Monthly Archives: April 2017

Importance Of Pediatric Advanced Life Support

Emergencies occur anytime, anywhere, which is why being prepared is something that most people should exemplify. The American Heart Association took this belief by heart, which had served as the basis of their program called Pediatric Advanced Life Support or PALS. AHA originally developed PALS classes in 1983 as response for the needs of resuscitation guidelines and trainings that would aid health care professionals in providing care for patients especially for children. Since then, PALS provide health care professionals the skills and knowledge to properly respond and treat critically ill patients suffering from cardiac arrest or other cardiopulmonary emergencies, specifically infants and children, whether in or out of the hospital.

PALS is a program that follows simulated clinical scenarios and learning stations to actively encourage students to learn and practice life-saving skills individually, as a part of a team and as team leaders. PALS give emphasis on the importance of basic life support CPR for the survival of patients, integration of advanced pediatric life support intervention as well as the importance of team communication, interaction and cooperation during resuscitation. The realistic simulation involved in PALS course reinforce major health care concepts that include basic life support care proficiency, cardiac arrest management, recognition and early management initiation for peri-conditions, algorithms, ischemic chest pain and coronary syndrome identification and treatment, effective team interaction, and recognition of other life-threatening conditions in order to administer initial care.

To get PALS certification, individuals are required to take PALS course. This could be done in two different ways either through AHA approved online PALS providers or through attending PALS classes in medical schools or hospitals. If you are looking to complete your PALS certification immediately, you could go online and complete your PALS course from your computer at your own pace. If you are more adept to learning in a classroom setting, it would be more preferable to attend in medical schools or hospitals that offer PALS course.

PALs classes have a standardized curriculum wherein students attend a classroom-based education led by an instructor with video aid and skills conducted throughout and are provided with materials for continuing education that is strongly based from AHA's "assess-categorize-decide-act." PALS course lasts for 14 hours long and most providers offer it for two intensive days. On the process of the course, an AHA PALS instructor is the one who facilitate the discussion around simulations and video-based lessons and students are required to participate in 12 core clinical cases. They are also expected to complete and pass a written examination before they receive their certification.

PALS certification is intentionally designed to be participated by health care professionals that includes family physicians, pediatricians, emergency physicians, physician assistants, nurses, paramedics, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists and other health care providers that directly administer advanced life support during pediatric emergencies. For these individuals to participate in the course, it is necessary that they have completed an American Heart Association basic life support (BLS) health care provider course or American Red Cross BLS course for professional rescuers, PALS pharmacology and knowledge in ECG interpretation. They also have to complete the pre-course material given to them prior to the first day of classes so that they would not be rescheduled. Once they passed the PALS course and examination, they would be given the PALS provider course completion card which is valid for two years.

Of course, pediatric advanced life support is not only beneficial for health care practitioners; it is also advantageous for patients especially for critically ill or injured children. Accordingly, the development of PALS has been shown to consistently increase the survival rate of patients suffering from cardiac arrest or other cardiopulmonary emergencies, who were attended by PALS certified health care practitioners in pre-hospital settings. Overall, the development of PALS is relatively useful both for health care professionals and patients during emergency situations. If you're a health care professional who wish to further improve your clinical practice, it is about time to receive PALS certification in order to provide the best medical care you could give to the community.

As a healthcare professional, it always pays to be prepared especially during emergency cases whether in or out of the hospital. One of the most important means to be equipped with the skills and knowledge about proper patient care is by attending pediatric advanced life support or PALS classes to be able to further improve one's life-saving skills. PALS is especially tailored for physicians, pediatricians, nurses paramedics and other healthcare providers involved in direct advanced life support during pediatric emergencies.

Nursing Informatics – Integrating Health Care With Information Technology

What is Nursing Informatics?

Nursing Informatics is the integration of clinical nursing with information management and computer processes. It is a relatively new focus in health care that combines nursing skills with information technology expertise. Nurse informatics specialists manage and communicate nursing data and information to improve decision making by consumers, patients, nurses and other health care providers.

The nursing process has four main steps: planning, implementation, evaluation, and assessment. However, because information management is integrated into the nursing process and practice, some nursing communities identify a fifth step in the nursing process: documentation. Documentation and patient-centered care are the core components of the nursing process. Automated documentation is vitally important, not just for nursing, but for all patient care. Up-to-date, accurate information at each step of the nursing process is the key to safe, high quality patient-centered care.

