Archive for the ‘Health Promotion’ Category

Whitney Houston Cause of Death, comment

April 3, 2012

RE: Whitney Houston Cause of Death

May I point out an observation and some healthcare statistics. It is a known fact that women receive less care and treatment than men for the same coronary artery diseases. As this fact becomes more well known, hopefully women will receive the proper treatment they deserve.

Women must seek heart care and treatment. They must not think that heart problems only occur in men. They must not push themselves into becoming ill as the men.

Whitney Houston, we miss you. May you rest in peace.

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The Elderly and the Internet, comment

November 29, 2010

My mother lives with me and it is amazing how much time she spends on the internet. She shops and emails friends and family. She also has projects she researches online such as her family tree and growing roses for different companies. She loves the interaction and I feel it keeps her young!

Original Post
September 7, 2009
Title: The Elderly and the Internet, comment
Having my grandmother who lives in another state send all of us daily emails has had a positive effect on not only us, but also my grandmother. She is sick and unable to travel, she finds comfort in sending out emails and jokes to her family. She has even recently joined Facebook! Which was shocking to me at first. But the more the elderly do stay in touch with friends and family the better! I have read many articles in the past regarding the importance of keeping your mind stimulated as you age and never stop learning. So for the elderly to branch out and learn new technology, can only bring them a wealth of information, and keep there minds stimulated!

Original Post:
August 26, 2009
The Elderly and The Internet, comment
While I agree that the Internet has enabled the elderly as well as many others an opportunity to research health information. The elderly must be aware that all sites do not contain quality accurate medical information and that the researchers should use caution. Information should be taken from sites with long established history for providing credible and reliable medical information. Now, from a purely mental health prospective, the Internet provides an opportunity for the elderly to connect with family, senior citizen groups, and other outside activities that they would otherwise not have any access. In this day of modern technology, not many family members are reachable by home phones; therefore cell phones, email, and text messages are the norms for communication. In fact, if one wants to keep in touch with family and especially the teenaged family members, email and text messages are their best chance for communication. In addition, with the limited amount of patience and attention teenagers’ exhibit, a brief and not so personal interaction with elderly relatives is about all they can stand. So if text messaging is the chosen method of communication, one must become well informed about the text language. In addition, for many elderly people having the ability to stay in regular contact with family members does as much or more for their psyche than anything else does.

Original Post
April 29, 2009
The Elderly and the Internet
The Internet has become not only a useful tool for the elderly by providing a lifeline to friends and family, but also offers a source of references for those seeking health information. Health Promotion (2006) notes: “because individuals will be increasingly responsible for their own health, they will need access to quality information that has not been readily available in the past.” They also go on to recommend “Net Wellness, an electronic consumer health information services that provides the best possible health information to the broadest possible populations.” This site not only provides consumers with information on health topics, they also assists in locating health centers and provides a reference library. In addition, the site will respond to health related questions, drawing upon a panel of almost 500 experts. It has become a one-stop shopping mall for the health information consumer. As long as the resources are available (computer and hook-up), the ease of using a computer is readily mastered for most, regardless of age. My mother has been proficient on her PC for many years, and in the Human Resource office of the organization where I work, Bob, a 94-year old volunteer, has assisted customers with filling out on-line applications for several years. I think he is always amazed by the number of younger people that are not comfortable on the computer and takes a sense of pride in his skill level. By using the computer to broaden one’s knowledge of health promotion, we all become wiser consumers, including those of all ages.

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Nutrition Web Resources for the School Age Child, comment

November 15, 2010

These websites are great! We have to remember that the generation viewing these websites are very computer “savvy” and pay attention to the information provided. As parents we need to look at the site and make sure it is suitable for our children. Our school nurses and pediatricians in my state also provided good nutrition information. The best education starts at home!

Original Post
April 23, 2009
Title: Nutrition Web Resources for the School Age Child
Nutritional web sites; what a wonderful resource for parents to have at their fingertips. Sites such as HealthLinks (http://www.healthlink.com), and keepkidshealthly (http:www.keepkidshealthy.com) provide useful information on topics such as healthy snacks, slim down plans, food pyramids and daily intake needs based upon the child’s age. Health Promotion (2006) states: “with more school age children accessing the Internet, child-friendly sites(noted above), may help children focus on ways to improve their nutrition and avoid obesity”. This has merit, however, the sites listed in the text are not kid-friendly web sites, rather they are geared toward adult reading levels and comprehension. I endorse kid friendly sites; sites where children can explore on their own the basics of nutrition, its impact on their health, and healthy food choices, all in a fun and engaging method. However, these sites are limited on the web, with the majority of information geared towards the adult population. This would be a great undertaking for a pediatric dietitian to create, as the need exists.

