10 Breathtaking Hospital Patient Gardens

Lead

Image Source

 Throughout antiquity, societies cultivated gardens in part to stimulate and maintain good health, as well as for treatment for a diverse number of illnesses and ailments. The benefits of fresh air, aromatic flowers, and scenes of nature are numerous. But as modern medicine and technology took the forefront in patient treatment, the importance of gardens and outdoor space as part of the medical healing process began to be ignored

By the end of the twentieth century, the healing benefits of gardens and landscapes were once again being recognized with scientific studies supporting the increased speed and ease with which a patient recovered when having access to a garden or other natural environment. Since that time, hospitals around the United States have focused design and renovation plans on the development of landscaping that promotes healing and patient well-being. From California to Virginia, these 10 hospital gardens serve as spectacular examples of the beauty and healing abilities of gardens.

10. Memorial Regional Medical Center in Mechanicsville, Virginia

5-Memorial-Regional-Medical-Center-Virginia

Image Source

The Healing Garden at the Memorial Regional Medical Center in Mechanicsville, Virginia, is representative of the idea of using this amazing resource to treat patients physically, mentally, and emotionally. Located in the center courtyard, visitors, patients, and employees have an invitation to relax on the stone benches and enjoy the various flowering plants from roses to lilies in an array of colors surrounding the soothing fountain at the center of the garden. In addition to the flowers, this hospital garden also functions as a source of healthy, organic foods for the hospital cafeteria. Everything from herbs that include dill and thyme to seasonal vegetables such as tomatoes and pumpkins are harvested here and used to create delicious meals. The brick pathways weave through the flowers and harvestable plants for patients to enjoy the scenery, garden statues, and arbors throughout the courtyard garden.

9. Mount Zion Cancer Center in San Francisco, California

9-Mount-Zion-Cancer-Center-San-Francisco

Image Source

The courtyard garden at the Mount Zion Cancer Center in San Francisco, California was designed to lift the spirits of cancer patients and build a sense of community in the healing process. The garden includes an indoor corridor, which is made up of tiles that include imprints of Asian plants with patient survivor stories. Surrounded by hospital walls and located in the center of activity of a large city, the garden includes a fountain in the center to help drown out the sounds of outside activity and provide the serenity patients are looking for. Flowers and plants that thrive throughout the year create an extraordinary greenness to brighten up the entire campus and help patients through their treatments.

8. St. Rose Dominican Hospital at the Siena Campus in Henderson, Nevada

8-St-Rose-Dominician-Hospital-Siena-Campus-Healing-Garden

Image Source

The St. Rose Dominican Hospital-Siena Campus in Henderson Nevada is well-placed for the site of a healing garden. The structures of the hospital are reminiscent of Spanish style Catholic missions, and the hospital campus overlooks scenic views of distant, majestic mountains. The 3,000 square foot healing garden was designed to complement the architecture of the campus and to highlight the natural beauty of the Nevada desert. Native plant life and trees are strategically placed throughout the desert setting of the garden, accented by inviting gazebos and water fountains and pools. The atmosphere is one of serenity, and each element is designed to create a sense of calmness and relaxation. The center of the hospital complex, this healing garden is open to all patients and visitors, and the local Rose Society also offers gardening classes for the hospital and community within the garden.

7. Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, Illinois

7-Ann-Robert-H-Lurie-Childrens-Hospital-of-Chicago-Garden

Image Source

Known for the hustle and bustle of Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois is also a place of history and culture. All of these qualities of one of the most famous and often visited cities in the United States are reflected in the indoor garden at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital. The hospital is located on the campus of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, and the 23-story design was a necessity because of the urban setting. With limited space just north of the busy city of Chicago, the healing garden at this hospital was designed for the inside of the eleventh floor. The Crown Sky Garden includes a grove of bamboo trees and beautiful lights to highlight the natural elements of the garden. Patients and visitors can visit the Tree House on the twelfth floor and view the gardens from above, enjoying the piece of nature in the center of Chicago.

6. Legacy Health Gardens at Emanuel Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon

6-Legacy-Health-Gardens-Portaldn-Oregon

Image Source

The Legacy Emanuel Children’s Hospital Garden design was started in 1996, and in 2000 the site won an American Horticultural Therapy Association Therapeutic Garden Award. The garden’s designers wanted to create a space for everyone associated with the hospital, from patients to employees to visitors. The garden is both functional and spiritual, offering gathering areas with benches surrounded by bright, green trees and plant foliage for emotional support, sculptures representing nature scattered along curvy paths, and walking rails for therapists to work with patients in rehabilitation. Flowers and curved arches are dotted around the paths, and bushes are shaped into playful animals. For the children recovering at the Emanuel Children’s Hospital, the scene provides the serenity and comfort they need to feel at home and prepared for everything they will face.

5. Hope in Bloom Gardens in Massachusetts

10-Hope-In-Bloom

Image Source

The Hope in Bloom organization is a unique program that offers breast cancer patients the opportunity to benefit from flower or vegetable gardens at their own homes for no cost. Because the use of natural sanctuaries has been proven to relieve stress, increase relaxation, and improve patient recovery, this non-profit organization strives to provide private gardens to help patients and their families deal with the psychological, emotional, and physical effects of cancer treatment. Every garden is different, designed with each individual person in mind, making for a sea of beautiful Hope in Bloom gardens throughout the state of Massachusetts. From flowers to plants to garden accents, every garden provides a peaceful, beautiful sanctuary.

4. Olson Family Garden at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri

4-Olson-Family-Garden

Image Source

One of the most unique healing gardens is located on the eight floor of the St. Louis Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. Over 7,000 flowers and plants fill the 8,000 square foot garden, located on the rooftop of the hospital and providing a natural sanctuary for patients and visitors. Winding paths take garden visitors on a tour that includes waterfalls, garden beds, goldfish-filled ponds, small coves, benches, and swings. The hospital uses the garden as a setting for therapeutic activities to help children, including performances and crafting sessions. For those patients who are not able to enjoy the garden from the outside, a special playroom from by the garden offers views of the beautiful scenery through wide open windows.

3. Johns Hopkins Healing Gardens in Baltimore, Maryland

3-Johns-Hopkins-Baltimore

Image Source

The Johns Hopkins medical complex in Baltimore, Maryland, recently opened a new children’s center on its campus in 2012. The design of the addition included many changes, and the addition of garden areas was an essential part of the design. Included in that design is the new Healing Garden, which is divided into two areas on the campus. The first area is an open and airy space to welcome visitors and patients who want to enjoy the Lambs’ ears, plants, and roses. The other Healing Garden space is more secluded, offering a get-away from stress and supporting relaxation with rhododendrons, spicebush, hydrangeas, snakeroot, crabapples, and ferns. To add to the Healing Garden spaces, the campus also added the Meditation Garden, where patients and visitors are able to gain a sense of peace and serenity while enjoying the maple trees and calming fountain.

2. Bonner General Hospital Healing Garden in Idaho

2-Bonner-Healing-Garden

Image Source

The Bonner General Hospital Healing Garden in Idaho is a magnificent example of rustic beauty, providing patients with the opportunity to explore through quaint wooden and stone cottages, seek peace in covered shelters overlooking the river and numerous fountains, and travel along paths to take a step back into tranquility. The stone pathways are accented with beautifully arranged plants, but it is the abundance of tall trees throughout the garden area that creates the peacefulness and quiet. In warmer months, the green leaves of the trees provide more escape into self-reflection and quiet, and in the cooler months, the cascading burnt autumn colors of the leaves gives a crisp and inviting air to the grounds.

1. Rosecrance Treatment Center-Griffin Williamson Campus in Rockford, Illinois

1-Rosecrance-Treatment-Center

Image Source

Alcohol and substance abuse treatment centers have diverse approaches to helping recovering patients. One of the most beautiful and effective of these is the substance abuse treatment facility for Rosecrance in Rockford, Illinois, a center to help recovering adolescent substance abusers. The facility itself is designed to model a peaceful lodge nestled in the mountains, surrounded by large ponds, stone waterfalls, and scenic boulders. Every patient can see the amazing scenery from their assigned wing in the center, and the conservatory located on the second floor of the building overlooks the spectacular panorama of the Healing Gardens. The opportunity to enjoy the natural setting adds to the use of the gardens in horticultural therapy for the center’s patients.