The successful implementation of information systems in nursing and health care requires the following: First, it is necessary to have well designed systems that support the nursing process within the culture of an organization. The second requirement is having the acceptance and integration of information systems into the regular workflow of the nursing process and patient care. Finally, it is important to have resources that can support the previously mentioned factors. One of the most effective and valuable resources a healthcare organization can add is a Nurse informatics specialists.

Nursing Informatics Specialists

Nursing Informatics Specialists are expert clinicians with an extensive clinical practice background. These individuals have experience in utilizing and implementing the nursing process. These nurses have excellent analytical and critical thinking skills. They also understand the patient care delivery workflow and integration points for automated documentation. Having additional education and experience with information systems is also important for this occupation. Finally, Nursing Informaticists are excellent project managers because of the similarity between the project management process and the nursing process.

To be competitive in this field one should become familiar with relational databases by taking a class about database structure. They should also become competent and comfortable with MS Office, especially Excel, Access and Visio.

Why these jobs are Important to Healthcare?

Nurse and health informatics bring a great deal of value to patients and the health care system. Some examples of how they provide value include:

  • Provide Support to the nursing work processes using technology
  • Increasing the accuracy and completeness of nursing documentation
  • Improving the nurse's workflow
  • Automating the collection and reuse of nursing data
  • Facilitating analysis of clinical data
  • Providing nursing content to standardized languages

HIMSS and RHIO

To provide some background on the field of healthcare / nursing informatics, there are some governing bodies for this field. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is the main governing body for health care and nursing informatics professionals. This group, formed in 2004, has the following four goals: NI awareness, education, resources (including websites), and RHIO (Regional Health Information Organization).

RHIOs are also known as Community Health Information Networks (CHINs). These are the networks that connect physicians, hospitals, laboratories, radiology centers and insurance companies.They all share and transmit patient information electronically through a secure system. Those organizations that are a part of RHIOs have a business interest in improving the quality of healthcare being administered.

Steps to a Job in This Field

To enter into the nursing informatics field, typically you need a minimum of a four year degree. There are specific health informatics degrees available. Earning your Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) is also a requirement before sitting for the ANCC certifications test for Nursing Informatics. Some individuals start with just a two year degree or diploma, but continue on to earn their BSN before becoming certified. Although there are several different routes for getting into the field, the most favored manner is to earn a Master's in Nursing Informatics from the start, however, most individuals start their career prior to earning their master's degree.

Most nurses who are in the informatics field start in a specialty area, such as the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Perioperative Services (OR), Med-Surg, Orthopedic Nursing, or Oncology, just to name a few, and work in that specialty field for an extended period. Working in a specialty area helps nurses get to know the normal working processes and routines as well as understand the patient care process in their specialty. They usually are experts at their specialty and then develop interests in computerized documentation or some other technological healthcare focus. They then tend to gradually move into an information systems clinical support role.

If you have an interest in nursing and technology, this might be a career that can match both of these skills into one rewarding job.

Heart Health and Clean Arteries

Clogged arteries are responsible for a number of ailments including heart pain, high blood pressure, and peripheral arterial disease. Many of my male patients are shocked when I tell them that plaque build-up may even be causing their erectile dysfunction. How can that be? All of these conditions stem from the same cause, insufficient blood flow through arteries.

In the first part of this series, you learned how coronary artery disease and blocked arteries could lead to serious health consequences. I recommended some non-drug, non-surgical treatments you can do on your own to both prevent and improve arterial disease and its symptoms.

Now I'd like to expand on an alternative method of dissolving plaque and increasing blood flow in arteries using specific vitamins and safe chemical compounds. This therapy is called oral chelation.

What Is Chelation Therapy?

Chelation therapy has been used since about 1955 for treating heart / arterial disease. The idea of ​​using chelation for heart disease sprang from using chelation for toxic lead, arsenic, and mercury levels. A compound called calcium disodium EDTA, an amino acid, binds to those metals. The EDTA-bound metal is then removed from your body through urination.

Using this toxic metal removal model, it was thought that a variation of the same compound, disodium EDTA, would bind to plaque and remove it from arteries. Based on this same principle, oral chelation formulas were created.

