When to Call 911

How do we know when to call 911. Many people feel reluctant to make a call to bring help. Below is a list of symptoms for calling 911: Chest pain, suspected heart attack Difficulty breathing Severe persistant abdominal pain Uncontrolled or excessive bleeding Head injury Loss of consciousness Poisoning (after you call Poison Control hotline at 1-800- 222-1222) Severe burn High fever over 103 degrees, especially in children Seizure Diabetic complications Gunshot or stab wounds

Safe Medication Use

Remember the 3 R’s of safe medication use: All prescriptions and nonprescription medication have risks. Respect the power of your medication and the vale of medicines properly used. Take responsibility for learning about how to take your medication safely.

Medication questions to ask

Questions to ask your doctor before taking any prescription medication, herbal or other over-the-counter, r supplemental medications: Why do I need this medication? What is the name of the medication? How does it work? What are the potential side effects? Which ones should I can my doctor about? Will the medication interact with the other prescription and nonprescription drugs I am taking? How long will I need to be on the medication? How many tines a day …

Continue reading

How Your Health Team Works For You

While we all like to think that our doctor is the biggest and the best, we need to recognize that s/he is merely one member of your health care team. Granted, your doctor is probably the most the most well-paid member, the most educated member, and the director of your team, but they do not work as an island unto themselves. They delegate many tasks related to your diagnosis and treatment to other members of …

Continue reading

Your Patient Bill Of Rights

Historically, each health care facility in the United States has subscribed to a written Patient Bill of Rights that was created by the American Hospital Association in 1995. That document was replaced a few years ago by The Patient Care Partnership which uses plain language to inform patients about what they should expect during their hospital stay with regard to their rights and responsibilities.(http://www.aha.org/aha/issues/Communicating-With-Patients/pt-care-partnership.html). What you should expect during your hospital stay: High quality & …

Continue reading

End Of Life Conversations

When is The Right Time to Have Such a Conversation? There is never a right time to discuss end of life issues. But the issues can quickly become a fact of life, oftentimes when you least expect it. Few people are physically or emotionally prepared for these types of conversations and the decisions they may require. Many think that this conversation only deals with end of life requests and final wishes. While these topics are …

Continue reading

Vaccination Guide For Parents

Below is a suggested list of vaccinations for children. Be sure to follow the dates and guidelines directed by your healthcare provider. Many times, these vaccines are combined to minimize injections. Ask for a vaccine record book and take it to every visit to your healthcare provider. Hepatitis B (HepB):  protects against a virus that attacks the liver. This virus can lead to scarring and cancer of the liver. HepB is spread through blood, body …

Continue reading

How Your Hospital Bills Get Paid

Your hospital bill: Hospital bills and insurance coverage are often confusing. Most hospitals do not send an itemized bill when they bill you for the health care you have received. Your Patient Bill of Rights guarantees that your have the right to examine and receive a detailed explanation of your hospital bill. If you call the phone number on the bill and ask for an itemized bill, they will send you a bill that includes …

Continue reading

The Basics Of Individual Health Insurance

Historically, most full-time American workers got great health insurance through an employer-based health plan. Very often, this coverage was a benefit that they did not have to contribute to. Those who didn’t work full-time bought it themselves directly from an insurance company. Times have certainly changed! In the economic upheaval that Americans have been facing since 2007, many people have lost their jobs and with that loss came the loss of health insurance. Some of …

Continue reading

When Is It Time To Find A New Doctor

Upon graduation from medical school each new doctor takes the Hippocratic oath in which s/he pledges to do ‘no harm’. These young doctors subsequently spend the rest of their career with their patient’s best interests at heart and with the intent of causing no harm. There are many reasons why a patient chooses a particular doctor. S/he may be the best diagnostician in town. Or s/he may have the best bedside manner. Whatever the reason …

