You'd think that hospitals, multi-million dollar operations would be smart enough to not have the whole operation fall apart over somebody who makes maybe $12/hour.  Alas, my experience at WakeMed Raleigh– where million-dollar diagnostic equipment sat idle where highly trained technicians sat waiting for patients, all for a shortage of patient transport personnel– is far from unique

Of all the cogs in that process (reports! scans! diagnoses! lab
results! consults! chains of command! available beds!), one of the most
essential and least respected is the patient transporter, whose
qualifications typically include a high school diploma, a pleasant
disposition and a clean record. ?My job is to move the patient from
Point A to Point B,? says Mr. Sarieminli, who has worked in this
position for seven years…

As administrators in major hospitals around
the country know well, a dawdling patient transporter can set off a
chain reaction of delays throughout the institution.

Seems to me, if hospital administrators had any sense, they'd make sure never to run out of these cogs in the machine so that million-dollar operating theaters, highly-paid doctors, etc., are not just sitting there wasted.  Better to have a patient transporter sitting around with nothing to do than an MRI machine and technician.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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