It takes a team to keep tight ship on course

November 1, 2006

I routinely read and enjoy the column by Dr. Bradley Tipler. But I was shocked and disappointed by the article in the June 2006 edition, ("Command of a tight ship stays out of reach," page 64). I work on the other side of the table.

I routinely read and enjoy the column by Dr. Bradley Tipler. But I was shocked and disappointed by the article in the June 2006 edition, ("Command of a tight ship stays out of reach," page 64). I work on the other side of the table.

To quote the article, "A technologist or a nurse who is really on the ball can make your day." From my perspective, a physician who is really on the ball makes the day of every tech or nurse that the physician encounters. What Tipler failed to recognize in the article is that the techs and nurses are not there to serve only him but also to provide a service and tend to the needs of patients as well.

My department trains technologists in a variety of modalities. We instruct, mentor, and guide them to support patients and physicians as their customers. However, techs and nurses alike are bombarded daily by the abuse of ill-mannered physicians and are as powerless as Tipler when it comes to the problem of authority. Techs and nurses are also choosing not to "tolerate or accept this situation" and are leaving the profession in alarming numbers. Physicians would not stand for someone treating their mothers or children the way some techs are abused by the medical staff.

Being the victim of a physician with an attitude is as deplorable as working with a tech or nurse with an attitude. If there is a valid complaint about a tech, it should be addressed in the appropriate manner. If a staff member has a complaint about a physician, it should be heard as well. As a tech, I truly appreciate physicians who know what they are doing and who treat the staff with respect. Without mutual respect and collaboration, the "ship" will run aground.

Sure, being responsible for the results lies with the physician. The last time I checked, that's why physicians like Tipler make the big bucks. Just remember that there are no results if techs and nurses do not make their contribution.

-Darlene Headley, BA, RDMS, RT(R)(M)

Morgantown, WV 26506