Browsing: Healthcare Systems

Advantages Of Herbal Medicine Over Conventional Medicine

Herbs are making their mark, many of us believe in the power of herbs and their benefits for health and wellbeing. Modern medicine has not been so keen to look at herbal medicine and prefer to prescribe manufactured treatments that are clinically researched and trialled.

Organic herbal remedies are making their presence felt suddenless, even though modern medicine does not recognize it or give it any credence. Of course we can agree that modern medicine has been very effective in the prevention and treatment of many diseases. There are so many ailments and conditions that were fatal hundreds of years ago and can now be treated with modern medicine. This has helped increase the life span of many individuals today.

So many of us opt for herbal remedies and although new laws and regulations are often passed to regress the growth of herbal medicine there are those of us who stull choose to treat themselves using natural and complementary remedies.

Disadvantage Of Modern Medicine
However there is a side of modern medicine that also must be acknowledged and this is that these drugs are made in laboratories using synthetic ingredients and often there are side effects to contend with. Some side effects can be quite harsh while some may be milder. These negative side effects are the price to pay, while with herbal medicine there is much less chance of this happening if at all. There have been cases where in modern medicine the side effects supersede the actual benefits of the drug and can be quite dangerous. Herbal supplements medicine works on a more holistic level or targeting the cause and treating habits more mildly but over long term use has shown to offer good results for many.

Statistics in the USA reveal that one of the other disadvantages of modern medicine is that many patients often experience complications die to various medicines and these can often lead to death. The other disadvantage is the price tag, for most people in the developing world the price of these drugs would be unaffordable. Millions of people can not afford medical treatment and therefore often lose their lives as they are unable to seek treatment.

One of the most debilitating facts about modern medicine over herbal medicine is that that it emphasizes the cure rather than prevention. This has led to the pharmaceutical industry become a multi-billion dollar market where profits become more important than anything else. Herbal and alternative medicine believes in prevention and treating the cause rather than the symptoms.

While herbal supplements seem to become popular, even the beauty industry is steering that way. These days many brands are looking into herbs as their ingredients for their ethical beauty products and skin care products . Even hair care has gone herbal with so many new brands offering natural hair care products.

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The Top Three Reasons Why A Walk In Clinic Beats the Competition

How many of you have heard of a walk in clinic? Just a few, we suppose. We do not understand why since it is the best way to receive medical care these days if you do not have a personal physician. It's just that sometimes things fall through the cracks. A walk in clinic is a highly professional medical facility dedicated to taking care of any illness or injury you may have at a fraction of the cost that is usually associated with private doctors and / or hospital emergency room visits.

In the days of old one would simply dial their private physician's phone number (on those big rotary dial phones since cell phones were far from existing). The doctor would then pick up his or her bag and drive over to your home to treat you. We know !? Crazy, right? Since there is no way in the world (other than having a son / daughter or mother / father doctor in your family) that any doctor is going to drive over to your house when you feel ill, the urgent care clinic has arisen to take the place of these old time familial physicians.

There are three main reasons why someone who is sick or wounded should visit a walk in clinic instead of heading to their nearest hospital emergency room. The first would be the wait time. In a walk in clinic the doctor is dedicated to seeing you in probably less than a half an hour. Think about this time frame against the unfortunate times that you had to visit a hospital emergency room. Chances are you sat there for many hours, fiddling your sick thumbs and sighing uncontrollably. A hospital emergency room is there for one main purpose-and that purpose is EMERGENCIES. If you ever have a heart attack or are bitten by a shark while fishing this would be the place to go. For all other non life-threatening illnesses and wounds get yourself to a walk in clinic.

The second reason is the price. A doctor who opens a walk in clinic is dedicated to his oath in ways that are many times hard to explain. They are happy to make a decent living, but they do not go out of their way to wrangle every last nickel and dime out of their patients. They are happy to provide the services that they do to their communities in ways that often times transcend mere financial reasons. Chances are you will find affordable prices at your friendly neighborhood walk in clinic.

The third reason is the amount of experience that the doctors at an average walk in clinic have in treating the types of wounds and illnesses that their patients are most likely to receive. The doctors at a walk in clinic are more like the doctors of old that would perform house calls, than the types of doctors that currently work in huge bureaucratic hospital institutions, yet they are ensconced in their easy-to-reach state-of-the -art medical offices. There is something great to be said for seeing the same patients over and over again. The chances of you sticking with a good walk in clinic doctor are very high, once you get to see for yourself the type of treatment you receive and the prices that they charge.