What is Healthcare Informatics?

As elsewhere, technological advancements have affected exponential enhancements of medical treatments and instrumentalities. Beyond these enormous benefits, modern technology has enabled many major breakthroughs in the field of medicine. Such developments serve to preserve and improve the quality of many human lives that would have been lost a mere decade ago. Nonetheless, even the world’s best cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment protocols are worthless without effective means of efficient facilitation, management, and coordination.

Enter Healthcare Informatics

Healthcare Informatics (“HI”) is an innovative hybrid discipline devised to optimize three main aspects of healthcare operations: financial, clinical, and administrative. Besides this basic function, automated HI systems compile, disseminate, and maintain ultra-secure medical data storage. Such enhanced capabilities are adaptable to virtually all healthcare segments or settings, such as hospital care, physical rehab, general practice, primary care, and many medical subspecialties.

Healthcare Informatics Technologies

Healthcare Informaticians use specialized software, hardware, and high-tech communications media to distribute vital data and harmonize patient care. HI professionals also use these high-tech tools to help orchestrate and facilitate various organizational imperatives. Two major examples are clinical directive assimilation and lexicon comprehension by medical staff.

A High-Profile Influential Healthcare Presence

HI is the catalyst of the medical profession’s current movements for patient care improvement and cost cutting via standardization of electronic medical records automation. Moreover, HI holds major sway in ongoing efforts to expand healthcare system automations by integrating data exchange, patient scheduling, billing, and clinical research capabilities.

How Does HI Help Medicine?

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (“AHRQ”) is a sub-agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. AHRQ-funded two HI impact case studies at an Indianapolis hospital that maintains more than three decades of patient data that pertain to ER and clinic visits, lab test results, imagery studies, and hospital stays. HI implementation enabled auto-generated flow charts, physician order capturing, comprehensive post-visit reports, and physician reminders.

The last capability includes automated healthcare provider alerts of the need for preventive healthcare measures pursuant to standard clinical practice guidelines. Major examples of mandatory medical precautions are TB and colon cancer tests, Pap smears, mammograms, and vaccinations. The study found that instituting HI measures increased vaccination rates by sevenfold, overall compliance by 10 to 15 percent and colon cancer screening compliance by a whopping 133 percent.

Informatics Education, Certifications, and Designations

An associate’s degree in Health Information or a related discipline is the basic educational requirement for HI careers. Although licensure is currently not required, Healthcare Informaticians may pursue voluntary certification in several HI specialties that include:

• PACS Administrators Registry and Certifications Association (“PARCA”) certification;

• Clinical Informatics – American Board of Medical Specialties (“ABMS”) certification. The American Board of Preventive Medicine will administer the certification exam in October 2013;

• Nursing Informatics – American Nurses Credentialing Center board certification; and,

• Radiology Informatics – Certified Imaging Informatics Professional (“CIIP”).

Optimistic Professional Prognoses

Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”), as of May 2012, there were 182,370 “Medical Records and Health Information Technicians” in the U.S. whose average annual earnings were $36,700. Official BLS figures project a “faster than average” occupational growth rate of 21 percent through 2020.

Numbers never lie; neither does Uncle Sam. Thus, you can totally trust and confidently rely on the above calculations as accurate evaluations of a Health Informatics career. Simultaneous pervasive presence of technology and an aging population combine to create a high-demand for highly trained high-tech allied healthcare experts. Playing a key instrumental role in saving lives offers emotional rewards and a sense of personal satisfaction and fulfillment that is hard to come by otherwise.

Top Quality Universities Offer Master of Science in Nursing Degrees

master science nursingPrestigious universities and colleges have entered the online degree program trend. Many of these well known and highly regarded institutions are now offering degrees like Masters of Science in Nursing. The growing health care industry is creating more jobs in health related fields as well as new opportunities for people with bachelor’s degrees in nursing who want to advance in their careers by gaining a master’s degree.

Job growth in nursing is increasing faster than the average for other occupations in the U.S. Nurses who have master’s degrees find many job opportunities to choose between. Salaries average $90,000 a year and above for nurses who hold an master’s degree.

Graduates are often sought out by employers like private physician’s offices, clinics, and hospitals. Job openings for master’s of science degree holding nurses in private physician’s offices are expected to grow at a rate of 48 percent per year. For similar jobs in private and public hospitals, a growth rate of 17 percent is expected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

These ten accredited universities offer online masters of science nursing degrees. They are presented in alphabetical order.

1. Clarkson College
Nursing, Master of Science
Tuition per credit: $437.

2. University of Colorado Denver
Nursing, Master of Science
Tuition per credit: Residents – $355.00, non-residents $1,076.00.

3. Delta State University, Mississippi
Nursing, Master of Science
Tuition per semester: Residents -$2,862.00, non-residents – $4,548.00.

4. Drexel University
Master of Science in Nursing
Tuition per credit: $800.00

5. Duke University
Nursing, Master of Science
Tuition per credit: $1,358.00.

6. University of Florida
Nursing, Master of Science
Tuition per year: Residents – $11,954, non-residents $29,347.

7. Georgetown University
Nursing, Master of Science
Tuition per year: Full time, ranges from $21,000 to $36,000 depending on course.

8. Johns Hopkins University
Nursing, Master of Science
Tuition per year: Full time – $33,168.00.

9. Loyola University New Orleans
Nursing, Master of Science
Tuition per credit hour: $744.00

10. University of Texas, Tyler
Nursing, Master of Science
Tuition per credit with minimum of 9 credits: Residents – $338.23, non-residents -$689.00.

Source: TOP 10 BEST ONLINE MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NURSING DEGREES

Top Online Programs for a Bachelor’s in Health Sciences

All that’s usually needed for an entry level nurse position is a generic two year degree in healthcare, but it can be difficult to gain career momentum without a bachelors degree. By acquiring an advanced degree, it is possible to specialize and thrive in this growing field. As the age of the average American steadily climbs higher, there has never been a better time to get into healthcare. It’s a rewarding career personally as well as financially, with the average neonatal nurse making a $74,000 salary.

This list is a compilation of the top ten best online health science degree programs. Rankings were based on the quality of education and recognition of that university.

These schools are all accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. As well as being accredited, many of these schools are recognized regionally as reputable institutions.

1. Arizona State University – Bachelor of Applied Science in Health Sciences
Cost: $5,300 per semester

2. Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis – Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences
Cost: $3,000 per semester

3. University of Missouri – Bachelor of Health Sciences
Cost: $3,200 per semester

4. University of South Dakota – Bachelor of Sciences in Health Sciences
Cost: $3,500 per semester

5. Bellevue University – Bachelor of Arts in Health Science
Cost: $4,400 per semester

6. NOVA Southeastern University – Bachelor of Health Science
Cost: $7,700 per semester

7. University of West Florida – Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences
Cost: $2,500 per semester

8. Keiser University – Bachelor of Science in Health Science
Cost: $7,500 per semester

9. South University – Bachelor of Science in Health Science
Cost: $8,000 per semester

10. Thomas Edison State College – Bachelor of Science in Health Science
Cost: $5,500 per semester

Ten Masters Degree in Nursing Schools With Online Programs

The job outlook for health related careers is growing and expected to continue growing into the coming decades. Jobs that require masters degrees in nursing are a part of this booming employment field. Online master’s degree in nursing programs are expanding to meet the need for graduates in advanced nursing fields.

Masters degrees in nursing are designed for people with nursing degrees who want advancement in training that will bring greater employment opportunities, higher salaries, and allow for specialization within the nursing field. These programs offer four academic pathways of specialization for nursing master’s degree graduates: Nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse midwife, and certified nurse anesthetist.

