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Who Reforms the Reformers?
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The hospital serving the poorest of Los Angeles people was the scene recently where a woman died writhing in pain for 45 minutes. She died on the floor of the ER while staffers stood by and custodial workers cleaned up blood and vomit around her.

Naturally, there has been a surge of outrage, most notable because the problems at this facility have been well-known and supposedly reforms had been instituted, reforms which included reassignment of all staff and thorough retraining.

Yet. And yet, deficiencies persist among King-Harbor nurses. New data obtained by The [Los Angeles] Times show that in April, 60% of 285 registered and licensed vocational nurses failed one or more parts of basic clinical competency assessments. More than one in 10 failed three or more sections of the assessment.

Nearly half of King-Harbor's specialized nurses--those who work in intensive care units and post-anesthesia care, for instance--failed at least one section of a separate round of competency assessments last month. The same was true of more than 60% of operating room RNs and surgical technicians.

In the last decade or two, our life expectancy in this country has dropped; measurements show that on average, American are shorter in stature than in the past and infant mortality has increased.

Lessened in stature, in more ways than one.

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