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The Importance of Wearing Reliable Digital Hearing Aids

Digital Hearing Aids

Digital hearing aids are taking over the current hearing aid market. Providing better, more customized sound quality, these digital options are constantly changing the way we help you hear! If you recently were diagnosed with hearing loss and were told that hearing aids were a good option, you may be anxious about whether this really is a good choice for you. Many people may associate hearing aids with negative memories of a grandparent or an older friend who had aids that were HUGE and squealed all the time. Not to worry, today's digital options are sleek and more technologically sophisticated. In the past all listening devices were analog, and were not as small or as customizable as today's digital hearing instruments.

Analog vs. Digital

Analog hearing aids are simply amplifiers. Some small adjustments to pitch and loudness can be made with analogs, but these hearing or listening devices are very limited. With analog aids, sound is taken in, processed electrically and then sent, amplified, to your ear.

Digital instruments, however, use computer processing. Sound is converted into digital codes that are more easily altered to custom fit the user's hearing loss and preferences. This also means that the ear trumpets can be adjusted to amplify less noise! Better sound quality can be made by very specific configurations to the computer chip in the hearing aid. A digital listening device contains various bands, channels, and often memories.

Bands are frequency (pitch) ranges that can be individually adjusted. The more sophisticated the hearing / listening aid is, the greater number of bands will be available for modification. Adjustment of these bands allows the audiologist or hearing specialist to adjust the device to a user's hearing loss. For example, a person may have more hearing loss in the high pitches, band adjustment will allow for greater amplification at high pitches, with less at low and mid pitches.

Channels allow compression settings to be adjusted in specific frequency (pitch) ranges. Compression is what limits a device from over-amplifying certain pitches. For example, a hearing aid can be set so that if your waitress drops a tray of glass plates in front of your table, the sound will not be so suddenly loud and (possibly) painful to your ears. Instead there will be a limit to how much the hearing aid will amplify.

Use of computer processing also allows for multiple “memories” or programs an ear trumpet may have. Each program can be set to a different need. Perhaps you coach football at a local high school. Practices and games may be a little noisier than at home. You may have one program for quiet settings (like home) and another for those noisier situations (like practice and games) that amplifies less. These changes can be automatic or may require a simple push of a button. Only a few or many programs may be available, depending on your digital level.

Ready for Digital?

Discuss your hearing aid options with your hearing healthcare professional today. Analog hearing / listening aids are still appropriate and a more cost-effective option for some. Digital technology, however, provides great sound quality and is often the better choice. Your audiologist or hearing specialist will be able to help you make the decision about digital hearing aids today!

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Survey on the Level and Extent of Usage of EHRs in Saudi Arabia Hospitals

Annual survey aims to find out the level and extent of usage of electronic health records (EHRs) in government-related hospitals in Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. In addition, there are plans to develop a website to serve as a forum of exchange on the development of EHRs.

The country's government has prioritized the development of e-Health (health information technology) and allocated funding for a period of three years, (from 2008 till now.) During this time, some sectors of government made really important efforts in developing e-Health services.

EHRs are known by a multitude of names, including electronic medical records (EMR's) and computer-based patient record (CBPR's.) In a word, the Electronic Health Record (EHR) is a longitudinal electronic record of patient health information (such as demographics , progress notes, problems, indications, vital signs, past medical history, immunizations, laboratory data and radiology reports.)

To determine the level and extent of EHR usage, two kinds of surveys are undertaken every year, the first one is done at the hospital level, and the second one at the physician level. While the former aims to look at the uptake of EHR amongst hospitals in general, the latter explores the extent to which doctors make use of EHR systems in their practices or in hospitals.

In the report of the study it was noted that “Hospital-based surveys answer questions about the diffusion of uptake of EHR systems in hospitals. -based surveys answer questions about the resistance or acceptance of physicians in adopting EHR systems, the components of EHR systems that physicians use the most, and the profile of physicians most likely to use EHRs. before embarking on physician-based ones. ”

Results of such surveys are usually presented in one of two ways, either using simple percentages to show the level of availability and usability of the various dimensions of EHR adoption or putting these percentages into a model to deduce the “stage” of EHR adoption and its “score.”

The report says that “In general, there are 19 government hospitals in the Eastern Province that fall under the Ministry of Health. Of these, only three (15.8 percent) have EHR's. staff members, while one has less than five full-time IT staff. All three hospitals have implemented the same EHR software and were using it successfully. ”

“Regarding the security measures of their EHR information system, one response stated that his EHR information system was secured and provided protective measures regarding the privacy and confidentiality of patients' information.” Neverheless, the two remaining were not able to comment on these topics.

In addition, one respondent mentioned that the EHR system used in his hospital provides protection against “malicious programs, denial-of-service attacks, hackers, crackers, and spam,” while the remaining two respondents claimed their “EHR system provides protection only against hackers and spam. ”

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Looking for a Skilled Nursing Facility?