Continue reading

Planning For Discharge

What is Discharge Planning? Discharge planning involves planning for the care you will need after you are discharged from a health-care facility. The planning begins on the day that you are admitted. It involves the evaluation of and planning to meet your biological, psychological, social and spiritual needs once you are discharged. This planning may include involvement of family members or significant others as determined by your immediate and short term needs requirements. It may …

Continue reading

How To Select A Doctor

There are many doctors out there giving all sorts of care. Some are great doctors but lousy human beings. Some are great human beings, but are lousy clinicians. Some have fabulous bedside manner, putting you at ease immediately, while others have the personality of a frog. You will have to see what your tolerance level is. The bottom line is to choose a doctor you feel comfortable with. There is NO reason to ever go …

Continue reading

What To Expect From Your Nurse

DEFINITION OF NURSING: The American Nurses’ Association (ANA) traditionally defined nursing as the “diagnosis and treatment of human responses to actual or potential health problems.” In 2004 they expanded that definition to acknowledge four essential features of contemporary professional nursing practice: Attention to the full range of human experiences and responses to health and illness Interpretation of data collected from the patient and other sources Application of scientific knowledge to diagnose and treat nursing needs …

Continue reading

How Do You Know If You Have An Infection?

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF A LOCALIZED INFECTION: The inflammatory response is the normal response of the healthy body when an injury has occurred. This injury can be the result of trauma or invasion by a disease-causing (pathogenic) organism such as a bacteria, virus, or fungus. As soon as the body detects injured or dead cells due to a trauma or an invading pathogenic organism, it goes into defense mode. Like astute, ready-to-defend soldiers, the white blood …

Continue reading

Reducing Your Risk Of Health Care Acquired Infections

What are Health Care Acquired Infections?Infections that patients get while in the health care setting are referred to as Hospital-Acquired, Health-Care Acquired or nosocomial infections (HAI’s). This means that the patient didn’t enter the health care setting with an infection, s/he acquired it while receiving health care. In a setting where the primary goal is patient safety and security, how does this happen?Who is at risk?HAI’s kill 100,000 patients each year. It is the 4th …

Continue reading

Common Painkillers Increase Risk For Heart Attack & Stroke

Healthy adults who reach for common painkillers to ease the twinges of everyday aches and pains could be setting themselves up for a heart attack or stroke, according to recent research. Past studies clearly showed that long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including Advil, Motrin and Aleve, to relieve pain was linked to an increased risk of heart attack or stroke in those who already had heart disease. But now a study from Denmark …

Continue reading

Safe Medication Practices

Usually if we get sick, the medicine we take helps us stay healthy when we follow the dosage instructions. But sometimes medication errors do happen and people can get hurt as a result. Medication errors can happen in hospitals, in pharmacies or even at home. The good news is that the more information you have, the better able you are to prevent errors and take care of yourself Taking Your Medication: When taking medicine, keep …

Continue reading

Adult Immunizations

THE CDC ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON IMMUNIZAtion Practices routine immunization recommendations for adults are below. Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis Vaccine (Td/ Tdap): protects against three bacterial diseases. Tetanus bacteria poisons can cause lockjaw and muscle spasms. Respiratory diphtheria initially causes a sore throat, fever and chills. Pertussis (whooping cough) causes severe coughing spasms that can last for weeks. Adults should have completed a three-dose primary series of tetanus- and diphtheria-containing vaccine as a child, and subsequently should …

Continue reading

When You’re Taking Medications

MEDICATIONS ARE SOMETIMES NECESSARY: No one likes to take medications. They may be difficult to swallow. They may be inconvenient. They may be unaffordable. They may cause side effects…some minor, some major. In rare instances, they may cause serious adverse effects. The reality is, however, that there are times in our lives when medication is not merely beneficial, but essentially life saving.  At these times, if we want to live, we must take them. SHARING …

Continue reading

What You Need to Know About the Flu Vaccine

Why get vaccinated? Influenza (flu) is a contagious disease. It is caused by the influenza virus, which can be spread by coughing, sneezing, or through nasal secretions. Anyone can get influenza, but rates of infection are highest among children. For most people, common symptoms last only a few days. These common symptoms include: fever, sore throat, chills, fatigue, cough, headache, and muscle aches. Other illnesses can have the same symptoms and are often mistaken for influenza. …

