Circulation Exercises to Keep you Warm

Exercises to keep you warm through the winter.

Winter is in full swing in The Ozarks! These frigid temperatures may cause significant circulation issues for many individuals. As we age, our body systems have to work increasingly hard to supply our body with all the nutrients and oxygen that it requires to perform the vital functions that we all need.

“Impaired circulation may cause significant issues with elderly individuals when you combine poor circulation with things like heart disease, diabetes or a lack of exercise. With the use of the above exercises you can help give your body the boost it needs to make it through this winter season.”

  • Dr. Brittany Wright, Physical Therapy

Here are three simple circulation exercises that have been shown to increase blood supply to assist with improved day-to-day health.

#1 – Supine Ankle Pumps – Begin lying on your back with your legs straight. Slowly pump your ankles by bending and straightening them. Try to keep the rest your legs relaxed while you move your ankles.

Supine Ankle Pump

# 2 – Supine Quad Set – Begin lying on your back with one knee bent and your other leg straight with your knee resting on a towel roll. Gently squeeze your thigh muscles, pushing the back of your knee down into the towel. Make sure to keep your back flat against the floor during the exercise.

Quad Set

#3 – Supine Glute Set – “Penny Pinchers” – Begin lying on your back with your hands resting comfortably. Tighten your buttock muscles, then release and repeat. Make sure not to arch your low back during the exercise or hold your breath as you tighten your muscles.

Glute Set

The above exercises have been recommended by the OCH physical therapy department as an easy and convenient way for adults to help pump blood through their body. This is not medical advice.

 

Back-to-school health isn’t just for kids

Back to school pinterest

The dog days of summer are at their tail’s end and fall is rapidly approaching; families are flocking to Wal-Mart to purchase back-to-school supplies and wardrobes, teachers rush to prepare for the influx of students, and fall health & flu prevention begins.

Each year, around 50,000 people in the United States die from vaccine-preventable diseases according to Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS.gov). Influenza, pneumococcal pneumonia and hepatitis B, diseases with available vaccines, account for over 250,000 hospitalizations on an average year.

The good news? Medicare covers vaccinations for each of these diseases. Medicaid and CHIP covers the influenza vaccination along with other vaccinations needed for children.

But it’s not just for kids. Influenza claims an average of 36,000 lives a year. People 65 and older make up a large amount of that statistic. The same goes for invasive pneumococcal disease. Of all the deaths caused by the bacterial pneumonia, greater than half are 65 years of age or older.

This fall, schedule a “time-out” from watching fourth-string scrubs play football or visiting shopping rallies at the mall and take the first step. Contact your health care provider or a local clinic to find out more about vaccines and immunizations.

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For more information on vaccines and preventable diseases, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac. For more information on what vaccinations are covered by Medicare and Medicaid, visit http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Prevention/Immunizations/.

Winter Health and Safety Tips

With the New Year and winter in full swing, now is a great time to remind yourself of how to stay safe and healthy with the cold conditions. OCH provider Angela Standefer, FNP-C offers some tips to make it through the winter:

  • Get IMMUNIZED! Anyone over the age of six months should get vaccinated against influenza. If you have a history of asthma, COPD or smoking it is recommended you also get your pneumonia and Prevnar vaccines. Talk to your doctor about vaccines for you.
  • Dress for the weather. A key to staying healthy this winter is knowing the forecast. Check the weather before getting dressed for the day to ensure you are prepared. Choose warm clothing. If it is wet, it is a good idea to wear a pair of water resistant shoes, hat and gloves, and a coat to avoid frostbite.
  • Don’t FALL victim to icy terrain. Watch your step when walking on wet and icy surfaces. The risk of falls can be greatly reduced by choosing appropriate footwear and using salt (or another kind of ice melting material) on the ground. Choose shoes that have traction so your feet are equipped.
  • Humidity isn’t always a bad thing. While humidity can wreak havoc on your hair, it can also prevent dry skin and nose bleeds. Use a humidifier in your home to avoid dry air. If you do catch the sniffles, humidifiers help your body stay hydrated.
  • Have an emergency kit in your car. Traveling even short distances can be hazardous in winter weather conditions. It is crucial to be prepared in case this happens. This includes:
    • Make sure your cell phone is charged so you can call for help.
    • Have a first aid kit in case you get hurt on ice.
    • Keep a blanket or extra coat in the car to keep yourself and the kids warm. While keeping the car running might sound like a good idea at the time, your battery could be depleted before help can arrive, causing further problems.
    • Munchies may be obvious for a long car trip, but they are also a good idea to keep in your emergency kit.
    • Kitty litter can give your car traction when stuck in ice or snow. Keep a cheap bag in your trunk to help you escape the conditions.
    • Keep an ice scraper in your car so if you get into unexpected bad weather, you can keep your windows clean for safe travel.