Nurses who have master’s degrees perform examinations of patients, administer immunizations, order lab tests and procedures, and do other specialized work like midwifery and assisting in surgery. A master’s degree in nursing opens the way to a higher salary, greater responsibility, and a wider range of employment possibilities.

The following online degrees are all accredited programs that were chose by U.S. News and World Report as being in the top 10 programs nationally offering a masters degrees in nursing. They are listed here alphabetically.

1. Clarkson College
Master of Science in Nursing
Tuition per credit hour: $437

2. Drexel University
Master of Science in Nursing
Tuition per credit: $800.00

3. Duke University
Master of Science in Nursing
Tuition per credit: $1,358.00

4. University of Florida
Master of Science in Nursing
Tuition per year: Residents – $11,954, non-residents – $29,347

5. Georgetown University
Master of Science in Nursing
Tuition per year: Full time -varies between $21,000 and $36,000, depending on program.

6. Johns Hopkins University
Master of Science in Nursing
Tuition per year: Full time $33,168.00

7. Loyola University New Orleans
Master of Science in Nursing
Tuition per credit hour: $744.00

8. Sacred Heart University
Master of Science in Nursing
Tuition per credit hour: $600.00

9. University of San Francisco
Master of Science in Nursing
Tuition per unit: $1,130.00.

10. University of Texas-Tyler
Master of Science in Nursing
Tuition per credit: Residents- $338.23, non-residents $689.00

Source: Top 10 Best Online Masters Degree in Nursing Programs

Healthcare Administration Degree Offerings Expanding

As the economy changes, some industries are poised for expansion. One of these growth areas is for people with degrees in Healthcare Administration. Institutions of higher learning are responding to the anticipated need for more health care professionals by increasing the number of online programs leading to degrees in Healthcare Administration and related fields.

Healthcare Administrators are the support professionals behind the scenes at hospitals and clinics, making it possible for doctors and nurses to do their jobs. Skills in leadership and business management are at the core of this profession.

People who work as Healthcare Administrators are involved with the daily business management, oversight of accounting and billing, medical record keeping, health care policy, legal, and ethical problem solving needed for the efficient operation of hospitals and clinics of all kinds.

A degree in Healthcare Administration is preparation for a career in an industry that is growing at 22 percent per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

These top ten schools offering Healthcare Administration degrees all have courses available online. All of these schools have accredited programs. They are listed alphabetically.

1. Bellevue University
Healthcare Management, Bachelor of Science
Tuition per credit: $370.00

2. Colorado State University-Global Campus
Healthcare Administration and Management, Bachelor of Science
Tuition per credit: $350.00.

3. Drexel University
Health Services Administration, Bachelor of Science
Tuition per credit: $690.00. This school has discounts for students currently enrolled in a community college and also for working healthcare professionals.

4. Grand Canyon University
Health Care Administration, Bachelor of Science
Tuition per credit: $465.00.

5. Hodges University
Health Administration, Bachelor of Science
Tuition per credit: $490.00.

6. Liberty University
Business Administration-Healthcare Management, Bachelor of Science
Tuition per credit: Part time – $365.00, full time $325.00.

7. University of Minnesota-Crookston
Health Management, Bachelor of Science
Tuition per credit: $430.77 including the $45.00 per credit online fee.

8. New England College
Healthcare Administration, Bachelor of Science
Tuition per year: $31,394.00.

9. Northeastern University
Health Management, Bachelor of Science
Tuition per credit: $335.00

10. Strayer University
Healthcare Administration, Bachelor of Business Administration
Tuition per online course: $1,700.00.

Source: Top 10 Best Online Healthcare Administration Degree Programs

Ten Great Online Emergency Management Programs

emergency management degreeIf you’re the type that’s always prepared for the worst, then perhaps a career Emergency Management would be a good fit for you. With the growing number of online schools, there’s never been a better time to increase your education at little cost and at a pace that works for you. Whether it’s preparing a large skyscraper for a fire or a train station for terrorist attacks, you’ll always be two steps ahead of the unpredictable.

The following list includes a list of the best online programs for either getting a degree in Emergency Management or specializing a broader degree with Emergency Management. These schools were chosen based on their reputation and accreditation.

All of the institutions on this list offer flexible paths to graduation as well as being regionally accredited and well respected in the field.

1. University of North Carolina Online-Western Carolina University - Bachelor of Science in Emergency and Disaster Management
Cost: $1,600 per semester

2. Colorado State University-Global Campus - Emergency Management Specialization
Cost: $4,200 per semester

3. Jacksonville State University - Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management
Cost: $3,200 per semester

4. Drexel University - Online Certificate in Emergency Management
Cost: $12,200 for the 18 credit program

5. SUNY Canton - Bachelor of Technology in Emergency Management
Cost: $2,800 per semester

6. University of Central Missouri - Bachelor of Science in Crisis and Disaster Management
Cost: $2,500 per semester

7. West Texas A&M University - Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Emergency Management Administration
Cost: $3,400 per semester

8. Arkansas Tech University - Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management
Cost: $2,200 per semester

9. University of Alaska-Fairbanks - Bachelor of Emergency Management
Cost: $3,300 per semester

10. National Labor College - Bachelor of Science in Emergency Readiness and Response Management
Cost: $3,900 per semester

Source: Top 10 Best Online Emergency Management Degree Programs

The Five Best Children’s Hospitals in the USA

If your child is ill, it can sometimes feel like your world is caving in around you. There’s nothing you wouldn’t do to make a sick child feel better, but many parents are confused about where to go to get the best care. It’s difficult to keep a cool head when there’s a medical emergency, so the best time to do research is when everything is fine. Fortunately, US News and World Report has done the legwork for you.

Top Five Children’s Hospitals in 2012

When compiling this list, U.S. News researched 178 children’s hospitals, ranking each on their areas of expertise, service and track record.

1. Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA

This 396-bed children’s hospital is a teaching hospital that had 18,056 admissions in 2012, with 7,184 inpatient procedures and 18,687 outpatient surgeries. The Emergency Room alone had 60,725 visits. Boston Children’s Hospital was ranked as number one nationally in cardiology and heart surgery, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery and number two in cancer, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and urology.

2. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

This children’s hospital has a capacity of 459 beds. In 2012, there were 28,106 children’s admissions, 6,860 inpatient surgeries, 17,648 outpatient operations and 85,690 Emergency Room visits. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia received a first place ranking in urology, cancer, diabetes, pulmonology, endocrinology and gastroenterology. It placed number two in cardiology and heart surgery, nephrology and neurology and neurosurgery. This is a teaching hospital.

3. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, OH

This teaching hospital was ranked number one in neonatology and number two in pulmonology in 2012. A bustling facility, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical center is a 512-bed children’s hospital that had 18,190 admissions, performed 5,667 annual inpatient surgeries, 25,492 outpatient procedures and had 125,130 Emergency Room visits in 2012.

4. Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, TX

Your child is in experienced hands when you visit Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, TX, a 469-bed children’s hospital. Experienced staff admitted 21,744 children in 2012 and performed 8,655 inpatient and 14,349 outpatient procedures. The Emergency Room was quite busy, in 2012, having 82,049 children’s visits. Texas Children’s Hospital is ranked number two in neonatology, so your newborn infant will receive excellent care in this teaching hospital.

5. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

This hospital has been in business since 1901 so its reputation is enduring. A 286-bed facility, this hospital saw 11,421 admissions in 2012. Although not number one in any area, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has the distinction of being one of eight hospitals ranking in all ten pediatric specialties in 2012. It was awarded honor roll status by US News and World Report. Ranked as a premier teaching hospital, Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles is affiliated with the Keck School of Medicine.

For children needing the best medical care possible, these top five hospitals are the answer. With one less thing to worry about, a harried parent can focus solely on being there for a sick child.

How to Overcome “White Coat Syndrome”

If just the idea of seeing a doctor sends you into a panic, you might be suffering from what is commonly referred to as “white coat syndrome”. Also known as white coat hypertension, white coat syndrome is used to describe a condition that causes patients to have elevated blood pressure exclusively in clinical settings. Stress and anxiety play a huge role in the development of white coat syndrome. If you had a bad experience with medical diagnosis and treatment in your childhood or early adulthood, it’s very possible that now you are subconsciously afraid of all doctors because they remind you of your past trauma. However, white coat hypertension can’t always be linked to a specific event or time period. It can manifest in people who are nervous about getting sick or in people who lead unhealthy lifestyles.

