Monday, March 25, 2013

Diabetes Alert Day

     It’s not as festive as St. Patrick’s Day and it’s not a paid holiday, but many healthcare experts will argue that Diabetes Alert Day is one of the most important days of the year.

     Diabetes affects 25.8 million people in the U.S. and is a major cause of heart disease and stroke. Experts predict that by 2050, one in three U.S. adults could develop diabetes.*

     Type 2 diabetes develops over time. “You don’t wake up one day with a blood sugar level of 300,” says Laurie Sandberg, RN, B.S.N., certified diabetes educator. With type 2 diabetes, the body becomes resistant to insulin or the pancreas stops producing insulin. Yet very often people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms. That’s why the American Diabetes Association promotes a one-day “wake up call” to help people understand their risk factors for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Nurse Certification Promotes Excellence

     Some of us may admire nurses for their ability to stand and move around for 12-hour shifts or their capacity to listen and assess a patient’s status. Others might appreciate how nurses can translate diagnoses, test results and life-style changes in a way that patients can understand.

     Any way you slice it, nurses spend the most time with patients and have an enormous affect on patient care. That’s why more and more nurses are receiving nursing certification in specific clinical areas. “Certification is where the healthcare industry is going,” explains Jody Bishop, M.S.N., RN and Magnet Program Director. “Healthcare needs are becoming more complex, and as a result, require nurses to become more specialized.”

Thursday, March 14, 2013

When a Knock to the Noggin is not Okay

     A physician once said to me, “I can fix broken bones, but I cannot fix broken heads.” As parents, we do everything in our power to protect our children from harm. Yet despite our best efforts, last year Meritus Medical Center treated 217 patients under the age of 16 with concussions, and another 457 patients who were over the age of 16.

     Concussions are not uncommon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim that 1.7 million people in the U.S. suffer from a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Traumatic brain injury happens when a bump, blow, jolt or other head injury causes damage to the brain. As the number of concussion cases and awareness continues to grow, a local group is making sure that high school athletes with concussions get the right assessment at the right time.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Heart Patients’ Reason to Celebrate

     A Johns Hopkins cardiologist believed in something that many Meritus Medical Center cardiologists and cardiac nurses knew first hand: caring for heart attack patients in our community makes sense for patients and their families. The Hopkins cardiologist led a study that proved that regional hospitals, without on-site cardiac surgery, could provide care to heart attack patients instead of transferring patients to a specialty care hospital.

     Five years ago, the Maryland Healthcare Commission confirmed Meritus Medical Center’s ability to perform emergency percutaneous cardiac intervention (PCI) on patients with ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). That’s a mouthful, but STEMIs are heart attack patients and PCI is an intervention in which a tiny balloon is inflated to reopen a blocked artery and restore blood flow to the heart. The faster blood flow is re-established, the better the patient’s chances of a good recovery.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Helping You Get Healthier During National Nutrition Month

     March is National Nutrition Month! This month, there are a few changes happening in Meritus Health’s Robin’s Nest and Cove. The first change is the removal of all deep fryers. The fryers will be replaced with TurboChefs, which mimic the effect of deep frying without all of the extra calories. The second big change is the addition of the Go, Slow, Whoa program. Go, Slow, Whoa is a visual embodiment of the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans that educates and reminds us what foods we should be eating and how frequently.

Why has Meritus Health decided to implement these changes?