Depending on the conditions, it may take a long time for a tow truck to get to you in severe weather. Being prepared will allow you to survive the frigid conditions.

  • Carry a medication list with you. Include what medicines you are currently taking, medical allergies and emergency phone numbers on a small piece of paper in your wallet so it can be easily located. If you suddenly fall ill having this information will be helpful.
    • iPhone Hack: You can add your medical information to your iPhone that can be accessed without unlocking your phone.
      • To set up your Medical ID, open the “Health” app. Along the bottom menu, click Medical ID (far right). In the top right corner, click Edit and enter your health information. You can include Name, DOB, Medical Conditions, Medical Notes, Allergies & Reactions, Medications, Blood Type, Organ Donation status, Weight, and Height. Before hitting save, make sure to allow Emergency Access.
      • Your Medical ID can be viewed when the phone is locked by tapping Emergency, then Medical ID.
    • Wash your hands. Good hand washing is one of the most important things you can do to avoid colds and the flu. Covering your cough can also help from spreading germs to your family and friends.
    • Space heaters are convenient, but dangerous. While having a space heater may seem like a good alternative to cranking up the heat, they can also cause house fires or burns on both children and adults. Follow manufacturers’ directions. The safest options for space heaters have a safety mechanism in place that will turn the heater off if it falls over or gets too hot.
    • Chimney sweeps aren’t just for Mary Poppins. If you have a chimney, have it checked by a professional each year before use to make sure it is clean and safe.
    • Carbon monoxide isn’t just in car exhaust. If your home or apartment is heated with natural gas, make sure to have a carbon monoxide alarm to alert you if carbon monoxide levels are dangerously high. If it goes off, leave the home to get fresh air and call 911 from a neighbor’s home.
    • Don’t forget the sunscreen! The cold weather can trick us into thinking we are safe from sunburns. However, snow is a great reflector for the sun and you can still get a nasty sunburn in the winter.

Angela Standefer, FNP-C sees patients for family practice and hepatitis in Springfield in the OCH Medical Offices Clinic and in Bolivar at the OCH Polk County Clinic. She collaborates with Jackie Beene, MD and seeks to bring better health to the community.

Let’s Get Medical: Psychiatrist v. Psychologist

If pondering the difference between these medical professions has you scratching your head, you’re not the only one. Psychiatrists and psychologists are commonly confused medical professions. Which one can prescribe medicine? Are different types of education required? It’s easy to get the two mixed up. Fortunately, OCH of Gravette psychologist Dr. Jason Glass has taken the guess-work out of it! Here, he makes it easy to differentiate between the two.   

Although the titles are quite similar, psychologists and psychiatrists are two totally distinct professions with different education, training, and services they provide.  A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (MD) who specializes in the treatment and diagnosis of mental disorders.  Because they are physicians, psychiatrists are able to prescribe medications to treat mental illness.  Perhaps the most famous psychiatrist of all is the one and only Sigmund Freud.  Freud proposed the first theory of personality development and coined the term “ego”.  Although the fact is generally overlooked, Freud began as a neurologist and presented research findings that laid the foundation for the modern understanding of cerebral palsy. 

Psychologists, on the other hand, are PhD’s, PsyD’s, or even EdD’s (individuals who have a doctorate in education but specialize in psychology).  Psychology is essentially an academic and/or applied study of human behavior.  Psychologists can work in a variety of settings and may conduct research, psychological evaluations, consultation/education, or even provide therapy.  Psychology is a broad field.  In fact, a psychologist was recently noted for successfully training rats to detect landmines.  The most famous psychologists are probably television host Dr. Phil McGraw and sex therapist Dr. Joyce Brothers. 

