Browsing: Home Health Care

Infection Control – 4 Precautions You Must Take

The nature of any healthcare facility is such that infections can pass on very easily between people if due care is not taken. Preventive measures like maintaining hand hygiene, using proper personal equipment, sterilization and vaccination becomes very important. However certain additional precautions are also necessary for minimizing the risks of communicable diseases and thus managing infection control more effectively.

The following 4 points will go a long way to ensure control in various healthcare facilities.

• Hygienic Habits: Following a set of proper habits and etiquette will help to prevent certain common infections from spreading. You must maintain respiratory hygiene and use tissues while sneezing. Also use the appropriate cough manners and remember to cover your mouth while coughing. Furthermore always discard the tissues after use and clean your hands and face with water or disinfectant cleaners that may be kept around. Use of face masks and seating patients showing typical symptoms of cold and coughs separately are additional measures that can be taken.

• Injury: Always take extreme care while handling any sharp instruments like needles and scalpels while administering treatment to avoid hazards of Needlestick injuries. Remember to wear gloves to prevent any possible nicks or cuts. Also use proper devices to handle such objects and place them in a properly labeled and puncture-proof container immediately after use. If you are a patient and injure yourself due to any equipment or furniture in room, bringing it to the notice of the nurse so that the injury can be treated promptly to eliminate the risk of possible infection.

• Waste Management: Any healthcare facility generates substantial amounts of waste with some of it being hazardous. There should be a waste management plan in place which ensures that any contaminated materials are separated from the general waste and stored in special bags of the appropriate color and label indicating the same. Such waste is generally collected by special handlers and a record of the disposition must be maintained. Also remember to always wash your hands with a disinfectant soap after handling any kind of waste.

• Guidelines: Each and every healthcare facility based on its specific set-up must have sufficient policies in place to manage infection control. A proper procedure should be laid down on how to handle disposable and reusable items. Disposable medical items and equipments, contaminated substances and blood should be discarded only in the manner prescribed. Also there should be suitable levels of cleaning for reusable items and other equipment with certain instruments requiring advanced sterilizations while others like furniture and even the floor and walls of the facility requiring only a simple cleaning with a mild disinfectant.

Whether you are a doctor, nurse or any member of the healthcare facility, or even a patient, remember to ask the visitors to take due precautions like washing the hands and using face masks to ensure infections do not spread from them or to them. Alternatively the facility can put up prominent instructions and have disinfectant hand cleaners within easy reach to get across the message and importance of taking certain precautions.

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Universal Precautions – 6 Steps When Dealing With HIV Patients

Universal precautions urge the use of personal equipments for any kind of treatment and always assume that a patient may be carrying an infection. However, the importance of such precedences rose immensely when it was found that Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) which can be passed on through the blood and certain body fluids, and that AIDS can go unnoticed for a number of years.

The following 6 points will tell you about the extra precautions to be taken while treating HIV patients.

• Complete Personal Equipment: When administrating treatment to HIV patients you must ensure that you have worn all the necessary equipment like gloves, face masks, gowns and glasses or goggles. This is especially important if the patient has a wound or broken skin and is equally crucial during surgeries where there is a greater possibility of blood or fluids to splatter. Beside you must also ensure that your gear is in order and must not use it if damaged in any way.

• Sharp Instruments: You must be very careful around sharp instruments like needles or scalpels which have been used on HIV patients. Such instruments can easily penetrate or puncture your gloves or gown and must be there before put in a standard container immediately after use. An injury to your own self with such instruments is to be avoided in all circumstances.

• Healthcare Personnel: If you are injured or have broken skin or even any kind of sores or wiping skin then it is best that you avoid contact with HIV patients. If treating such individuals is unavoidable then ensure that you have worn all the required gear securely without leaving the affected skin exposed in any way.

• Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR): Studies show that HIV is not transmitted through saliva, but such a patient may have a bleeding injury close to the mouth which can be dangerous. So when administrating CPR to the individual, you must make use of ventilation devices for administressing artificial respiration.

• Personal Hygiene: After treating an HIV patient you must wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Also if any blood or fluid has come in contact with your skin, you must clean it off completely with a good antiseptic. Remember that as a precaution this must be done even if your own skin is not broken.

• Replacement: After treating a HIV patient you must discard the gloves safely and wash your hands before seeing another patient. Also remove all gear after any invasive treatment especially if blood has come on to it. The gear must be removed carefully without touching it to your body and must be put away so as not to spread infection.

The nature of HIV and AIDS is such that preventing any contact with the blood or fluid is the best precaution you can take. Such care must not only be taken by dentists and the doctors performing the surgery of such patients but also by the person who clean up afterwards.

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How Bargain Hunters Spot Cheap Ski Holidays

Everyone loves to save money and it is even more fun to save money on fun things, like exciting ski holidays for a couple or an entire family. There are many deals, especially online, that one can take advantage of and get the cheap ski holiday they are looking forward to. However, you have to know where and how to find these deals to take advantage of them and this takes some research and understanding of how booking holidays works. You need to know the perfect time to book your holiday as well as the cheaper places to visit.

Keep in mind that Christmas and other winter holidays are the busiest times for ski holidays, so if you are looking to book a cheap ski holiday do not plan it during the Christmas or New Year. So, this means you must be flexible with your timing. The best ways to save is to book your ski trip at the last minute, as this is when prices fall due to hotels and resorts wanting to fill unused rooms. Also, booking up to a year in advance can save money as well. Bargain hunters know these little tips and use them to their advantage.