Continue reading

Antibiotics Are Not Always the Answer

No one wants to be sick. When people feel sick, they want to get better fast. Many people complain that they went to their doctor when they were feeling really sick and the doctor didn’t give them an antibiotic… and they were disappointed. But antibiotics aren’t the answer for every illness. What’s the harm in taking too many antibiotics? Using antibiotics (also known as antibacterials) when they are not necessary can result in some bacteria …

Continue reading

The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998

This federal act requires that all group health plans or individual insurance contracts that provide medical and surgical benefits must follow the federal guidelines below when one of their subscribers needs a mastectomy Subscriber insurance companies must pay for reconstruction of the breast on which the mastectomy has been performed. They must provide for the surgery and reconstruction of the other breast to produce a symmetrical appearance. They must provide for prostheses and treatment of …

Continue reading

The Right Preventative Care

Regardless of your age, there are appropriate and necessary preventative services that each individual should receive in order to stay healthy. You need to work with your personal physician to develop a plan that will guarantee that you and your loved ones receive the right preventative services based on your age, gender, personal health history & information, family health history and lifestyle. Preventative services assess your general state of health, help prevent certain illnesses and …

Continue reading

Patient Self Determination Act

The Patient Self-Determination Act became law is the U.S. in 1990. and was implemented in all health care institutions. As a result of this Act, all patients were guaranteed to be provided with pertinent information about their legal rights to identify in writing the care they wished to receive in the event that they became incapacitated and unable to make their own health care decisions. In addition, this Act also guaranteed that upon admission to …

Continue reading

Signing A Treatment Consent Form

Read the Fine Print: Before you have any invasive diagnostic or treatment procedure in the hospital, you will be asked to sign a treatment consent form. Legally, treatment consent forms are used to obtain your informed consent. Informed consent implies that you know what the form says, you completely understand what the procedure is all about, and you are aware of any risks involved. In most cases, your doctor will be the one who explains the procedure to …

Continue reading

Rights Of The Hospitalized Mentally Ill Patient

The mentally ill patient has many rights provided to them by our legal system: They have the right to treated with dignity and respect. They have the right to communicate with people outside of the hospital. They have the right to keep clothing and personal effects with them They have the right to religious freedom. They have the right to be employed. They have the right to manage property. They have the right to execute …

Continue reading

THE PATIENT CARE PARTNERSHIP by the American Hospital Association

WHAT IS THE PATIENT CARE PARTNERSHIP? The Patient Care Partnership is a document created by the American Hospital Association in 2003 that helps you as a patient understand what your expectations should be with regards to being a patient. In addition, it delineates what your patient rights are and what responsibilities you assume when you become a patient in a health care facility. There are certain things you can expect while in the hospital and …

Continue reading

How Your Confidentiality Is Maintained

HIPAA: Every health care consumer is guaranteed privacy and confidentiality by HIPAA, the Health Information Portability & Accountability Act of 1996. This Act protects your personal information by holding EVERYONE in the health care arena legally responsible for maintaining your confidentiality. (HIPAA: http://www.hhs.gov). Each member of your health care team is required by legal law and moral responsibility to keep your health care information completely confidential and private. They maintain this confidentiality by: Not discussing patient …

Continue reading

How To Access Your Medical Records

It is your absolute right to have all of your medical information in your hands, including your medical history, diagnostic lab & test results, current treatments, and any operative notes. Accessing Physician Records: Make a list of all of your physicians along with their email address, telephone and fax numbers. Call, email or fax each office and request a list of your diagnosis(es) and recommended treatments, in addition to any diagnostic lab or test results. …

Continue reading

The Rights of Children & Adolescents

Although the age of majority in the health care setting is eighteen (18) years, children and adolescents are guaranteed certain rights in the health care setting even though they are not old enough to consent for their own care. The immediate blood family/legal guardian of a child or adolescent patient generally has the right and responsibility to be involved in decisions about the care of the child. Step parents do not have the legal right …

