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Healthcare / Hospitals

  • Ebola Scare: Should We Be Concerned?

    Has the media whipped up enough pandemonium to get everybody running for the nearest exit and away from or demanding immediate action to the latest healthcare crisis “Ebola”? In short, Ebola is a disease that attacks the immune system, and is passed by body fluids. Politicians are weighing in and pointing fingers. Czars are appointed, and hysteria reigns. Truth is in the mid 1970’s there was an Ebola outbreak in Sudan and Zaire, Africa (“Ebola” is named after a river in Zaire Africa), maybe we should have taken it more seriously then. It infected over 284 people and over half of them succumbed to the virus. Since then, there have been other outbreaks of different strains. A third strain “EBOR” even paid a visit to the USA in 1989 coming from infected monkeys.

    So why the sudden concern? Perhaps the mounting numbers or perhaps we have seen the Symptoms_of_eboladreaded disease actually claim a life here in the USA, with more cases reported, although minimal. In Africa however the numbers are almost staggering. Some headline seeking politicians are even calling for a quasi-quarantine by restricting or banning travel to and from the offending country. What they need is our help and prayers.

    So how does or how should this affect us as Safety Advocates and Professionals? We need to be proactive and develop an overall general “staying healthy in the work environment plan”. The flu season is bearing down on us, and avoiding the flu can be similar in that proper sanitation is the key, both personal and environmental. Proper hand washing, sanitizing work surfaces where practical, more than periodic cleaning and sanitizing of the restrooms, checking air filtration systems, and EDUCATION. Make your employees more aware of coughing and sneezing, and make sure they have the proper Blood Borne Pathogens training. Encourage your employees to get a flu shot and to make sure the rest of their inoculations are up to date, eat healthy and drink plenty of fluids. All this will help to improve overall immunity to illness and disease.

    For more information on Ebola signs and symptoms check out Mayo Clinic. We do need to keep ourselves informed and educated. Get involved with other healthcare initiatives in your hometown and workplace. If you have school age children teach them proper techniques for washing hands, don’t send them to school if flu symptoms are apparent, and covering up if coughing or sneezing. We do have a lot to consider as we look out for each other regardless of nationality.

    Give your employees a healthy work environment and make their safety a number one priority with a safety program you can trust. Visit safetyinstruction.com for all of your safety training and supply needs! From everyone at SafetyInstruction, make it a safe day!

  • Who Gives a Care : Safety for Care Givers

    “VENI, VIDI, VICI”, “I came, I Saw, I conquered”, a Latin phrase attributed to Julius Caesar. Baby Boomers are retiring in droves. They bring with them not just their dreams for retirement, but also the health issues which accompany an aging population. This does unfortunately create a strain on an already overburdened healthcare system. It does however and has offered an opportunity for another industry to bloom and grow, “In Home Care” In home care, gives patients the opportunity to stay at home in familiar loving surroundings which are more conducive to living with their health concerns. This scenario works well under the care of qualified CNAs (certified nursing assistants) and nursing professionals trained for this environment. Their training includes the use of proper equipment for safe lifting, blood borne pathogens, needle sticks, wound care, and more including training for the combative patient. This training keeps both the care giver and patient safe.

    As a longtime volunteer in a local nursing home, I can tell you that the care giver does caregiversindeed make a difference. As care givers we must always remember that we are entering their world, their space. They didn’t ask to be here, especially in the condition we find them. They are separated from their memories by Alzheimers and Dementia. This includes the recognition of family and friends. They are separated from their dignity by an aging unreliable body. I remember one Sunday morning knocking on the door of an elderly Alzheimer patient and walking in only to be greeted with a mean right hook, I wasn’t quick enough to duck. He saw me as an intruder. I was quickly humbled by the experience and learned a valuable lesson. I would often bring my children with me, and found that patients quickly warmed up to them, and another valuable lesson learned, for all of us. My children have all since grown, and now my grandchildren accompany me on my visits. Additionally my wife has since become a licensed CNA. Proper communication in a loving gentle way included treating them with the dignity they’ve earned and deserve. Recognizing their space, their needs, and their safety is essential. Communicating with family is also important, as trust is established, and the focus remains on the needs of your loved one.