Instead of trying to book your trip at one of the most popular resorts, look at the lesser known places as these will offer lower rates and allow you to book the cheap ski holidays you want. This is another trick that bargain hunters know. They also understand that if they watch carefully, there are times when the more popular resorts will offer discounts after the peak ski season. In addition, staying at a hotel near the resort instead of at the resort itself can save you money when booking a ski holiday.

Many times bargain hunters take advantage of package deals to save money. It is possible to find cheap ski holidays that are part of an all-inclusive package. However, you do need to make sure the package is a good deal and will save you money when compared to paying for things separately. The most important things to keep in mind is that peak season is a not the best time to book and being flexible on time and location go a long way in saving money when booking vacations. There are many deals online, so booking online is also an ideal way to save money when booking your next vacation.

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Breast Cancer Self Examination

Why one should do a self examination?

There is a chance of 1 out of 10 will have Breast cancer over 1 million women's every year finds the lumps in their Brest were most of them were benign and the key finds of the early diagnosis can be done by the Brest self examination.

Who should have to the self examination?

It is a good practice that the habit of the Brest self examination in a regular basis can detect the lead to the early detection of the Brest cancer and mostly women's of all ages should practice it because the Brest cancer may be occurring in the all ages of women, and the examination should be done after the menstruation because the Brest is naturally tender and burdy. And the regular examination of her Brest can probable has a clear idea about her Brest.

BASICS STEPS TO FOLLOW for SELF EXAMINATION
1. Visual examination
2. Tactile examination

Visual exam:
In visual examination you look for the any abnormal differences between the two breast consider these steps;

-shape
-size
-smymmetry and the difference in the level of nipples
-discoloration of skin
-lumps or bumps
-scaly or sores skin
-ulcerations or dimples

Stand in front of a mirror and look for the any of the visual changes in frontal and with the three different positions like

-Arms raised
-bending forward
-and the 3rd arms bent towards you

With hands on your hip turn towards left and right

TACTILE EXAMINATION:
At this part of the examination you have to feel the breast for the any of the changes and for the formations of lumps and the breast cancer is mostly caused in the lymph nodes so try finds the breast uder the arms

Begin by lying in bed. Place a small pillow or folded towel under your left shoulder and your left hand behind your head. Your shoulder should be raised high enough for your left breast to be center on top of your chest, falling either to the center nor toward the armpit; this arrangement distributes the breast tissue as evenly as possible across the chest wall. If a breast is not properly flattered against the chest, it is difficult to feel a lump – particularly in the outer upper quadrant, where tissue is thickest (and where most cancers occur). Feel your breasts and surrounding areas, which include:

• the breast
• between the breast and underarm
• the underarm
• the area above the breast up to the collar and across to your shoulder

Use the pads (where your fingerprints are) of your three middle fingers on your right hand pressed together flat to check your left breast, and do the opposite for the right breast. You should press on your breast with varying degrees of pressure:

• light (move the skin without moving the tissue underneath)
• medium (midway into the tissue)
• hard (down to the ribs “on the verge of pain”)

When using any of the 3 patterns, you should always be using a circular rubbing motion without lifting your fingers.

Patterns of breast examination Spiral: Begin with a large circle around the perimeter of your breast and make smaller and smaller circles as you work your way toward the nipple.

Wedges: Pretend your breast is divided into sections like triangular pieces of a cake, begin in the nipple area and feel your breast in a small circular motion within one section, then move on to the next wedge starting in the nipple area again.

Vertical or linear: Pretend your breast is divided into vertical stripes. Begin on the underarm area on one side and feel your breast in a small circular motion up and down in a zig zag pattern till the whole breast is covered. Then repeat the process for the right breast with your left hand.

NOTE:
Carefully feel and note the any of the changes in your normal Brest structure so that if you especially do find any of the changes in the upper quadrant of chest so it is to be a mostly a serious case so do consult your doctor soon.

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How To Treat Chronic Constipation

Tips on How to Treat Chronic Constipation

Clinical trials are being conducted throughout the United States on investigational drugs for chronic constipation. For many people, current therapeutic options are not always effective. Constipation can cause bloating and training resulting in hard lymphy stools and incomplete emptying of the bowel. Novel treatments are being studied to resolve the problem of chronic constipation and constipation due to pain medication.

Constipation is caused by food that is moving too slowly inside the digestive tract. There are many factors that contribute to this movement, like diet, lack of water, stress, medication, laxatives or hormonal disorders. Diets that are not rich in fibers may contribute to constipation. The digestive tract needs lots of fiber to push the food through the bowels.

Anyone who does not drink water or other liquids can develop constipation more easily than those who drink at least seven to eight glasses of liquid a day. Stress is another cause because it is disturbing the hormone levels. Many drugs as well are responsible for constipation, including painkillers, calcium channel blocking drugs, iron, anticonvulsants and antidepressants. Constipation can lead to rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, cramps or physical discomfort.

Treatment for chronic constipation sometimes requires the supervision of a doctor. Before treating chronic constipation, you should know the contributing factors and whether physical problems in the gastrointestinal track are the cause. A colonoscopy test is often performed to confirm or rule out a possible cause of constipation.

