Restricting Nurses is a WasteThank you for Jonathan Bor's...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 01, 1992

Restricting Nurses is a Waste

Thank you for Jonathan Bor's excellent article, "What the rescue crew can't do to save you" (Oct. 11). As an advanced life support ambulance provider in Pennsylvania and working in a Baltimore hospital for the past five years, I have frequently compared the two emergency medical services systems.

Maryland can boast many firsts in EMS, especially in the field of trauma. However, any system in order to stay ahead must always be assessing itself and striving to improve. It has been my observation that Maryland had become complacent with the EMS system and failed to keep pace with most systems in the country.

Several very important flaws exist in the current system. First, there is confusion as to the level of service provided in any one area.

"Medic" units more often are staffed by a CRT (a mid-level provider able to use fewer skills than a paramedic). Often even when fully trained paramedics are available, they are restricted from using skills available in Pennsylvania and other states.

Registered nurses are not permitted to function in the pre-hospital arena as nurses. Frequently those nurses who are involved in EMS are not permitted to utilize skills and knowledge which they possess and use routinely in their employment.

With these problems it is no wonder that many of last years' UMBC paramedic graduates are working in states which have fewer restrictions.

It is an obvious economic waste of state funds to train personnel only to have them leave and work in other areas. Similarly, it is a waste to subsidize the many hours of continuing education and teach state of the art techniques to both paramedics and nurses and then completely bar the use of these same skills.

John J. Shaw

Hagerstown

The writer is president of the Capital Area Emergency Nurses

Association.

Myth about Jean Harlow's Death

In the Oct. 18 Sunday Parade magazine an old rumor resurfaced that we'd like to correct. It stated that Jean Harlow died at such an early age because her mother "was a member of the Christian Science Church and reportedly refused to summon a doctor when the actress first fell ill."

This is a common myth that was publicized in Irving Schulman's biography of Harlow. However, in an interview with columnist Sheila Graham in 1965, actor William Powell denied this. He tells of calling a doctor as soon as he realized that Harlow was seriously ill. Harlow's mother was in Catalina at the time. When she was informed, she returned home immediately.

Powell and Harlow's mother both accompanied her to the hospital in the ambulance. Harlow's close friends, Kay Mulvey and Howard Strickling, confirmed Powell's account and also denied the myth.

Neither Harlow nor her mother were members of the Christian Science Church. Even if they were, it is contrary to the spirit and teachings of Christian Science to prevent anyone from receiving the method of treatment he or she desires.

Christian Science has always taught that the freedom of individual choice is essential to health care -- genuine Christian healing couldn't be practiced in any other way.

This rumor persists 55 years after the actress' passing. We appreciate your efforts to correct the record.

Roberto Cuniberti

Annapolis

The writer represents the Christian Science Committee on Publication for Maryland.

Slepian's Attack

I was very disquieted to see the letter of reaction of Paul Slepian Oct. 28, in which he disagrees with my references to the highly respected scholar, Molefi K. Asante, and proceeds to vilify Dr. Asante.

Mr. Slepian, a former instructor of mathematics at Howard University, has every right to disagree with me and Dr. Asante, but he has no right to traduce and impugn Dr. Asante in referring to him "as a charlatan and opportunist," which represents a vicious ad hominem and character assassination of Dr. Asante.

I am disappointed that The Sun would permit malicious and vicious attacks on individuals in its Letters to the Editor columns.

For the record, Paul Slepian is a teacher of mathematics with little or no discernible record in the literature or academe for expert work in Afrocentricity or history and the social studies.

Mr. Slepian would be well served to address topics that he knows.

Samuel L. Banks, Ed.D.

Baltimore

The writer is director of compensatory and funded programs for the Baltimore City Schools.

Episcopal Action

My Oct. 10 letter evidently needs a technical correction, where I said the Episcopal Church "voted merely to table" the resolution quoting Jesus' words "I am the way, the truth, and the life."

My personal notes and memory had it that way, but the official minutes are slightly different.

The original resolution did not directly quote Jesus, but put his words in another form.

It was the part containing these words that the convention voted 130 to 100 to delete, not to table, before passing the final resolution reaffirming scripture as "the word of God."

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