Pages Menu

Nursing Beyond the Vital Signs

Most recent articles

3 Tips to Prevent Oral Thrush as a Senior Citizen

Posted by on Feb 21, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Oral thrush, which is basically a yeast infection of the mouth, can happen to anyone. However, senior citizens can actually be more prone to dealing with this problem because of their dentures and because of health issues, such as diabetes, that can be common in older people. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to help prevent this problem. 1. Keep Dentures Clean Seniors who wear dentures can be particularly prone to oral thrush. One good way to help prevent this from happening is to make sure that you keep your dentures nice and clean. You should be removing your dentures a couple of times a day to clean them thoroughly, which can be done with just soap and water. At nighttime, give your mouth a chance to “rest” from wearing the dentures by soaking your dentures in a container of denture solution, which can also help get them clean. 2. Rinse Your Mouth Regularly Additionally, you will want to make sure that you rinse your mouth out thoroughly on a regular basis. This is a critical step because it helps flush debris and germs out of your mouth. Plain, cold water should work fine, but if you’d like to really focus on killing bacteria and freshening up your mouth, you can use your favorite mouthwash when rinsing. 3. Take Care of Your Diabetes Are you a diabetic? If so, you could be at a higher risk of developing oral thrush because of the additional sugar that can be found in your saliva, which can promote thrush growth. However, just because you have diabetes does not mean that you have to resign yourself to this problem. Making sure that you take good care of yourself — such as by monitoring your insulin levels, eating a proper diabetic-friendly diet and seeing your doctor as recommended — can help you avoid oral thrush and can help with your overall health as well. Even though many senior citizens experience oral thrush in their lifetimes, this does not have to happen to you. If you follow these tips, you can help keep yourself safe from oral thrush. If you do notice signs of having it, such as having a bad taste in your mouth, bad breath or a white  tongue, then make sure that you see your doctor immediately so that he or she can help you get the proper treatment for the...

read more

Reasons To Consider Sedation Dentistry

Posted by on Jan 12, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Sedation dentistry is the practice of dentistry while using calming medications to soothe the patient. Many people may experience difficulties with standard dental procedures. For these people, sedation dentistry may be a solution to consider. There are a number of reasons why sedation dentistry might be used in place of the usual dental exam or other dental work.  Dentist-Related Anxiety or Fear  Being nervous about going to the dentist is a dilemma seen in both children and some adults. This problem can range from mild nervousness to intense feelings of fear. It’s easy to understand why discomfort may occur. Patients in dental exams may fear losing the safety of their usual personal space, may feel physically vulnerable, or may dislike feeling dental tools in their mouths. Anyone might be nervous for these reasons. In addition, some people experience Dental Phobia, an irrational, long-term fear of dentists that leaves the patient terrified. Being somewhat sedated or being wholly unconscious during a dental exam can help with the problem of anxiety.     Other Reasons for Sedation Dentistry  According to one source, there are other reasons one might consider sedation dentistry besides fear or nervousness. Some of these are outlined below.  Problematic Gag Reflex. When an object is detected too far back in the mouth or towards the throat, the body exhibits the gag reflex, a spasm of the back of the throat. Most people should know that gagging feels uncomfortable, sometimes comparable to the feeling of vomiting. Normally, this reflex only happens when an unusually large object is inserted into the mouth. Depending on the person, however, the gag reflex may be triggered by smaller, harmless objects. These individuals may gag a lot when simple dental tools are used. For them being sedated is a big plus.  Sensitivity. Irritation or pain in the gums or teeth varies by individual. Gum disease, tooth decay, hot or cold sensations, and sores or punctures of the gums are known to cause discomfort in the vast majority of people. However, for some, similar discomfort occurs when there are no such problems. Simply brushing the teeth with a little too much force can result in pain or irritation in these cases. Therefore, sitting through a dental exam might feel highly vexing for those with sensitive gums. If the sensitive patient is sedated, however, there is less of this kind of distress.  Extensive Work and Difficulty Staying Still. Sometimes, a dental exam reveals that a patient needs a lot of dental work, such as filling many cavities. In standard dentistry, extensive work may require multiple visits. In sedation dentistry, however, it is easier to get more work done at once. While the patient is relaxed, or in some cases unconscious, he or she will not be bothered by the passing of time or the potential for increased irritation. Instead, the patient feels calm, sleepy, and without pain. Note that extensive dental work is doubly difficult for patients with Attention Deficit Disorder or those who have difficulty remaining still. Again, when partly or wholly sedated, the restlessness of sitting still will be decreased or eliminated.  Listed above are some solid reasons why people may have a rough time getting through dental procedures, and why sedation dentistry is the better option. If you struggle with dental work, consult...