One of the key aspects in differentiating the two disciplines is the psychiatrist’s ability to prescribe medication; however, some states are pushing for psychologists to have the authority to prescribe medication (psychologists in New Mexico and Louisiana with additional education are now legally able to prescribe psychiatric medications).  Another area where the two differ is psychotherapy.  Although some psychiatrists still provide “talk” therapy, this is a practice mostly performed by psychologists.

Jason R Glass, Psy.D. is a psychologist affiliated with Ozarks Community Hospital of Gravette and the OCH of Gravette Clinic.  Dr. Glass is a provisionally licensed psychologist in the state of Arkansas and is currently under the supervision of OCH licensed psychologist Mark W. Glover, Ph.D. Some of the psychological services provided through OCH include: adult psychotherapy for anxiety and depression; anger management training; dementia evaluation and consultation; probation and parole evaluation; parental fitness evaluation; and pre-surgical psychological evaluation and consultation.

Let’s Get Medical: CNA or RN?

What is the difference between a Certified Nurse Assistant and a Registered Nurse? How long does it take to obtain a degree? What type of work is associated with either position? Whether you seek career advice, or simply want a better understanding of both, Zach Hines, RN sheds light on the subject. 

The term Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) is a healthcare profession that is much-needed in today’s medical field. There are two different classes of unlicensed healthcare providers; the first class is defined as a CNA and the second: Patient Care Assistant (PCA). Both classes of unlicensed healthcare providers require a certain amount of educational hours in order to obtain a certification.

On the other spectrum of healthcare professions is the field known as Registered Nurse (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). This provider field requires much more extensive training. To obtain a registered nurse license one must receive an associate degree of approximately 72 hours of college credit through a national accredited nursing program along with taking state boards specific to the field of nursing. In order to become a LPN, one must go through approximately one year of training at a nationally certified LPN program along with taking state boards specific to LPN The field of nursing, as a RN, is difficult to define to one specific class due to the fact that the registered nurse field is extremely broad. For instance, a RN can obtain a job in the following fields: law, sales, patient care, healthcare technology and so forth.

One of the main differences between a RN and a CNA is the extent of educational and clinical experience. RN training requires approximately two to three years of college credits along with 400 hours of clinical rotations. A CNA program requires only two to three months of classroom education and 48 hours of clinical rotations. Also, CNAs do not have to take state board.

In the hospital or clinical setting there are several differences between the two different professions: First, CNAs are very limited in what tasks they are able to perform with patients which are governed differently per each facility. CNAs are unable to give medications, perform assessments, call in scripts, start IVs, and so forth. The RN is able to do the entire above stated, plus much more. RNs, according to their facilities policies, are able to delegate certain tasks to the CNAs. Some of these tasks include: vital signs, helping with ambulation, aiding patients with personal hygiene, emptying drains, transfers, CPR during a codes, assisting with simple procedures and so forth.

In the health care setting CNAs are an RNs greatest resource in delivering effective, quality, patient care. This is due to the fact that CNAs are involved in and participates in a patient’s care as much as if not more than RNs. For more information related to healthcare professions, ask questions to existing healthcare providers that you know or have taken care of you in the healthcare setting.

Content provided by Zach Hines, RN at Ozarks Community Hospital of Gravette. Zach served as a Medic in the United States Army prior to his current position as an ER Nurse and Assistant Nursing Administrator.

Healthcare 3.0

Ozarks Community Hospital (formerly known as Doctors Hospital) is a small, healthcare system headquartered in Springfield, Mo. with another hospital located in Gravette, Ark. Our healthcare system encompasses 14 additional clinics located throughout Southwest Missouri.

Ozarks Community Hospital (OCH) is dedicated to providing healthcare access to the underserved and quality care to every patient. This blog will serve as an extension of our customer values by offering content and resources directly from OCH Providers and staff to our online community.

Note: While the purpose of this blog is to provide a resource, OCH Providers and other OCH blog contributors cannot comment on individual or legally confidential patient care issues. Eventually, OCH patients will have the opportunity to participate in our secure medical messaging system, Telehealth Connect. Until then, we encourage you to contact your physician regarding questions about your specific condition or health concern.  

If you are experiencing a healthcare emergency, please call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room.

Thank you for reading,

OCH Providers & Staff