The diet with fibers is one of the least expensive and easiest way to avoid constipation. Eating the proper amount of fibers every day, may give away the symptoms. Vegetables and fruits are very rich in fibers and you should eat at least five servings a day. Fiber supplements are available over the counter. Other sources of fiber include wheat, oat bran, flax seed, psyllium seed and malt extract.

Another tip on how to treat chronic constipation : use of laxatives. Emollient laxatives are working as a wetting agent, allowing the water from the bowels to enter and mix with the stool. Saline laxatives help retain water, softening the stool. The lubricant laxatives can be used for the short-term treatment of chronic constipation. They contain a combination of water and oil. The oil makes the stool softer and easier to eliminate.

Changing your lifestyle with diet and exercise can be effective. If not, medication is available as an alternative treatment. New and improved treatments will be available in the future when drugs under investigation reach the market.

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Using Adult Underwear As Part of Incontinence Treatment

One of the first things that someone who is experiencing incontinence should do is call their doctor. It is crucial to understand that incontinence in and of itself is not a disease but most often is a symptom of an underlying medical problem. This makes it very important that anyone who is experiencing incontinence contact their health care professional right away. Many people let fear or embarrassment keep them from seeking out medical care and this is always a mistake. The bottom line is that seeking out treatment for your incontinence symptoms as soon as you begin experiencing them typically results in cheaper, faster, and more effective treatment.

Many people assume that incontinence is a normal part of aging. It can not be stressed enough that incontinence is never normal no matter your age or health status. Today, doctors understand that this is a medical issue and treat it as such. If your doctor wants to write off your incontinence symptoms as part of aging or does not take them seriously you should seek out another doctor. There is a wide variety of medical treatments that are available to treat incontinence. Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate treatment based on the cause and type of your incontinence. However, it should be stressed that incontinence treatment can be lengthy. While you are actively pursuing incontinence treatment you will need to select adult underwear that can be worn as an incontinence undergarment.

You will need to find the right incontinence undergarment that will meet your needs. For some people this means using incontinence underwear while others may choose an adult diaper. All of these incontinence products fall under the category of incontinence undergarments. If you are just beginning the search for an incontinence undergarment you should take the time to really educate yourself about the different styles, types, and absorptions that are available so that you will choose the right one for you and your incontinence needs. Once you have become acquainted with what types of incontinence undergarments are available it will make your choice easier. The next step is to determine what size, gender type, and absorbency level you will need. Keep in mind that not all incontinence undergarments come in every size, gender, and absorbency so you will need to find the one that meets most of your needs. You should also keep in mind that most likely you will need a different absorbency at night then what you wear in the day. Also, you may find that your need for incontinence protection varies from day to day so you should be prepared to address that as well.

Once you have the right adult underwear you will be better able to focus on your incontinence treatment. There are many different aspects to incontinence treatment. Your doctor may recommend that you use any or all of the following methods of incontinence treatment. These methods include but are not limited to-

• Lifestyle and dietary changes- This can include participating in regular exercise and making dietary changes. If you smoke your doctor will most likely recommend that you stop smoking immediately.
• Behavioral therapies- This can include but is not limited to bladder training and keeping a voiding diary.
• Exercises and physical therapy- This will include doing Kegel exercises and other exercises that can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
• Medication- There are certain medications that can be used to treat different kinds of incontinence.
• Surgery- This option is usually only done as a last resort when all other treatment options have failed or when there has been an injury to the pelvic region that can be repaired.

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Pressure Sore Wound Care: Caring for a Person With Bed Sores – Everyday Tips From a Caretaker

Pressure Sore Care … Practical, non-medical advice on dealing with a loved one that is suffering from pressure sore wounds (bed sores). Some quick Facts and Tips coming from an at-home caretaker.

Taking care of an incapacitated person that is suffering from bed sores is hard on its own. Imagine if that person has additional medical conditions like a weak heart, diabetes, high blood pressure, to name a few … All of that just adds another level to the challenge of trying to prevent new pressures sores from surfacing while simultaneously looking after existent pressure ulcer problems.

As a caretaker, I've heard various opinions from people that were not overly supportive towards me and what I'm doing. Here is a small sample of what I heard:

  • “You basically baby sit your grandma all day ..” “You get to rest at home all day?”
  • … “Being a full-time caretaker does not replace having a full-time job that pays well. Real jobs are from 8 to 5, Monday till Friday.”

The real story is that if I had a choice, I would choose for my grandmother be healthy, and not need me to stay home all day to care after her. The bottom line is that being stay at home care giver is a REAL job that demands hard work, prior planning, research, and follow-up. To me, that's what you call a REAL job! Here is a short list of tips and pointers to make it easier for you to care for a person with these conditions:

  1. This is not an 8 to 5 job, your day starts and ends every two hours. That's the interval that you should be moving the loved one one around that way pressure is not sustained on the same location for periods over 2 hours.
  2. Make sure that you eat healthy foods that are rich in protein, vitamins, and nutrients that will keep you healthy and strong. Good nutrition (and exercise if possible) is essential in dealing with stress and irregular working hours.
  3. Purchase a dry-erase board and use it to write down notes that come to mind through you day. This you will not forget things that come to mind!
  4. It may become psychologically exhausting to be in this position, to see your loved one suffering. Maintain a positive attitude at ALL time. Be positive and stay the course.
  5. It's essential to include an up-to-date list of all of the medication that the patient is currently consuming. Also include notes about any possible allergies that the patient has.
  6. Put together a small carrying case that contains essentials to care for the pressure sores. If you're using a shock vacuum, wound dressing, cleaning solution, or anything else that you might think is useful for your particular situation. This carrying case will play an essential roll if the patient gets transported from place to place and may need certain supplies that are not readily available in certain places. The idea is to be proactive and ready for any situation.
  7. The more you know, the better you are! Conduct your own research about everything that is related to pressures sores. The more education you get about the subject, the better prepared you will be to ask your health care professional detailed questions that will be essential in saving your loved ones' life.

