Letters from the Issue of September 8, 2005

Hoops hype, bickering nurses, and cops as doctors

Name Withheld by Request


The JMH Motto

Work like crazy and keep your mouth shut: I am a registered nurse working in one of the intensive care units at Jackson Memorial Hospital, and I would just like to say that my colleagues and I wholeheartedly applaud the nurse from SICU who wrote to New Times regarding the poor quality of patient care at this facility. All areas of Jackson are feeling the pinch as president Marvin O'Quinn and his administrators cut services and expect us to do more and more with less and less.

None of us was surprised to hear about Forrest Norman's mother-in-law, a transplant patient who had to clean the bathroom herself. There are so few environmental workers in the hospital, particularly at night, that it is difficult to get a bedspace cleaned (which may be covered in blood and other body fluids) within three hours so that an emergency admission can be accepted. In addition, the hospital equipment is poorly maintained and frequently breaks down. Many of the beds in the critical care areas have large tears in the mattresses that allow body fluids to seep through; these are obviously not removed by superficial cleaning.

All of these things are brought to the attention of the nurse managers but nothing is done because of budget cuts. Meanwhile our patients are becoming infected with resistant types of bacteria. The nurse-to-patient ratios in many areas are unsafe and leave the staff unable to provide any type of care except the absolute basics.

Incidentally, after New Times published the letter "Speaking as a Nurse," the nurse manager of the surgical intensive-care unit e-mailed all of his staff, criticizing the letter-writer. Mr. O'Quinn doesn't want to provide us with the means to care for our patients in the manner they deserve, but he also wants us to keep our mouths shut about how bad things really are.

Name Withheld by Request


My Uncle Is Not Demented

His name is Dick Judy and he shouldn't be diagnosed by a couple of cops: In Francisco Alvarado's article "Tales of Teele" (July 28), Miami-Dade Police detectives stated in their investigative report into Art Teele that my uncle, Dick Judy, is suffering from dementia. As a result of that allegation I received many telephone calls from caring friends about my uncle's mental well-being and condition.

I am writing, therefore, to set the record straight concerning my uncle's level of mental capacity. Dementia, which is defined as a deterioration of intellectual facilities caused by organic disease of the brain, is not an ailment from which my uncle is suffering. He does have a minor speech impediment, a condition that might appear to the layperson as a form of impairment, mental or otherwise. It should be obvious, though, that the two police officers who interviewed my uncle concerning the work he did for Miami's Community Redevelopment Agency and Mr. Teele are neither qualified nor capable of assessing and diagnosing a person's level of mental functioning and ability. The fact that they did so in an official report is careless at best and egregious at worst.

The detectives and readers of New Times should be further advised that while my uncle is technically a retiree, he is frequently called upon as a consultant to governmental agencies to assist in high-level strategic planning projects that fall within his realm of expertise, aviation.

I would request that the official report submitted by the detectives in the Teele matter be amended to correctly reflect the notably superior level of cognitive function and ability of Mr. Dick Judy.

Jeff Scott Judy


You Want Avant-Garde?

We got your avant-garde right here: Regarding Julienne Gage's "Crown of Thorns" (July 21), I would like to congratulate New Times for having the courage to bring a cutting-edge "popular art form" to the public's attention. I knew in my heart that my booger sculptures were art.

David Cox III

Coral Gables

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