Continue reading

Treating Head Lice

The start of a new school year can be an exciting time for children, but it is also the time when problems with head lice begin. According to the CDC, “anyone who comes in close contact (especially head-to-head contact) with someone who has head lice is at greatest risk of getting it”. What Are Head Lice? Head lice are small, gray or reddish brown insects that live mainly on the scalp and neck hairs of …

Continue reading

Your Child’s Healthcare at School

Chronic illnesses, such as ongoing or reoccurring conditions like asthma, allergies, diabetes or epilepsy, affect at least 10-15 percent of American children. If your school-age child has a chronic illness, it is important for you to tell school personnel about your child’s special healthcare needs. “is requires writing down all those needs and an emergency plan for the school healthcare provider. This document should include: the child’s medical history, which you can get from your …

Continue reading

When Bottle Feeding Your Infant is Best

Breastfeeding is the ideal way to feed a newborn, but many women either choose not to do so for personal reasons or must bottle-feed because of health-related issues such as infections or use of medications that could be harmful to the baby if passed through breast milk. To make sure your baby is getting the best nutrition from bottle-feeding, follow these basic guidelines and remember to consult your health care provider with any questions and …

Continue reading

Taking Your Child’s Temperature

The human body is designed to keep its temperature within a normal range. Sweating is one of your body’s many safety features. Perspiration helps to keep your temperature within normal range as the body adjusts to different conditions. Body temperatures can rise temporarily due to such factors as age, physical activity or emotional stress. For example, if your child is playing outside on a hot day, his temperature will go up, and he will begin …

Continue reading

Packing Nutritious School Lunches

Children see one food ad for every 5 minutes of cartoons they watch on Saturday mornings. Since few of these ads are for fruits and vegetables and children watch about 20 hours of TV per week, few children get good information about proper nutrition. As a result, only 1 percent of all children have eating patterns consistent with dietary recommendations, stated the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service. In addition, only 18 …

Continue reading

Newborn’s & Mother’s Health Protection Act

Group health plans and health insurance issuers generally may not, under federal law, restrict benefits for any hospital length of stay in connection with childbirth for the mother or newborn child to less than 48 hours following a vaginal delivery, or less than 96 hours following a Cesarean section (surgical incision into uterus to remove baby). However, federal law generally does not prohibit the mother’s or newborn’s attending doctor, after consulting with the mother, from …

Continue reading

My Child Has Pink Eye

Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is a common problem, especially in school children. It happens when the conjunctiva – a thin, clear covering over the white part of the eye that also covers the inside of the eyelids – gets infected. You’ll probably know you have pink eye if your eye turns a pink or red color. Your eye also may hurt or itch. There are four types of pink eye common in the United States. …

Continue reading

Know the Signs of Child Abuse

Identifying and reporting child abuse is perhaps one of the most difficult things a nurse has to do. All states have statutes that identify mandatory reporters of child abuse, and healthcare professionals are among those individuals in all cases. As a result, it’s important to know the signs of possible abuse and how to report it. Child abuse consists of four primary categories: physical, emotional, sexual and neglect. 1. Physical abuse – Signs of physical abuse include: …

Continue reading

Girls & Puberty

Puberty signals a time for growth and change in your body – from girl to young woman. It also prepares your body for having babies. Not all girls experience puberty at the same age. It usually begins between 9 and 13 years of age and ends when you reach adult height and size, usually between ages 15-17. Here are some of the things you’ll notice as your body continues to develop: Breasts Breast growth is …

Continue reading

An Autistic Child Doesn’t Mean Parents Will Divorce

Study debunks conventional wisdom about couples split by condition-related stress WEDNESDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) — It’s been conventional thinking in the autism community for years: If you’re the parents of an autistic child, the stress is so overwhelming that you’ll supposedly face an 80 percent chance of getting divorced. But a new study says that’s not true. In fact, parents of autistic children are no more likely to split up than any other parents. …

