March 6, 2013

Brava to Sandra G. Boodman for her March 5 Health article, “Rage in the OR.” As the senior purchasing agent for the operating-room department at a major health-care provider in the District for more than three years, I was appalled by the operating-room doctors’ blatant verbal abuse. Sadly, such abuse is not limited to the operating room but is rampant in all areas of the medical community, as I experienced.

If nurses feel they are mistreated, try being a lowly purchasing agent, explaining to a doctor that he cannot have some widget simply so he can receive a free trip to Puerto Rico due to a cozy relationship with a medical supply company. The doctors take it out on nurses, the nurses take it out on the techs, the techs take it out on the purchasing department, etc.

Providing quality health care begins with treating everyone with respect and proper etiquette. My experience working in health care, being a patient and being a caregiver is that the doctors and nurses who are generous listeners and display confidence and humility are the ones who provide the best care.

Elizabeth Arata Pedersen, Vienna