Reports on GunsThe misleading news reports in The Sun and...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

August 31, 1994

Reports on Guns

The misleading news reports in The Sun and the malicious cartoons by Kal, Mike Smith and Mike Lane gave your readers the erroneous impression that the only reason a majority of the members of the House of Representatives voted against the president's crime bill the first time was the ban on assault weapons.

This was not true. There were many provisions in the bill which were found to be unacceptable. As appears in your Aug. 22 edition, the bill passed the House only after a number of appropriate amendments were made strengthening its anti-crime provisions while retaining the ban on assault weapons.

Hopefully from this experience, President Clinton (our most partisan president of this century) has learned that in order to get things done, you must work with both parties and not try to ram things though the Congress relying on the Democratic Party majority without giving an opportunity to the Republicans to have any input.

!Evan Alevizatos Chriss

Baltimore

Nursing's Future

On Aug. 7, The Sun carried an article about the changing role of nursing in Maryland hospitals. It's true hospitals and nursing roles are changing rapidly. In the last several years, the number of patients being admitted to hospitals has dropped dramatically, as has the number of days patients are staying in the hospital.

In response, hospitals are downsizing inpatient care units. At the same time, they are providing more outpatient care and working to broaden their traditional acute care role to include primary and preventive care. Nurses are playing a fundamental role in this transition.

Staffing in hospitals is evolving as a result of these changes. The need to reduce or close units is a response to the smaller number of patients staying overnight in hospitals. The changes also are the result of efforts to give nurses more autonomy, and to develop more patient-focused care models.

Changes include efforts to identify those patient care functions which others could do, in order to free nurses to devote their time to clinical activities that demand their unique skills and judgment.

Nurses manage a range of activities, providing treatments and other care, while delegating tasks of routine daily living and paperwork, which don't require nursing knowledge. Such an approach enhances care, increases individual job satisfaction and ultimately saves money.

This process has been a slow, deliberate one which has been scrutinized and reviewed thoroughly to ensure that quality of care is not compromised.

Individual hospitals continually monitor the quality of care provided. Numerous public and private accreditation organizations provide additional scrutiny. Also, hospitals have worked closely with the Maryland Board of Nursing to assure safe delegation of nursing duties.

As noted in your article, the board has issued revised regulations providing nurses with more latitude in decisions to delegate routine tasks. Delegated care is always performed under the supervision of a licensed nurse.

The future of health care delivery is evolving, with or without congressional action. The goal is to find new ways to provide better care for Marylanders, while delivering that care more cost effectively. That means additional changes for hospitals and for the critical role of nursing.

Maryland hospitals are committed to enhancing the quality of care they provide. Maintaining that quality remains at the center of efforts to restructure health care for the 21st century.

Catherine Crowley

Lutherville

The writer, a registered nurse, is assistant vice president of the Maryland Hospital Association's Center for Nursing and Allied Health Careers.

Failed Barriers

My family and I are African-Americans who have lived in Guilford for almost 20 years. We are appalled and offended by the proposed plan for limiting traffic in the neighborhood.

Throughout history, barriers have not worked. The Great Wall of China, moats in the Middle Ages and, more recently, the Berlin Wall are examples of how barriers have not been successful in limiting access.

Our family chose to live in the city. We work to make it a better place to live. We did not choose to live isolated from all the uniqueness that urban living provides.

Certainly we are challenged to find solutions to the problems of our community. I have written to Mayor Kurt Schmoke to ask him to consider appointing a panel to recommend viable solutions to crime, and to encourage the Guilford Association to work with other neighborhoods to solve mutual problems.

Most importantly, I ask that barriers not be erected.

I am confident that our community has all the resources and talent necessary to meet the challenges we face as we enter the 21st century.

#Nannette Kindle Mitchell

Baltimore

Horton's Pollution

Irony of ironies, it turns out that your in-house defender of the bay and promoter of environmentally correct causes and candidates, Tom Horton, has been a first-class polluter of the bay himself for years.

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