Social and Intellectual Health

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Posted on 17th January 2012 by admin in Uncategorized

Social health refers to the ability to interact effectively with other people and the social environment, to develop satisfying interpersonal relationships, and to fulfill social roles.  It involves participating and contributing to your community, living in harmony with fellow human beings, developing positive interpersonal relationships with others and practicing healthy behaviors.  Health educators are placing a greater emphasis on social health in it’s broadest sense, as they expand the traditional individualistic concept of health, to include the complex interrelationships between one person’s health and the health of the community and environment.  Whether your environment is as a student at school studying, or in an allied health professional, our health is an important thing to acknowledge and focus on.  This change in perspective has given rise to a new emphasis on health promotion, which enhances health by building knowledge and skills among individuals and modifying their environment to foster healthier lifestyles.

The brain is the only organ capable of self-awareness.  Every day you use your mind to gather, process and act on information to think through your values, to make decisions, set goals, and figure out how to handle a problem or challenge.  Intellectual health refers to your ability to think and learn from life experiences, your openness to new ideas, and your capacity to question and evaluate information.  Throughout your life, you’ll use your critical thinking skills, including your ability to evaluate health information, to safeguard your well-being.

Social and intellectual health are very important things to consider in addition to physical.  Many times we think that health only involves the body, but there are many different facets to health.

Financial Growth In Allied Health Organizations

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Posted on 18th November 2011 by admin in Uncategorized

Growth in allied health organizations is often accompanied by an expansion of technology, plant and equipment well in advance of the ultimate receipt of cash from customers.  Growing organizations can avoid bankruptcy with careful financial planning concerning their liquidity and solvency in relation to growth.  The key is to focus on the long-term plans for cash.  It is often said that banks prefer to lend to those who don’t need the money.  Certainly banks do not like to lend to organizations who are desperate for money.  When studying how to become an accountant they teach the key to focus on long-term plans for cash.  A more sensible approach for expanding an allied health organization then going to the bank in March, would be to lay out a long-term debt plan for how much it expects to grow and what the cash needs are for that amount of growth.  The money can then be obtained from the issuing of bonds and additional shares of stock….or orderly bank financing can be anticipated and approved well in advance.

Apparently, even in a profitable environment cash flow projections are a real concern.  Liquidity and solvency are crucial to an organization’s viability.  In accounting of allied health organizations we return to the issues of liquidity, solvency, profitability, and expansion.  A substantial amount of emphasis in financial accounting is placed on providing the user of financial information with indications of any organizations liquidity and solvency.

Discovering the Right Nursing Options

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Posted on 14th November 2011 by admin in Uncategorized

How can you learn more about career opportunities in nursing?  Read nursing journals, and get out to career fairs!  Other ideas would be to use the internet and browse career sites that offer information about all the clinical and non-clinical specialties in nursing and attend conventions and continuing education classes related to various specialties.

Another good idea would be to talk to other nurses in your facility who work in different specialties or who do some unusual things like wound care, infection control, occupational health, education, or management.  Ask them about what they do, what the pros and cons are of their specialty, and how they got started.  When you encounter a nurse from an outside entity, like a transplant nurse or a research nurse, find out what his or her job is all about.

Try things that sound interesting to you.  This is how you find your niche.  Success is a journey.  I tried on many different hats before I figured out my career path.  I spent the first twenty years of my career trying different things, challenging myself, accumulating experiences, and discovering what I was good at and what I enjoyed doing.

My business places me in constant touch with nurses from all over the world.  talking to nurses in various specialties is a part of what I love about my job.  Even though I have considerable expertise in career opportunities for nurses, I am constantly meeting or talking to nurses who are doing something I haven’t heard of before – something interesting and innovative.  It is very uplifting to hear about all the ways and places nurses are making a difference.

Networking

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Posted on 9th November 2011 by admin in Uncategorized

There are opportunities to network virtually everywhere.  Since overcoming my fear of talking to people I don’t know, I have met some of the most interesting people in the most unusual places.  A trip to the beauty parlor once turned into a great networking opportunity.  I was sitting next to a woman and couldn’t help but overhear her conversation.  I suspected she was a nurse by the way she was talking and asked her if she was.  She looked at me quite surprised and said, “why yes, I am.”  We talked, and I learned a lot about hospice nursing, which was her area.  She gave me a unique insider’s perspective and we exchanged business cards and still stay in touch.  You will make amazing connections and learn a great deal if you take small risks, like I did that day, and talk to more people wherever you go.

Now you should be convinced that networking is important.  So how do you get started?  Networking involves talking to people and staying in touch with people, so start by setting a goal to introduce yourself and talk to at least one new person at the next meeting you attend.  Exchange contact information with him or her and stay in touch.  Introduce yourself by saying, “Hi, I am ______, an RN working in cardiac care at City General Hospital.  How about you?”  Or try starting with an icebreaker such as “Have you ever been to this even before?”  Usually the conversation will go from there.  With practice, you will eventually feel comfortable introducing yourself.

What is Financial Management?