Continue reading

Potty Training Your Toddler

If your child is between 2 and 3 years old, it may be time to start teaching him or her how to use the toilet. Before you start this important developmental milestone, you need to find out whether your child is ready. Your child might be ready to start potty training if he/she has one or more of the following physical signs: has a dry diaper for at least 2 hours a day or is …

Continue reading

What You Need To Know About Your Surgical Incision

Suture or Staple Removal: So you’ve had surgery and you’re being sent home to heal. Perhaps the staples and/or sutures that were used to close your incision were removed before you were discharged. With the current trend of sending patients home earlier rather than later, this is not every patient’s reality. If the staples or sutures have not been removed while you are still in the hospital, you will probably have an appointment with your …

Continue reading

So You’re Having Abdominal Surgery

Your friends at Patient Action are so sorry that you need to have abdominal surgery. This information will help you prepare for your operation…. both physically and mentally. It is our hope that this information will empower you to advocate for yourself in achieving a quicker and less complicated surgical recovery. We wish you all of the best wishes for a complete and speedy recovery as you embark on this journey towards wellness. PREPARING FOR …

Continue reading

So You’re Having Shoulder Surgery

Your friends at Patient Action are so sorry that you require shoulder surgery. We know first hand that it will be no picnic, but hard work and commitment to your physical therapy will make it all worthwhile. Remember that once you’ve had your surgery there is no turning back. You must do what you have to do to regain as much shoulder function as you can. This information will help you prepare for your operation…. …

Continue reading

Preparing For Surgery

The stress of needing surgery: Being told you need surgery is a very stressful experience. Patients have lots of fears, including great anxiety related to the ultimate diagnosis. Do I have cancer? What will they find? Will I die on the table? Who will care for my children while I’m in the hospital? Who will collect my mail? Who will care for my pets? Will I lose my job? How will I pay for it? …

Continue reading

So You’re Having Kidney Stone Surgery

Your friends at Patient Action are so sorry that you have been suffering with kidney stones (renal calculi) and that you now require a surgical procedure to remove them. We know how excruciatingly painful kidney stones can be. This information will help prepare you for your operation…. both physically and mentally. It is our hope that this information will empower you to advocate for yourself in achieving a quicker and less complicated surgical recovery. We …

Continue reading

Care After a Hip Replacement

Hip replacement, or arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure during which the diseased parts of the hip joint are removed and replaced with new, artificial parts. These artificial parts are called the prosthesis. The goals of hip replacement surgery are to improve mobility by relieving pain and improve function of the hip joint. Who Should Have Hip Replacement Surgery? The most common reason for hip replacement surgery is the wearing down of the hip joint that …

Continue reading

Osteoporosis

What is Osteoporosis? Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens bones. As this disease progresses, the bones may become so brittle they break even without an injury. These broken bones, or fractures, usually occur in the hip, spine or wrist. However, any bone can be affected and can result in disabilities and even death. Osteoporosis is often known as the “silent disease” because the weakening of the bones occurs without any symptoms. Because there’s no cure …

Continue reading

The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998

This federal act requires that all group health plans or individual insurance contracts that provide medical and surgical benefits must follow the federal guidelines below when one of their subscribers needs a mastectomy Subscriber insurance companies must pay for reconstruction of the breast on which the mastectomy has been performed. They must provide for the surgery and reconstruction of the other breast to produce a symmetrical appearance. They must provide for prostheses and treatment of …

Continue reading

Preparing for Pregnancy

ACCORDING TO THE MARCH OF DIMES, THE BEST GIFT you can provide to your future baby is 9 months of a healthy pregnancy. There are some things you can do before you even conceive to be as healthy as possible for your pregnancy. Questions You Should Ask Before you get pregnant, the March of Dimes recommends you ask your healthcare provider what you need to know about the following nine topics: Diabetes, high blood pressure, …

Continue reading