Encouraging Your Child to Use a Nebulizer

October 24, 2012 by  
Filed under ASTHMA

Sillouette of Asthma

A nebulizer can be an effective method for giving your child his/her asthma medicine.  Typically, you’ll only need to use one for five to ten minutes to get a full dose.  All your child needs to do is stay still with the facemask strapped to their face (or holding the mouthpiece in their mouth, depending on the type of nebulizer you have) and breathe in normally.

Now, some parents may read this and think, “Ah, but there’s the problem.”  And indeed, it can be hard to get some children to stay still for five to ten seconds, much less minutes.  Also, holding a device up to their face for that length of time could potentially make them uncomfortable.  Here, then, are a few tips for persuading your child to use their nebulizer as often and as regularly as they need.

 

Routine

Set a specific time each day for your child to take their medicine and stick to it.  This will help condition your child to using the nebulizer regularly.

 

Positive Reinforcement

Praise your child for using the nebulizer correctly.  Remind them how using it will help keep them healthy and enable them to do more things.  You could also give them a small treat after they’ve finished using it.  Another good idea is to engage in some activity to make the time that your child is using the nebulizer more pleasant (read to your child, play some music, watch a DVD or a TV show, etc.).  If your child is older, encourage them to help you set up the nebulizer so they’ll feel more responsible and in control.

 

Make It Fun

If your child shows some reluctance, you can make a game out of using the nebulizer.  For instance, pretend that the facemask is a scuba mask or a jet pilot’s mask.  Encourage your child to decorate the nebulizer with stickers and possibly draw on it using non-toxic markers.  Of course, you should be careful not to do anything that could potentially damage the compressor, hose or facemask/mouthpiece.  Also, don’t do anything to the inside of a facemask.

 

Using a nebulizer doesn’t have to be a chore.  With a bit of planning and creativity, you help your child grow comfortable with using one and managing their respiratory problems.

 

Ken Stanfield is a writer and blogger who specializes in respiratory health and healthcare. He currently writes for the nebulizer systems supplier justnebulizers.com


When Allergies Attack [Infographic]

October 22, 2012 by  
Filed under ASTHMA, HEALTHCARE

Are you the 1 in 5 people that suffers from allergies? You’re not alone. Over half of the U.S. population test positive for at least one allergen. It should come as no surprise when 100% of U.S. households have detectable levels of pet dander and that indoor pollution can be between 2 and 100 times worse than outdoor pollution. When you consider that we spend nearly 90% of our time indoors, that’s a lot of caughing, sneezing and dry, itching eyes.

 

 

Infographic authored by Oransi LLC. To view the original post, check out the original Asthma & Allergy Infographic.

 

TAGS: allergies, asthma, infographic, health


Nurses Press for New Patient-Handling Regulations

October 16, 2012 by  
Filed under HEALTHCARE

Nurse Becky

America’s obesity epidemic has spread beyond overweight people who put themselves at risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke; now, the nation’s runaway weight problem has serious consequences for healthcare workers who must lift and move overweight patients when they cannot move on their own.

Recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control confirm that the “average” American is over-weight, and the population is still packing-on excess pounds. Robert Longley reports, “Average adult Americans are a whopping 25 pounds heavier than they were in 1960. Average BMI has increased among adults from approximately 25 in 1960 to 28 in 2002.” BMI above 25 is the clinical standard for obesity. The BMI numbers translate to 191 lbs for the average American male and 165 for the average American woman. Therefore, if four female nurses “team lift” an ordinary man or woman from a gurney to a bed, each of them exceeds the OSHA lifting limit of 35 lbs.

Given the exigencies of everyday hospital operations, nurses more often violate the OSHA weight limit than ask for extra help. Amy Williamson, workplace safety coordinator for Baptist Hospital in Nashville, tells USA Today , “In the course of an eight-hour day, a nurse will typically lift 1.8 tons, which is pretty astronomical.” Follow-up studies indicate a nurse’s total daily lifting is up to 10 times that of commercial construction workers and workers at home improvement retailers, the two professions with exceptionally high rates of lift-related injuries.

In the wake of nurses’ record-high numbers of back injuries and workers’ compensation claims for knee, shoulder and joint problems, the American Nurses Association has launched a major initiative to update patient-handling requirements and assure their strict enforcement in America’s hospitals.

California leads reforms.

A model for other states’ new patient-handling regulations, California’s Employment Safety and Health Facilities Act (AB1136)…
Cites background data that inspired the legislation, including first and foremost the Legislature’s acknowledgement that injuries to healthcare workers accounted for 11 percent of California’s musculo-skeletal injuries in 2008 and 99 percent of those injuries came as a result of overexertion.

Amends the California Occupational Safety and Health Act and requires employers’ development, implementation and enforcement of safe patient-handling policies for all their units. The amended OSHA act also mandates properly trained staff and specially skilled lift teams in every general hospital and acute care facility.

Requires employers to phase-out manual lifting and transfer of patients, and it specifies they must replace obsolete lifting procedures with power-assisted lifting devices and specially trained lift teams.

Mandates employers’ adoption of comprehensive patient-handling plans and standard operating procedures which assure patients’ safety while making special provisions for doctors’, nurses’, orderlies’ and other professionals’ protection against musculo-skeletal injuries.

Redefines crimes and torts to assure local governments’ compliance with and enforcement of the statewide mandate for healthcare workers’ protection against musculo-skeletal injuries.

Nashville Baptist Hospital makes the case.

