Six ways to avoid a slip and trip at work

No one is immune to falling; especially in the winter months when bad weather leads to slick roads and icy conditions. Whether you are headed to work or out shopping for last minute gifts, OCH Occ Med Clinic provider Laura Clark, FNP has a few safety tips to keep you on your feet and off the ground:

It has happened to most of us: we become distracted and end up tripping, slipping, or falling. These quick slip ups can lead to more than a hurt ego; sometimes ranging from bruises to fractures and in the worst cases, these injuries can even cause permanent disabilities.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, trips, slips and fall incidents make up the vast majority of industry (at work) accidents. In 2014, more than three million workplace injuries were reported. Here’s a breakdown of what that means:

  • Approximately 25% of reported injury claims involved trips, slips & falls
  • 15% of all accidental deaths per year were because of trips, slips & falls
  • About 65% of all work days lost due to these types of injuries

occ med clinic in north springfield

While the statistics may be daunting, the good news is that these injuries are highly avoidable. Any employee or individual can take steps to prevent a fall. Here are a few guidelines to help in creating a safer work environment:

  1. Educate yourself (or your staff) regularly on safety protocols.
  2. Ensure your work areas have proper lighting.
  3. Always be alert and aware of surroundings.
  4. Keep your work area uncluttered and clean work area.
  5. Eliminate wet and/or slippery surfaces.
  6. Wear appropriate footwear.

Bottom line: Plan ahead and be safe! By following these simple steps, you can save yourself (and employees) lots of physical and emotional stress.

occ med laura clarkLaura Clark, FNP is a lead provider for the OCH Occupational Medicine program which launched in November 2014 at the OCH Evergreen Clinic in north Springfield. OCH Occupational Medicine offers same day appointment services including employer physicals, minor burn and laceration treatment, fracture care, treatment of sprains and strains, Department of Transportation physicals, vaccinations, sleep studies, tuberculosis tests and basic eye exams. The program also includes access to on-site physical therapy, lab, radiology, pulmonary function testing and EKG services; as well as coordinated after-hours care for work comp patients via the OCH Emergency Room. For more information, visit: http://ochonline.com/patients/services/occ-med/

 

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Loss and the holidays

Annual holidays can be a very difficult time for people who have experienced the death of a loved one. Holidays force us to realize how much our lives have been changed by loss. This can be particularly difficult for children because the magic of the holidays is usually more exciting for children than for adults. While adults can play an important role in helping children grieve, the more that children are actively involved in their own grief process, the greater the opportunity for healing. If your child or a child you know are mourning a loss of a loved one this year, here are some important things to keep in mind:

  1. After a death, the best way to find out what the kids would find most comforting and meaningful for each holiday is to ask them. This sounds simple, but you would be surprised at how often it is overlooked. Children often take their lead from adults. How you are handling things can determine in part, how they will handle things. However, their grief reactions can often be expressed as anger in children. They may say things or act in ways that can be hurtful. This is extremely difficult to handle if they were directed toward you, especially when your emotions can be stretched to the limits by your own grief. Young children may not be able to verbalize their feelings and needs. Having children draw how they feel can help express those things that are hard for them to express verbally. Be specific with good memories. With teenagers, all those dynamics that make it difficult for adults to communicate with them under normal circumstances are intensified while grieving so instead of drawing as with younger children, teens may chose to write down what they are feeling and what they need.
  1. Have fun. Children need to take breaks in their grieving. In other words they will not grieve continuously, every day, all day long. Let them laugh and kid around. It is okay to laugh. Laughter releases good endorphins in the brain.
  1. Special mementos. Let them have a photo or small memento to carry with them. It helps them feel close. During the holidays, allow the children to keep pictures of their loved one from past holidays. Visit about how the holidays will be different but also how some traditions will be the same. Allow the children to have a loved one’s shirt or other article of clothing to sleep in. You can even spray the item with perfume or aftershave that smells like their loved one.
  1. Keep some routine but accept changes. Remember your children’s world may be in chaos; they need structure (e.g., wake-up times, bed, meal, school, homework and television times). Christmas can be especially hard as they watch other families celebrate and as everyone’s schedules tend to be interrupted over the holidays. While routines are important some changes will have to be made. Allow children to help make decisions about holiday plans. Children will feel like they have more control over the situation when they help make decisions, even small ones.
  1. Create a new tradition or ritual that accommodates your situation. Some people find comfort in the old traditions. Others find them unbearably painful. Discuss with your family the activities you want to include or exclude this year. Some examples of new rituals and traditions that you can include the children in include:
  • Announce beforehand that someone different will carve the turkey.
  • Create a memory box. You could fill it with photos of your loved one or written memory notes from family members and friends. Young children could include their drawings in the memory box.
  • Make a decorative quilt using favorite colors, symbols or images that remind you of the person who died.
  • Light a candle in honor of your absent loved one.
  • Put a bouquet of flowers on your holiday table in memory of your loved one.
  • Visit the cemetery and decorate the memorial site with holiday decorations.
  • Have a moment of silence during a holiday toast to honor your loved one.
  • Place a commemorative ornament on the tree.
  • Write a poem about your loved one and read it during a holiday ritual.
  • Play your loved one’s favorite music or favorite game.
  • Plan a meal with your loved ones’ favorite foods.

goldenErin Golden, PsyD is a psychologist at OCH Christian County Clinic in Nixa. She offers evaluation and counseling for adult and pediatric patients. Dr. Golden worked as a psychologist in Arkansas since 2011. She received her education from the University of Michigan and the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology. Dr. Golden is currently a member of the Missouri Association of Play Therapists and the American Psychological Association.

CHECK OUT THESE RISK FACTORS FOR HEPATITIS C. NUMBER 4 WILL SURPRISE YOU.

It is not easy to pinpoint whether or not an individual has Hepatitis C. Because of this, it’s important to be aware of potential risk factors. Here is a set of questions to double-check whether or not you or someone you know may be at risk:

1. Did you have a blood transfusion before 1992?

2. Did you receive blood products (immunoglobulin, Anti-Rh factor or platelets) before 1992?

3. Are you a Hemophiliac?

4. Have you ever shared personal hygiene items such as razors, toothbrushes, hair clippers, cuticle scissors or nail clippers?

5. Have you had kidney dialysis?

6. Did your mother have Hepatitis C?

7. Have you lived with someone who had Hepatitis C?

8. Have you ever used any intravenous or snorted drugs (even once)?

9. Have you served in the military?

10. Have you ever been a healthcare worker or been exposed to blood?

11. Have you ever been incarcerated (jail or prison)?

12. Have you ever played contact sports?

13. Do you have a tattoo that is over 5 years old or was done someplace other than a professional tattoo parlor?

14. Have you had any body piercing (including ears) that was not done by a professional?

15. Have you ever shared body piercing jewelry?

16. Have you had multiple sexual partners (20 or more in lifetime or more than 2 in past 6 months)?

17. Have you ever been exposed to blood during sexual activity?

18. Have you had any injection, surgery or dental work outside of the US?

19. Have you ever had abnormal liver enzymes?

Did you answer YES to any of these questions? It might be time for a Hepatitis C test. A correct diagnosis ensures both a prompt treatment and a better response to treatment.

Also, while chronic Hepatitis C may not show any symptoms, neither does chronic Hepatitis B. Both are equally damaging to the liver and can lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer if untreated. It is important to contact your healthcare provider to learn more about the testing and treatment options available.