A skilled nursing facility offers care and residence for individuals who have problems controlling their daily lives. Residents include senior citizens and young adults with mental or physical shortcomings. Also, residents who suffer from illnesses or accidents are able to receive various therapies. There are numerous factors that people should look for when trying to choose a skilled nursing facility.


First, people who are interested in these facilities should ask about the services. They should request to look at the menus to check the nutrition of the meals and dine there a few times. They should also know how the laundry is taken care of and look into the available rooms. Many facilities have private rooms available for individuals who can not deal with certain roommates. The activity schedule is another factor to review. It is important to know when certain events are scheduled like movie nights and outings. People should visit the facility through the day and on weekends to become familiar with the routines and the atmosphere.

Types of Care

Task-oriented and resident-oriented care is provided for nursing home residents. Task-oriented care involves assigning nurses to specific duties in a ward. Residents deal with a number of nurses at once. Resident-oriented care involves assigning nurses to certain patients so that relationships can be developed. Patients are treated more like family members instead of clients. Nurses can become familiar with every patient and pay attention to critical needs that could be medical, emotional or personal. Knowing about the nurse-patient interaction is another part of choosing a facility.


Skilled nursing home costs are usually very high. Medicare coverage typically includes meals, rooms, various therapies, medications, equipment and certain services. Also, the home should be Medicare certified. Private insurance is typically available for costs that are not paid by Medicare. Either service should pay for provisions like meals, rooms, doctor visits, medications and therapies.


When choosing a facility, a recommendation is to review their accreditation verification in addition to annual inspection reports. The report lists the areas within the facility that must be improved. Accreditation is important to make sure that the quality of care is upheld.

Many people are getting older and approaching the retirement years. All types of federal programs and nursing facilities are designed to provide the best quality general and medical care. Choosing a reliable facility is a significant issue that must be addressed by aging individuals and their families alike.

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The Important Health Care Team: Risk Management and Quality Improvement

Why do we need both risk management and quality improvement efforts in our health care facilities? A simple comparison of the words “risk” and “quality” could shed light on this subject.

“Risk” denotes something bad: a fall, a slip, or an accident. These all signify danger, threats, or jeopardies. By replacing the word “risk” with these bad events, we then have “fall management,” “accident management,” or “danger management.” Scary things need to be managed in order not to happen again.

Quality, on the other hand is good. It indicates excellence, superiority, the best of the best. Residents in a long-term care facility or patients in a hospital want to have “quality” of life, “quality care,” “quality food” and “quality service.” Replacing the term “quality,” gives us “life improvement,” “care improvement,” or “service improvement.” Good things can get better, so let's improve them!

Even more interesting is flipping the terms “risk management” and “quality improvement.” “Risk improvement” is an oxymoron. Who would improve a danger or a threat? While quality management signatures keeping quality at the status quo: It's good enough, just manage it. To simplify the terms, with risk management, we manage the bad so it does not happen again; with quality improvement, we improve the good to make it better.

In a health care environment, risk management focuses on threats or harmful situations through identification, analysis, reduction, and prevention. Quality improvement centers on performance and ways to improve that performance based on standards, which are always being reviewed and enhanced. Both are essential in any health care situation. Both programs work cooperatively to provide a safe environment and a high standard of patient care.

The similarities and differences of risk management and quality improvement play important roles in maintaining a clean, safe, and healthy facility. Both have different objectives, scope, and approaches, but when looking at the activities of both in a complex health care setting, risk management and quality improvement are actually more similar than different. Because each share a common agenda of preventing adverse occurrences, the combined effort of the two realizes the most benefit to the facility in terms of patient safety and satisfaction, prevention of patient-related injuries, cost effective use of resources, and integrated administration and clinical activities.

By integrating quality improvement with risk management, everyone at the facility-from the administrators to the doctors to the staff to the family members-work together to improve the quality of care and avoid litigation from threats in the facility environment. Risks such as incorrect falls, malnutrition and dehydration, adverse drug events, pressure ulcers, wandering and elopement, inadequate documentation or failure to record treatments, and overuse / misuse of psychotropic medicines, are unavoidable even in the best of circumstances. Such issues are often complicated with understaffing, poor quality of care, and inaccurate or incomplete transfer of information to and from the acute care setting.

To address those issues-such as staffing, care, and communication-that can be improved, the facility must establish a culture that keeps its staff accountable and dedicated to continuously improving standards, operations, and quality of care. Staff also must have proper reporting and feedback processes, and specific guidelines for handling emergencies and investigating events. In essence, every member of the facility must be dedicated to the practices in place for a safe and healthy environment for its patients or residents.

