Archive for the 'Health' Category

ADHD Resources for Nurses, Adults and More

ADHD symbol design isolated on white backgroundA common disorder affecting children is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, otherwise known as ADHD. At one time, children with ADHD were misunderstood, with some people believing that children were simply misbehaving or that they had to have suffered some form of brain damage. Over time, as doctors and researchers have come to better understand the disorder, the number of children diagnosed with the disorder has also increased. Although studies vary, according to statistics presented by the CDC, there are approximately 5.2 million children between the ages of three and seventeen who have been diagnosed with the condition in the United States. This translates into approximately 8.4 percent of children within that age group. In nearly all instances the disorder does not fade as the child ages. Instead many children with ADHD turn into adults with the condition. Learning about ADHD can help parents to recognize the warnings signs that may lead to diagnosis. Knowledge of the condition also helps loved ones to better understand and cope with the condition and how it may affect a lifetime of interactions with others.

What is ADHD?

The answer to this question is one of the first things that people should understand. It is what is known as a neurobehavioral disorder, which is a type of disorder that is associated with a CNS, or central nervous system dysfunction. People who have this disorder are often unable to stay focused and may have difficulty in controlling their behavior and impulses. Although adults may have ADHD it is primarily diagnosed during childhood, and it can be broken down into three subtypes. These are the Predominantly Inattentive, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive, and Combined subtypes. With the predominantly inattentive subtype, the affected person becomes distracted easily and has difficulty completing work or tasks. Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive ADHD is characterized by restlessnes and an inability to sit still. With this type of ADHD the person may appear hyperactive. As the name suggests, combined ADHD is a combination of the two previous subtypes.

Diagnosis

Diagnosing ADHD involves a number of steps. These steps do not involve blood tests and cannot be determined by a physical examination alone. When a child is taken to see a doctor, his or her parents will need to answer questions regarding the type and onset of symptoms, the severity of symptoms and if there is a specific environment in which they most often appear. The doctor will review the symptoms, rule out similar conditions, and compare them to a checklist of ADHD symptoms to determine if he or she meets the American Psychiatric Association’s criteria which can be found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The child must then have six or more of the primary symptoms that are associated with the condition. In attempting to determine if an adult has ADHD, the doctors are faced with a more difficult task. In addition to a medical history dating back to childhood and a review of symptoms, the doctor will likely speak with a parent or spouse about behavior and symptoms, conduct a medical examination and attention-span testing.

Causes

There is a continuing effort to determine the exact cause of ADHD. One of the causes could be small differences that are found in the front part of the brain in people who have ADHD that non-ADHD people do not have. While researchers cannot say with one hundred percent positivity, it is believed that genetics is also major factor as parents who have ADHD often have children with the condition. Smoking, exposure to lead, and other environmental factors may also contribute to the likelihood that a person will have ADHD. During pregnancy maternal exposure to environmental toxins or to alcohol and tobacco from smoking may also result in the condition. In some instances, head injury may result in the condition, however, it is not a major cause of the disorder and only occurs in a small percentage of cases. Although it is commonly and inaccurately believed that sugar can cause ADHD, studies have found that it does not have an affect on whether a child has the disorder. Poor parenting and/or teaching also do not result in a child having the disorder.

Symptoms

Children with ADHD will display certain types of symptoms that are hard to dismiss or miss. Often children with this disorder are easy to distract and have difficulty paying attention. They may appear to be daydreaming and have trouble understanding or following instructions. They may become bored easily, have difficulty with being still, and talk excessively. Impulsivity is another symptom. People with ADHD may act without thinking, display impatience by interrupting others during activities or while talking. Their behavior may show a lack of restraint or concern for the outcome or consequences.

ADD vs. ADHD

There is often much confusion over the difference, if any between attention deficit disorder (ADD) and ADHD. In the past ADD and ADHD were both conditions that affected a person’s behavior; however, people with ADHD were also affected by hyperactivity. Currently, ADD is no longer a diagnosis. Although the term is frequently used in reference to ADHD, it has been discarded by the medical industry in favor of ADHD and its three separate subtypes for diagnosis.

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Nursing Yourself Back to Health After a Back Injury

Back Pain. Americans spend more than $50-billion per year for treatment of lower back pain. According to the National Institutes of Health, most Americans have experienced at least one day of lower back pain and eight out of ten adults will experience recurring back pain severe enough to interfere with work or normal daily activities. The good news is that most causes of back pain occur from mechanical incidents such as strains, sprains, or over use, and not serious conditions such as fractures, arthritis, or cancer. Knowing the best treatments for recovering from back injuries can have you pain free sooner and provide you the knowledge needed to lower your risk of recurring back pain in the future.