    When and if the time comes, Please consider “in Home Care” if it’s possible. There are however several other options today including, assisted living, and good qualified nursing homes as well. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and check credentials. Please also make sure your wishes or the wishes of your loved one are known, and documented to protect your rights and the rights of the family using a “Durable Power of Attorney”. Finally, please consider volunteering in a care center, or visiting a neighbor or friend who might be trapped by Dementia or Alzheimers. If you know a care giver please thank them for their service as they are often the ones most forgotten. If you are one Thank You!! Because you give a Care.

  • ADD, ADHD, Will it Get Your Attention or Not?

    I’m not quite sure how to start this blog today. The road map is a little fuzzy as psychologists will attest to ADD “Attention Deficit Disorder”, and ADHD “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” as a challenge to get your arms around. We’ll call these disorders, “Disabilities” as they would fall under the ADA or “American with Disabilities Act of 1990” if diagnosed and recorded. For a person with this disability it’s a problem of not being able to focus, being overactive, not being able to control behavior, or a combination of all three. A diagnosis of ADD or ADHD would mean these symptoms would be out of the normal range for a person’s age or development. The question being “What is Normal?" It’s further defined as “A neurological condition involving the under activity in the frontal cortex of the brain which is responsible for the regulation of: Attention, Impulse Control, and Motor Activity”. So as a Supervisor, HR Professional, Teacher or Parent what do we need to know to understand these disorders?

    The symptoms are generally evident before the age of 7. Boys are three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with either ADD or ADHD. Fact is; it is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder in children. To be clear on this, Parents and teachers do not cause this. There is more and more information available regarding this disability. This disorder takes off in two directions: ADD “Attention Deficit Disorder”, and ADHD which is similar and adds Hyperactivity to the mix. The ADD sufferer tends to be less disruptive, and typically has low self-esteem. This is due in part to chastisement and criticism from unknowing adults, teachers, peers, or supervisors. There is a lot going on in their heads. They are inattentive because everything gets in their way. The ADD sufferer has keen senses and is easily distracted by sounds, smells, touch, or sight. One time it was explained to me like this. “If a fly landed on your desk you might swoosh it away, for the person with ADD it’s like a 747 jet landed on his desk”. Paying attention to detail is not even on the scale, or even paying attention for that matter. The result is real friction in a classroom and at home. As an adult with ADD the results are more acute, functioning on the job with peers or even holding a job becomes a major hurdle. Now let’s add Hyperactivity to this. This person cannot sit still, they are very impulsive, with sometimes uncontrollable or unreasonable behavior, often acting out to gain attention, cannot wait for his turn, acting before thinking, and they cannot complete a task before jumping into another. This is a lifelong event. This disability as we know it can never be outgrown. In time and with understanding it becomes manageable. Behavioral therapy is used by psychologists to teach children along with parents, and teachers, healthy behavior and how to manage disruptive behaviors. Asking questions like “What are you doing? What should you be doing?” In some cases it can be partially controlled by medication.

    My purpose here is not to cover all of the symptoms or all of the answers, but to challenge all of us to become more familiar with this disability, as it becomes an ever bigger part of our lives, and that we are able to be more attentive to it. We need to develop an awareness, and understanding that would allow us to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem at home, school, or on the job. For more information on this topic please visit; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002518/#adam_001551.disease.causes


  • A “Fine” Line

    One cannot be prepared enough at all times - but not preparing at all is a different story. Parkland Memorial Hospital, in Dallas, has recently been fined a whopping $1 million for its shortcomings with occupational safety requirements - which have the tendency of putting not only patients, but health care and other workers as well, at risk. From understaffed nursing services to inadequate infection control measures, the hospital has been fined with the highest amount in the state’s history. Read more about this story by the Courthouse News Services here.

  • OSHA Fined Another State Hospital

    A state hospital in California has done it again: not taking care of its people! Nurses, doctors, and other staff members are always in unsafe position when dealing with mental patients. They’ve got no warning when a patient will grab and hurt them. The worst part? Even if the hospital has the strictest corrective measures, the implementation is too egregious. For the full story, read, “State Hospital Fined for Failing to Keep Staff Safe from Patients,” by Lee Romney of Los Angeles Times.

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