Signs You Must Be Suffering from White Coat Syndrome

Since most people get a little nervous when going to the doctor, diagnosing your condition as white coat syndrome can be tough. One of the most common symptoms of white coat syndrome is extreme anxiety. For example, people who need urgent care but put off getting it because they feel crippled by their anxiety usually have white coat hypertension. Keep in mind that your case might be a little less extreme. If you are capable of going to the doctor but feel an irrational fear until your appointment is over, it’s very likely that you have white coat hypertension. While most cases of white coat syndrome are characterized by fear and anxiety, they can also be affected by unhealthy lifestyle choices that are naturally associated with hypertension like smoking or caffeine consumption. Regardless of the cause of your particular case, it’s important not to ignore white coat hypertension.

Conquer Your Fear

Following a few simple tips can help you overcome your fear and get the medical treatment you need to stay healthy and happy throughout your life.

1. Try to pinpoint the exact source of your symptoms.
Did you lose a loved one to a difficult sickness or a medical mistake? If you can narrow down the event that triggered your white coat syndrome, you can focus on treating the problem at its root.

2. Find a stress-relieving method you can use on the go.
The more you focus on your fear of doctors, the more nervous you are going to feel when you get to your appointment. Meditating or using other mind relaxation methods can help you stay calm in high-stress situations.

3. Ask a friend or a family member to come with you to your doctor appointments.
Being around someone who knows how to comfort you can help you control your white coat syndrome symptoms until you get used to being in a clinical setting without feeling extreme fear or anxiety.

4. Try to go to the same doctor.
Unless you need a specialist, you should see the same primary physician for your check-ups. Seeing a doctor that you already know and trust in a familiar setting can do wonders for your confidence.

Keep in mind that white coat syndrome is a complex condition, and it won’t disappear overnight. Don’t give up if you don’t see immediate progress. With a little work and a lot of patience, you can conquer your fear and learn how to control your symptoms.

About the Guest Author

Melanie Radin is a healthcare administrator and writer from Boston, Massachusetts. She is a regular contributor to ACEHSA, as well as other healthcare resources such as Top 10 Best Online Healthcare MBA Degree Programs.

Top 5 Questions Family Doctors Are Asked Most Frequently

doctor patientAn annual physical examination with one’s doctor is a vital part of anyone’s health. It can be a time to be reassured about one’s physical health, or it may be a time when potential or actual health problems can be caught. The doctor will ask about one’s medical history, perform an examination, and make recommendations for the betterment of the patient’s health. In addition, the annual physical is when routine laboratory tests may be ordered for concrete evidence of health. With a trusted doctor, one can calmly ask any questions he or she may have, including the following five most common ones.

Blood Pressure

The first common question is, “Is my blood pressure too high?” Blood pressure is a combination of two numbers. The first, or top, number shows the pressure in the heart when it is expelling blood; the second, or bottom, number shows the pressure in the heart when at rest. If either number is too high, the patient may be considered to have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. High blood pressure can be the precursor to a variety of other diseases, particularly heart failure, strokes and kidney disease.

Medications

The second common question is, “Do I need to keep taking all of my medications?” Some medications may have been prescribed for a short-term problem that is no longer significant. The doctor may choose to stop these medications since taking numerous medications increases the risk of a medication interaction. On the other hand, the doctor may instead choose to lower a medication dosage or to switch to a similar but more specific medication.

Weight

The third most frequently asked question is, “Am I at a healthy weight?” A healthy weight depends on several factors including gender and height. Being overweight may contribute to the development of other health problems, including diabetes and depression, while being underweight may negatively affect fertility and the strength of the bones as an individual ages.

The “C” Word

The fourth most common question is, “Do I need any cancer screening examinations?” Typical examples of these include the Pap smear, which screens for cervical cancer, a mammogram, which screens for breast cancer, and a colonoscopy, which screens for colon cancer. Having these tests at the appropriate times and intervals can help catch cancers in their early stages when they are most successfully treated.

Birth Control

The fifth most common question is, “What type of contraception should I use?” The young women who are often concerned about this should know that the right type of contraception can help with family planning and may decrease unpleasant side effects of menstruation. A doctor can show the patient the pros and cons of each and can help her choose one that will best fit her lifestyle.

A patient should find a doctor with whom he or she feels comfortable asking any question that he or she may have. These five questions may provide the impetus that an individual needs to take a personal responsibility for their health at their next annual physical.

Emerging Healthcare Professionals: Hospitalists

As a relatively new and emerging professional component of medical facilities, hospitalists serve as acute care experts, leaders, facilitators, and managers in their places of work. These professionals generally include physicians, physician’s assistants, and nurse practitioners, and their roles include clinical management, patient safety, research, admissions, discharge, and quality maintenance responsibilities.

Some hospitalists work in specific specialities, such as dermatology or pediatrics, but the majority of them hold more generalized occupations that entail both medical and administrative obligations in clinical medicine. Unlike regular physicians in hospital settings, hospitalists are always on-call, and they generally work in 12-hour shifts. Over the last 10 years, both the educational standards and the availability of programs for hospitalist training have increased significantly. The information below provides a detailed review of hospitalists and how they are trained, where they receive the best educations as professionals, their salaries and career outlook, and more.

Hospitalist Training

Hospitalists are required to obtain a Doctorate of Medicine, a Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine, or a Doctorate of Internal Medicine. Programs for those doctorates provide students with advanced training in healthcare laws and policies, patient care, leadership in healthcare settings, and clinical health awareness. An average of 4 years of study is required to complete these doctorate programs, which cost between $500 and $1,000 or more per credit hour.

The Best Schools for Hospitalist Education

The most comprehensive, quality educational facilities for hospitalist training are accredited by either the Association of American Medical Schools or the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. These educational facilities include: Albany Medical College, Duke University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medical College, and Weill Cornell Medical College to name a few.

Responsibilities of Hospitalists

The responsibilities of hospitalists are plentiful and diverse, and they include the following areas: patient admissions and discharge operations, logistics and quality control, safety maintenance, research, committee planning and leadership, patient advocacy, and family support and communication.

Earning Potentials for Hospitalists

Even though hospitalists usually work long shifts, they do enjoy schedules that are flexible. Many times, these experts are not required to commit to 40 hours of work per week, despite the fact that they enjoy some of the highest salaries around. As healthcare professionals, hospitalists earn incredibly satisfying salaries of between $145,000 and $180,000 per year.

The Best States to Work in as Hospitalists

While each state employs hospitalists that earn high wages, there are five states which have been proven to provide these experts with the greatest earning potentials. Those states are: Alabama, where hospitalists earn $222,610 per year; Minnesota, where these professionals make $225,410; Mississippi, where hospitalists possess annual earnings of $221,700; Nevada, where these experts make $223,350; and South Dakota, where hospitalists earn $222,780 annually.

Job Outlook

Hospitalists represent a component of medicine and healthcare administration that is promising. According to the Department of Labor, the availability of jobs for hospitalists will increase up to 22 percent between now and 2018.

Hospitalists are responsible for both the administrative and patient care components of the clinical aspects of hospitals and medical institutions. As unique professionals who possess such a broad array of skill sets, these medical experts are increasingly becoming the interest of both potential students and hospital employers. In many ways, hospitalists are highly regarded as researchers, outpatient and inpatient coordinators, acute care experts, and team leaders all rolled into one.

Emerging Healthcare Professionals: Hospitalists

As a relatively new and emerging professional component of medical facilities, hospitalists serve as acute care experts, leaders, facilitators, and managers in their places of work. These professionals generally include physicians, physician’s assistants, and nurse practitioners, and their roles include clinical management, patient safety, research, admissions, discharge, and quality maintenance responsibilities.