Oral Chelation Supplements

People have taken oral chelation supplements for years as an alternative treatment for coronary artery disease. In fact, because of their widespread use, the National Institute of Health recently began a clinical study to document the specific benefits of chelation therapy.

As I tell my patients who ask me about oral chelation formulas, I feel the better ones contain a lot of heart / artery-health promoting vitamins, minerals, and food-derived chemicals that can be of benefit in promoting heart and artery health. Let's look, then, at what I think a good oral chelation supplement might contain:

• B-Vitamins – like B6, B12, and folic acid, known to be crucial to heart health in reducing homocysteine, a chemical that promotes plaque. They also maintain energy.
• Magnesium, potassium, selenium – these are heart-healthy minerals that keep heart muscle functioning correctly, regulate heartbeat, and prevent cholesterol from oxidizing and turning into plaque.
• Bromelain, malic acid, garlic – these food-based compounds from pineapples, green apples, and garlic dissolve saturated fats and prevent them from hardening into plaques.
• TMG (trimethylglycine) – also known as betaine, derived from beets, this chemical IS actually FDA-approved for treating high homocysteine levels.
• EDTA – as noted above, this chemical binds to arterial plaque and removes it. EDTA is also FDA, and USDA, approved as a food additive.
• NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) – a chemical found in high protein foods, it is an amino acid that, like EDTA, also acts as a toxin binding / removal agent.

How Does Oral Chelation Work?

Oral chelation formulas come in pill form and are taken like you would any other supplement. They go to work by binding to mineral deposits (namely calcium which plaque is), breaking it down and liquefying it so it can be removed from your arteries. Drinking plenty of filtered water daily will help flush the chelated minerals and toxins out of your blood.

It's a good idea not to take any mineral supplements until a few hours after you take a chelation formula as the minerals can be chelated out of your system. Prescription medicine should also be taken a few hours apart from chelation supplements.
Vitamin C and Vitamin E supplements should be taken as they are antioxidants which help prevent oxidation of cholesterol into plaques.

Benefits of Oral Chelation Formulas

There are several arterial health conditions which can benefit from the artery-flushing effects of oral chelation. They are:

• Coronary artery disease, or CAD – blockages in the heart can cause heart attack.
• Peripheral arterial disease, or PAD – lack of blood flow to legs and feet causing pain.
• Erectile dysfunction – resulting from blocked arteries , lack of penile blood flow.
• Carotid artery disease – decreased blood flow to the brain, can cause stroke.

Although oral chelation therapy may still be a controversial subject, it has its following of loyal supporters. According to Everyday Health, a recent survey of people who used chelation therapy, 62% said it gave them a sense of control over their heart disease. For optimum effectiveness, chelation supplements should be combined with a heart / artery healthy diet, no smoking, and beneficial exercise.

As with any supplement, read labels and be sure you have a quality oral chelation formula with ingredients such as those mentioned above. Consult a doctor familiar with the use of oral chelation formulas. They can monitor you, ensure their correct usage, and avoid any possible adverse effects that may arise.

The Diet Of Costa Ricans And How It Keeps Them Healthy

Located between Panama and Nicaragua in Central America, Costa Rica boasts a proud culinary heritage. Many scorn Costa Rica food selections for being high in saturated fats, but in actuality Costa Ricans are far more active than other cultures.

Costa Rican's, locally called Ticos, never eat excessively. Limiting their portions is one way they stay so healthy. Also, lunch is the most important meal of their day. In fact, like many Latin nations, businesses and schools close down for a couple of hours at lunch so that employees and students can go home and have a leisurely meal with their family. This allows both a strong focus on family life, but also on slowing down a meal. In America, a typical school lunch lasts a mere twenty minutes at most and work breaks are usually an hour tops, so many must eat at their desk or machine. A Costa Rican's lifestyle is completely different.

Costa Rica food often revolves around rice and beans, such as Gallo Pinto, a dish that translates to "Spotted Rooster". Gallo Pinto is a dish that includes black beans at a three to two ratio to rice. Also added are onions, garlic, and salt. Meats are eaten sparingly, while beans provide a high content of fiber. Fiber can help counteract the saturated fats. Costa Rica food choices rarely include dairy or cheese.

