Sep 2, 2009

Hippocratic Oath Overruled by Bechtel

Frank,
When Bechtel/LANS took over, doctors and medical providers at Occupational Medicine treated patients to diagnose and heal.

Imported Bechtel managers would tell the medical staff that they needed to reduce the number of “recordable” injuries and were told by same staff that their duty was to their patient and to uphold the Hippocratic Oath. Those were the early days of the transition.

Now, three years later, Occupational Medicine is bringing in an OSHA trainer from Denver to “instruct” them on what makes an injury recordable. This is important because recordable injuries are a metric by which LANS is judged, and which can determine those upper management bonuses.

No longer will an employee be treated to heal and minimize pain, but only in the most minimal method so as to avoid making their injury recordable. Examples include sending employees with serious ergonomic injuries away with instructions to take prevention classes, rather than referring to physical therapy. Physical therapy, you see, is a “trigger” which would make that injury recordable and jeopardize those bonuses.

What to do? Since (some) providers at Occupational Medicine no longer have your healing as a prime motivator, here is some advice.

If you are injured at work, go ahead and report it and go to Occupational Medicine. Expect them to minimize the injury to you and send you away with ibuprofen or some other over the counter medication. You therefore do not become one of their “recordable” cases.

If you are still in pain, or have questions, see your personal health care provider, who is still working to heal you and reduce pain.

Good luck! Remember, Occupational Medicine has become an extension of LANS/Bechtel Management- your wellness is NOT their goal- only their injury/illness statistics.

-Anonymous

Anonymous,
I doubt most contractors know Occupational Medicine exists. I certainly would have gone there before the Los Alamos Medical Center. It has been frustrating having to explain to doctors that TA-55 is not the UFO landing strip in Nevada.
Frank

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not at all surprised to hear about this. I believe that this falls under "waste, fraud, and abuse" and should be reported to the GAO.

Anonymous said...

I have experienced this behavior.

Anonymous said...

LANL has become a money machine for the LANS corporate partners and nothing more. Expect more of this same bad behavior in the future. It's not going to get any better over time.

Anonymous said...

Mike Anastasio should be ashamed of himself, but he knows no shame.

"LOOK after each other"?

That latest LANS motto is a total fraud. It makes me want to puke when I see it.

Anonymous said...

"Good luck! Remember, Occupational Medicine has become an extension of LANS/Bechtel Management- your wellness is NOT their goal-"

Stress levels around LANL are beginning to literally kill people. It's a sad situation to watch. I have to agree... LANS (Bechtel) is not seriously interested in their employees' health. The are only interested in the dollars that can be gained through the use of phony metrics.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Chu,

I suggest you start out each morning by reading this blog. You might learn a thing or two about what's really going on with your NNSA components.

Doug Roberts said...

Somebody(s) at DOE have been taking a good long look at the blog every day. Today there has already been a good 5 hours of activity on the blog from DOE HQ so far.

See this excerpt from the logs.

Anonymous said...

"LOOK after each other," and report what you see to your manager.

Anonymous said...

Doug,

DOE is looking at the blog for they same reason as everybody else: you can't keep from staring in fascination at a train wreck. DOE doesn't have any real interest in improving our conditions at LANL. How could they? They washed their hands of us in 2005. We're just entertainment for them now.

Anonymous said...

If this behavior continues with the OM group, I believe contacting the medical board would be appropriate. I have been in their clinic twice in the past 6 months and have been really disappointed with their attitudes.

Anonymous said...

"Doug Roberts said...
Somebody(s) at DOE have been taking a good long look at the blog every day. Today there has already been a good 5 hours of activity on the blog from DOE HQ so far."

OMG...it's another plot against LANL

Anonymous said...

OMG... it's just one big Conspiracy!

What we whine here is but fodder for the comedy club of others.

Anonymous said...

Duh. I experienced this in late 2007. I had an ergo injury, they gave me aleve and told me to come back for what i thought was physical therapy. when i showed up, it was some guy telling me i need to take some classes on relieving pain in my wrist through the wellness center. after i realized that i wasn't going to get help, i went to my doctor and got some pt. so i believe they were instructed to do this long before now...obviously.

Anonymous said...

I had an employee get hurt to the extent that he could not stand. OM told me to find him a desk job. He is a technician and that was really not in the cards. I pushed back on this pretty hard to get him two weeks off. They didn't like it but I threatened to take it to the DOE and they gave in. I am sure that there is a mark by my name in some book.

Anonymous said...

but what about wally? anyone who has ever been to occ med knows wally.

Anonymous said...

My experiences at the hospital have been very different. They understood my exposure and treated me appropriately.

Frank Young said...

If you mean the Los Alamos Medical Center I understand they now have staff and facilities to treat exposures. I was talking about 2002.

Brad Lee Holian said...

What you see here is a FIVE-year-old story, beginning in July of 2004. The infamous shutdown, which led to this blog and its predecessors, was done to facilitate the privatization of Los Alamos National Lab. Is it any wonder that profit is the motive for "doctoring" the facts behind accidents, rather than the victims of of those safety incidents? "Statistics" are either a measure of what is happening or fodder for propaganda.

