NSW secretary Gerard Hayes wants to see the NSW Ministry of Health support a more proactive security response in public hospitals.
"We are trying to change the face of security. We want staff to have the right training and protections to proactively intervene and de-escalate incidents," he said.
Mr Hayes said crime statistics revealed an average of 40 assaults per month across NSW public hospitals.
"We need two security officers allocated to the general hospital, two to mental health units and two to EDs," he said.
"Then we need someone monitoring cameras to identify any risks. Most hospitals - including in the Illawarra - fall way below those staffing levels."
The matter went before the NSW Industrial Relations Commission on Monday, with the Commissioner urging the union and the Ministry of Health to continue with talks to try and resolve any planned industrial action.
Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District executive director clinical operations Margaret Martin said a range of measures were in place to ensure the "safest possible environment for staff, patients and visitors".
"In the past year, ISLHD has comprehensively reviewed security measures and implemented enhancements including additional CCTV, duress alarms and access control to provide the safest possible staff and patient environment," she said.
"In addition a Safety Culture Co-ordinator is working with hospital staff across the district as part of a comprehensive safety culture initiative."
The district had also provided violence prevention management training for security and other staff required to manage and respond to incidents, she said.
There were also mental health emergency response teams available. Post-incident reviews were undertaken and debriefing and assistance offered to staff.
Ms Martin said the district was also part of the statewide review into hospital security, which started late last year. The Anderson Report's interim findings, including 48 recommendations, were released in February.
"The LHD has started work locally to address the interim recommendations and we will await the final report due later this year before considering further recommendations."