As Costa Rica has water on both sides with the Pacific to the west and the Caribbean to the east, fresh seafood is always available. Unfortunately, the seafood is also extremely expensive as the country exports the bulk of its seafood. Chicken, pork, and beef are the more popular meats. Costa Rica food supplies use organ meat as well; so expect to find dishes involving stomach, brains, and other organs on the menu. Other staples of Costa Rica food choices include fresh vegetables such as tomatoes and a variety of beans, fruits, including plantains, and rice.

Costa Rica's capital city, San Jose, is packed with outstanding restaurants and cafes. In San Jose, one can experience bold foods and beverages. Staple beverages such as sugarcane soaked in hot water are second only to the nation's delicious Costa Rican coffee. Drinks mixing corn meal and milk are also common. Plantains are similar to bananas in appearance, but they can not be eaten raw. Plantains are pounded flat, battered, and fried tender.

As one travels to other regions, the choices for Costa Rica food also decrease and become more traditional with the beans and rice dishes. Beans and rice dishes are usually served alongside a carrot and cabbage or lettuce and tomato salad. Sometimes Arroz, (fried shrimp or chicken), are found on the table instead of beans and rice. The salads are typically larger than the portion of beans and rice and that helps the Ticos to stay fit.

It is possibly to choose healthy selections of Costa Rica food. Stick to plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and enjoy the delightful blend of culinary flavors.

What Are the Disadvantages of School Vending Machines?

People see snack vending machines everyday, usually no matter where they go. They are so common that most are not given a second glance unless the person passing needs a chocolate or soda pop fix. One's only lunch preparation is to make sure to have a handful of change for the machine.

This has made school vending machines a popular thing in schools across the world. This article is going to discuss why these machines are a problem for schools and students alike.

Initially, the idea of ​​having vending machines in schools did not seem too bad. Junior high and high school kids seemed like great candidates for snack vending consumers. This is exactly why schools choose to place the machines in their schools. It is widely known that schools are usually low on money, so what better way to generate some extra income than through their own students!

Kids will pump hundreds of dollars into drink and food vending machines rather than purchase what the school is serving for lunch in the cafeteria. Still, this does not seem like such a bad thing, as the children enjoy the snacks and the school makes a little money. It seems as though everyone wins.

Unfortunately, winning is far from what the children are doing. Supporting the presence of school vending machines makes the people on school boards all across the world hypocrites. In general, schools try to teach good health and nutrition to their students, they even go as far as to have certified lunch programs to show how well their students are being fed.

By allowing these snack vending machines, they are losing everything they have worked for in the past. There are, however, ways to get around this. The fact is that the children will eat and drink whatever is offered, so instead of offering soda, offer water vending.

This notorious issue could be changed quickly. Chances are the children will probably be surprised but not too upset if they are presented with healthier options. This is not to say that candy and soda need to be taken out completely, just less of it.

If the schools intended for their students to eat unhealthy all of the time, then they would not have put forth the effort to teach them about nutrition and healthy food choices in the first place. School vending machines do not have to be a bad thing. With a few changes, they can be useful in many ways.

Why Italian Food May Cause Your Heartburn – Tips to Help Your Acid Reflux

Italian food may be causing your heartburn. If you regularly get heartburn, it may be possible to minimize the effects by trying some easy modifications in your routine. Taking medicine might just be a final resort if you attempt these small-scale modifications before hand.

It is common to be affected by acid reflux later in the evening, so make a decision not to snack later at night. The last food you eat needs to be a couple of hours before you retire. If you like snacking later at night, it's time to try to put an stop to it.

If you want to stop your acid reflux, you should know that may be a huge part of the problem. If you want to limit your chances of getting acid reflux, steer clear acidic foods. Cut back on certain beverages like tomato juice, caffeinated beverages, and alcohol.

Sometimes the foods themselves may seem okay, but they induce your stomach to make acid, which in turn creates acid reflux conditions. Foods that are high in fat, such as chocolate, and hot foods incorporating peppers will cause heartburn. Foods that have tomato sauce, like pizza, are truly a trigger when it comes to heartburn and should be limited.

If you truly desire to avoid the painful sensation of heartburn, you should think about watching portion sizes. You should dish out more diminutive portions. Consuming too much can cause the acid in your stomach to be driven upwards, which often leads to a painful burning sensation in the esophagus.