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Posted on 1st November 2011 by admin in Uncategorized

This blog today focuses on health care accounting and finance.  accounting is a system for providing financial information.  It is generally broken down into two principal elements: financial accounting and managerial accounting.  Finance has traditionally been thought of as the area of financial management that supervises the acquisition and disposition of the organization’s resources, especially cash.

The financial accountant of your allied health organization is simply a historian who uses dollar signs.  An integral part of the financial accountant’s job is to report the health organization’s history from time to time to interested individuals (such as the government).  Usually the government requires an organization’s quarterly and annual reports.  When a student studies how to become an accountant, they learn how to prepare all these documents.

The managerial accountant of an organization does a slightly different job; It looks forward while a financial accountant looks backward.  Instead of reporting on what has happened, managerial accountants provides financial information that might be used for making improved decisions regarding the future.  In many health care organizations, the same individual is responsible for providing both financial and managerial accounting information.

Finance in Allied health fields has expanded significantly from the functions of borrowing funds and investing the excess cash resources of the firm.  In it’s broader sense, the finance function involves providing financial analysis to improve decisions that affect the wealth of the organization you work for.  Whereas the managerial accountant provides the information for use in analysis, the finance officer often performs the actual analysis.

Foreign Nurses in the United States

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Posted on 19th October 2011 by admin in Uncategorized

Claire practiced nursing for four years in her native Philippines before coming to the United States a year ago.  She was looking for greater challenges in her professional life and wanted to experience “something different.”  She said half jokingly, half serious, “I think I got more then I bargained for in that regard.”

She continues:  I had to take all the exams for foreign graduated nurses in order to be eligible to sit for the nursing boards (NCLEX-RN) in the United States.  I prepared for those tests on my own by using review books.  I also had to do all the paperwork for getting licensed here.  When I finally became a licensed RN, I began working part time in a nursing home, and part time in a hospital on a telemetry (heart monitor) unit.  Nursing is very different in the United States then in the Philippines.  Nurses here have much more responsibility.  For example, back home, nurses don’t start IV’s.  In the Philippines, most hospitals are teaching hospitals, so the residents and medical students do most of the procedures.  There, the charge nurse was the one who had primary contact with the physicians.  In the United States, nurses are much more independent.  Here, all the nurses have regular contact with the doctors, start the IV’s use more critical thinking skills and do everything.  Nursing is also much more complicated here.  In the Philippines, we were not so involved with families and discharge planning and case management.  There are also much greater legal implications here.  You have to be responsible for your own actions.  So even though I have four years’ experience working in the Philippines, I am starting as a new graduate here because I have so many new things to learn.  Plus I am dealing with cultural differences. In addition to all the new nursing skills I had to learn, I was also dealing with my new co-workers, who have different values from me.  In the United States, you have to be direct and straight forward.  You have to say what’s on your mind.  We’re not so direct in the Philippines, so I have to adjust.  I have to assert myself in terms of my job.

Postretirement Health Care and Insurance Costs

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Posted on 19th September 2011 by admin in Uncategorized

Most large companies cover a portion of the health care and insurance costs incurred by employees after retirement.  Similar to pensions, such coverage is part of employee compensation and is earned over an employee’s years of service.  According to the matching principle, therefore, such costs should be accrued over the employee’s tenure with the company, and then the associated liability should be written off as the benefits are paid after the employee’s retirement.  the issues of estimating this liability, providing adequate funds to meet required future payments, and accounting for such transactions are actually very similar to those involved with pensions, and accordingly, the appropriate accounting methods are basically the same.

Until recently, however, most companies neither established funds to pay these future costs nor accrued the related liabilities as the employees earned the coverage.  Unlike pensions, federal laws have been slow to be established like the (ERISA) which requires employers to establish funds for these liabilities.  Standard practice in this area has been to expense these costs simply as they are paid.  Such a policy, which is contrary to the matching principle, is referred to as the pay-as-you-go approach.  The FASB, in  a very controversial standard passed back in 1990, required that companies accrue postretirement health care and insurance costs.  Not only did the companies have to accrue a liability in the future as employees earned their benefits, but they were also required to recognize existing liabilities they had failed to accrue in the past.  While studying how to become a CPA in the health care industry, health care plans, and insurance costs will be one of the most important things to learn.  Most allied health employees are granted coverage, and it is the accountant’s responsibility to track, plan and document accurately how these expenditures will be incurred.

Physiologic Variables Affecting Blood

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Posted on 13th June 2011 by admin in Uncategorized

There are many variables that can affect blood.  A phlebotomist should be aware of theses variables when collecting and examining blood samples.

Age.  A patient’s age can affect some blood components.  Newborns typically have higer values of red and white blood cells compared to adults.  Because kidney function tends to decrease with age, higher levels of creatinine may be evident in older patients.

Altitude.  Decreased oxygen levels can cause the body to produce more red blood cells to meet the body’s oxygen needs.  The higher the altitude the greater the increase of red blood cells.