Some hospitalists work in specific specialities, such as dermatology or pediatrics, but the majority of them hold more generalized occupations that entail both medical and administrative obligations in clinical medicine. Unlike regular physicians in hospital settings, hospitalists are always on-call, and they generally work in 12-hour shifts. Over the last 10 years, both the educational standards and the availability of programs for hospitalist training have increased significantly. The information below provides a detailed review of hospitalists and how they are trained, where they receive the best educations as professionals, their salaries and career outlook, and more.

Hospitalist Training

Hospitalists are required to obtain a Doctorate of Medicine, a Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine, or a Doctorate of Internal Medicine. Programs for those doctorates provide students with advanced training in healthcare laws and policies, patient care, leadership in healthcare settings, and clinical health awareness. An average of 4 years of study is required to complete these doctorate programs, which cost between $500 and $1,000 or more per credit hour.

The Best Schools for Hospitalist Education

The most comprehensive, quality educational facilities for hospitalist training are accredited by either the Association of American Medical Schools or the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. These educational facilities include: Albany Medical College, Duke University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medical College, and Weill Cornell Medical College to name a few.

Responsibilities of Hospitalists

The responsibilities of hospitalists are plentiful and diverse, and they include the following areas: patient admissions and discharge operations, logistics and quality control, safety maintenance, research, committee planning and leadership, patient advocacy, and family support and communication.

Earning Potentials for Hospitalists

Even though hospitalists usually work long shifts, they do enjoy schedules that are flexible. Many times, these experts are not required to commit to 40 hours of work per week, despite the fact that they enjoy some of the highest salaries around. As healthcare professionals, hospitalists earn incredibly satisfying salaries of between $145,000 and $180,000 per year.

The Best States to Work in as Hospitalists

While each state employs hospitalists that earn high wages, there are five states which have been proven to provide these experts with the greatest earning potentials. Those states are: Alabama, where hospitalists earn $222,610 per year; Minnesota, where these professionals make $225,410; Mississippi, where hospitalists possess annual earnings of $221,700; Nevada, where these experts make $223,350; and South Dakota, where hospitalists earn $222,780 annually.

Job Outlook

Hospitalists represent a component of medicine and healthcare administration that is promising. According to the Department of Labor, the availability of jobs for hospitalists will increase up to 22 percent between now and 2018.

Hospitalists are responsible for both the administrative and patient care components of the clinical aspects of hospitals and medical institutions. As unique professionals who possess such a broad array of skill sets, these medical experts are increasingly becoming the interest of both potential students and hospital employers. In many ways, hospitalists are highly regarded as researchers, outpatient and inpatient coordinators, acute care experts, and team leaders all rolled into one.

About the Guest Author

Elizabeth Vega is a healthcare recruiter and writer from Indianapolis, IN. You can find more of her expert advice about healthcare careers at The Top 10 Best Healthcare Companies and Hospitals to Work For.

Healthy Feet Through the Stages of Life

feetIt is said that you don’t know how much you use your feet until something goes wrong with them. Then, the continuous pain prevents you from carrying out daily activities and enjoying life. Many foot problems are preventable, if you care for your feet properly during the different stages of life where foot problems can begin.

 

Infancy

In the first year of a child’s life, the foot is very soft, and the tissues are pliant. When they begin to walk, the muscles of the feet better formed and stronger. Flexible, breathable shoes provide room for growing tissues and allow the muscles enough space to flex properly. Going barefoot at home in a clean, safe environment can help to strengthen your toddler’s feet and improve fallen arches that tend to improve on their own as the child grows. Washing the feet carefully and keeping nails trimmed are all that is needed. If you notice anything unusual on your child’s feet or incorrect positioning of the feet while walking, consult your pediatrician.

Childhood

During childhood, people use their feet continuously and without giving them a thought. Children may engage in sports, running, climbing and other activities that can strain and pull foot muscles. Ensure that children have sturdy canvas or leather shoes that allow the foot to breathe. Care for any small cuts or scrapes immediately to avoid infection. Purchase quality cotton socks and leather shoes to prevent athlete’s foot, and do not wear the same shoes two days in a row.

Adolescence

Teens are known for their bold choices in clothing and shoes. However, problems develop when the toe of the shoe is too narrow, when the heel is too high or when a shoe is worn during activities that require better support. Teens may also engage in strenuous sports activities that require the right foot gear. Parents should encourage teens to care for their feet with proper hygiene and the right shoe choices.

Middle Age

In middle age, people may experience problems with arches, heels, hammertoes and other disorders. A podiatrist can advise you whether surgery is necessary to correct problems such as bunions or heel spurs. In addition, middle age can bring health problems, like diabetes, that affect the circulation and condition of the feet.  Taking control of diabetes through diet and, if needed, medication can help to keep feet in great health.

Senior Years

The senior years usually require more care of the feet. The wear and tear of past years may have taken a toll, with toe malformations or other problems. In addition, seniors may not be as active as they once were. Foot muscles can become weaker and lead to fallen arches and pain when walking. Your podiatrist can help to relieve some of these problems with surgery, orthotics, exercise and other therapies.

Taking care of your feet should be like taking care of your joints—a lifelong task that pays off with better function in later years. Monitoring the condition of your feet early in life pays big dividends as you grow older.

About the Guest Author

Vivian Bradley is a health educator whose career in healthcare administration has given her experience helping people of all ages achieve optimum health.  You can read more of her expert advice at Top 10 Best Online MHA Degree Programs.

5 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Blood Pressure

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 out of 3 adults in the United States suffers from high blood pressure. Blood pressure, or hypertension, is the measurement of force bearing against artery walls as blood circulates through the body. Two numbers represent blood pressure–systolic measures pressure during heart beats and diastolic measures pressure between beats. High blood pressure includes any reading of 140 (systolic) over 90 (diastolic) and above. High blood pressure not only increases the risk for stroke and heart disease, it may lead to other diseases and chronic illnesses. Fortunately, for most people, high blood pressure can be reduced and controlled with a few simple lifestyle changes.

Reduce Salt Intake

Reduce salt intake to lower blood pressure almost immediately. The Mayo Clinic suggests 2,300 milligrams of salt or less daily for adults up to age 50. After age 50, most adults only need 1,500 milligrams daily. Eliminating or reducing processed foods from the diet that are high in salt will bring salt levels down drastically.

Exercise

Exercise regularly to reduce high blood pressure and to control prehypertension. Prehypertension is the stage before high blood pressure when systolic rates are below 140 but above 120 and diastolic rates are between 80 and 89. Just sixty minutes of moderate exercise per day, such as riding a bike or brisk walking can bring unsafe blood pressure levels back into the normal range after only a few weeks.

Reduce Stress

Although situational stress temporarily raises blood pressure levels, it has not been scientifically proven to chronically raise levels. However, The American Heart Association (AHA) emphasizes that chronic stress is a contributing factor to high blood pressure and recommends destressing for heart health by incorporating daily relaxation techniques such as yoga, aromatherapy or breathing exercises.

Lose Weight

According to the AHA, excess weight is one of the largest contributors to high blood pressure. For individuals with a body mass index above 25, which is considered overweight, losing just 10 to 20 pounds can reduce blood pressure considerably.

Limit Alcoholic Beverages

Alcohol in small amounts may actually reduce high blood pressure but more than two drinks for men and one drink for women may raise blood pressure. A 12 ounce beer or 5 ounce glass of wine each count as one drink. For liquor, 80-proof or more, one drink equals 1.5 ounces of alcohol.

Controlling high blood pressure not only reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack but also reduces the chance of kidney failure, peripheral vascular disease and a slew of other chronic conditions. Following these simple tips not only brings blood pressure rates back into acceptable ranges but contributes to overall health and well-being. The CDC recommends consulting with your medical care provider before incorporating any drastic lifestyle changes.

5 Ways Schools Should Be Helping the Fight Against Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is a huge problem in the United States. The proportion of obese children in the country has gone up a whopping 300% in the past three decades. In fact, one out of every three kids is dangerously overweight. Who is to blame? Experts believe that schools are partially responsible for the high obesity rates. Here are some things that schools can do to reverse the harm that has been done over the years.