read more

3 Simple Ways To Show Love In Action For Someone With Cancer

Posted by on Dec 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

When someone you love has cancer, it is easy to get sad and feel helpless because you cannot control the cancer. It is a fight they ultimately have to face and battle themselves. However, a cancer patient does not have to fight it alone, and you have the power to make this difficult journey a lot easier on them. Supporting a loved one with cancer doesn’t mean that you must rearrange your life or give up your savings. Try these simple but effective ways of showing how much you care about a loved one who is battling cancer. Keep Showing Up When someone is facing cancer, they quickly learn that it makes others extremely uncomfortable. Cancer is nearly everyone’s worst nightmare, and looking at someone whose body is being ravaged by cancer can be difficult and make people avoid them. Their best friend may disappear. It happens all too often during cancer battles. Keep showing up. Keep calling. Someone who is receiving cancer treatment services may not feel like reaching out, but they probably still really want to hear from you. Make Simple Plans Someone who is battling cancer is not going to feel like playing hostess to parties or evenings on the town. You can still get together, though. Make suggestions, such as that you would like to accompany them to a treatment on your day off or offer to drive them to a treatment when it works around your schedule. Showing up and treating them like the same person you have always been happy to see will help them maintain a sense of normalcy. Help Them Feel Safe Opening Up Many people ask, “How are you?” Few people really want to hear the nitty gritty reality of how a cancer patient may be feeling. Be the exception to that. Ask how your loved one is, and you may even ask about what they think of the cancer treatment services they are receiving. When you ask follow-up questions and show your sincere interest in their well-being, they will eventually feel comfortable that you really do want to know how they are beyond the typical polite conversation niceties. Finally, keep in mind that you may be surprised by many things that happen as your friend battles cancer. What they end up needing may surprise you sometimes, but it is always best to let the person who is facing the disease dictate how they handle the battle. Continuing to show your love and support through the many decisions they have to make will ultimately provide them with as much comfort as possible, and it is likely to be something they appreciate and...

read more

3 Surprising Signs of an Ear Infection

Posted by on Dec 13, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Determining if you have a cold is simple because it is such a common issue. From a sore throat and light cough to a runny nose, the common cold is easy to understand. Unfortunately, many common colds lead to ear infections. While pain and throbbing in the ear are the most popular signs, ear infections may also display themselves in other ways. Using this guide, you will learn a few surprising signs of ear infections. Dizziness Infections cause inflammation of the inner ear, surrounding tissue, and nerves connected to the brain. The inflammation is not only uncomfortable, but it also affects  the transmission of sensory information to the brain. Without the ability to properly transmit sensory information to the brain, you may experience vertigo. Vertigo causes dizziness, unsteadiness, vision impairment, and even vomiting. If you are experiencing sudden dizziness, visit your doctor to check for signs of inflammation in the ear. Decreased Appetite/Chewing Difficulties Eating a well-balanced diet and drinking plenty of fluids can help you recover from the common cold and other illnesses, but many people do not have much of an appetite when they are sick. Of course, a decreased appetite may be a sign of an underlying infection that requires immediate attention. Ear infections can make food look, smell, and taste unappetizing. In addition, you may feel nauseous while suffering with an infection. Lastly, individuals who have an outer ear infection have stiffness and discomfort in their jaw while chewing. This pain can quickly decrease a person’s desire to eat. Fever Fevers can stem from a variety of common illnesses, but high fevers usually mean your body’s immune system is trying to fight off a dangerous infection. Not every person with an ear infection will develop a fever, but a large percentage will, so it should be taken seriously. Make sure to call your doctor if a fever lasts more than 7 days or if it is 103 degrees of higher. Without treating the infection, the fever can become progressively higher, increasing your risk of life-threatening medical conditions. If you have a fever and are experiencing the following symptoms, seek out emergency care immediately: Confusion Chest pain Neck stiffness Difficulty breathing Chronic vomiting Abdominal pain Blood in stools, urine, or vomit Swelling in legs Redness, swelling of skin Ear infections are easily treated, but early diagnosis is smart. With this guide of surprising signs and the help of your doctor, you will be able to diagnose and treat the common ear...