Quite simply, managing risk and improving quality work hand-in-hand to provide patients and residents in health care facilities the safest, cleanest, and extremely the best environment. Both risk management and quality improvement are equally important endeavors and both must be on every health care facility's high priority list. Having these programs in place demonstrates to the patients, the residents, their families, the facility staff, and the community that the organization is committed to its missions and values. Thus when and if an incident occurs, the organization can manage it most effectively with the best practices of both risk management and quality improvement.

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Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor – Effective Patient Healthcare Equipment

From the past few years, technology has been continuously growing in the field of medical science. This has further led to the invention of various tools and machines for diagnosing and treating a number of disorders that did not have and any kind of treatment in the past. In fact, doctors could not even diagnose the disease from which the person was actually suffering from. However, now there are various patient healthcare equipments that have been developed and are making it easier for the doctors to give their patients a right treatment. Moreover, there has also been advent of various machines, which helps the patients to conduct certain simple health related tests, easily at home. These devices are further helping the old age people who can not travel every other day to the medical laboratories in order to get their tests done.

Ambulatory blood pressure monitor is an example of these devices, which allows monitoring the changes in the pressure of your blood while you are still active. These devices are quite helpful as they give you a complete picture of any fluctuations in your blood pressure dependent on the time of the day and the level of activities in which you are engaged. This device basically makes use of an arm cuff and a monitor that is typically worn around the waist to get the blood pressure readings. The device on your waist works automatically to record your blood pressure readings once in every three hours and also determine any fluctuations in your blood pressure throughout the day. This recorded information further helps your doctor to determine the fluctuations in your blood pressure throughout the day and conclude that whether the medications that they put you on is really affecting the blood pressure of your body or not.

However, there are lots of things that you need to consider before purchasing an ambulatory blood pressure monitor. Make sure that you make an informed purchase by gaining relevant information about the equipment. Learn how to accurately read the monitor as a single wrong device can compromise your health. It is also relevant to get some information from a friend or a relative about the device particularly those who have been using it for the past many years. Moreover, if you are looking for certain discounts, you can take a look at the online stores that sell medical equipments at almost half the price of the original, with the product being genuine. However, since all options on the table do not offer the same level of efficiency, it is imperative to ascertain the proficiency of the chosen provider.

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The Evolution of the Stethoscope

A stethoscope is one of the most important and basic diagnostic tools in medicine today. Despite its simplistic design, stethoscopes are very effective in helping medical professionals diagnose patients of all kinds of medical conditions. Stethoscopes like the Littmann Lightweight II SE Stethscope and the Littmann Master Cardiology Stethoscope have helped medical professionals all over the world do their jobs properly. In fact, these devices are the best symbol that the medical profession has. A person with medical device around his or her neck is often assumed by others to be a medical professional. If you are wish to know more about these fascinating devices, then here is a short history about it.

The Monoaural Stethoscope
Before any form of stethoscopes existed, doctors often had to press their ears to a patient's chest in order to listen to the bodily sounds. Unfortunately, this means a doctor needs to have super sensitive hearing in order to diagnose his patient. It was not until the early 1800s when a young doctor thought of a way to try to amplify the sounds emitted by the body in order to make things easier for him to hear it. Rene Theophile Hyacinthe Laennec was a young doctor who was embarrassed to press his ear ear next to chest of a young woman to hear her heart. Instead, he roled 24 sheets of paper in order to form a tube and the first rudimentary monoaural stethoscope was born. Once this idea took hold, more efficient and effective monoaural designs were developed and built using the best materials.

The Binaural Stethoscope
A few years after the monoaural unit became popular, more and more doctors have noticed that the design needs improvement. While it did effectively amplify the sounds of the body, using it was very awkward and uncomfortable. Doctors had to press their ears against the device to use it. This is why, during the middle part of the 1800s, the first binaural stethoscopes started appearing. Many doctors came up with their own designs. However it was around 1851 when Dr. Nathan B. Marsh of Cincinnati came up with the first commercially available unit.

Since the invention of the binaural unit, there are many major brands and manufacturers that improved on the design. This medical instrument evolved for a hundred years and this helped usher in the latest model of stethoscopes in the twenty century.

The Littman Stethoscopes
During 1961, Dr. David Littmann described the “ideal” stethoscope in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This ushered “tunable” stethoscopes that are capable of listening to high pitched sounds as well as low pitched sounds. Dr Littman's work has helped greatly in the significant improvements in design that can be seen in its numerous products.