Offer Healthier Food Choices

Growing boys and girls need to get a ton of nutrition to become healthy men and women down the road. Unfortunately, many schools continue to feed our kids junk. Cafeteria foods are often high in fats and sodium, and they often contain little more than simple carbohydrates and a bit of protein. Although fruits and veggies are available as sides, they seem to be very unpopular with most students. In the end, kids will continue to eat foods such as pizza, hot dogs, burgers, ribs, chili cheese fries, and nachos for lunch as long as they are available. No wonder they are missing out on the essential vitamins and minerals found in fresh produce.

Provide nutrition facts for meals

Unhealthy foods often taste very good, but many students might be afraid to eat them after finding out exactly what they are putting into their bodies. In addition to containing excessive amounts of sugar, salt, fats, and chemicals, many processed foods are made out of low-quality parts and contain high calories. While everything else contributes to poor health, eating too many calories is the primary cause for obesity. As long as students continue to be served typical “hot lunch,” they’re better off bringing their own.

Require health and physical education classes

schools fight obesityEven though many middle and high schools require taking at least one health course, not all institutions do. The subject of nutrition needs to be stressed because most of the population is very misinformed about how to eat right. General health courses should also cover basic exercises and how to work out properly. Only the combination of a good diet and regular exercise can guarantee that obesity is kept at bay.  Speaking of exercise, all students should be enrolled into P.E. classes so they can get a break from book study. Traditional classrooms have students sitting in place for hours at a time without any real physical activity. Especially for those who eat extremely poorly, remaining stationary throughout a six to seven hour day only adds to the obesity problem.

Encourage participation in team sports

Serious athletes are generally very healthy and fit individuals. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to be part of a team. Rigorous training regimens and strict diet plans keep athletes in great shape. Team sports are also more beneficial than individual sports because of factors such as competition. Competition pushes players to work harder, burning more calories in the process.

Employ a Wellness Coordinator

A qualified wellness coordinator employed at the administrative level will not only help to make sure the previous four tips are put into practice, but will be able to offer additional education and opportunities for staff and students alike to make sure everyone is on the right track to health and optimum well-being. Wellness Coordinators are professionals who are devoted to living a healthy lifestyle and typically have earned a Masters Degree in either Public Health or Health Administration.

The True Role of Schools in Fighting Obesity

Even though schools are partially responsible for serving unhealthy foods to our youngsters, the individual is to blame when it comes to making poor food decisions. Education is the number one way to start on a new path to living life at a healthy weight, and schools need to stress healthy living. Students need to learn why it is dangerous to be overweight and how exactly to drop the extra pounds.

About the Guest Author

Suzanne Gerald is a health  and wellness writer from Southern California.  More of her advice about public health can be found at Best MPH Degree Programs.

Should Your Child Get His Tonsils Out?

Half a century ago, removal of tonsils and adenoids was commonplace and recommended for preventing infection of the tonsils, nasal blockage and ear problems in children. However, the tonsils and adenoids are important in helping to stop infection in the body. Surgery to remove is no longer routinely done, unless there these organs create block nasal passages or create other health problems. Left alone, tonsils and adenoids generally decrease in size as the child grows.

What Tonsils Do

The tonsils are tissue located on either side of the back of the throat. They are part of the lymphatic system of the body that helps to fight infection, particularly in the throat. However, the tonsils may become overwhelmed by bacteria and may themselves become infected. Most infections of the tonsils respond well to antibiotics.

What Adenoids Do

The adenoids are a clump of tissue at the back of the nose about an inch above the uvula of the throat. They are made of lymphoid tissue, which produces antibodies to protect the body against infection. Adenoids filter out the germs that come in from the nasal cavities.

When Surgery Is Indicated

In children tonsils can become infected frequently, causing pain, fever, difficulty swallowing and eating and general ill health. In this case, the pediatrician must recommend removal. Adenoids may grow quite large in proportion to the child’s facial structure, to a point where they begin to inhibit breathing through the nose. The child may begin to mouth breathe. He may snore while sleeping or sleep poorly because of the constant interruption in breathing. He may even find it difficult to swallow. In these cases, surgery can provide relief from these symptoms.

When Not To Have Surgery

Removal of both tonsils and adenoids is not routine anymore. The physician may decide that the adenoids require removal and may leave the tonsils in place to continue their job of fighting infection. He may decide that the troublesome tonsils need removal but the adenoids are fine. Each case is determined on an individual basis. Removal of these organs does not generally affect the ability of the body to fight infection. However, if you have objections to your child’s surgery, you should discuss the matter frankly with your doctor to determine if other options are available.

How Is Surgery Done?

Both tonsillectomy adenoidectomy are done under general anesthesia. The surgery is done through the mouth. The base of the tonsils or adenoids are burned with a special cautery instrument in a matter of minutes. The physician will ensure that no excessive bleeding occurs. Some minor pain occurs after the surgery, and pain medications are generally prescribed. After recovery from the anesthesia, the child is allowed to go home and rest for several days. Full recovery may take up to 6 weeks.

Though removal of tonsils and adenoids is not always required, it remains an important choice for cases of chronic infection. In addition, it can also be helpful in cases of breathing obstruction.

About the Guest Author

Maria Rubio is a retired nurse who has helped her share of children through this type of surgery.  She shares more of her expert advice about the health profession at Online RN to BSN Program Rankings.

Are You in Perimenopause?

While most everyone is familiar with “the change”, or the time of menopause in a woman’s life, you may not be aware that changes start to occur in a woman’s body long before menopause actually hits. Perimenopause is characterized by the female body’s transition from regular ovulation to menopause. Although the onset of perimenopause can occur as early as a woman’s 30′s, symptoms most often present themselves between the ages of 40 and 50.

According to Wikipedia’s article about perimenopause, symptoms of perimenopause can differ on an individual basis, but typically include abnormalities in the menstrual cycle. These irregularities can include heavier or lighter bleeding, shorter or longer cycles and spotting between periods. Many women also experience symptoms that are commonly associated with menopause, including hot flashes, sleep disturbances, mood swings and changes in libido and sexual function.

Although all women will enter perimenopause at some point, studies show that several factors may bring about its early onset. These factors include lifestyle choices like smoking and not having children, as well as genetics and having taken certain medications, including radiation therapy in the treatment of cancer.

When a woman’s body enters perimenopause, several changes begin to take place. In most cases, the symptoms and effects of perimenopause are mild or moderate and do not interfere with daily activities. However, some women experience severe symptoms that require medical attention. For example, symptoms such as bleeding that is extremely heavy or persists for longer the eight days should be discussed with a doctor as quickly as possible. Although many women experience severe perimenopausal symptoms, they can sometimes indicate an underlying problem that requires medical treatment.

As a result of the changes brought on by hormonal fluctuations, women may experience several complications as a result of perimenopause. These most often include bone loss and changes in cholesterol, both of which are caused by the body’s decreased production of estrogen. Since both of these complications can pose serious health risks, such as heart disease and osteoporosis, special precaution should be taken to protect bone health and maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Treatment Helps Ease Symptoms

There are several treatments available that may help relieve symptoms of perimenopause, the most common of which is oral contraceptive therapy. Birth control pills can help address the hormonal imbalances associated with perimenopause, which can help alleviate symptoms like irregular menstruation, hot flashes and sleep disturbances. For women who, for whatever reason, can’t take birth control pills, intrauterine contraceptive devices are an option.

In women with severe symptoms like persistent and heavy bleeding, a procedure called endometrial ablation is often performed. This procedure utilizes laser, electrical or heat technologies to destroy the uterine lining, which effectively stops or reduces bleeding. For this reason, endometrial ablation is only used in severe cases and when symptoms have failed to improve through other treatment methods.

In addition to medical treatments, there are several home remedies and lifestyle changes that may ease symptoms of perimenopause. These include a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, regular physical activity and techniques to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Combined, these lifestyle choices can help protect bone health, regulate body function and combat the mood swings commonly associated with perimenopause.