Home Care for Lower Back Pain

The common causes for lower back pain are injury to the muscles from over use, improper lifting, and twisting or sudden trauma such as slipping, or falling. Contrary to what many believe, the best treatment for upper and lower back pain is to stay as active as possible, and studies now prove that extended bed rest may actually make back pain worse and lengthen recovery time. Walking is often recommended for anyone struggling to recover from lower back pain. The key is to start slowly and build up your endurance and distance. If you smoke, consider quitting as smoking interferes with blood circulation needed for recovery and healing of injured muscle. Likewise, consider eating for recovery by making nutritious food choices. A typical diet high in sugars, starches, and fats does not supply the protein and other essential nutrients needed to repair muscle tissue. Many times lower back pain is caused by weak core muscles, exercise helps to stretch and strengthen muscles. As you exercise and strengthen overall muscle tone, your core muscles are able to provide the support needed for your back and spine. Over the counter medications can help reduce pain and inflammation. Be sure to follow instructions and not take more than the recommended dosage. If those medications are not helping relieve your pain, call your doctor for evaluation and treatment options, alternating ice and heat packs may also help reduce pain. For chronic back pain, or if your injury does not appear to be getting better after ruling out any underlying issues, your doctor may recommend a chiropractor or personal trainer for treatment or exercises designed to strengthen your back to promote a healthy recovery.

Chiropractors are Back Specialists

Although chiropractors treat a range of conditions, many of their clients come for back pain that has not responded to home treatment. After reviewing your medical history and possibly ordering x-rays or other tests, your chiropractor will discuss a course of treatment that usually involves spinal manipulation to bring your back into proper alignment. He or she may also recommend nutritional supplements, specific exercises, massages, or electrical stimulation to provide pain relief and promote recovery. Chiropractic care is based on the belief that your body has the ability to heal itself. Chiropractic medicine also understands that the entire body structure is interdependent. Chiropractic treatments are designed to balance your body systems, back, and spine to promote optimal health, strength, and healing.

Personal Trainers and Strength Training

A personal trainer with certification in advanced health and fitness from an organization such as the American Council on Exercise (ACE) can recommend a program designed to teach you a range of exercises to develop and strengthen your core and back muscles. While it is possible to begin an exercise routine at home, a personal trainer can help you identify specific exercises based on your level of injury or pain and show you how to perform those exercises with correct form. A personal trainer can also supervise your progress and is in a position to help correct unsafe exercise practices or improper form that may place you at risk for over stressing your back or other muscle groups. Always speak to any personal trainer you are considering and ask about their experience working with others that have back problems. Observe a class or training session and ask to speak to some of their clients. When seeking a personal trainer to assist you in recovering from a back injury, first consult with your doctor.

By taking responsibility to direct your recovery from a back injury safely and with the assistance of professionals such as your doctor, chiropractor, and perhaps a personal trainer, you can greatly decrease your risk of future back injury and improve your overall health and physical condition for an active lifestyle in the years ahead.

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Ultimate List of Nursing Journals

Nursing journals are an excellent investment for the nursing student, nursing professional, hospitals, libraries, and academic institutes. As such writings are designed to focus on research and evidence based information, they offer a timely forum for presenting, reviewing, criticizing, and communicating about nursing issues. Nursing journals do include general publications of interest to all those working in the nursing field. A large number of publications are also designed to meet the needs of specific nursing specialties such as pediatrics. Generally, health care professionals and institutes utilize multiple journals; allowing professionals to remain informed and participate in developing standards of care, better understanding patient needs, and becoming more effective at their jobs. Health Research.