Not all Education is Created Equal, comment

August 6, 2010
Review of Health Assessment for Nursing Practice / Edition 4 by Wilson and Giddens.
Modern health care is indeed a fusion of technology and patient education. The use of computer based education is not only cost effective, but also offers an alternative teaching method to reading, demonstration, or verbal explanation. My concern, however, is that because of its ease, computer based teaching could be used as an inappropriate substitute for traditional nurse-patient teaching.
In chapter two we learn about ethnic and cultural considerations. Based on the needs of the patient or family requiring the education, isolating them to using media as their source of education could impede their ability to take home important, possibly even life saving information. Language, age, and preferred learning style are only a few examples that could potentially be enormous barriers in patient teaching if not properly assessed.
While I agree that in certain situations media can be used as a teaching tool, it is imperative that it be used appropriately and not be seen as an easy replacement for one-on-one teaching. Instead, media could be used to enhance learning in conjunction with personal instruction. This allows the patient to learn while also having the ability to ask questions and clarify concerns. The assessment of the nurse is of the utmost importance when providing education to a patient, family, or community.
Original Post
April 12, 2010
Title: Computer-based Patient-education Program

Given the enormous financial strains on the health care system, and the time constraints of health care providers institutions are seeking to find innovative and cost effective ways of reducing tasks like patient education.  Leading health care centers, many dealing with cancer patients such as Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, have taken the first steps by using computer-based learning tools.  They have documented initial success in implementing an extensive computer-based education program. Their program consists of a CD-ROM education program, an internal interactive intranet site that contains education about cancer, has library resources, and Internet links, etc. for patients to access.

The advantages are significant and health institutions everywhere are becoming involved with alternate methods of providing and reinforcing patient education.  Obvious advantages include the quality and consistency of the information provided to the patient, the ability to access education and information independently; provide training in the language of the patient, as well cost savings to the institution.  Disadvantages are the readiness and literacy of the learner, and the inability to interact with the patient at the time questions arise. Some would argue that the disadvantages are fewer than we currently experience, given the lack of caregiver time and consistency and quality of information imparted.

There is no doubt that we will continue to move forward with computer assisted patient education in much the same way as we have with our staff development and training.  Our institution is small compared to the major centers utilizing this resource for patient education.  However, we too, have embraced the practice of CD-ROM and computer based education at our Cancer Center.  Though manned by staff trained to educate patients, we have a resource center with CD’s, interactive patient education videos and an entire resource library for the patients to access.  The union of technology and patient education is upon us and, for the most part, appears to be a win-win situation.  Our challenge, moving forward, will be to find ways to reach and capture all patients, regardless of their status.

Patient Education Matters

May 5, 2010

In researching a request by our hospital staff for a new Coumadin video to be used for patient education, I came across and wonderful website.  It is Patient Education Matters and is found at http://patienteducationmatters.blogspot.com/  . This blog spot was developed to assist healthcare professionals in the development, sharing and use of patient education materials.  The format is a biweekly newsletter, to which I will now subscribe, is totally dedicated to matters of patient education.  Patient education topics and resources are featured with each publication with links to education materials.  In this week’s edition Warfarin or Coumadin is featured as a resource.

In the case of Coumadin education, Patient Education Matters have linked to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) where I found many Coumadin resources for patients and families.  “Your Guide to Coumadin/Warfarin Therapy” is a video available in both English and Spanish.  There were other education resources for patients available including a comprehensive patient handout.  These resources can be downloaded at no cost or in the case of the handout ordered as single copies free of cost. 

In addition to Coumadin education, Patient Education Matters has a topic index for a host of patient education topics.  Links are provided to the actual education source.  If the education topic needed is not listed they also have a Google search engine that searches across multiple patient education websites at once. 

Our organization is fortunate to have a video on demand education system for our patients.  However patient education such as is available from Patient Education Matters could be utilized in some of the outlying clinic areas or by patients once discharged to refresh knowledge. 

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Asthma Patient Education

May 5, 2010

In researching the Internet for asthma education, I came across an excellent patient education website located at http://www.asthmacure.com  that I wish to review.  I feel that it serves as a good example of what patient education can be.  A patient would need to have the ability to read and basic computer skills to utilize this education site independently.  Alternately portions of the material such as the movie could be used for children and non reading adults. 