Although perimenopause can be a difficult time in a woman’s life, there are several treatments available that will help relieve symptoms and protect overall health. With the proper care, the transition to perimenopause is less of a challenge and quality of life is significantly improved.

Football and Brain Injury: What’s the Latest?

footballFootball – it’s a globally recognized sport loved by millions. A hard-hitting game of rough-and-tumble athleticism, some may argue that much of the world’s passion for football can be directly accredited to its violent nature. This may be true. Either way though, one reality coming to light today is the sport’s effect on head trauma and brain injury on its players. How serious is this issue and is it on the rise?

Adult Players and Long Term Effects

With regard to adult football, the National Football League is a great sample for measure. Countless cases of head trauma have come on the fields of NFL games for years. As medical science has become more keen on the topic, so too has the public’s general understanding of head trauma events and their long-term results.

Popular media outlets have covered more and more incidents of players who once sustained such injuries and went on to live very troubled lives. Increased tendencies towards violence and depression, deterioration of motor skills, nervous system disorders, and memory-loss are just a few examples of publicly witnessed ex-player decline-trends. A simple internet search of names such as Junior Seau, Ray Easterling, and Andre Waters can give one an idea of directly linked head trauma-to-player tragedy.

Change for the Next Generation?

In youth football, disposition often still mimics traditional ways of adult football: “be tough, it’s just a ding.” But this trend is changing as overall awareness grows. In fact, one recent study found that hits and head trauma experienced by young children playing football are of virtually the same severity and impact as those of college-level players. Facts like these are changing attitudes.

So what do we know for sure? We know that head injuries and brain trauma are now proven to promote nervous system and brain disorders for the duration of the sufferer’s life. We also know that football produces more injuries in general than any other popular group sport. We know that to date, over 3,000 ex-players have filed suit against the NFL because of its causing and alleged inadequate handling of head trauma. And we also know the NFL and other leagues are actively studying the data and making changes.

Recently, the NFL adapted new rules limiting helmet-to-helmet hits via heavy fines, suspensions, and in-game penalties. Even more recently, the kickoff, a play known for its inherent danger, is actively being considered for complete phase-out by the NFL. In many youth leagues, new rules are also widely being considered in order to limit contact in practice and on the field.

In conclusion, we must acknowledge that all sports and physical activities carry injury risks, but due to its nature, football does appear to carry the most. And although early for conclusive study, preliminary analysis of today’s ongoing rule changes shows success in reduction of head trauma events. Finally, know this: the amount of risk taken is directly governed by the active rules of the game. And change is coming.

About the Guest Author

Brandon Harrison is a writer who covers health topics affecting people of all ages. He contributes regularly to Masters in Public Health Degrees, among other resources devoted to keeping our communities healthy and safe.

What is an Audiologist?

Audiologists are health professionals who have been trained to diagnose and treat hearing problems. As of 2007, an audiologist is required to have a doctorate degree in their field. A lot of clinical work and education goes into becoming an audiologist. Ultimately, the people in this profession assist, test for, diagnose and help people with a variety of hearing-related problems.

Educational Paths for Aspiring Audiologists

While there are undergraduate degrees available in audiology, many budding audiologists choose to focus on a related field that they’re interested in. For example, a person planning to become an audiologist may want to first study behavioral science, medicine or linguistics. All of these fields give a strong background from which to bounce off of to study audiology. On top of studying audiology in school, students usually need to work a certain amount of clinical hours before they can graduate. This practical training helps provide on-the-job education and it also helps the student to decide exactly what they want to do once school is over.

Who Struggles With Hearing Problems?

Today, approximately 28 million Americans have some type of hearing problem. Problems with hearing aren’t limited to the elderly population, either. Children and teenagers can also suffer from hearing issues. While hearing impairment can severely affect daily life, audiologists help patients to cope with and even treat their problem. It’s extremely important to visit an audiologist if you’re struggling with hearing impairment. Unaddressed hearing problems can lead to problems in school, poor social interaction and low self-esteem. Often, hearing impairments are misdiagnosed and assumed to be a type of mental illness or a learning disorder.

When a child is diagnosed with hearing impairment, it’s often suggested that they get hearing aids or have surgery to fix the issue. The problem could be caused by a structural issue or a medical problem that hasn’t been addressed yet. If a hearing problem is going to be life-long, it’s best if it’s addressed as early on as possible. Early diagnosis can ensure that a child will have normal speech development. It also gives parents and teachers plenty of time to prepare in order to effectively teach the child.

Popular Career Paths for Audiologists

Audiologists work in all types of settings. Some audiologists work primarily in schools with small children. Others may work in homes for the elderly. Some audiologists work as freelancers or contractors, while others are employed by doctors, hospitals or other medical settings. Audiologists may also work in testing facilities or in research. While audiologists can practice generally, some choose to focus on specific aspects of hearing and hearing loss. Overall, audiologists work in one or two fields: treating patients directly or working in research to develop new techniques. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, audiologist can expect a median salary of $66,660 per year.

While audiologists aren’t technically medical doctors, they are still highly important to the medical field. When an infant is given antibiotics for a long period of time, they are usually assessed by an audiologist. Audiologists also assist doctors in diagnosing hearing problems or by recommending the patient to a medical doctor if their hearing problem can be fixed.

The field of audiology is as challenging as it is diverse. For the right individual, the career promises to be challenging and rewarding.

Five Natural Diuretics

Edema is a common health condition in many individuals. This condition causes swelling in the limbs and other areas of the body. Excess fluid accumulates in various body cavities or beneath the skin layers. The swelling is usually first noticed in the feet or ankles. Pitting or cutaneous edema can be caused by dermatitis, insect bites, poisonous plants, heart failure and blood vessel disorders. Other types of edema may be a symptom of myxedema, lipedema or lymphedema. In addition, retention of fluid can occur in specific organs due to disease, trauma, inflammation or surgery.

The Use of Diuretics in Treating Edema

A diuretic will assist in a reduction of fluids in the body. This is caused by increased urination. Reducing edema will often reduce high blood pressure and other painful conditions. Many individuals prefer natural diuretics to reduce edema. Natural diuretics can be purchased without a physician’s prescription. They are useful for many cases of fluid retention such as those caused by poor diet or menstrual cycles.

5 Common Natural Diuretics

Asparagus is a vegetable that is easy to find in grocery stores or farmers markets in season. It is useful for increasing urination to release body fluids that have been retained due to the monthly menstrual cycle in females. The fibers in asparagus clean the digestive tract while increasing urination.

Increasing caffeine in your daily diet can routinely assist in eliminating excess body fluids. Individuals who consume high amounts of sodium often retain fluids in body tissue. Caffeine is available in tea, coffee and chocolate. In addition, many energy and soft drinks are caffeinated.

juniperAn interesting diuretic is juniper berries. This food item is actually a seed cone. The cones are crushed for use as a flavoring spice in beverages and food recipes. A tea created from juniper berry is often used to reduce water retention caused by urinary tract infections. It is also used to eliminate muscle pain, arthritis and gout.

Watercress resembles a dark leafy green vegetable. It can be used to make a salad, soup, tea or on sandwiches. It is low in calories and high in nutrition. Watercress also helps to eliminate excess fluids from the body. It is often eaten by dieters in a healthy weight loss plan. In addition, watercress purifies the blood while disintegrating bladder and kidney stones.

Parsley is an herb that can be used as a vegetable, spice and herb. It is used as a topping, garnish or flavoring. Parsley is used in salad, soup, tea and sandwiches. A larger amount of this nutritious food is safe for most individuals. However, pregnant women should avoid parsley because it is known to possibly cause uterine contractions. It is useful for reducing body fluids associated with candida albicans, bladder infections and menstrual cycles.

Many natural diuretics are used to create tea or in meal recipes. A small amount of the natural diuretic ingredient is steeped with boiling water to make a hot beverage. Individuals using natural diuretics will experience frequent urination as their body tissues release excess fluid.