Comprehensive List of Nursing Journals

  • AAACN Viewpoint: The official newsletter of the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing dispenses scholarly industry centric exploration on patient outcomes, geriatrics, reform, infection control, prevention, and professional development.
  • African Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health: With a focus on maternity issues and women’s health development specific to the continent of Africa, this publication is a first of its kind. Clinical articles, research, debate, and country specific information make this broad publication a vital resource for midwives.
  • AORN Journal: Perioperative nurses are dedicated to treating surgical patients at all treatment stages. This journal from the Association of perioperative Registered Nurses offers valuable articles and summaries related to clinical issues, patient safety, and research findings. 
  • Archives of Psychiatric Nursing: With an extensive focus area, this journal covers patient education, professional competency, and concerns of those at all levels in psychiatric nursing.
  • Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing: Study outcomes, comparisons of methods, and examinations identify areas in advance nursing that can benefit from improvements and modifications. 
  • British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: Readers can peruse this scholarly publication for data on neurological conditions, surgery, and care.
  • Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America: Experts address issues of importance to those involved in clinical care nursing. Each issue of this quarterly publication covers one subject such as wound care, transplants, or liver failure.
  • European Journal of Oncology Nursing: Cancer inquiries and issues of importance to an international nursing audience are addressed in this journal.
  • Evidence-Based Nursing: If new research is relevant to nursing best practices it is likely to be covered in this quarterly journal.
  • Gastrointestinal Nursing: With a focus on helping nurses build their knowledge, this UK journal reports on gastroenterology through original research and analyses. Topics covered are stoma care, Crohn’s disease, constipation, and other gastroenterology health concerns.
  • Geriatric Nursing: Nurses working with older adults will find this professional publication invaluable. Some of the topics addressed by the journal have included sexuality, use of physical restraints, and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Heart & Lung: The Journal of Acute & Critical Care: Review papers keep heart failure nurses current on key care and policy issues.
  • Human Resources for Health: This journal offers free access online and serves to disseminate information on health workforce, which includes nurses, physicians, and other health care support workers. Work performance and increasing motivation and education are among the features included in the publication.
  • Infant: A bimonthly journal devoted to providing education to neonatal and infant nursing professionals. Case reports, product reviews, and conference information are also included.
  • International Emergency Nursing: A worldwide community of nurses and other professionals involved in emergency care read this journal. Perceptions, personal reflections, and experiences are presented alongside research papers.
  • International Journal of Nursing Knowledge: This well-respected journal has a broad international focus. Research, health policy issues, promoting clarity in the use of standardized nursing languages are all discussed within its peer-reviewed pages. 
  • International Journal of Nursing Studies: Authentic and scholarly, health care professionals will gain access to research and commentary covering highly relevant nursing studies issues such as workforce and caregiving.
  • International Journal of Orthopedic Trauma Nursing: Devoted to areas affecting orthopedic and trauma nursing professionals, this journal has literary reviews and a look at the impacts of screenings and educational programs on patient care and nursing practice.
  • International Nursing Review: Issues that touch nursing practice in a local area can be of importance to nurses on the other side of the globe. This journal addresses nursing advocacy, regulation, and community from a global standpoint.
  • Issues in Mental Health Nursing: Mental health nurses will find research based information related to nursing care on areas such as mental illnesses and coping skills for all ages of patients.
  • Journal of Addictions Nursing: Read professional commentary and all-inclusive research written by practicing nurses and other healthcare professionals involved in addictive disorders practice. Education and research reviews on alcoholism, nicotine, and drug dependencies have been covered in the journal.
  • Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care: Turn to this journal for research and news on all areas of HIV/AIDS knowledge essential to health care professionals. Technology issues, religion, medical treatments, intervention, and prevention strategies are just a few of the many coverage areas. 
  • Journal of Community Health Nursing: Community nurses provide care in nonhospital settings including schools and private home care. This journal addresses these nurses through looking at the barriers and issues faced by community nurses as well as expert advice for removing these hurdles. 
  • Journal of Emergency Nursing: Trauma and emergency nurses, as well as emergency department managers’, will find information and article on practical strategies, training, and the continually changing roles nurses’ play.
  • Journal of Neonatal Nursing: Published twice a month, this research centric journal serves to provide the latest information and educate those working with newborn infants and their families.
  • Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: This knowledge based periodical is popular among nurses and other medical professionals. Issues pertinent to diagnosis, treating, and caring for patients with various health concerns are addressed.
  • Journal of Pediatric Nursing: Matters related to infants, children, and their families are addressed through clinical and theory articles get attention in this periodical. 
  • Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing: This nursing specialty focuses on concerns associated with patients undergoing surgery and being sedated. Topics covered in the journal including managing patient pain and anxiety and perioperative and postoperative issues.
  • Journal of Professional Nursing: This journal explores professional nursing education, management, and policy.
  • Journal of Vascular Nursing: Look to this journal for academic treatment and disease information on vascular diseases such as aneurysms, deep vein thrombosis, and blood clots.
  • MEDSURG Nursing: Created for medical-surgical nurses, this scholarly journal addresses the challenges and advancements involved in improving patient care.
  • Neonatal Network® The Journal of Neonatal Nursing: Since 1981, this journal has been helping nurses and neonatal intensive care units stay informed on changes and current issues. 
  • Nursing Clinics of North America: A distinguished guest expert serves as the editor of each issue of this highly respected journal. Published 4 times a year and with online and print versions, subscribers get access to peer reviewed information on diagnostics, development, patient education, and competent care practices. 
  • Nursing Education Perspectives: Nurse educators will gain valuable information on teaching, motivating, and recruiting nurses to the profession through this evidence based journal.
  • Nursing Economics: Quality nursing care is often impacted by issues related to costs. A look at managerial perspectives and the impact of national health care policies and reforms gets attention in this journal for nursing leaders.
  • Nurse Education Today: This leading publication features peer reviewed research and scholarly work that underscore the global impact, diversity, and collaborative nature of nursing.
  • Nurse Leader: Nurses in leadership positions turn to this bimonthly journal for insightful knowledge vital to excellence in the field.  
  • Nursing Outlook: With issues released twice monthly, this journal addresses the latest trends, news, and challenges concerning nursing professionals. 
  • Nursing Standard: The most read nursing journal in the UK covers a gamut of material including career advice, disease assessment, book reviews, nursing student advice, and ethics.
  • Nursing Times: A UK magazine providing clinical articles and research improvements and innovations in treatment practices.
  • Oncology Nursing Forum: From the Oncology Nursing Society, this bimonthly journal has a reader base of over 35,000. Cancer nurses will find informative articles useful for education, practice, and quality care of cancer patients.
  • Open Nursing Journal: Published online, this journal concentrates on rapidly publishing the latest findings in nursing. Case studies and health care management are just two of subjects featured in this open access publication.
  • Pain Management Nursing: From the American Society for Pain Management Nursing, this publication presents professional standards, current research, and relevant issues faced by nurses.
  • Pediatric Nursing: Each issue of this child health care journal covers a range of topics important to the pediatric nursing specialty including ethical issues, commentary, and the latest in research findings.
  • Seminars in Oncology Nursing: A cancer nursing journal providing comprehensive coverage of the latest research and knowledge in cancer nursing.
  • Teaching & Learning in Nursing: Nursing is a career which is constantly experiencing rapid change. Those involved in associate degree training for nurses will find this publication a valuable resource for education and advocacy.
  • The Journal for Nurse Practitioners (JNP): A nurse practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse who has earned a graduate level degree in nursing along with training and board certification in a specialty area. These nurses can function as a patient’s primary care provider, dispense medications, and make diagnoses. JNP offers these professionals an industry prominent source of information on policies and continuing education.
  • Urologic Nursing Journal: Urologic nurses turn to this journal to stay informed of the latest research developments. A free copy of the journal is available upon request. 
  • Western Journal of Nursing Research: Keeping up with the latest changes in nursing study, theory, emerging technologies, and standards of care is not an easy task. Clinical research reports published by this international periodical are of interests to current nurses, students and researchers.  
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Nursing Resource – Medical Terminology