The education begins with an overview of asthma; discussing what it is and the fundamental information one would need to understand the disease.  The next section contains a movie.  The graphics are colorful and the language easy to understand.  The movie would be suitable for children age 8 or older as well as adults.  The movie is a wonderful option for those patients who learn best visually or have limited reading skills.

The third section deals with understanding asthma’s warning signals.  To teach the concepts they use a colorful picture and concepts of a traffic light.

 The green light is described as Congrats! Stable Asthma zone; symptom free with PEFR > 80% of personal best.  There is a link explaining what PEFR is and how to measure it using a peak flow meter if the patient needs this information.

 The yellow light called the “caution zone”, discusses the signals and symptoms of asthma that indicate varying degrees of airway obstruction with a PEFR of 50-80.  The advice is to avoid triggers and to add medicines in effort to come back again in the green zone. 

The red light is the “crisis zone”.  Patients are encouraged not to delay medications and to seek medical care.  They discuss emergency signals that indicate urgent care needs.

The colorful pictures and analogy using a traffic signal, something most can relate to, as well easy to read language catch the learner’s attention while providing very valuable information.  This is an excellent example of patient education, useful to many.

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Computer-based Patient-education Program

April 12, 2010

Given the enormous financial strains on the health care system, and the time constraints of health care providers institutions are seeking to find innovative and cost effective ways of reducing tasks like patient education.  Leading health care centers, many dealing with cancer patients such as Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, have taken the first steps by using computer-based learning tools.  They have documented initial success in implementing an extensive computer-based education program. Their program consists of a CD-ROM education program, an internal interactive intranet site that contains education about cancer, has library resources, and Internet links, etc. for patients to access. 

The advantages are significant and health institutions everywhere are becoming involved with alternate methods of providing and reinforcing patient education.  Obvious advantages include the quality and consistency of the information provided to the patient, the ability to access education and information independently; provide training in the language of the patient, as well cost savings to the institution.  Disadvantages are the readiness and literacy of the learner, and the inability to interact with the patient at the time questions arise. Some would argue that the disadvantages are fewer than we currently experience, given the lack of caregiver time and consistency and quality of information imparted.

There is no doubt that we will continue to move forward with computer assisted patient education in much the same way as we have with our staff development and training.  Our institution is small compared to the major centers utilizing this resource for patient education.  However, we too, have embraced the practice of CD-ROM and computer based education at our Cancer Center.  Though manned by staff trained to educate patients, we have a resource center with CD’s, interactive patient education videos and an entire resource library for the patients to access.  The union of technology and patient education is upon us and, for the most part, appears to be a win-win situation.  Our challenge, moving forward, will be to find ways to reach and capture all patients, regardless of their status.

Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Online Class

Patient Education & Counseling Online Class

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Evaluation in Patient Education

April 12, 2010

Chapter 3 of the text, The Practice of Patient Education, A Case Study Approach discusses evaluation in patient education.  The text provides many excellent concepts and tools for the health educator to draw upon when evaluating the effectiveness of the education for the learner.  The importance of evaluating patient education programs cannot be underestimated.  The goals of improving patient outcomes must be evident for education programs to continue exist. 

Certified programs that provide patient education for management of diseases such as diabetes and COPD must collect and document extensive data on an ongoing basis.  The data is used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the program based on the outcomes of the patient over time.  Quality patient data is required for maintaining programs and recertification’s. If the objectives of the program are not met and demonstrated by improved outcomes, the program may not be re-certified.  Certified patient education programs, such as Outpatient Diabetes Education, are often required by Medicare and Insurances in order to be paid for the education.  The incentive for effective teaching is patient outcomes oriented, in part, so that the program can financially sustain itself.

The use of data collection tools and electronic tracking of outcomes is now the standard of practice.  There are many tools available to assist with data collection.  While browsing the intranet I came across the Stanford Patient Education Website, http://patienteducation.stanford.edu/research/.  It contains several patient evaluation tools that, due to a grant, are available for use by interested persons.  Tools for evaluating education regarding diabetes and COPD programs are available in English and in Spanish.  This resource could be very valuable to patient educators who are interested in either validating the tools they currently use or developing others to assess the effectiveness of their patient education.