Under nurse Mary Ann Baylor’s direction, Nashville Baptist Hospital launched its own back injury prevention program which includes all the elements of California’s law and adds a buddy system. Tom Wilemon, reporter for the Nashville Tennessean, writes, “The buddy approach — matching up a new user with someone skilled at using the lift devices — boosted compliance. Baptist wound up reducing its patient handling injuries by more than 74 percent from 2008 to 2011.” Baylor herself exults, “We have not had any injuries since our pilot. It’s really a team project. We buddy up so that whenever we are using the lift, the chance of injury is nil.”

About the Author:

Ashley Stevens writes full-time for education blogs nationwide. If you’re interested in a career in health care, you might consider an online masters in nursing, like those programs offered by Ohio University and Georgetown University.


The Challenges of Health Care for an Aging Population

October 15, 2012 by  
Filed under HEALTHCARE

Our friendly community transport service

Many dire predictions surround the effects of the aging Baby Boomer generation on the health care system. A severe shortage of health care workers combined with costs that threaten to implode Medicare have worried analysts for more than two decades. How bad are things really? With the number of elderly in the United States already reaching 70 million strong, most experts agree that the growing and changing needs of the population mean that health care needs to change with them. There are several factors at work in the health care situation today.

1. People are Aging Differently

Not only are there more people over retirement age than ever before, they also have access to procedures, treatments, and medications that their parents never did. We spend an average of five times more on the health care of an elderly person than a working adult . The unhealthy American lifestyle greatly increases the money spent on heart disease, cancer, and other conditions. But health costs are also increased by relatively modern developments such as home care equipment, cosmetic surgery, and increased physical therapy. This has also given way to a number of more specialized health careers. Hospitals and clinics are in constant need of trained professionals who can provide the greater quality of life services that seniors are growing to expect.

2. Supply could be Worse than Demand

Even considering the fact that seniors are interested in a greater quality of life, many argue that the aging population is far less of a problem than the commercial nature of the health industry. In other words, patients are costing more money because of an industry rife with excess and fraud which is trying to make money off of them. The invention of new drugs and technology can often be a great thing, but it can also lead to unnecessary medicating and needless products, which the manufacturers charge higher and higher prices to provide.

3. The Growth of Seniors is a Global and Economic Issue

The current economic climate as well as the issues with health care costs is not unique to America – these issues have effected every major nation in the world. By 2050, the percentage of people over 65 will more than double, and their health costs could rise to an average of 5 percent of the world’s GDP. This also means that combined with a decrease in birth rates, senior citizens and the elderly will be of vast importance to the world’s economy. Their well-being is beneficial to everyone in the long run. Providing seniors with quality care and affordable health care options results in economic growth.

The discussion of changes to the health care system is a response to the fear that higher taxes and reduced Medicare benefits will soon be the only way to manage an unsustainable rise in costs. The aging population is definitely not the only factor in this problem. But solutions can begin with a greater dedication to recruiting and training nurses, medical staff, and caregivers, as well as working to rid the health care industry of excess and fraud. The most important thing to remember? No matter where you are in terms of age or income, the health care crisis affects us all – and we’re all in it together.

Darlene Jamieson Top Masters in Healthcare www.topmastersinhealthcare.com/


Is it Time? Five Ways to Decide if Your Parents Need Assisted Living

October 5, 2012 by  
Filed under AGING

Elderly Gentleman

As parents age, it’s not unusual for roles to reverse. Children become the caretakers and parents become those cared for. It’s also not unusual to feel guilty if you begin to think about moving your parents to a facility where they can get more assistance then you can provide. If you’ve been wondering if your parents would benefit from residing in an assisted living facility, here are five considerations to take:

1.Safety is a Concern

For some seniors, slips and falls are a danger as mobility decreases. For others, dementia can cause a forgetfulness that can be catastrophic in the wrong situations. Other adult children may have to worry about their parents wandering away from home and not being able to find their way back. If any of these safety issues are a concern for you and your aging parents, moving your parents into an assisted living facility can provide both safety and security.

2.More Assistance is Needed

Unless you move your parents into your home, it can be very difficult to provide them the assistance that they need on a full-time basis. You shouldn’t feel guilty that you have your own life to live. If your parents need help with day-to-day tasks and you can’t be there 24/7, an assisted living facility can do all of the small things that your parents require help with.

3.Housework is Difficult

If you notice that the home that your parents live in is slowly becoming dirtier or falling into ill-repair, it may be because your parents no longer have the ability to keep house. A dirty home, or one that is falling down around them, can present dangers to your parents that you may not have considered. A cluttered home is full of obstacles that your parents must navigate, and a home that isn’t maintained not only presents physical dangers but may require more repair than your parents can afford. In an assisted living facility, housekeeping staff will do the work that your parents can’t.

4.Lack of Transportation

If your parents need to get from here to there but are unable to drive themselves, residing in an assisted living facility can mean never missing another doctor’s appointment or missing out on an entertaining outing. Assisted living facilities provide transportation to appointments, shops and even take groups on outings to local attractions. If your parents have given up driving, moving into an assisted living facility can mean being able to get out of the house again.

5.Isolation and Loneliness

For many seniors with adult children, life can become lonely and feelings of isolation can set in. Living with other seniors can give your parents a sense of belonging that they’ve lost. Socialization is encouraged in assisted living facilities with group activities and entertainment provided on a frequent basis. Your parents will eat with others, take group classes and participate in activities with others that share their interests.

You should never feel guilty about wanting your parents to have more help than you can provide. By moving your parents into an assisted living facility, you can rest assured that they are being well-cared for and safe, while being able to maintain whatever amount of independence they still have.

About The Author:

Allie Lowe writes for Assisted Living Today where you can find more information on assisted living.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.