read more

Get The Facts: Bacterial Keratitis

Posted by on Nov 28, 2016 in Uncategorized |

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 30 million people across American wear contact lenses, and two-thirds of wearers are women. Many users choose contacts over glasses as they feel it improves their appearance. Contact lenses also make it easier for wearers to see yet maintain an active life and participate in sports. While contacts are relatively safe, unfortunately the most common complication is also the most serious. Every year, thousands of contract wearers a serious infection known as microbial keratitis that could potentially lead to blindness. Here is what you need to know. What Is Bacterial Keratitis?  This sight-threatening condition comes on extremely quickly. It is caused by a lethal bacterium that can destroy the cornea, the clear, dome-shaped lens that covers the pupil, in as little as 24 hours. Streptococcus and staphylococcus are the most common bacteria groups present in bacterial keratitis. What Are The Symptoms Of Bacterial Keratitis? The following symptoms usually come on very quickly: Sudden eye pain Excessive tearing Redness Discharge from the eye Vision impairment Light sensitivity It is imperative that if you suddenly have any of these symptoms you seek immediate emergency care from an ophthalmologist or another doctor. Do not wait until they have an appointment opening or hope it will just clear up with the use of eye drops. Corneal abrasion and ulceration can quickly occur as the bacteria destroys the lens. Complete or partial blindness is a very real threat. Who Is Susceptible To Bacterial Keratitis? Contact lens wearers, especially those who use the extended wear lens, are vulnerable, but others are as well. A recent injury or corneal surgery can allow bacteria to enter through a microscopic perforation in the eye. Contaminated eye washes, drops, and medications can be a bacteria source. Impaired immunity from alcoholism, diabetes, or immune deficiency diseases such as HIV can also put one at a higher risk of bacterial keratitis. The use of steroids can also be a contributing factor. What Is The Treatment For Bacterial Keratitis? Your eye doctor will need to take a quick scraping from the cornea to get a lab sample. This is to make sure the keratitis is bacterial rather than fungal in nature. Fungal keratitis requires a different treatment. If the laboratory results confirm it is bacterial keratitis, you will be prescribed powerful antibiotic eye drops which must be used frequently and consistently. A topical steroid may also be prescribed. You will also need to see your ophthalmologist several times throughout treatment to ensure the prescribed medication(s) is working. If you are a contact wearer, it is very important to practice good hygiene and contact care procedures to prevent bacterial keratitis or other eye infections. Children who wear contact lenses must be supervised to ensure they follow the proper protocol.   For more information, talk to a professional like The Eye...