Diabetes. Medical terminology can sometimes sound like a foreign language all of its own. It is packed with industry-specific jargon, abbreviations and formal words that are not general used in common parlance; however, these very aspects allow people in this industry to communicate more effectively and be more specific. Just like any foreign language, those training in medicine should take the time to properly study and become familiar with medical language.

In addition, they also use prefixes and/or suffixes to add extra meaning to the root word. By studying common words from foreign languages that are used in medical terminology, it can then be easier to approximate the meaning of a new word when we come across it. This can simply be done by breaking down the root and its extensions and working out what the entire word means when each of these parts are combined. The resources below are categorized to indicate online searchable medical dictionaries and other word lists, charts of medical abbreviations, and tables of medical word origins and parts.

Medical Dictionaries and Glossaries

  • General Health Resources Dictionary – Use a search tool to look up any words or phrases related to health and medications.
  • FreeDictionary Medical Dictionary – Search for medical terms in this online dictionary, browse through related articles, or use helpful tools, such as their dictionary browser plugins for quick searches.
  • Harvard Medical Dictionary – Browse this dictionary by letter and read a brief explanation for various important medical terms.
  • Medical Encyclopedia and Dictionary – In this extremely useful online resource, public users can research medical terms by letter or symptom, and read related information as well.
  • 18th Century Medical Dictionary – An online edition of a 1755 medical dictionary covers words and phrases that were commonly used at that time. This resource is extremely helpful for studying medical texts and practices of the past.
  • Hardin Disease Dictionary – Try a unique dictionary that supplies related images and authoritative links or suggested reading resources for further information.
  • Merck Manual of Medical Terms – The Merck Manual is famed in medical circles and presents highly authoritative information. In the online edition, users can browse through a list of symptoms or medical specialty, or search for words alphabetically. 

Medical Abbreviations and Terminology

Origin of Medical Terms

  • Greek and Latin Roots – Browse by medical word roots that are derived from original Latin or Greek words and see how they are applied to medical terms in English.
  • Medical Word Origins – Read about common words used in medicine and see how they originally came from other languages such as German, Old English, Latin, and French.
  • Latin Origins in Medical Language – This in-depth guide does not only explain what the Latin origins in medical words mean, but it also indicates which abbreviations are used with regards to time, actions, place, amounts, and more.
  • Parts of Medical Words – Read an explanation of how medical words can be broken down to separate the word roots, prefixes, and suffixes. This resource also includes a chart to indicate various prefixes and suffixes, their language origins, and how to use them.
  • Etymology of Medical Terms – Read a list of common anatomy terms, and find out which language they were derived from. This list shows that many words that are commonly used today come from ancient languages such as Medieval Latin, Old French, Anglo Saxon and even Arabic.
  • Greek and Latin Influence on Medical Terminology – Read how Ancient Greek and Latin medicine influenced English terminology for medical phrases centuries later.
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Kids Guide To How The Brain Works

The human body is made up of a number of different types of organs, which help us grow and stay healthy. While all of these organs are important, the nervous system—which features the brain—is one of the most important. Without our brain, our ability to walk, talk, and dress would be very difficult, if not impossible. People who are interested in learning more about the brain are should first understand its parts and the way those parts work. Knowing the responsibilities of the nervous system is also important for those who hope to learn more about this important part of the body. Brain Model.

Parts of the Brain

Currently, there are four individually-recognized parts of the brain. These include the cerebellum, cerebrum, brain stem, and limbic system. The biggest part of the brain is the cerebrum, and is divided into the frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes. While these different parts of the brain do have their own functions, they must also work together to ensure optimal results in human health.

The Brain’s Function

Unsurprisingly, the different parts of the brain have different jobs. For example, the cerebrum is responsible for thoughts, such as reasoning, planning, emotions, problem-solving, and perceptions. The cerebellum works to maintain balance, muscle tone, and gait. The brain stem is especially important since it is important for blood pressure, respiration, and heart rate. Finally, the limbic system controls hunger, thirst, memory, fear, and emotion. These different processes must often work together.