You may face individuals at the health institutions that may not be too friendly to older people. But do not worry. Never give up no matter what. Always ask your health care professional the right questions. They are the only qualified individuals to give you sound advice … and if in doubt, ask for a second opinion.

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What to Consider When Buying Tena Incontinence Products

It can seem like an impossible task to choose the right incontinence product for yourself or someone who is in your care. However, with some simple guidelines you can choose the incontinence supplies that will work best in dealing with any type of incontinence. Many sufferers turn to using products that are part of the Tena line. This line of incontinence supplies features many different types of incontinence supplies and adult diapers which give those dealing with incontinence lots to choose from. However, there are certain things you should keep in mind before choosing the first Tena product you come across. Here is what to consider when buying Tena incontinence products-

– The level of incontinence – One of the first things that you should consider when you are buying incontinence products for yourself or someone else is the level of incontinence. It is important to keep in mind that not all incontinence is the same. There is a range of incontinence that can be from slight leakage to a complete lack of urinary or bowel control. This means that it is critical to choose an incontinence product that will provide the desired level of protection based on the severity of the incontinence. Some incontinence sufferers may be all right using a Tena pad inside normal underwear while others may need diapers or protective underwear that can be worn both day and night. It should also be noted that incontinence needs can vary from day to night and even from day to day which means the wearer of the incontinence products may need different levels of absorbency from their products at different times.

– The activity level of the wearer – Another important consideration before buying Tena incontinence products is the level of activity of the wearer. For those with incontinence who are still fully mobile and active they will be looking for a product that can be worn under normal clothing as they go about their daily activities. For those incontinence sufferers who may be suffering from a lack of mobility, be bedridden, or need care giving help in managing their mobility they may be looking for a product that offers convenience over fashion. The good news is that with such a wide range of incontinence products the Tena protective underwear line can offer a product that is right for everyone who is looking to manage their incontinence. There are Tena protective underwear products that look and feel like normal underwear and allow those with incontinence who are still active to continue on with normal activities. Tena diapers also offer easy to put on and remove adult diapers that can allow those with limited mobility or those with incontinence who are receiving care due to manage their incontinence with ease and convenience.

– The health status of the wearer – It is also important when choosing the right Tena incontinence product to take the health status of the wearer into consideration. Many times incontinence is temporary while other times the incontinence of the individual may grow worse than a medical condition such as Alzheimer's or dementia. This is an important consideration to take into account because the health status of the person wearing the incontinence product will play a part in how effective it will be in providing protection from accidents. The good news is that the Tena protective underwear line offers every type of incontinence product that could be needed.

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Sinus Infection, Ear Ache, Fluid In The Ear And Other Ear Problems – Nurse’s Guide

Sometimes people do not realize the problems that they're having with one or more of their ears could be related to their sinuses or even a full-blown sinus infection. Often one does not know they even have an ear problem until they get an ear ache or a visit to their doctor indicates an ear involvement.

If you're having any kind of problem with your ears, such as an ear ache, ear twinges, ear pain, ear noises, etc., it might be a good idea to pay a visit to your doctor and have him or her use an otoscope to look into your ears to look at the external auditory canal. It does not hurt. It should be done routinely any time you're having a physical examination or are seeing the doctor for a cold or flu issues. If you're prone to sinus problems make sure to have your ears checked every time you go in. The otoscope is on the wall and they can quickly pull it down and look in your ear in minutes.

Oftentimes they'll find there is swelling behind the eardrum. This is common. But you will want to do something about it as soon as possible. Prolonged swelling may lead to hearing difficulties.

Often an ear infection can be caused by a sinus infection. The ears are connected to the back of the nose by the Eustachian tubes. They keep the pressure between the ear and the nose equal. They keep the pressure in the ear the same as it is in the outside world. This pressure is constantly changing also.

As people get older the angle in the tubes changes so the tube drains into the nasopharynx. If it gets inflamed then the ears can feel clogged as the Eustachian tubes become swollen. So an ear infection with fluid buildup can happen in the middle ear. This can lead to hearing loss, pain and pressure so it's important to pay attention to any ear problems you might have.

Ear infections caused by sinus fluid buildup are best treated by treating the sinus infection first. This is often enough to stop the fluid retention and buildup and thus preventing any serious ear problems or hearing loss.

Always have your ears checked when you're seeing your doctor for sinus issues. Your ear infections may continue if you do not treat your beginning, acute or chronic sinus infection or any type of sinus problem. Start home treatment for your sins right away to get relief and stop any permanent damage that may occur.

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Finding the Best Long-Term Care Insurance

Seventy percent of all Americans aged 65 and older will likely need some form of long-term care (LTC), according to a study in the journal Inquiry. That includes nursing home care as well as assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs): toileting, bathing, dressing, eating, transfering out of bed and incontinence care.