Buy Natural Diuretic Products on Amazon.com

1. Gaia Herbs Herbal Diuretic, 60 Liquid Phyto-Capsules

2. Hydrozyne (72 Capsules) the Most Powerful Natural Diuretic Available Without a Prescription

3. Natural Factors Urinary Flow (Diuretic) Capsules, 90-Count

About the Guest Author

Meredith Wright is a nutritionist from San Diego, CA who believes in holistic treatments for just about everything.  She contributes frequently to blogs devoted to health care and more of her expert advice can be found at The Top 10 Best Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration Programs (MHA).

Good Oral Hygiene May Help to Prevent Heart Disease

man-flossing-teethHaving a healthy heart is a key component to leading a long and active life. Most people are aware of the risk factors that can affect heart health. Accordingly, they realize that it is important to eat a healthy, well balanced diet and to indulge in a regular program of exercise. Similarly, routine doctor visits help to detect potential problems and also contribute to managing other risk factors like high blood pressure and diabetes. Most people are also aware of the many studies that have shown that smoking has a negative effect on the functioning of the heart.

However, new evidence suggests that there may be a link between oral hygiene and heart health, and this information is likely to come as a surprise. It is certainly not the most obvious conclusion to draw, but doctors found that patients who are dealing with periodontal disease were two times more likely to also be suffering from heart disease. Moreover, other studies have concluded that subjects who had missing teeth, gingivitis and cavities were far more likely to have a variety of heart problems as opposed to test subjects who had good oral health.

The Bacteria Connection

As yet, no study has shown that heart disease is actually caused by poor dental hygiene. Nonetheless, an increasing number of health care professionals seem to be convinced that some kind of link exists. It is believed that bacteria that naturally occur in the mouth may be the culprit. These bacteria can cause infections and periodontal disease. As the bacteria cause problems in the mouth, they also enter the bloodstream through the gums, effectively traveling throughout the body. Doctors have actually found these bacteria clumped in the arteries of patients. The theory is that the bacteria attach to fatty plaques in the bloodstream, contributing to blockages that can cause strokes or heart attacks.

Another theory suggests that the body’s natural defense mechanism against bacterial invasion, swelling, may contribute to inflamed blood cells. The swelling narrows arteries, making blood flow difficult, a circumstance that can also lead to cardiovascular problems.

Good Oral Hygiene A Good Practice All Around

Though the question of whether or not poor oral hygiene can actually cause heart disease is still open to debate, it is nonetheless clear that good oral hygiene certainly contributes to overall health and well being. Additionally, some doctors are beginning to look to oral problems as an early warning sign of incipient cardiovascular disease. Gums that are painful or regularly bleed may cause a doctor to look for problems with the cardiovascular system that might otherwise go unnoticed until a medical emergency occurs.

Although a causal link is yet to be proved, it seems wise to consider good oral hygiene as just another component to ensuring a healthy heart. The Mayo Clinic’s Guidelines for Good Oral Health suggest visiting the dentist twice annually, brushing and flossing no fewer than two times a day and letting doctors know about risk factors like gum disease can all contribute to a healthy mouth. They might also contribute to a healthy heart and leading a long, meaningful and active life.

5 Natural Ways To Help Treat Menopause Symptoms

Menopause, the period in women’s lives when menstruation ceases, generally occurs in women between the ages of 40 and 60. Women can experience a variety of symptoms during menopause, including night sweats, hot flashes, depression, irritability, insomnia, weight gain, bladder problems and vaginal dryness. Though a number of drugs and hormone therapies are often used to relieve these symptoms, many women opt for more natural methods of treatment.

Exercise

Physicians have begun to understand the benefits of exercise for relieving many of the symptoms of menopause. Recent studies show that stretching exercises, muscle strengthening, relaxation techniques and cardiovascular exercise reduced symptoms significantly. The participants engaged in 3 hours of exercise each week for a year. Not only did physical symptoms decrease, but a more positive state of mind and better quality of life were also achieved. Walking, swimming, sports activities and using exercise equipment can all be helpful for women during menopause.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is often used to provide some relief from hot flashes that often occur with menopause. Vitamin E is found in many foods, including nuts, seeds, bell peppers, asparagus, papaya and Swiss chard. Though study results were not as significant as those with traditional medical therapies, it may be useful in helping some women. A dosage of 600 to 800 IUs of vitamin E taken in 3 to 4 doses throughout the day is recommended.

Black Cohosh

Native Americans have used black cohosh to relieve menstrual problems and the symptoms of menopause for hundreds of years. It grows as a flowering plant and is a member of the buttercup family. The plant goes by many names, including bugwort, squawroot, bugbane and black snakeroot. It contains phytoestrogens, which are plant-based estogens. In Europe, this compound has been use as a natural treatment for menopause for 40 years. It can aid in relieving irritability, hot flashes, sleep disturbances and mood swings associated with menopause. It is sold in health food stores in tablets or capsules, tinctures and extracts that are mixed with water.

Dong Quai

Another plant-based remedy for menopause is dong quai. This plant, a member of the celery family, grows at high elevations in Japan, Korea and China. The yellow-brown root has a number of medicinal uses. It is not known exactly how it works, but experts believe it may act as a natural estrogen for the body. It can produce side effects of diarrhea and nausea. Because of its action as an estrogen, it should not be used by women with estrogen-sensitive cancers.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in salmon, herring, canola oil, mackerel, salmon and spinach, can be helpful for women troubled by the hot flashes that are common with menopause. In addition, a number of studies conclude that these oils can also help to relieve the depression that sometimes accompanies menopause.

These natural remedies may be a good solution for women who have experienced side effects from standard therapies for menopause symptoms. They may also be a better choice for women that prefer a more natural solution to health problems.

About the Guest Author

Jeannine Washington is a nurse educator and writer from Dallas, TX. She offers more expert advice at The Best Health Care Degrees.

3 Tips for Launching Your Career as a Hospital Counselor or Social Worker

If you have an interest in psychiatry and counseling and a strong desire to help people get through what can be difficult situations in their lives, a career as a hospital counselor or social worker may be an ideal career path for you. Employment for counselors is predicted by the BLS to grow fairly steadily in the coming years, but in order to take advantage of career opportunities in the field, it helps to keep a few key tips in mind. Counseling and social work can provide rewarding careers, but for the requirements for each are fairly stringent and will entail some hard work and some savvy career planning. Needed skills include empathy, listening skills and attention to detail. Duties include offering advice, giving support and explaining policies to patients. Social workers and counselors must have a strong understanding of human development and behavior, and of social, economic and cultural interactions. They must be ready and willing to help people from all backgrounds as best as they are able to. To help get you on your way to a successful experience in the field, here are 3 tips for launching your hospital counseling or social work career.

Get on the Path to Licensure

In all states, counselors must be licensed, with specific requirements varying from one state to the next. You can expect to have complete a master’s degree and to sit for a certifying exam, and to complete a minimum number of hours of supervised work experience. When considering degree programs, be certain that a given program will help prepare you for the exam and meet any criteria for hours of supervises practica, rotations or internships or internships. To further your career, consider additional credentialing as a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor. Participating in voluntary continuing education classes will also help you to fulfill your potential in the counseling or social work field.

Choose Your Niche

While most hospital counselors and social workers will need to act as generalists to some degree, it helps career-wise to choose a niche that you want to focus on. You will likely do your thesis on this niche during your graduate studies, and may choose to center your career activities on the topic as well. Areas of specialization may include addiction counseling, grief counseling or child social work.

Network in your Field

As with any field, making connections with your professional peers is helpful in beginning a career a counselor or social worker. Take advantage of your degree programs alumni placement services, keep in touch with classmates and strive to make an impression in the agencies or clinics you intern with. You never know what connection could turn into a position at the hospital, social work agency or practice you’ve been hoping to open the doors to. Keeping in contact with peers can also help you to keep abreast of recent developments and changes in the field, which in turn will help you to provide the best support possible for your patient.s

Sources:
National Association of Social Workers: Social Work Profession
Mayo Clinic: Social Work

About the Guest Author

Andy Collins writes on healthcare careers and technology. Among his recent articles is 15 Great iPad Apps for Students and Professionals in Psychology.