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Why Adequate Staffing Is Critical in Long-Term Care

Of the myriad resident safety issues in long term care facilities, the issue that needs utmost attention is adequate staffing for the clinical complexity of residents. This is not to say that other areas-falls, infection control, abuse and neglect, medication management, equipment and technology, facility design, and staff training and education-are not also extremely important resident safety issues for long-term care facilities. They are all critical issues and must also be studied and resolved.

But as our older populations increase, so does the complexity of issues and needs of that population. With that complexity comes a whole host of safety issues for the long-term care facility's residents, along with a greater burden on the staff.

For example, on the floor of the skilled nursing unit in a long-term care facility where my mother-in-law, Laura, resides, all of the residents are in various stages of dementia. Most of them have three or more disabilities. Laura has dementia, total incontinence, dysphagia (swallowing disorder), an amputated leg, and has lost her ability to make transfers from her wheelchair. Because she can not assist in transferring, she needs a special sling to move her to the bed, toilet, or shower. This effort takes two aides and usually occurs five times a day. The aides also change her pads and skirt during toilet breaks as they are treating a pressure ulcer on her hip.

Laura is just one of thirty residents, who all have very different needs. And like Laura, as they age, their physical and mental issues continue to increase.

The staff, however, does not need to increase to meet these greater demands. So if there are four aides on duty for the morning shift and two of them are tending to Laura in the bathroom, and another resident is left for too long in his bathroom, he falls as he tries to get up by himself. Or a resident with severe dementia, left unattended, walks into another resident's room and throws something at that resident. These types of accidents happen all the time and it seems to take a toll on the staff, while increasing safety risks for residents.

Studies have shown that the clinical complexity of residents in long-term care facilities is greatly affecting both practice and staffing capacities. Fortunately my mother-in-law is in a privately funded retirement community that is able to address and resolve staffing issues. Other publicly funded long-term care facilities are not as fortified and the staff and residents all suffer the consequences.

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What You Need to Know About Autism Spectrum Disorder – FAQs

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) is a disability that causes a hindrance to the patient's mental development. This is usually demonstrated by difficulties interacting socially and by delayed faculty development. Autism can manifest as early as age three.

What are the different types of Autism?

There are five types of Autism Spectrum Disorder namely:

Asperger's syndrome – This is the mildest form of autism disorder. This is characterized by severe obsession about a single object or topic. When they become obsessive about it, they will try to study everything related to that object and they will not stop discussing it for a long time. Males are more likely to be affected by this syndrome.

Rett syndrome – It is a neurodevelopmental disorder in the brain that affects not only the social skills of the person but also its physical hits. This is characterized as having small hands and feet, decreased rate of growth and repeated body movements. People who are affected by this syndrome have no verbal skills.

Pervasive developmental disorder – This Autism Spectrum disorder is the middle ground between those diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome and Autistic disorder. It means that the person affected is not as good as a person with Asperger's syndrome but not as bad a person diagnosed with Autistic disorder.

Childhood disintegrative disorder – This disorder is very rare. It is characterized by normal to stopped development. A person with childhood disintegrative disorder develops on a normal pace at early age and stops at one point. An abrupt stop in the development makes them lose most areas of function.

Autistic disorder – This includes mental retardation and seizures. People with autistic disorder shows signs of repetitive movements and language malfunction.

What causes Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Some types of Autism Spectrum Disorder are considered as 'idiopathic' or originating from an unknown cause. Although a lot of factors related to autism such as genes, vaccines and parenting, they are just correlations which does not actually pinpoint a cause.

Can Autism be passed on?

Although genetic play a big part in autism disorders, there is no scientific proof to validate that claim. However, it is safe to assume that greater risks of Autism Spectrum Disorders can be expected from families with such history.

Does poor nutrition affect Autism?

Yes, poor nutrition definitely affects Autism. However, the same can be said about healthy people. Nutrition affects all aspects of health, whether you are in peak form or not. But poor nutrition does not cause autism.

What are the treatments available for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder?

1. Behavioral training – This type of training induces self help and positive reinforcements. This training includes Special Education and sensory integration.

2. Different therapies – Depending on the type of Autism Spectrum Disorder, the person affected may be requiring physical, speech and occupational therapy. It targets different function areas to work properly.

3. Parental Support and training – This is particularly important when it comes to striving Autism disorders. Parents need to employ special care to make their child feel understood and cared for.