Privatization has its proponents, and they drive really, really nice cars to work, and dress very much like businessmen. You can recognize them, like we used to be able to recognize FBI agents . . .

-Brad

P.S. Wishing you all the very best. I'm still here, I'm still watching our masters.

Anonymous said...

6:52 PM, Mary Neu has two young kids as well. She rakes in a $1.2M bonus. And let's not forget that Seestrum is in it for the money. The ends do not justify the means. Money. A reason to seel out morals, friends, and family, alike.

Anonymous said...

"Privatization has its proponents, and they drive really, really nice cars to work, and dress very much like businessmen." (Brad Holian)

Yes, indeed they do. And every time I see one of them walking or driving around LANL in their really, really nice cars, I (and probably many others) can think of only one thing... "there goes another Bechtelian shit-head carpet-bagging sleaze ball".

Anonymous said...

Greg,

Many others have been treated the same way on the blog. Let's not start getting morals now.

Anonymous said...

As an anti-nuclear activist, I must confess that I enjoy reading this blog. Bechtel has seemingly done more to damage LANL and destroy its heart and soul than our organized protests could ever do. I love it. Bring on more Bechtel!

Anonymous said...

Report: Government to hire 270,000 by 2012

New Mexico Business Weekly (Sep 3, 2009)

Federal agencies will be hiring more than 270,000 workers for mission-critical jobs by the end of September 2012, according to a new report from the Partnership for Public Service.

The total projected hiring for mission-critical jobs is expected to jump by more than 40 percent during fiscal 2010 to 2012, compared to the previous three years.

The D.C.-based nonprofit compiled the report by surveying 35 federal agencies about government-wide projected hiring needs for the next three years.

@@@@@@@@@@

Meanwhile, back here at LANL, we will see nothing but more demands for employee attrition and budget cutbacks. I guess LANL employees are no longer considered "mission critical".

Anonymous said...

I agree about Eaton. I saw her about a year ago. She's a poor excuse for a doctor.

Anonymous said...

Like the old addage goes ... what do you call the person who graduated last in rankings from medical school?

Doctor. And then you hire them at head of occ med at LANL!

Anonymous said...

"As an anti-nuclear activist, I must confess that I enjoy reading this blog." (10:47 am)

Riley Bechtel and I wish to thank you for those kind words, poster 10:47am. And just to remind our lab scientists once again... Please leave! LANS does not want you here. Isn't that clear to everyone by now?

- MIKEY

Anonymous said...

Eaton is a two-face, back-stabbing, incompetent bitch "running" occ med and should go, but with that resounding sentiment she will be honored and revered by the likes of Mikey, Terry, Alan, etc.

Anonymous said...

As a frequent reader of your blog, I usually find it entertaining and good lecture material for my students of organizational behavior. However, these comments on the occupational medicine department are very disconcerting. You have what appears to be medical professionals maliciously attacking one another. A physician's credibility is his/her main assest. If it is being questioned by another physician, you now have a real problem. Unless LANL wants to provide considerable work for the legal community, I recommend getting this department in order before it implodes onto itself.

Anonymous said...

The whole of LANL is a case study in now *not* to run a business, any kind of business. What is being done by the management there should be taught in the business administration department at universities everywhere under the course title "How Not To Run A Company".

Anonymous said...

Eaton doesn't care about any of the credibility of the Doctors on her staff. She is managing upwards and will throw them and any LANL employee under the train to advance herself.

Anonymous said...

Sheesh. Substitue "Eaton" with any randomly selected Division Leader's name and "Doctors" with "Scientists" and you've pretty well summed up the current state of LANL.

Anonymous said...

11:53 AM makes an excellent point.

Anonymous said...

Haven't we all bent our values and ethics at times working here? why should the employee's at occ med be any different? I would think they are well aware of the consequences of "whistle blowing" at LANL.

Anonymous said...

Eaton needs to go. I have been in several meetings with her and she really does not represent our best interest.

Frank Young said...

"Haven't we all bent our values and ethics at times working here?

No one is perfect. The least we can do is try to change when we realize we are wrong.

Anonymous said...

Since Eaton started talking about H1N1 we realized what an idiot she was. My group has quit going to the Quack Shack because of her.

Anonymous said...

Yep, if you work for the Quack Shack, then you deserve to be maligned like a senior manager. Those in the Quack Shack do not help, but rahter add to the misery of the working peon at LANL.

Anonymous said...

10:53PM has a valid point...

Anonymous said...

9/10/09 7:08 PM

What is wrong with people on this blog, that they feel the need to trash individuals by name?

Why not? It is the only way the truth gets revealed. Today's big news ... and you heard it here first! Doc Aq had a big radiological laboratory explosion today at TA-48. When will the senior management just get rid of her? More bad press for LANL.

Anonymous said...

Did they go the the Quack Shack for treatment where Eaton would claim it had nothing to do with the job?

Anonymous said...

8:12, nope. Eaton can relax ...