Functions of the Nervous System

The nervous system is the series of nerve cells that send messages back and forth between different parts of the body. As with the brain, there are a number of functions of the nervous system. Specifically, the nervous system provides a lot of information about the environment, such as temperature, smell, sound, and taste. Without the assistance of the nervous system, the brain would not be able to function properly.

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The Student’s Guide to Health

How Kids and Teens Can Keep Their Bodies Healthy

Good health is important for a happy life. When you have a healthy body, you can participate in fun activities like playing baseball, riding a bike, and swimming in the ocean. If you want to know how to keep your body healthy, you are in the right place. This page contains fascinating facts about the human body and a number of resources that will help you learn more about health.

One of the most important ways for kids to take care of their health is to practice good hygiene. We pick up germs by touching doorknobs, handrails, and other objects. It is important to wash these germs off of the hands before eating and drinking. Getting good nutrition is also important, as the body requires vitamins and minerals to function normally. Regular exercise is another good way to maintain good health. Playing tennis or walking the dog can help you stay fit and active.

Resisting peer pressure is also important for good health. When someone asks you to drink alcohol or take drugs, stand up to that person and say “no.” It is your body and you are responsible for making good decisions. No one else has a right to tell you what to do with your body. Alcohol and drugs cause serious effects, especially when consumed by children and teens. Alcohol and drug abuse can contribute to diseases and cause people to change their behavior.

Knowing how to avoid harm is also important. Do you know how to deal with strangers or stay safe online? How about getting out of a fire safely? Learning about important safety procedures can help you stay safe during natural disasters, fires, medical emergencies, and other scary situations. Having a positive attitude is also essential for a healthy life. Learning how to relieve stress is just one of the ways to keep a healthy mind.

Learn more about your health by following the links below.

Functions of the Body

Practicing Good Hygiene

Making Healthy Food Choices

  • Nutrition Expedition Games: This page has several fun games to help kids learn about nutrition and healthy food.
  • My Plate Match Game: This game is designed to help kids learn about the five food groups.
  • Nutrition and Healthy Eating: This page lists the major food groups and explains how often you should eat each type of food.
  • Food Science: This resource offers information about the five food groups, drinking enough fluid, and improving your diet.
  • Food Activity Sheet (PDF): This activity sheet helps students ages 7 to 11 learn more about healthy foods.

Getting Fit and Healthy

Alcohol and Drugs

All About Health

Staying Safe

Good Mental Health

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The Who’s Who In Healthcare Professions

Did you know that a dentist, physical therapist, psychiatrist and even a veterinarian are all professions that are considered part of the healthcare industry? Is the idea of helping others in some way while earning money appealing to you? There are many different career options in the healthcare field which include both skilled and unskilled labor. The choice is yours as to whether you wish to pursue a job that requires many years of education, several years or none at all. The following career options all have excellent job outlooks.

Physical Therapist

This area of expertise is growing faster than average according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Physical therapy (also referred to as physiotherapy) requires assessing, diagnosing and treating disease or injury disabilities. You would look over the patient’s medical history and test and measure things such as: strength, balance and coordination, range of motion, motor function, muscle performance, respiration and posture. Physical therapists utilize methods such as hot and cold therapy, manipulation, massage, traction and exercise to help their patients recover from or learn to manage physical challenges. Physical therapy can be a very demanding job physically as you may have to lift patients or move heavy equipment. Standing for long periods of time, crouching, kneeling and stooping are all part of being a physical therapist. In order to become a physical therapist you need between six to nine years of schooling. You can possibly work in a hospital, a clinic or a private office that is specially equipped. Physical therapists can conduct their work in hospital rooms, schools or homes. You can choose to work part-time or full-time.

Physical Therapy Assistant

If the area of physical therapy interests you but you don’t want to attend school for six to nine years then a physical therapy assistant could be your calling. A physical therapy assistant performs parts of physical therapy procedures and tasks but is assigned their duties by a supervising physical therapist. You would assist the physical therapist with various therapies intended to help patients improve their mobility, prevent or limit permanent damage which is physical and relieve pain. Patients could be accident victims or have a short or long-term disability of some type. This job is also physically demanding in the same manner as a physical therapist as you perform many of the same tasks such as lifting a patient. To become a physical therapy assistant you only need two years of education and can make an average of $46,000.

Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapists help clients to perform a variety of daily activities such as getting dressed, eating or using a computer. Typically your duties would include: creating treatment plans that increase a person’s ability to perform every day activities; conducting home and job site evaluations and recommending adaptations for the patient; training patients on recommended adaptation equipment; and providing guidance for caregivers and family members. Occupational therapists work in hospitals, schools and various other healthcare and community settings. More than one-third of all occupational therapists work part-time. Six years or more of education is typically required to become an OT. The average salary is upwards of $66,000. The job outlook for OT’s is excellent.

  • Occupational Therapist Education: Website describes the career option and the job responsibilities, work environment and characteristics needed to be successful.
  • About Occupational Therapy: The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. website discusses exactly what occupational therapy is and provides links for people seeking more on the subject.
  • Career Information: The Duquesne University website explains occupational therapy as a profession and career, career growth options, job outlook and employment options as well as other things.
  • What is an Occupational Therapist?: The University of Rochester Medical Center website explains what an occupational therapist is.