Although the Obama administration has pledged to keep working on a public option for long-term care, it has not offered any concrete solutions, making it much more likely citizens will have to turn to the open market as they look for coverage.

What will Medicare cover? Medicare only covers LTC for short periods of time, such as rehabilitation after an injury or illness. It does not cover assistance with ADLs that many older adults need to maintain their independence. Medicaid will cover nursing home care only if your income is below a certain level and after you've depleted almost all your savings.

What does Insurance covers under nursing home care? When LTC insurance was first introduced in the 1980s, it was meant to cover only nursing home care. Not anymore. Today most policies are joint policies, meaning they cover both in-home assistance and nursing home care. “You can think of it this way: Long-term care insurance might keep me out of a nursing home

Long-term care insurance premiums and benefits vary broadly. If you are interested in this type of insurance, be sure to investigate at least three or four providers to find the combination of cost and benefits that best suits your needs.

Planning for difficult times, an American Association of Retired Persons publication, lists seven questions to ask about long-term care insurance policies before you put your money down: (1) Does the policy cover care in any licensed care facility? (2) What are the policy's time or dollar limits? (3) How does the policy exclude coverage for “preexisting conditions?” (4) Does the policy provide coverage for Alzheimer's disease or other psychiatric conditions? (5) Is the policy renewable? (6) What is the annual premium for the policy? (7) Is the insurance company from which you are considering buying the policy, financially secure? Look at the reports from the various rating services such as Standard and Poor's or Duff and Phelps.

If you need help using the bathroom, bathing or changing soiled undergarments (incontinence does happen), would you want your children doing that or would you prefer the help of a skilled medical professional? LTC insurance covers in-home assistance from licensed home health agencies.

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How to Pass a Kidney Stone Pain Free

The advancement of technology and medicine has brought several options when it comes tokidney stone treatment. Kidney stone or renal calculus is a very common health condition affecting millions of people every year. If you have suffered the same problem in the past, there would be a 50% chance that you may develop the stone in the next 10 years. People living in hotter regions are more prone to develop the calculus because of dehydration. If you currently have stones in your kidneys, here are the treatments and management styles that your doctor may recommend.

Drink more water

Water helps flush out toxins and waste products including kidney stones. Although it is not a primary kidney stone treatment, drinking more water helps flush out the smaller calculus from your body. It also prevails the further formation of larger stones. As much as possible, you have to increase your water intake especially if you live in a tropical region. Aside from water, you can also get the fluid from fruit juices. Lemon juice is rich in citrate which can help dissolve the core substance of the calculus.

Pain Relievers

Most patients receiving any type of kidney stone treatment require pain relievers. This is because the process of passing out the stone in the urine can be extremely painful. In many cases, blood in the urine is even noticeable. If you can not stand the discomfort, you may opt for the over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. If these drugs do not work for you, your doctor may need to prescribe stronger medications. Be sure, however, that you take in only the prescribed dose.

Alternative therapies

If you believe in the alternative forms of medication, you can go for a natural kidney stone treatment. According to the advocates, drinking a tablespoon of olive oil mixed with a tablespoon of lemon juice is an effective way to get rid of the renal calculi. There are many patients who attest to the effectiveness of this method. But of course, you have to discuss this option with your doctor before adapting it. Some medical practitioners do not advocate the use of alternative therapies because of lack of researchers to support them, and the possibility of adverse interaction with your existing medications and health condition.

Lithotripsy

Lithotripsy is a less invasive and medically proven kidney stone treatment. The procedure uses sound waves to dissolve the stone into smaller pieces. But if the stone in your kidney is too big, lithotripsy may no longer be effective and your doctor may suggest surgery to remove the calculus.

Surgery

Open surgery is rarely used as a form of kidney stone treatment. This is because of the complications and risks involved in the procedure. Beside, the procedure requires hospital confinement and the recovery time takes about 4 to 6 weeks.

Prevention

Since there is a bigger chance that you will suffer from the same condition again, it is important to complement the kidney stone treatment with preventive measures. Diet modification and lifestyle changes are crucial to avoid the formation of new stones.

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7 Benefits of Electronic Medical Records In Medical Terms

Without beating around the bush lets come strait to the point, here is the seven benefits of the Electronic Medical Records:

1. Electronic medical records can be easily stored as electronic files in secure locations. The history of the patients, the notes of the practitioner, facts, statistics and figures can be stored at the same place without occupying a large physical area.

2. The electronic medical records stores very large amount of information. This makes the process of management very easy. When the documents and records have to be searched later for some use, the electronic method is the easiest. It cuts all the hassle that was involved in looking and searching the bulky records and files for hours and hours. Thus it saves a lot of time.

3. The professionals and the practitioners associated with the health care industry reaps huge benefits from the EMR transcription records when it comes to urgent situations. Unlike the earlier times, the history of the treatment and the prediction and detection of problems becomes very easy and fast and this can save the patient from the adverse effects of prolonged medical condition.

4. When it comes to operations, where all the information if required at the tips, the electronic records or electronic medical transcription can be gained access with a few click of the mouse. This saves a lot of bother on the part of the practitioner and she / he can there before concentrate better on the real tasks.

5. The older forms of storage of medical records saw the piling up of records in no time and there before it was very difficult to clean the space and remove all the unnecessary records. With the electronic medical records, it is easy to manage the medical documents and the unnecessary records can be easily deleted to ensure that the storage space has only the required information.