Additional Resources:

  • Sign up for a local Hepatitis education class at OCH by calling: 417-837-4244.
  • For more information about Hepatitis treatment available, read Dr. Beene’s brochure on Hepatitis: http://goo.gl/4nS9vr
  • To view coverage on our Hepatitis Outreach event, click here: http://goo.gl/DMXCC8

Trick or Treat, Safe and Neat

 halloween

 

Halloween brings a holiday filled with candy, costumes and chaos. It can also bring a variety of safety hazards for the unprepared. Before embarking on your evening of adventure, review these safety tips from OCH pediatrician Christopher Spinelli, DO, FAAP. With a little preparation, you can guarantee your family’s favorite spooky holiday goes off without a hitch:

With Halloween coming up, it’s important to remember a few safety tips for your children when trick-or-treating or consuming their treasure chest of candy post-trip:

1. Costume Fit & Safety: When choosing a costume, make sure the costume fits your child well enough so he or she can see out of any masks. It is also important to make sure the costume is short enough to prevent tripping and to double check that the item is non-flammable.  Please make sure that there is some sort of reflective or other visible device so your child can be seen by cars at nighttime.

2. Parental Supervision: Always have an adult with your child. As an added bonus, it is good to have some sort of communication device such as a cell phone or walkie-talkie so you can get help if needed.

3. Watch out for Allergies : If your child does have food allergies, inspect the candy prior to consumption in order to avoid any adverse reactions.  If your child has anaphylaxis to certain foods such as peanuts, it may be wise to carry an EpiPen with you during trick-or-treating.  If any candy packages are already opened,  discard prior to consumption.

4. Hidden Choking Hazards: Avoid hard candies, suckers, or other choking hazards for smaller children.  Remember, not all candy is created equal from a dental standpoint!  Gummies and caramel can stick between the teeth and cause increased risk for cavities.  Receiving and distributing packages of pretzels (or other less sugary items) is also better for teeth.

5. Overconsumption of Candy: Consuming too much candy can cause a stomach-ache.  Parents may consider regulating how much candy children to consume or freeze the rest for later use. Families may also donate to local groups which can distribute the candy to less fortunate children.  

The Halloween Industry Association does have some additional safety tips listed online, to view click the following link:  http://www.hiaonline.org/index.php?module=Pagesetter&func=printpub&tid=3&pid=3

From all of us at Ozarks Community Hospital, we hope you have a safe and happy Halloween!

This post was originally published on October 9, 2012; but as Dr. Spinelli offered such useful tips, we wanted to re-share as a reminder this year for all trick-or-treaters! 

Christopher Spinelli DO, FAAP, is a pediatrician at the OCH Northside Clinic in Springfield, MO. Dr. Spinelli is  a Major in the United States Air Force Reserve. After completing an undergraduate degree from Truman State University, Dr. Spinelli graduated from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his Pediatric residency at Keesler Medical Center in Biloxi, MS.

Quick Video Recap: What are Health Insurance Marketplace penalties?

In 2014, most Americans will be required to have health insurance. As a part of this mandated process, the Affordable Care Act has created a new type of online resource for purchasing health insurance coverage. This online resource is called the “Health Insurance Marketplace.”

OCH is a Certified Application Counselor site in Springfield, MO and has counselors located throughout Missouri and in Gravette, Ark. As a healthcare facility, we know there are a lot of questions surrounding the insurance changes scheduled for Fall 2013, and we’re here to help!

In order to provide a resource for our patients and the community OCH is answering frequently asked questions about the Health Insurance Marketplace. For additional info visit http://www.OCHonline.com or email info@ochonline.com.

To start, we’ve created the following video (above) explaining the penalties associated with not signing up for the Marketplace. Stay tuned for additional videos!

This Labor Day weekend, don’t forget to pack ‘common sense’

Summer is nearly over and families are headed out for a final weekend of fun before fall hits! Before you throw “caution to the wind” and rush head on into the holiday weekend, don’t forget the basics. Check out pediatrician Dr. Spinelli’s list of simple (yet essential) safety reminders for you and your family: 

Labor Day is coming up and families will be outside more as kids and parents alike are off for the long weekend.  Here are a few simple safety tips to help ensure your weekend is enjoyable and not spent in the emergency room!