Dehydration.  If a patient has lost a lot of fluids due to vomiting and diarrhea, dehydration will result.  Dehydrations can affect the blood causing the blood to become more concentrated.  If a patient is dehydrated it is difficult to obtain a blood sample.

Diet.  What you eat can affect your blood composition.  If you eat a lot of high sugar foods, like carbohydratees or sweets, your blood glucose levels will be high.  It can take several hours before the blood glucose levels return to normal.  Fatty foods can increase the fat content in blood causing the blood plasma to appear cloudy.  This condition of cloudy blood is called lepemia.  It can last for up to 12 hours.

Diurnal/Circadian Variations.  Diurnal variations occur daily and circadian variations occur in a 24 hour cycle.  These variations can affect blood composition.  Diurnal variations are affected by posture, activity, eating, daylight, darkness and sleep patterns.  Blood components that show diurnal variations include bilirubin, hemoglobin, insulin, iron, potassium, testosterone, and red blood cells.

Drug Therapy.  Some drugs can alter the concentrations of certain blood analytes.  this can cause an unwanted side effect. Physicians will monitor patients who are prescribed drugs that can affect specific blood analytes.  Chemotherapy can decrease white blood cells and platelets.  Many drugs are toxic to the liver.  Drugs with steroids or diurtetics can cause pancreatitis and thiazide diuretics can increase calcium and glucose levels and decrease sodium and potassium levels.

Drugs are known to interfere with test results causing false increases or decreases in results or inaccurate results .

Exercise.  The intensity and duration of exercise can affect a patient’s physical condition.  Exercise can directly affect the arterial pH and PCO2 levels.  Glucose, creatinine, insulin, lactic acid, and protein can increase in blood tests due to muscular activity.  Skeletal muscle enzymes increasefor 24 hours or more by exercise and vigorous exercise before blood collection can increase cholesterol levels by 6%.

EMT: Airway Adjuncts

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Posted on 3rd June 2011 by admin in Uncategorized

There are two airway devices that can be used to help open and maintain the airway for patients that are unable to control their airway. These devices can be used by emergency medical technicians out in the field. The oropharyngeal airway is a curved piece of plastic that is inserted into the patient’s mouth. This device is used to lift the tongue out of the oropharynx. This device is also called the oral airway or OP airway. This device should be used whenever a patient is unresponsive and has no gag reflex. The gag reflex will cause the patient to retch if the back of the throat is stimulated. Because inserting the oral airway will trigger the gag reflex, it is not intended to be used unless the patient has no gag reflex. If this device is used on a conscious patient it is very likely that the patient will gag or vomit, which can cause additional problems to the airway. The nasopharyngeal airway is a rubber or plastic tube that is inserted into the patient’s nostril. This flexible tube helps air to pass through the nasopharyngeal passage. This device is commonly caused a nasal airway or NP airway. This airway device dose not usually cause vomiting and is a better choice for patients who are responsive. If a patient is actively seizing, the nasal airway is often the easiest airway to use. When inserting the nasal airway it is important that the device is not forced in. If there is resistance the airway should be removed and relubricated before trying the other nostril. This device can be uncomfortable and painful for patients. The airway should be monitored for mucus, blood or vomit that can clog the tubing. If clogging occurs the airway should be suctioned.

Phlebotomy: Biohazard Exposure Routes

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Posted on 2nd June 2011 by admin in Uncategorized

Health care workers must be aware of the many ways that they can be exposed to biohazards.  The most common and easily recognizable route is by ingestion.  Other routes besides ingestion are called parenteral routes.  Here is some information about some of the most common routes for biohazard exposure.

Airborne
Aerosols and splashes can allow biohazard materials to become airborne and easy inhaled.  This can happen when biohazard specimens are centrifuged and the stoppers are removed.  It can also occur when preparing specimen aliquots.  If chemicals are not properly stored, mixed or handled dangerous fumes can result and become inhaled.

Ingestion
Sanitization is important to prevent ingesting biohazards.  The simplest and most effect means of preventing ingestions is to wash your hands frequently before having contact with food, gum, candy, drinks or anything that will come into contact with your mouth, like cigarettes.  Covering your mouth with your hands instead of using a tissue when coughing and sneezing can also allow for the transmission and ingestion of biohazards.  Biting your nails, chewing on pens, licking your fingers after meals or to turn the pages of books increases your chances of biohazard ingestion.

Precutaneous
The term percutaneous means through the skin.  Biohazard materials can enter the body if they come into contact with unbroken skin.  This can occur in a health care environment if the skin becomes punctured by needlesticks and broken glass.  Percutaneous exposure can be reduced by using needle safety devices, wearing appropriate gloves to handle broken glass, and never handling glass barehanded.

Permucosal
If the mucous membranes are exposed to biohazards they can quickly and easily enter the body. Mucous membranes are located in the mouth, nose and eyes.  Sneezing, coughing, and rubbing or touching your eyes, nose or mouth with contaminated hands increases your chance of infection.

Washing your hands regularly is a simple and effective way of preventing exposure to microorganisms and other biohazards that can enter your body.