Occupational Therapy Aide

The assembly of equipment used during treatment and the preparation of materials are often performed by an occupational therapy aide. There are many other duties that an occupational therapy aide does such as answering phones, clerical work, ordering and restocking depleted supplies, and completing insurance forms and other paperwork. This position does not require further education and training is often conducted on the job. It is not a licensed position so you do not perform as diverse a range of tasks as occupational therapy assistants.

Speech Language Pathologist

A speech language pathologist performs assessments, diagnoses and treats problems with speech, language, communication, voice, fluency, cognitive, swallowing and other similar disorders. They can also help to prevent these disorders. When a person has a problem making speech sounds clearly or correctly a speech pathologist can help them. Some people also have problems with the rhythm of their speech or with fluency. There are voice quality problems such as a harsh voice. People can have problems understanding language or may merely want to improve their communication skills by modifying an accent. Some people suffer from cognitive communication impairments such as attention or memory disorders. Eating and swallowing disorders caused by oral motor problems can also be aided by a speech language pathologist. Speech language pathologists can help many different people with a variety of problems. If you are considering becoming a speech language pathologist you should have good attention to detail, be able to concentrate intensely, possess the required knowledge and skills, and be able to deal with the emotional needs of patients and their families (which can be quite demanding). Most speech language pathologists work full-time but some work part-time. They work in a variety of settings such as schools, private practices and hospitals. The job requires six years of education and the average salary is about $62,000.

  • Speech/Language Pathologist: The University of Chicago Medical Center website explains what a speech/language pathologist is and provides links with more information.
  • What is a Speech-Language Pathologist?: The San Diego State University website offers information on what a speech-language pathologist is, work sites, entry requirements, earnings, work conditions, size of profession and future outlook.
  • Career Information: The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association provides information on preparing for professions, graduate school and career entry.
  • Academics-What is a Speech Language Pathologist?: The University of Redlands website discusses what a speech language pathologist is, job outlook, career information and essential functions.

Art Therapist

What is an art therapist? It is a career that is considered part of the mental health profession and utilizes the creative process of making art to help improve a patient’s well-being. This process is believed to help people to resolve conflicts, reduce stress, and manage behavior as well as other important things. The therapist can help a patient mentally, physically and emotionally through art and conversation. It is a combination of the fields of visual arts, human development and the creative process with forms of psychotherapy and counseling. It can be used with people of all ages for problems including: anxiety, mental illness, depression, substance abuse, relationship issues, and personal trauma among others. Some art therapists choose to work as part of a team with physicians, nurses, teachers, psychologists and other relevant professions. Some decide to work alone and maintain a private practice. There are many personal qualities which are necessary to become an art therapist including: flexibility, a sense of humor, keen observation skills, empathy, sensitivity, patience, emotional stability, good interpersonal skills, an understanding of artistic media, an attentive listener and possess an insight into human behavior. Six years of education are required to become and art therapist and the average salary is between $35,000 and $40,000.

  • Art Therapist Overview: Explore Health Careers offers discusses what an art therapist is and does, academic requirements and resources for the profession.
  • What is Art Therapy?: The Art Therapy Credentials Board, Inc. website offers a great explanation of what art therapy is.
  • What is Art Therapy?: The website explains what art therapy is and what art therapists do.

Physician Assistants

Physician assistant positions are rated as one of Money magazine’s top ten best jobs in the U.S. They work under the guidance of a physician. They are formally trained to provide healthcare services recommended by the physician such as diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic. PA’s are part of a healthcare team and write down medical histories, look at and treat patients, order x-rays and laboratory tests and interpret results, make diagnoses and often prescribe medicine. Minor injuries that can be splintered, casted or sutured can be handled by PA’s. They can chart a patient’s progress, state and assist with therapy, and teach and counsel patients. They may have some managerial tasks such as supervising assistants and technicians. Sometimes they order lab and medical supplies. If a physician works in surgery they may need to stand for long amounts of time. They may need to check on patients in hospitals or make house calls and report their findings to the physician. The average salary for a physician assistant is $81,230.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

If you have ever been pregnant you may have had a sonogram performed for doctors to view the baby in your womb. This is just one possible task for a diagnostic medical sonographer. Images are produced through the use of sound waves and are used in the assessment and diagnosis of a variety of medical conditions which can involve the heart, abdomen, vessels or breasts. Sonograms can be utilized in conjunction with other similar image modalities such as MRI’s, x-rays and nuclear medicine studies. Most diagnostic medical sonographers have only two years of education but some have more. Two to four years of education is recommended and the average salary is upwards of $61,000.

Registered Nurse (RN)

A career as a registered nurse has been listed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as one of the top ten occupations that have the largest job growth. Assessment, planning and intervention utilized in the promotion of health, prevention of disease and assisting of patients to cope with their illness are vital parts of being a registered nurse. RN’s are advocates and health educators for not only patients but also their families and communities. When working directly with a patient they observe, assess and document progress and reactions which lead to the determination of necessary care and intervention. RN’s are very important members of healthcare teams. There are many different jobs RN’s can perform besides patient care and management such as developing nursing practice standards, creating quality assurance procedures and conducting clinical research. They work with physicians and other healthcare providers. There are many specialty options available to RN’s that have their own training and certification requirements such as a Labor and Delivery Staff Nurse, a Critical-Care Nurse or a School Nurse. Four Advanced Practice clinical professions are also available to RN’s but all require a master’s degree and a separate certification. These four careers include: Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse-Anesthetist, Nurse-Midwife and Nurse Practitioner. In order to become an RN you need three to four years of education. The average salary is around $62,000.