6. The electronic medical records create the conditions for easy analysis of the medical records which would otherwise have been a very tedious job. All the statistics and analysis can be done with a few clicks of mouse. This also helps in the growth and betterment of the health care organization or clinic.

7. The electronic storage of the data are very cheap as compared to the large amount of paper work that was required traditionally. The storage space is very cheap and so is its maintenance, no more bulky cabinets and congested offices.

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Caregivers: Ten Important Questions to Ask Before a Hospital Discharge

Do you have a loved one, parent, child, friend or even yourself who is about to be discharged from a hospital stay?

Read before you proceed. Ten important questions to ask before you take your loved one home that could be a life saver.

1. What is the Prospective Discharge Date?

When a loved one is admitted to the hospital, the last thing on the mind of a caregiver or family member are concerns about them being discharged. Initially, all of the caregiver's or family's concerns are focused on the present. For example, concerns of what is wrong with the patient, what kinds of treatment the patient will undergo, and whether or not they will be fine are all commonplace during this time. The caregiver and family members of the patient realize that, unless the untimely happens, the patient will be discharged from the hospital at some point. The discharge most likely will happen sooner than expected. Based on today's statistics, the average hospital stay for a non-complicated patient is 1.5 days. Due to Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance regulations, hospitals and institutions are discharging their patients sooner than expected and utilizing other available resources such as rehabilitation centers, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and course, the patient's family.

Technically, the discharge planning for the patient starts at the time of admission. As soon as a patient is registered into the hospital system, a team is ready to plan the discharge. The caregiver and family of the loved one are part of the discharge planning team that includes the doctors, nurses, social workers, case managers, and all other medical personnel involved in the patient's care. With this information on hand, the caregiver and or family of the patient must understand that they are an important part of the discharge planning team. Therefore, they must be informed, assertive, and proactive to obtain the best possible opportunity for their loved one.

2 . Who are Your Teams?

It is imperative that the patient's caregiver or family meets with the discharge planning team, in order to understand their role and what to expect from them. Know them on a first name basis, meet with them, and collect their phone numbers.

a) The Patient

The patient is the most important member of the discharge planning team. It is easy for all those involved with the patient's care, as well as the patient's family, to assume that once a person is lying on a hospital bed all decisions are made by somebody else. However, it will absolutely be the patient, depending on their age and condition, who will make the decision of their care following discharge.

b) All Physicians and Specialists Involved

Keep in mind that the physician that provided care during the patient's hospital stay is not necessarily the one that will continue care after discharge. Today, more and more, hospitals have what is called a hospitalist. A Hospitalist's involvement with the patient is limited to treatment and care required while in the hospital. Upon discharge, the patient must follow-up with their primary care physician. In other words, after discharge you may not be able to contact the discharging physician or Hospitalist for follow-up orders, refills or consultations. It will be very difficult and frustrating for you to try to contact him or her and absolutely they will refer you to the primary care physician. Obtain all prescriptions and services that the patient needs to continue after discharge. This includes equipment such as a hospital bed, wheelchair, oxygen, supplies, and home care services. Ask for these orders / prescriptions before the patient is discharged. If your loved one received care from any kind of Specialist, make sure that you have their names, specialty, addresses, phone numbers and their office manager's name. Ask if your patient must follow-up with them and make an appointment as soon as possible.

c) Clinical Personnel

This includes nurses, therapists, clinical managers and others involved in the patient's care. As well as the other team members, know them by name and obtain phone numbers where they could be contacted in case of questions or concerns. Learn what their responsibilities are when the patient is admitted and how you could get in contact with them if needed after discharge. Make sure that you get the name and phone number of the Nurse Manager of the unit where your patient was admitted.

d) Case Manager

Every patient admitted in a hospital or institution is assigned a case manager. This person plays a key role in the discharge planning process. Get to know her or him well. This individual is your line to sanity during the first few hours after discharge. The Case Manager is the one that coordinates the whole process. When a strong, positive relationship is developed between the patient, caregiver, family, and case manager, the process is usually easier and less stressful for all those involved. The case manager will arrange for the equipment needed after discharge, home care services or hospice, referrals or placement to other health care facilities such as assisted living facilities, nursing homes or rehabilitation centers and transportation if needed.

e) Caregiver and Family Members of the Patient

Another extremely important team member in the discharge planning process, and most of the time the most difficult to coordinate, is the caregiver and family. It is important to identify, without a doubt, exactly who is in charge. Call for a family meeting and designate who will be taking the responsibility of coordinating the patient's care after discharge. Keep clear in mind that the caregiver position can not be an assumed or imposed one. There are options available to be considered before making this decision. Caregiving – whether at home or outside the home – is one of the most stressful, life disturbing experiences anyone could ever live. I recommend that the person that is considering taking this responsibility take the Caregiver Assessment Test. This will provided some insight of the potential caregiver's strengths and weaknesses before undertaking the task.

3. What are the Patient's Diagnosis or Diagnoses, Prognosis and Life Expectancy?

Be very clear and specific about this. Ask for the specific name of the diagnosis or diagnoses. If unknown or difficult to understand, ask the person providing the information to explain it in simple words or to write it down for you. Research and educate yourself on the matter. The caregiver and / or family must be fully aware on what to expect after the patient is discharged. Ask about prognosis and life expectancy. This will be a difficult subject to deal with. Healthcare professionals sometimes have difficulty dealing with this topic themselves, and could be very evasive about it. The caregiver has the right to know, contending with privacy regulations, the patient's condition to be able to make the best decision regarding the patient's after care.