4. Medicines – This is used to tone down some symptoms of autism like stress, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

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A Closer Look At The Practice And Profession Of An Orthopedic Surgeon

Orthopedics, which translates as straight (from the Greek word “ortho”) children (“pais”), is a medical discipline dedicated to the study, diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions among children. The musculoskeletal system includes joints, bones, tendons, muscles, ligaments and nerves. And the practice covers every possible cause of deformity or dysfunction, from trauma, degenerative diseases, congenital disorders, infections, sports injuries and tumors. As one of the main branches of surgery, orthopedic sessions are often headed by an orthopedic surgeon. But for the non-surgical interventions, medical professionals such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, kinesiologist and podiatrist are involved. The term was established back in 1741 by author Nicholas Andry, while writing a book about the practice. By 1780, Jean-Andre Venel constructed the first orthopedic institute. And since then, orthopedic surgery was popularized and doctors were able to respond effectively to structural and functional abnormalities among children.

To become an orthopedic surgeon, one usually has to complete a four year undergraduate course before applying to medical school. In there, he will have to finish another four years of training before he can undergo training and specialize in one field. This particular stage requires about five years to complete, with one year spent in general surgery training and the other four focused on orthopedic surgery practice. Once they are done, they can then apply for the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery certification. It establishes a standardized written exam and an oral exam and when they pass, they received their credentials, implying to clients that they have met the required educational, evaluation, and examination requirements of the field.

Some residents pursue additional training afterwards, called fellowships, usually about a year or two, to develop their skills. This is where they adapt a subspecialty – for example spinal surgery, foot and ankle surgery, shoulder and elbow surgery as well as surgical sports medicine. Subsequently, they again apply for certification by another standardized examination (only applicable for those taking orthopedic sports and hand surgery). And if they are interested, explore research or thesis writing and get involved with clinical studies to be updated on the latest medical trends in orthopedic surgery.

Qualification for the practice is very competitive, which is why it only produces 700 doctors per year. In the United States, there are approximately 20,400 active orthopedic surgeons and this is only 3% to 4% of the total physician population in the country. Majority of its practitioners are male, given that surgery in general, has always been a man's world. However, women have begun to immerse themselves in the field, with a 10% stake.

On average, an orthopedic surgeon is set at $ 155,485 to $ 351,650; and this is just for those who possess a medical degree. Additional board certification places a orthopedic doctor's annual pay at $ 252,000 to $ 493,550. They are actually the second highest paid medical practitioner in the United States and command a high level of respect among people. And depending on their case loads and affiliations (public, private, government health institutions), orthopedic surgeons may receive more than what has been prescribed. They usually just work five days a week, with regular office hours, except for special cases. And if they are assigned on ER duty, they may have to come in during the weeks, or work as an “on call”.

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Overview on Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery

A pediatric orthopedic surgeon is a specially trained and skilled orthopedist who is licensed to give medical-surgical guidance and nonsurgical or surgical care to infant, child, and teenager patients. Their goal is to help patients restore their normal musculoskeletal functions, or maximize the ability to utilize the musculoskeletal system in patients who have chronic or irreversible diseases.

Education and Training
Pediatric orthopedists focus on the aspect of caring for children and adolescents in rendering orthopedic assessment and intervention. This duty entails years of both academic and clinical instruction and training in order to be effective in meeting theorative and palliative goals of surgery. Before one can become a full-fledged pediatric orthopedic surgeon, he has to be a graduate of a bachelor's degree program, and finish the four years of medical school. He also has to undergo approximately five years of residency training in orthopedic surgery. To finally make him fully fit as a pediatric orthopedist, he further needs to successfully complete at least one year of pediatric orthopedics and spinal deformity training.

Scope of Practice
The orthopedic care given to children and adults differ since the latter are still undergoing the process of bone development – a reason why their musculoskeletal system may react differently from adults when subjected to or afflicted with trauma, infection, or deformity. For instance, some musculoskeletal issues in children may only be a fleeting part of their developmental process and may not be observed in the case of adult orthopedic patients. There are also numerous instances wherein the assessment, evaluation, and treatment for similar problems with children and adults very different.

Among the issues attended to by pediatric orthopedic surgeons are:
• Fractured bones
• Infections and tumors of the musculoskeletal system
• Abnormalities in gait
• Congenital limb and spinal deformities

Special Skills and Services
Aside from physiologic and physical differences, children also differ from adults in the emotional and psychological aspects. This can be observed in the way they deal with situations especially with confidential issues like that of their health. Unlike adults, they are unable to verbalize symptoms or describe the magnitude of pain that they feel. Little children also have the tendency to throw tantrums when they feel appreciated, uncomfortable, or when in pain. These reactions can hamper the treatment progress and require special skills and knowledge that one can only find in pediatric orthopedists.

Pediatric orthopedic clinics are usually designed in such a way that will be comfortable and enticing for children. Many kids fear to step inside typical-looking hospitals since they have associated the place with stimulating syringe needles and bizarre medical equipment that they have once been subjected to and did not exactly enjoy. Clinics for children usually have tools for diversional activities such as books, toys, and videos that can help allay their fears.