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What Parents Should Know about Fifth Disease

Fifth disease is a relatively mild viral infection that tends to occur most often in conjunction with a skin rash that is triggered by some other illness. This disease most often affects children between the range of five to fifteen years of age. It is very easily spread through touch, sinus discharge, the sharing of utensils, or by coming in contact with blood of the infected person. Adults may also succumb to fifth disease if they don’t have prior immunity. Fifth disease is also colloquially known as slapped cheek syndrome, for the distinctive redness that appears on the faces of infected people.

Symptoms

Even though they may be infected, children usually take between four to fourteen days to show any symptoms of fifth disease. They are very contagious at this point. Early on, some symptoms might range from a fever, sore throat, redness of the eyes, paleness, headaches, and fatigue or weakness. This usually advances to the next stage, where a red rash spreads from the face to the torso and limbs. The rash typically lasts for several days. In some cases, it may also be itchy. Once these symptoms are well underway, the risk of contagion is minimal. People who already suffer from immune deficiencies or illnesses, such as sickle-cell disease, can experience elevated anemia. While fifth disease is considered relatively mild in most people, it is dangerous in pregnant women as it could affect the health of the fetus and even lead to miscarriage, especially in later months. Of all infected people, around twenty percent, on average, do not show any symptoms of this disease. Even so, they are still contagious and can affect others around them.

Causes

The human parvovirus B19 causes fifth disease. It is important to note that this is not to be confused with the parvovirus that infects domestic animals. Humans cannot get sick from household pets that have parvovirus and vice versa. Fifth disease tends to occur more often in the colder months and can break out quickly in schools, nurseries, children’s camps, and other settings where a large number of children are in close contact everyday. In these situations, adults such as teachers or caregivers can also be infected.

Diagnosing Fifth Disease

If you suspect fifth disease based on your child’s symptoms, it is highly advisable to consult the family’s pediatrician as soon as possible. The doctor will make a diagnosis based on a physical examination and a review of the child’s medical history. In some cases, a blood test may also be required. Make sure not to medicate the child before allowing them to be properly examined by the doctor.

Treatment

Fifth disease is a viral illness and, while there is no specific cure, there are treatments to help cope with the symptoms. Do not give your child any medication without first seeking the doctor’s advice. They will take into consideration the child’s age, medical history, progression of the illness, and any allergies to medications. A simple but effective treatment is to ensure that the child drinks plenty of fluids. This can include water, natural fruit or vegetable juice, and soups. If the doctor approves it, the child may also receive acetaminophens to bring down the fever. Keeping the child out of direct sunlight can also help prevent further inflammation of the rash. If the child suffers from anemia or similar illnesses, they may require blood transfusions at the hospital. Infected pregnant women should have an ultrasound, and perhaps a fetal blood test performed, to determine whether the fetus requires a blood transfusion or other care.

Preventing the Spread of Fifth Disease

Practicing strong hygiene habits at home and while in public places is an excellent way to stay safe from fifth disease. Teach children the importance of washing their hands properly, and not sharing their utensils at school or during play. Be vigilant to any symptoms they might display. If they show any signs of fifth disease, don’t let them attend school. It is also a good idea to talk to the school’s health department and find out about their procedures in the case of an outbreak of fifth disease. Remember that once a person has had fifth disease, they develop immunity to it, and are not likely to get it again.

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Learning about Pneumonia

Each year millions of people in the United States are diagnosed with pneumonia. This infection can cause severe symptoms that, if left untreated, could be fatal. If you or a loved one have pneumonia symptoms it is important to seek a doctor’s advice as soon as possible. There are treatments available to help ease pneumonia symptoms and if caused by a bacteria, kill the bacteria making you sick. This page will provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about pneumonia.

Q: What is pneumonia? pneumonia.

A: Pneumonia is a type of infection that causes the alveoli in your lungs to fill up with fluid or pus. This infection occurs when bacteria, viruses, or fungi get into the respiratory system. The severity of pneumonia depends on the patient, but it tends to have a more serious effect on children, elderly people, and people who have compromised immune systems. Adults may have compromised immune systems due to the presence of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and other chronic medical problems.

Q: What are the signs and symptoms of pneumonia?

A: The signs and symptoms of pneumonia can mimic the symptoms of other respiratory disorders, so it is important to see a doctor if they occur. The most common symptoms of pneumonia are fever, cough, sweating, chills, shaking, shortness of breath, and chest pain that occurs upon inhaling or exhaling. People with pneumonia may also develop fatigue, muscle pain, and other flu-like symptoms.

Q: What causes pneumonia?