4. What are the best options for After Discharge Care?

There are as many answers to this question as there are patients, diagnosis and conditions. It all depends on the patient's specific condition, prognosis, life expectancy, age, availability of caregiver and family support system. The options include but are not limited to; the patient's own home, family and friend's homes, nursing home facilities, rehabilitation centers and assisted living facilities. The caregiver or family must make a self-assessment to determine the best options for their loved, as well as themselves. If you, a family member or friend decides to undertake this task, I have created a simple tool that the caregiver could use to determine if care giving at home is an option. Take this simple test before you make any decision.

Talk with the patient's physician, case manager and other members of the discharge planning team, including other family members. Reach out ! This will be your salvation once you start this journey of caring for someone at home.

5. What Treatments and Procedures will have to be Continued After Discharge?

Now more and more it happens that patients are being discharged from the hospital in need of continued care such as therapy, treatment or procedures. Even if the patient will receive home care services, usually these services are provided for a limited amount of time and the caregiver is expected to continue to perform them after the services are terminated. From insulin injections, tracheostomy care, colostomy care, wound care or dressing changes and everything in between. Many of these procedures do not require a professional to perform them but the caregiver must be instructed on how to perform them. Educate yourself, observe the healthcare provider performing these procedures while in the hospital, request one on one, hands on instruction session. Plain and simple, get ready! It is up to the caregiver to get ready for the task. Clinical personnel will not volunteer to instruct the caregiver on certain procedures without the caregiver demonstrating an interest in learning or it is specifically ordered by the physician.

6. Will My Patient Continue the Same Meditations and Treatments Before They Were Admitted?

I wanted to list this question as a serious issue that needs to be addressed independently. In my experience as a nurse and caregiver, medication non-compliance is one of the most frequent reasons for the patient to be readmitted to the hospital. Most of the time, the patient and / or caregiver assume that a medication or medications are to be continued or discontinued without understanding the consequences. It is standard practice that when a patient is admitted into the hospital all of the medications that are taken at home are reconciled. The same procedure applies at discharge time. Make sure that a list of medications taken at home is brought in upon admission of the patient or shortly after. At the time of discharge, request to speak with the clinician in charge of your patient's care. Go over each of the medications in the patient medication profile. Ask for indications, dosages, frequency and route as well as possible side effects and or allergic reactions. If a new medication has been indicated during the hospital stay, ask if it is to be continued after discharge. Be certain to request prescriptions for all those new medicines. You do not want to find yourself in the situation of needing a medication, not having a prescription from discharge and it is a holiday. Good luck!

7. What are Possible Signs and Symptoms I should be Aware of?

It is here where the absolute understanding of the patient's diagnosis and prognosis comes into play. Signs, symptoms and actions to take depend on the patient's condition and vary with them. Request a conference with all those involved in the patient's care ie doctors, specialists, clinical personnel, and case manager or social worker. Ask all the questions that you think are pertinent to your patient's condition and prognosis. The ideal situation will be that the conference is held with all participants at once; however, most likely that will not be the situation. One thing is certain; you must have a face-to-face conversation with all the doubles mentioned if you want to survive the first 24 hours after discharge. Get educated, be assertive and proactive, request, demand and expect. Most hospital personnel welcome the caregiver interested on a fast recovery or the best output possible of their loved one, but in today's fast environment the caregiver should assume a very assertive position.

8. Who is Responsible for the Patient's Financial Obligations?

This should be asked right up front. Do not assume that the caregiver is responsible for this obligation. Have an honest talk with the patient, if possible, on how he or she plans to meet their financial obligations with the hospital or institution. Request an appointment with the office of financial affairs at the hospital or institution to discuss the patient's bill status. Familiarize yourself with all medical insurance policies that the patient may have. Bring with you all of the identification cards, copies of insurance policies including any supplementary health insurance policies. Request an itemized bill. Obtain the name and phone number of the person you are dealing with. You will need to call back regarding this issue and you need a person that knows you. This will prevent the aggravation of having to tell your story to several people repeatedly.

9. What do I do During the Days Just Before Discharge?

The panic is overtaking you. Reality is sinking in. Your loved one is coming home tomorrow. You have accepted the responsibility of taking care of him or her at home. Welcome to the club. There are millions of members in this club. Hopefully, you took the Caregiver Assessment Tool Test before you assumed this responsibility.

Today you will collect the patient's beloveds that will not be needed for the rest of the hospital stay. Make sure you go over every item that was brought with the patient at the time of admission. This includes eyeglasses, dentures, any equipment such as wheelchairs or walkers. If possible, ask the patient if there is anything else that was brought in that you are not aware of. If anything is missing, this is the time to speak with the personnel that took care of the patient and start a search. Do not wait until the day of discharge.

Make sure that before discharge, care is already coordinated and in place. This is equipment, supplies and services such as home care. Contact the home care agency that is supposed to service your loved one and inform them of the prospective discharge date. Get a contact person's name and phone number. Contact the case manager and inform him or her of any discrepancies in the coordination of services.