read more

4 Situations Where Home-Care Nursing May Be Needed

Posted by on Nov 4, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Having the option to hire a nurse to come to your home to care for you or your loved one is an amazing thing. It allows you or your loved one to stay where you are the most comfortable while still getting all of the medical care and attention that you need. This article will discuss four situations in which home-care nursing may be needed.  For Someone Who Has Had Surgery If you have had an extensive surgery at the hospital, then you may require some care even after you have gone home. This could include help with changing bandages, getting around, bathing, using the restroom, taking medications, and so forth. Thankfully, you can hire a nurse to come and take care of you for the week or however long you need until you can begin to care for yourself or until a family member or friend can take over your care.  For Someone Who Is Terminally Ill When someone is terminally ill, they generally are going to need extensive care. Often those that are ill want to be home where they are the most comfortable and where they can live out the rest of their life surrounded by those they love. A home-care nurse can make this possible because they will actually live in the home with the person who is terminally ill and will care for and monitor the person 24/7. There may even be a nurse rotation, if the nurse is required to be awake around the clock to monitor the patient.  For a Child with Disabilities If you have a child with disabilities that requires extra care that you either don’t know how to give or are unable to give due to work responsibilities, the need to care for other children, and so forth, a nurse can help you to meet these needs. The home-care nurse can either live in your house or come at certain times during the day when you need additional help to care for your child with disabilities. The schedule of the nurse is going to be flexible and fitted to your needs.  For Someone Who Is Elderly  If you have an elderly loved one that needs additional care, whether it be due to dementia, Alzheimer’s, cancer, or other health-related issues, they may request that they get this care while still either living with you or in their own home. This is likely where the person is going to feel the most comfortable and secure, so knowing that a home-care nurse can allow them to remain comfortable and happy is something this is well worth the cost.  Talk to a company such as Ameristaff Nursing Services to set up services with a home-care...

read more

After The Lice Treatment Center: Keeping Your Home Clean

Posted by on Oct 21, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If your child comes home from school scratching and with a letter saying that several parents reported that their children have lice, you will have to bring your child to the local lice treatment center. They’ll do a lice check and provide a head lice treatment. But, what else can you do to make the sure that the lice removal process is 100 percent? Check out the at-home tactics that will help rid your child’s head of those uninvited guests. Wash All Clothes All the clothes that your child was wearing when she came home with lice and anything that came contact with them afterwards need to be washed. Don’t toss them into the laundry basket or mix them in with anyone else’s clothes. Along with the clothes your child was wearing the day she started scratching, wash anything that she wore in the two days preceding the obvious infestation. These may have eggs or nits on them. Simply washing your child’s clothes isn’t always enough. You’ll need to use hot water that is above 130 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). After washing the clothes in hot water (with laundry detergent, of course) dry your child’s clothes on the highest heat setting possible. Wash All Bedding and Shower Items Use the same washing instructions (high heat washing and drying) for your child’s bedding. This includes her sheets, blankets, comforter, mattress pad, dust ruffle, pillows, pillow cases, pillow shams, or any other fabric that is on her bed. Along with her bedding, wash all towels, wash clothes, and robes that she wore in the past few days. Don’t stop there, use the same high-heat washing strategy for the rest of the linens in your home. It’s possible that your child jumped onto her sister’s bed yesterday or took a rest break on your pillow the day before. Keep Stuffed Animals Clean The soft, fuzzy toy that your child brings to bed every night might be harboring lice. To fully stop the problem you also need to wash all plush or fabric toys that your child has come in contact with. If the toys are machine washable, wash them in hot water (130 degrees Fahrenheit) and dry them on high. Use Plastic Bags Some clothes, linens, pillows, and toys aren’t washable. Instead of ruining your child’s coat or her beloved teddy bear, put the items into plastic garbage bags. Tightly seal the bags and store them for at least two weeks. This suffocates the lice, removing them from your home. Clean the House Do a deep clean everywhere—focusing on soft or fabric surfaces. Vacuum the carpets and fabric or upholstered furniture. Empty the vacuum bag or canister and clean all of the vacuum’s filters immediately after cleaning. Treat Haircare Items Remove and throw away (in sealed bags) all hairs from brushes and combs that your child may have used. After cleaning them out, soak the brushes and combs in 130 degree Fahrenheit water for between 5 and 10 minutes. Don’t forget about hair ties, fabric-covered barrettes, and headbands. Stash these away in sealed plastic bags for the next two weeks before using them again. Yes, the lice treatment center can make those nasty little nits go away. But, you also need to treat...