A: Several types of organisms cause pneumonia. Bacterial pneumonia is one of the most common types, with Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Haemophilus influenzae bacteria responsible for causing community-acquired pneumonia. Viral organisms that cause the flu and colds may also cause pneumonia. They also increase the risk for bacterial pneumonia. Although less common, parasitic organisms and fungi can also cause pneumonia. These types of pneumonia typically develop in people who have traveled to certain foreign countries. People who spend a lot of time in hospitals, nursing homes, or skilled nursing facilities have a greater risk of pneumonia because it is possible for bacteria to enter IV catheters and other tubes used to deliver medications or treat existing health conditions.

Q: My family member/coworker has pneumonia. Can I catch pneumonia from them?

A: Pneumonia is contagious because it is a type of infection; however it is unlikely the person being infected with the bacteria or virus will actually get pneumonia. They are more likely to get a cold or flu from the infected person which can cause pneumonia if not treated. The infectious organisms spread when someone with pneumonia coughs and then another person breathes in the same air.

Q: How is pneumonia diagnosed?

A: Pneumonia is diagnosed with a physical examination and an x-ray. During the physical examination, a doctor listens to the lungs with a stethoscope. This helps detect the presence of fluid in the lungs. The x-ray can confirm the presence of fluid in the air sacs of the lungs.

Q: Can I prevent pneumonia? How?

A: Yes, it is possible to prevent pneumonia in some cases. The American Lung Association recommends that those at high risk for pneumonia get the pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine. The ALA also recommends that people get a flu shot every year to prevent the flu virus from causing pneumonia. Avoiding smoking and maintaining good hygiene practices are also ways to prevent pneumonia.

Q: How is pneumonia treated?

A: The treatment given for pneumonia depends on the type of pneumonia a person has. Antibiotics do not kill viruses, so people with viral pneumonia may have to wait until the virus goes away on its own. There are cough medicines and other remedies to treat the symptoms of viral pneumonia. People with bacterial pneumonia take antibiotics to kill the bacterial organisms. Some of the antibiotics used to treat this type of pneumonia include erythromycin, doxycycline, moxifloxacin, and azithromycin.

Q: How many people get pneumonia each year? Is it more frequent in children or adults?

A: More than 3 million Americans develop pneumonia each year. This disease is more common in children than it is in healthy adults, but some adults have a higher risk of pneumonia. Elderly people, adults who live in nursing homes, and adults with other health problems have a greater risk of developing this disease.

Q: How has the diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia changed over time?

A: Advances in technology have made it easier to diagnose pneumonia over time. X-Rays now help physicians confirm the presence of pneumonia, but in the past, X-rays were not available. Physicians are also able to distinguish between pneumonia caused by bacteria and pneumonia caused by other organisms, making it possible to prescribe effective medications. In the past, it was difficult to tell if pneumonia was caused by a bacterial organism or another type of organism, meaning that some people did not receive the correct treatment in a timely manner.

Q: Where can I find more information about pneumonia?

A: The Internet has a great deal of information about pneumonia, but it is important to seek medical attention if pneumonia symptoms develop. This disease can cause serious complications if not treated properly, so schedule an appointment with a physician if a persistent cough or other pneumonia symptoms occur. Medical databases and libraries are also a good source of information about this disease.

  • Pneumonia Overview: PubMed Health provides an overview of pneumonia, particularly what factors put people at risk for developing the disease.
  • Causes of Pneumonia: This article from the Mayo Clinic explains which organisms cause pneumonia.
  • Pneumonia Symptoms in Adults, Children, and the Elderly: WebMD distinguishes between the symptoms of pneumonia in healthy adults and the symptoms of pneumonia in children and the elderly.
  • Pneumonia Statistics: This resource explains that pneumonia is a leading killer of children under the age of 5, as some children with the disease do not get the right medical care.
  • FastStats for Pneumonia: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers statistics on pneumonia in the United States.
  • Pneumonia Treatment: This article from the University of Maryland Medical Center explains the treatments available for pneumonia.
  • Preventing Pneumonia: The American Lung Association discusses how to prevent pneumonia by getting vaccinated, avoiding cigarettes, and washing the hands properly.
  • Pneumococcal Vaccine (PDF): This resource provides information about the pneumonia vaccine.
  • More Patients May Be Treated at Home: The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality explains the results of a study indicating that some pneumonia patients may be able to recover from pneumonia in the comfort of their own homes.
  • Herbal Remedies for Pneumonia Symptoms: New Mexico State University lists some of the herbs available to treat pneumonia symptoms. The author explains that herbs cannot cure pneumonia, but they may be able to ease coughing and respiratory irritation.
  • How Do I Know I Have Pneumonia?: The American Thoracic Society answers some common questions about pneumonia.
  • Pneumonia Cases Decline, Incidence of Complication Goes Up: This newsletter article discusses the increased number of pneumonia cases that lead to a complication called empyema.
  • Viral Pneumonia: This resource offers an overview of viral pneumonia, a type of pneumonia that develops due to exposure to influenza, adenovirus, and other viral organisms.
  • Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia: This article from The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals website explains how hospital patients may acquire pneumonia.
  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Community-Acquired Pneumonia: This article discusses the tests used to diagnose pneumonia and outlines the techniques physicians use to manage the disease.
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