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Letters & E-mails
The Unknown RN is Named
OSD Staff
Publish Date: March 17, 2008

Who's the Woman in That Photo?
Re: "Points of Entry" (February, page 26). This article features a photo with the names of the important people in the photo from right to left. Unfortunately, there are only three names while there are four people pictured. I guess the unnamed woman on the left is either a nurse or a technician, and wasn't worth identifying. Perhaps it's a small thing, but it's emblematic of a larger situation. Nurses and technicians are the people who are always there holding the instruments (as in this photo), helping the patient, assuring that supplies and equipment are ready when needed, figuring out what to do when things don't arrive as ordered and caring for the patient after the doctor leaves the room.

Yet once the doctors enter the picture, the woman on the left is the only person in the photo who isn't important enough to be identified by name or role. The editors either didn't notice the omission or didn't consider it important enough to correct. Which person in this photo would you want your child to become: Doctor A, B or C, or the one nameless person on the team? Lack of recognition and respect are among the reasons why people choose careers other than nursing, which contributes to the current nursing shortage. I believe you can do better. Don't add to the culture of devaluing nursing and technical care: Either name everyone on the team or leave the names off. Find this woman and give her the credit due for contributions to her team! Thanks very much.

Janet Haas, RN, DNSc, CIC
Associate Director of Infection Prevention and Control
NYU Medical Center
New York, N.Y.
[email protected]

Editor's note: The nurse in the picture is Mary Fortune, RN, of Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, Ore.

What About Sharps Safety Disposal?
Re: "Safety Sharp Solutions" (Manager's Guide to Surgical Supplies, October 2007, page 40). This article doesn't address a crucial, expensive aspect of sharps safety: disposing of used sharps. I'd like to see a story on the difference between on-site waste disposal versus traditional haul-away service.

Michael Chelette
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Medical Waste Consultant
[email protected]

Will Pay-for-performance Prioritize PONV?
Re: "Inside the Revised PONV Guidelines" (February, page 78). The main PONV culprits are the two legs upon which modern anesthesia practice stands: halogenated inhaled anesthetics and intravenous opioids. It's amazing what happens to PONV rates when you omit these from the anesthetic regimen. Must we await the impact of benchmarking PONV rates on income to prioritize PONV prevention?

Barry L. Friedberg, MD
Corona del Mar, Calif.
Cosmetic Surgery Anesthesia
[email protected]

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