There are numerous pediatric orthopedic surgeons in many countries. Parents who are looking for an orthopedist for their children can ask for referrals from their general pediatrician. If not, they can search in internet directories for the names and contact details of the pediatric orthopedists available in their area.

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The Services Provided By A Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon

Children require special attention in terms of health care and medicine. This is because young ones tend to be irritable, restless, and are typically apprehensive of health care workers such as nurses and doctors. It is therefore important that members of the health care team are well-trained in attending to the unique needs of young ones.

Orthopedic surgery is one of the most complex and challenging branch of medicine as it deals with a huge system composed of bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Patients who have problems with any of these are likely in great pain or are unable to move normally since the musculoskeletal system is responsible for mobility and flexibility. Add that to a fearful child who will throw a tantrum even at the sight sight of a doctor, medical goals suddenly becoming seemingly impossible to meet.

A pediatric orthopedic surgeon is well-trained and adept in dealing with orthopedic patients who are younger in age. Infants, children, and adolescents who are suffering from musculoskeletal injury or disease are referred to these surgeons be it congenital, traumatic, or degenerative in nature.

Pediatric orthopedists specialize in treating congenital musculoskeletal conditions like cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and scoliosis. Cerebral palsy is usually addressed by giving physical therapy and programs that help the patient maximize his ability to move and ambition properly. Assistive devices are typically prescribed for patients having this condition. Meanwhile, spina bifida is a type of orthopedic bacterial defect that affects a child's bladder and bowel ability. More severe cases of this defect can be corrected with surgery. Scoliosis, on the other hand is a faulty curvature of the spinal which can be detected in adolescents and is treated with physical therapy and corrective devices such as braces.

Aside from the aphasoid congenital orthopedic problems which are only a few of many, pediatric orthopedic surgeons also specialize in treating musculoskeletal injuries from trauma. Children and adolescents like to engage in active play and sports which makes them prone to falling and other types of accidents. Both nonsurgical and surgical procedures can be carried out by any pediatric orthopedic surgeon. For instance, pediatric patients may be brought to the hospital for a twisted ankle. If the case is identified to be more serious than a minor sprain or strain that can be treated with rest, ice, compression and elevation, they will be referred to an orthopedist for further evaluation. Severe fractures are usually surgically treated, while subtler ones can be managed with manual manipulation to minimize fracture, and pharmacologic therapy to treat pain and inflammation. Doctors may also order the use of assistive devices such as crutches to reduce the weight pushed against the affected ankle.

These are only some examples of the procedures that can be done by pediatric orthopedic surgeons. The special skill possessed by this type of orthopedists is aimed towards winning the trust of vulnerable patients like kids and adolescents who do not usually feel at ease around the hospital due to their fear of pain and blood. This skill is essential in order to render quality care and facilitate the recovery of patients.

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Be Your Own Patient Advocate Before Surgery

When planning for surgery it is useful to learn the art of being your own patient advocate. Today's health and wellness industry has made it easy for us to obtain information to ensure we receive quality care. When we do our own research ahead of time we can feel confident about having a positive surgery exit.

How to be a patient advocate in navigating health insurance:

It is important to have a full understanding of your health insurance plan. Here are some of the things I learned this past year:

· When in need of a new insurance plan seek out a local insurance broker to help sort out the best plan for your specific needs. Free of charge, they help us attain emotional health about the coverage we choose. These agents know which plans do not raise their rates annually, which ones are most appropriate to choose with pre-existing conditions, and which plans will be available long-term.

· Whenever you receive a new insurance plan you need to become your own patient advocate by reading through the policy right away. This will inform you if they have placed any restrictions on covering any of your current medical conditions. You do have 30 days to cancel the plan if you find the policy unacceptable.

· If a situation presents where you are not able to pay your medical bill you can make alternative payment arrangements. Those with financial hardships are able to reduce their hospital fees or perhaps waive them entirely.

How to be your own patient advocate for medical visits :

· The health and wellness industry has been great at educating us how to prepare ahead of time for a medical visit. Most of us have already experienced the value of writing down our questions before the visit. To optimize your limited time with the doctor I advise asking your practitioner only those questions they themselves can answer. As my own patient advocate I have learned to query other staff with the reminder of my questions. For example:

1. Direct inquiries about pre-post surgery issues to the surgery scheduler.

2. Ask the front desk staff how to obtain the morbidity & mortality statistics for the doctor and hospital.

· The health and wellness industry has encouraged us to have a trusted person with us during the medical visit. When another is present it allows them to become your patient advocate. I have found their presence vital since way too often my trusted friend brings up issues I failed to mention. It helps me take care of my emotional health when the trusted person is my scribe and documents the doctor's comments.