read more

Making Your Home Accessible: Modifications When You Have Mobility Issues

Posted by on Oct 4, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Whether you are dealing with an acute injury, or your mobility has decreased because of a chronic health issue, you can make your home more accessible with some changes. Grab bars, higher toilet seats, and walk-in tubs can all make your home safer when you are unstable on your feet. If you are worried about falling, and you want to avoid injury, there are a number of easy-to-install devices that you can use throughout your home to provide you with the stability that you need. Safety Features in the Bathroom Grab bars can be used throughout your home to make walking, or standing easier. One common area to put grab bars is in the bathroom, as it is easy to slip while using the tub or shower. If you are looking at a long term health issue, it will benefit you to invest in a walk in tub so that you can avoid falls when you are trying to shower. Grab bars will help avoid slips, especially when you are standing on a wet surface. It is also useful to place strips in your tub or shower that are anti-skid, to avoid unnecessary falls. If your toilet is not high enough, you can either install a handicap accessible toilet, or use a seat that fits over the toilet that has independent arms that you can balance on. Stair Safety People struggling with mobility often have the most difficulty going up and down stairs. You can put a railing on both sides of the stairwell, so that anyone walking down the stairs can hold on with both hands as they walk up or down. Remove any loose carpeting from the stairs, and use anti-skid strips instead of carpeting. Make sure that the stairs are free of hazards at all times, and if you aren’t stable on your feet, only use stairs when another person can assist you. Removing Clutter from Your Home While throw rugs and small pieces of furniture may look great in your home, it’s important to remove these small hazards when you are trying to make your home more accessible. Throw rugs cause people to trip, and they can slip easily. Small pieces of furniture may get in the way of a person trying to use a walker or cane, and should be removed. As you work to make your home more accessible, use common sense. If something is in your way, move it. When you are worried about your mobility in a certain area, look for ways to improve your stability. For more information, visit websites like...

read more

Tired Of Chronic Pain And Prescription Medications? What To Do

Posted by on Sep 19, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you are dealing with chronic pain that is interfering with your life, but you don’t want to rely on prescription medications, you have alternative options. You can find the pain management you’re looking for by getting different types of therapy, by making different life choices and changes, and by targeting the cause of your pain. Here are a few of the pain management choices you want to explore for your treatment. Ultrasonic Therapy With the use of ultrasonic waves, pain can be treated and injuries can be healed faster. Talk with your doctor to see if this type of therapy would work with your injuries, to see if you can get it done in office or at a physical therapy location, and to find out what the cost will be for the amount of treatments you need. Acupuncture Treatments The use of needles in pressure points to block pain messages that go to the brain can help you stop feeling the pain in the area of injury and stop feeling pain in other areas as well. A licensed acupuncturist can use their techniques for temporary pain relief while you let the area heal. Massage Therapy Massage therapy is beneficial to do more than just deal with the pain that you’re having. Massage therapy can do the following: Stimulate and enhance blood circulation to heal the injury Relieve stress and tension from the injury and surrounding body parts Give instant pain relief by loosening tight muscles Find a licensed massage therapist that specializes in treating people with chronic pain. Get assessed and start your treatments. Occupational Therapy You may need a variety of lifestyle changes to help eliminate the pain that you have. In occupational therapy, you can work on getting healthy with diet and exercise, eating a well-balanced diet, strengthening the area to eliminate the pain, and doing other types of therapy until you find the pain relief solution for you. If you are currently taking prescription pain medications, you may want to see your physician before stopping completely. You may have some type of addiction to the medication, and it’s best to make sure you wean off and get off the medication safely. There are several types of therapy that can be used to build strength and treat pain, so talk with the necessary medical professionals to see where you should start, and what you should try first.  For more information, contact a professional in your area or visit a website...

read more

Physical Therapy Helps You Regain Your Ability To Perform Former Recreational Activities Following A Stroke