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Autism Today, comment

March 16, 2010

Autism has become one of the biggest issues facing our schools and our insurance companies today. Many people do not understand that there can be differing degrees of autism. Some children diagnosed with autism are considered to be high functioning and will join society as they age if they are given proper diagnosis and therapy throughout. Others with the diagnosis of autism will not function on their own regardless of assistance from schools and doctors. While I was a school nurse, I cared for a family of six children where five of them had differing degrees of autism diagnosis. Two of the children were incapable of performing any care for themselves at the ages of ten and twelve as they were developmentally approximately 18 months. This was a terrible hardship on the family. The children were sent to school as respite for the parents but were incapable of learning and took time away from the other special needs children in their classrooms. Three of the children functioned at the developmental age of four year olds and had some ability to perform their ADL’s and to participate in the classroom. The last child had no autism diagnosis and functioned at the appropriate developmental age. I cannot imagine the difficulties that this family faces on a daily basis.

Original Post
March 10, 2010
Title: Autism Today
Information regarding the disorder of Autism is certainly prevalent in our world today. The “Autism Speaks” organization advertises on television that one in one hundred fifty children are afflicted with the disorder. If correct, these are alarming statistics. It is well documented that all socioeconomic groups and boys more than girls are impacted. The diagnostic process often begins when toddlers do not meet speech and other developmental milestones. The current impact to our schools and other systems as attempts to assimilate the children into society are overwhelming at best. The long-term impact to society and public health resources related to the special needs of this group are yet to be fully realized. The impact on a family is more than those of us not experiencing it can understand. I know well a family in which two out of three children are diagnosed as Autistic. One child is profoundly challenged while the other is able to attend schools, but is clearly socially challenged. The family dynamics were not uncommon. The father enmeshed himself in work. The mother blamed herself for being unable to manage her children. It was a very unhappy home. Health care visits did not readily detect the issues for some time, which allowed denial, frustration and blame to continue. It was interesting to observe the relief when finally having a diagnosis and access to the treatment that would ultimately begin to improve the situation. The state of Arizona recently passed legislation requiring insurance companies to fund advanced therapy for Autistic children. Proponents of the bill contended that the early intervention costs would be offset by costs later in life once the children are able to contribute to society. Those arguing against the bill stated that costs will be passed on to all and that it is unlikely that profoundly Autistic children will ever be emancipated from the health care system. Also of note is the fact that our textbook, Health Promotion Throughout the Lifespan, 6th Edition, by Edelman and Mandle does not directly address Autism, probably because it was last updated in 2006. Certainly upcoming editions will address the disorder along with the role of the nurse in working with the child and family members. This is a good example of how the Internet and other sources can provide real time information.

Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Online Class

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Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Autism Today

March 10, 2010

Information regarding the disorder of Autism is certainly prevalent in our world today. The “Autism Speaks” organization advertises on television that one in one hundred fifty children are afflicted with the disorder. If correct, these are alarming statistics. It is well documented that all socioeconomic groups and boys more than girls are impacted. The diagnostic process often begins when toddlers do not meet speech and other developmental milestones. The current impact to our schools and other systems as attempts to assimilate the children into society are overwhelming at best. The long-term impact to society and public health resources related to the special needs of this group are yet to be fully realized. The impact on a family is more than those of us not experiencing it can understand. I know well a family in which two out of three children are diagnosed as Autistic. One child is profoundly challenged while the other is able to attend schools, but is clearly socially challenged. The family dynamics were not uncommon. The father enmeshed himself in work. The mother blamed herself for being unable to manage her children. It was a very unhappy home. Health care visits did not readily detect the issues for some time, which allowed denial, frustration and blame to continue. It was interesting to observe the relief when finally having a diagnosis and access to the treatment that would ultimately begin to improve the situation. The state of Arizona recently passed legislation requiring insurance companies to fund advanced therapy for Autistic children. Proponents of the bill contended that the early intervention costs would be offset by costs later in life once the children are able to contribute to society. Those arguing against the bill stated that costs will be passed on to all and that it is unlikely that profoundly Autistic children will ever be emancipated from the health care system. Also of note is the fact that our textbook, Health Promotion Throughout the Lifespan, 6th Edition, by Edelman and Mandle does not directly address Autism, probably because it was last updated in 2006. Certainly upcoming editions will address the disorder along with the role of the nurse in working with the child and family members. This is a good example of how the Internet and other sources can provide real time information.

Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Online Class

Patient Education & Counseling Online Class

Health Care Informatics Online Certificate Program

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


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