10. Today is the Day, What do I do?

Today is the day. Discharge day. Emotions are running high. Make sure that you are available at the time of discharge. It is imperative that you are there during this process. On this day, you will take last inventory of the patient's belongings. Get prescriptions from the hospitalist. Talk with the nurse that is in charge of the patient's care and request all medications that remained unused. Ensure these medications are on the list of medications that the patient is supposed to continue after discharge, as well as all supplies. These medications and supplies were already charged to the patient. Request a last-minute conference with the hospitalist to be clear on instructions that were already discussed. Clarify any doubts and ask questions. Avoid the feeling that you are taking their time or interfering with their schedule. They are there for you and your patient. Now, it is time to go home.

Welcome aboard.

The journey has begun.

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A Growing Concern – Senior Caregivers for Graying Children

A significant and growing proportion of caregivers are those elderly who take care of adult children. These parents had children with developmental disabilities and they have cared for their children for many decades right up to their senior years. They had started when they were young, spirited and protective of their babies. They have selflessly sourced time, money and energy over the years. They still have the spirit and courage. However they no longer have the same strength and health but provide care, sometimes faltering but as best as they can, out of sheer determination. It is plain that they need support in this situation: physical, financial and psychological.

These senior caregivers care for adult children with either developmental disabilities or chronic mental illness and in each case are presented with distinct presses; that too at an age when they themselves may need certain services. The number of parents in their 70s and 80s providing care and guardianship to a son or daughter is growing as life expectancy of disabled individuals improvements to the 60s and more. These parents worry about their children's future care when they can no longer manage the exertion or pass away.

The parents have been through years of grief when their child did not reach developmental milestones with others their age, which may have caused their health to deteriorate. Physical assistance in ADLs that they provided over the years takes its toll too. Their children may experience an accelerated declination in health, sometimes up to the parent's stage or more, resulting in twice the effort to care for the parent-child pair, instead of just dealing with their own old age. The extra financial burden of providing necessities and medical needs for the child's entire life is augmented with diminutive retirement plans and lost income if constant stay-home care was needed.

With parents of children with chronic mental illness, sporadic outbursts such as delusions, mood swings and aggression make the caregiving unpredictable. Sadly, society often alienates such families, and they too may voluntarily exclude themselves to avoid embarrassment. They jeopardize their relationship with other children and relatives, trying to fulfill their responsibilities. They risk aggression and abuse from their mentally ill child.

Both the aged parents and the adult children are in need of certain facilities. The disabled adult needs supplementary care includes the parent, such as a residential program, possibly suited to both parent and child. It's important that they stay together as long as possible so they can take advantage of mutual support – for the parent too would warn to know the wellbeing of their cherished offspring. The adult child would need additional formal caregiving services such as medication, physiotherapy or other daily routine assistance.

The child receives these services as a client; however the parents and family too need support from the community. Patient centered care often ignores the sensibilities of the caregiver, although they deserve admiration for their indefatigable efforts. Not to mention the public expenditure that they save by assuming caregiver responsibilities and spending all that time and money. Legal guidance and guardianship information can assist older parents with plans for their child's future care. Parents will greatly benefit from clinical intervention as well, such as psychoeducational family models of treatment and techniques such as life review.

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What Are the Benefits of Owning a Power Wheelchair?

If someone should find themselves, for medical reasons, limited in their mobility, one of the best things that can be purchased for their use is some form of wheelchair to aid in getting around in the home or outdoors. For some people however, maneuvering one on their own can be impossible, due to a lack of the upper body strength required. For those people, the best solution would be a power wheelchair, other known as a power scooter.

Why Get a Power Wheelchair?

As we said, not everyone has the upper body strength required to control and maneuver a standard wheelchair or may not have an assistant available at all times to aid them. By using an electric power wheelchair, they regain the ability to maneuver them around their home whenever they need to, without relying on anyone else to assist them. Whatever the reason they need a wheelchair is permanent or only temporary, their quality of life has been proven to improve immensely by the simple act of restoring their independence through movement. Illness can play havoc with any person's sense of well-being, and regaining even a little independence in a small way can improve their mood and even their overall health.

How Does It Work?

The basic electric power wheel operates by relying on a rechargeable battery to supply the power to move the wheels. Controls to operate such a device can be customized to suit the needs of the user, ranging from a control panel with fingertip controls, to a joystick that operates similar to those found on video games or even through an air activated breathing device for those who can not move their hands or arms. The standard battery can power the chair for up to eight hours before requiring recharging and there are other batteries available for use, which can double that limit if desired.

The wheelbase for these chairs are designed horizontally, rather than the vertical type used on manual wheel chairs. The number of wheels attached to this wheelbase varies from three to four and the tires can also be customized to handle terrain other than the average tile, hardwood or carpeted floors.

For those who desire to leave their home under their own power, all terrain tires are available, as are enhanced braking systems for safety purposes.

Very Easy To Travel With

Most models made today can be purchased with the traveler in mind. Lighter weight frames, even with the attached battery, can be folded and placed into most vehicles for transport, and some may meet air travel restrictions.

Some buyers use their power wheelchair as an alternative means of traveling on its own, with a long-life battery, they can travel miles along most terrain, making it the perfect means of doing errands that only require a limited range of transport. With the right accessories, like baskets and bags to hold purchases, and comfortable seating, there is no need to remain at home any longer than you wish.

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