Posted by on Sep 13, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Lifestyle and environmental changes bring about a rise in life-threatening diseases that include diabetes, cancers, stroke, and other debilitating diseases. Many aging citizens in the United States are simply not prepared to become docile and to park themselves in wheelchairs. They want rehabilitation treatments that will help them to be active once again. Physical therapy is poised to help you reach your health care goals with new and trending rehabilitation treatments. Innovative physical therapy programs can help you reclaim your ability to perform your former recreational activities following a stroke incident. Trending Stroke Therapy Your therapist, following evaluation, will design a program that has you practicing repetitive movements that require coordination and balance. Those motions help you complete walking up stairs and walking around obstacles that are intentionally placed in the treatment room. Sensory Stimulation With Tapping And Stroking Activity Tapping and stroking activities are used by your therapist as part of sensory stimulation. You will also undergo active and passive range-of-motion exercises that benefit your present condition. Your therapist will sometimes restrain your healthy limbs as you practice motor tasks. This is done to help you relearn skills that are affected by the stroke you suffered. As you regain strength in skills that are not now possible, you’ll begin to improve those skills as time passes. The exercises, while building up strength, also increase endurance. You decrease the risk of developing cardiac disease by performing those exercises. Be always aware that rehabilitation following a stroke can be a long process particularly when you are recuperating from severe injuries that accompanied the stroke. It can take many months and even years of therapy to return you to your former health status. Your improvement also relies on your practicing assigned exercises at home as well. Physical Therapy Goal The goal of physical therapy is to make exercise activities an everlasting part of your ongoing lifestyle needs. So yes you can reclaim your healthy lifestyle, be it tennis, golf, running, or walking, by engaging a physical therapist to treat your current and specific health care ailment. What You Should Also Know About Physical Therapy First and foremost, physical therapy is designed to improve your motion and mobility. It will reduce your pain level and do so without any medication whatsoever. Your physical therapist is a licensed and educated professional who understands your anatomical structure and understands how your body moves. An evaluation of your physical needs gives your therapist insight into how treatment will be conducted. That information will be explained to you at the end of the evaluation before you’re given future physical therapy appointments. Technology is vastly changing in the field of physical therapy, and you’ll be benefiting from new state-of-the-art technology that makes a big difference in your rehabilitation process. For more information, contact a physical therapist at a clinic like Advance Physical Therapy & Sports...

read more

The Dos And Don’ts Of Visiting Someone In Palliative Care

Posted by on Aug 12, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Patients in palliative care typically have an in-depth understanding of their illness and the realities of what may be a rather grim health diagnosis. As palliative care focuses on improving the quality of life that the patient has, the ill person will have a team of support, including nurses, caregivers, doctors, social workers, and family members, who rally around the person during this difficult time. When you go to visit someone who is palliative care, remember these essential dos and don’ts to ensure that the visit leaves both you and the patient feeling a bit better. Do Express Your Feelings It can be scary to see someone in palliative care, and it can be tempting to try to deny the situation by acting as though everything is alright or the same as it was before. However, the patient’s reality has been transformed, and it’s important to meet them where they are. Without making the visit about you necessarily, express how you feel. It’s okay to express your regret that the person is in this situation. Express all the positive things that you have held back and make sure the person knows how much you care. Get out your feelings and express your love. When you make the first move to do this, you give the patient the chance to do the same. Don’t Verbalize Your Assumptions When you see someone in palliative care, it doesn’t mean that they have given up on life. In fact, according to The New England Journal of Medicine, palliative care can help prolong life while maintaining a better quality of life for the patient. If you find yourself making assumptions, don’t state them. Instead, politely ask questions that will confirm or deny those assumptions. Do Ask Open-Ended Questions Someone who is in palliative care is likely to feel a little lonely and alienated even if they do have around-the-clock care. The more frequent company of friends may be sorely missed, and there are many things they may be longing to express. Ask the following open-ended questions to get the person talking in a way that’s comfortable for them and allows them to lead where the conversation goes. What are the best and worst parts of what you’ve been experiencing lately? What do you wish people would say to you more often these days? Now that the way you’re receiving care has changed, how do you feel about things? What are some things I could do this week to help you? What do you wish were different about the way that your care is being handled? Finally, keep in mind that everyone in palliative care will have their own unique needs and preferences. Take your cue from the patient when it comes to what they most need. Someone who’s down may need you to make them laugh a little, yet most want to know that they are heard and understood. Follow the patient’s lead, respect their needs, and follow these tips for effective communication with someone in palliative care. If you have questions about your loved one’s care or would like to know more about what to expect when you visit, ask a caregiver like those at Corner Home...

read more
Page 1 of 712345...Last »