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, 8:52 AM, but what do you mean no? Are you saying that nobody from the TA-48 explosion went to Occ Med?

Anonymous said...

Nobody was injured or potentially exposed to anything, so no reason for Occ Med. RCT's found no contamination. IWD's were in order, management was notified correctly, no facility damage occurred. Silicone oil & broken glass were cleaned up off the floor. In other words, this is pretty much a non-story.

Anonymous said...

8:59, I work at occ med and nobody from TA-48 came in yesterday and there were not reports. It would seem that history is repeating itself.

Anonymous said...

Hooray, the undersized wee-wee brigade is back in town.

Anonymous said...

Why is information regarding the explosion not being released? Are we now protecting the Aqua Regia TSM? Good god. Now people who have knowingly hurt others - as documented numerous times - are being protected.

Anonymous said...

Oh, shudder the thought 4:15! Shut down the LANL Blog, now! Now I say!!!

Anonymous said...

4:15, maybe some people need protecting when the LANL management don't have the balls to do so. You know, that bonus thingy might be at risk. So cool your engines, buddy...

Anonymous said...

Baseless accusations posted anonymously on a blog scarcely qualify as documentation, my friend.

Considering that Jackie sends her postdocs to Occ Med if they get so much as a hangnail at work, and considering the 200 or so rubberneckers who "casually" strolled past her lab yesterday, it seems spectacularly unlikely that the no-show at Occ Med means anything other than nobody got hurt.

But you can always ask Jackie's management about it, if you're really THAT concerned.

Anonymous said...

The people should know when the man is keeping safety secrets! Let the people know what is not being posted. Since when are the blog-miesters chicken?

Frank Young said...

Must be a full moon tonight.

Doug Roberts said...

Sure feels like it.

Anonymous said...

8:04 pm: "Since when are the blog-miesters chicken?"

They aren't chicken, they're roosters. It's their roost, and you're not allowed unless they bless you. If you thought you had a free forum, you were wrong. At least, they could post their list of rules (and stick to it).

Frank Young said...

I get to make up rules? Cool!

Rule #1 - Everyone who complains about Doug or I owes us both a beer.

Anonymous said...

You mean "Doug or me".

Frank Young said...

I'm counting that as a complaint.

Anonymous said...

Good grief! So, a top level post about the Bechtelization of Occ Medicine has now morphed into attacks on Jackie about a trivial, non-threatening incident? Get a grip, people, and I don't mean shoes!

Keep your eyes on the real problem at LANL -- the take-over of the lab and destruction of science under the for-profit machinations of Bechtel and BWXT.

The top level post ended with this key remark:

"Good luck! Remember, Occupational Medicine has become an extension of LANS/Bechtel Management- your wellness is NOT their goal- only their injury/illness statistics."

Let that sink deeply into your consciousness. This lab is going down under LANS/Bechtel. I know it may be difficult, but try to concentrate on the real issues that are destroying LANL.

This lab feels more and more like a sinking ship were drowning rats begin attacking each other before the ship finally goes down to the bottom of the sea.

Anonymous said...

Good grief! So, a top level post about the Bechtelization of Occ Medicine has now morphed into attacks on Jackie about a trivial, non-threatening incident? Get a grip, people, and I don't mean shoes!


Low hanging fruit, baby! And if the incident was trivial and non-threatening, then why was the lab closed down?

Anonymous said...

1:46 You are living proof that polygraph testing is pointless.

Anonymous said...

12:46 pm: "Keep your eyes on the real problem at LANL -- the take-over of the lab and destruction of science under the for-profit machinations of Bechtel and BWXT."

Everyone has already seen this and doesn't care. Why do you keep beating this dead horse? Who do you think is out there that, if only they knew, would be outraged and could do something about it? No cavalry is on the horizon. Your job now is to protect your career and your family to the extent you still can. Repeat: NO ONE GIVES A SHIT.

Anonymous said...

"No cavalry is on the horizon. Your job now is to protect your career and your family to the extent you still can. Repeat: NO ONE GIVES A SHIT."

9/13/09 8:19 PM


That's a difficult message to swallow, but it is becoming ever more clear that it is true. Everyone at LANL is looking for some type of "separate peace" these days to get them through this mess.

For some, it is a muli-year sabbatical or change of station away from Los Alamos. For others, it's a move to a better job outside of the lab. For older staff, it's become a decision of taking early retirement. For some people stranded at LANL, a move up to management rank is the solution for salvation. And for those who can't get out of LANL or move up to the safety of management, the solution seems to be one of denial.

The outcome of all this? Once you finally realize that "no one gives a shit", then this same attitude begins to effect the way you perform your work at LANL.

Heckavajob, NNSA and LANS!

Anonymous said...

If you all really have a problem with LANL and how things are being run then either #1 do something about it and quit bitching, or #2 leave and quit bitching. All you are doing is crying about everything that is wrong with the situation but it doesn't seem like any of you are trying to come up with solutions to fix it other then bitch and moan about it to others.

Frank Young said...

I have a solution but I don't think you are going to like it.