· When you need a physician to submit a form (or write a letter) on your behalf it is best to prepare ahead of time. Here are a few examples:

1. When requesting a temporary handicapped parking permit find out ahead of time if the DMV requires you to download their form. If not, draft a letter with your request for the doctor to sign.

2. Whenever you need the doctor to write a letter confirming a medical condition it is best to become proactive as your own patient advocate. Arrive at the medical visit with a sample letter which includes all the pertinent information so you leave with it in-hand.

3. When you need a medical test ordered at another facility come prepared with the name of the facility and FAX number where the request can be sent.

When you follow these guidelines chances are greater you will leave the visit with total confidence that your needs are being handled.

How to be your own advocate before and after surgery:

· Know that you can request an early morning surgery when necessary. In taking care of your health and wellness inform the surgery scheduler of needs for early morning surgery if you have health issues that would be compromised when pre-surgery requirements forbid the intake of food or water. Prior to surgery it is best to take care of your emotional health and speed up the time your body is without nourishment.

· It is desirable to have a trusted friend stay in your hospital room overnight. If something unusual presents they can be of immediate value. Today hospitals have a chair that folds down into a bed for these specific purposes.

How to be your own patient advocate in finding the best surgeon:

· The health and wellness industry has made it easy for us to do research online. In your inquiry, seek out the latest state-of-the-art surgery technologies. After studying the various options you are more ready to select a surgeon.

· Search for doctors that use minimally invasive surgical techniques to reduce pain, restore mobility, and promote a quick return to normal activities.

· In being your own patient advocate you may find the need to look outside your local area for a surgeon. Surgery is an invasive medical procedure. It is in your best interest to feel confident you will receive the highest quality of care.

· I encourage you to inquire how experienced your potential surgeon is. You want someone who has done the procedure hundreds of times to ensure the best outcome.

Hopefully you feel more feel confident about being your own patient advocate when planning for surgery. There are countless online resources available to help sort through the maze of information. Use these guidelines when seeking out what is available and you will find balance in your emotional health.

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4 Departments in Your Health Care Organization That Must Adhere To Universal Precautions

Infectious pathogens in the blood can be transferred from one person to another causing bloodborne diseases. Other body fluids like semen, vaginal discharges, amniotic fluid, saliva, etc. can also cause such infectious diseases. And prior to proper testing, it is impossible to know which blood samples are infected. Therefore, it is best to absorb all samples as potentially infected and handle them with the utmost care. And as such, basic precautionary measures that should be taken by your health care employees while handling potentially blood and body fluids are known as universal precautions.

There are four main departments in the hospital that must strictly adhere to the universal precedents, as discussed below.

· Laboratory: It is mainly the hospital laboratory that deals with blood samples on a daily basis. This place is filled with chemicals, sharp instruments and equipment, and uncountable blood samples that are likely to be infected. There is maximum risk of employees contracting bloodborne diseases here. It is mandatory for your health workers to wear protective clothing like gloves, gowns and eye gear at all times. Other personal protective equipment like foot covers and face shields must also be worn hanging on the work being done. All these equipments are important as they keep your skin protected from pathogens and also from dangerous chemical splashes.

· Housekeeping: The housekeeping department in your health care organization will not only be responsible for sweeping and swabbing but also for the decontamination of work areas and for proper disposal of fluids and sharp instruments. All housekeeping workers must be given gloves, aprons and gowns to wear while cleaning work stations, floors, walls and furniture. All necessary precautions must be properly followed to prevent spread of infection.

· Laundry and Linen: Special care must be taken by your employees working in the laundry and linen department. They must wear gloves and protective gowns at all times. Dirty linen must be segregated into separate bags with stained clothes folded in such a way that the dirty part in inside. Transfer of dirty linen from wards and operation theater to laundry must be done through a separate route where patients and others are not present. It is recommended that the worker changes his gloves while dealing with used linen.

· Nursing Department: It is the nurses who majorly deal with the patients. They are involved in drawing blood, giving injections, changing beds and patient gowns, etc. All these activities involve a small chance of infection spread. While using needles and sharp equipments they must be careful to avoid getting pricked accidentally. All needles and sharp instrument must be disposed off in special sharp containers. They must always wear gloves that are in good condition and follow correct practice of hand washing while dealing with patients. Nurses must be alert in cases of fluid spills which are very dangerous.

Universal precautions are to be followed by employees in all departments of your health care organization, with special emphasis on the above mentioned four departments. This is an integral part of the working process of the organization.

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