LABOR DAY SAFETY TIPS

TIP #1: Water safety.  Many families will choose to go to pools and/or lakes (or stay home to enjoy a pool in the back yard).  Vigilance is important, especially around small children who cannot swim. Always make sure that a competent adult is paying attention to those in the water. It  is very important that the supervising adult does not have his/her attention divided between too many things, as this affects their ability to truly watch the children.  It is also important, if your family is headed to a lake or river, to encourage children to wear a life jacket at all times (not just while in the water, but when they are anywhere near the water as there is sill a potential danger).  Even the most agile athlete (such as Michael Phelps) can benefit from wearing a life jacket if participating in a boating activity/sport; as a serious accident could render him unconscious (if you lose consciousness, you cannot swim!) Most boating accidents are accidents, but it never hurts to be prepared, as you may not be able to swim once in the water.

TIP #2: Burn precautions.  Often times, grilling or cooking occurs during holiday weekends.  Make sure small children (and even older children) are aware when there is a hot surface and are not ducking under or playing too close to hot surfaces.  Sunburns can also be a significant issue. Always make sure that you and your family are wearing sunscreen if you plan on being outside more than 20 minutes.

TIP #3: Food safety.  If you are sharing a large meal, try to be aware how long the food has been sitting out prior to consuming.  Food poisoning is a frequent companion of holiday gatherings.  If you’re not sure, just don’t eat it.  Monitor for choking hazards as some foods may cause issues for smaller children.

TIP #4: Bike safety.  If you are going on a family bike ride, don’t forget the helmets and water bottles! As always, stay safe and enjoy the holiday weekend!

*This post was updated Friday, August 29, 2014*

IMG_7261 resizeChristopher Spinelli DO, FAAP, is a pediatrician at the OCH Evergreen Clinic in Springfield, MO. Dr. Spinelli is also currently a Major in the United States Air Force Reserve. After completing an undergraduate degree from Truman State University, Dr. Spinelli graduated from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his Pediatric residency at Keesler Medical Center in Biloxi, MS. To contact Dr. Spinelli, call 417-823-2900 or visit http://www.OCHonline.com. 

How to recognize eating disorders in teenagers

Eating disorders are a common chronic condition among adolescent girls. OCH psychologist Erin Golden, PsyD takes a closer look at two: anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. In the the following post Dr. Golden breaks down the similarities and differences between each eating disorder, while also sharing recognizable signs and symptoms: 

Anorexia nervosa is a disorder characterized by:

  • An unrealistic fear of weight gain;
  • Self-starvation, or refusal to maintain body weight at or above normal weight;
  • A distortion of body image
  • And absence of at least three consecutive menstrual cycles (in women of appropriate age and health).

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder where the main feature is binge eating followed by unhealthy behaviors to compensate for such binge eating in order to prevent weight gain (e.g., purging). This includes:

  • Binge eating
  • Eating in a discrete period of time an amount of food that is larger than most people would eat during a similar period of time and under similar circumstances
  • A sense of lack of control over eating during these periods
  • Compensatory behavior in order to prevent weight gain such as: self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, diuretics, enemas or other medications, fasting or excessive exercise;
  • This eating pattern occurs at least twice a week for three months (or longer)
  • A distorted body image.

Onset of anorexia nervosa starts mostly between 14 and 18 years, while for bulimia onset is around the time of transition from adolescence to early adulthood in adolescent and adult females, especially in female athletes, ballet students, fashion models and culinary students.  Anorexia nervosa is the third most common chronic condition among adolescent girls in the USA, after obesity and asthma. Although the occurrence of eating disorders is infrequent the outcomes of eating disorders are serious. Approximately 25–33% of patients with anorexia or bulimia nervosa develop a chronic disorder.

Eating disorders often co-occur with substance abuse disorders, depression, and anxiety disorders. Because anorexic females typically deny that any problem exits, treating the disorder is difficult. Hospitalization is often necessary to prevent life-threatening malnutrition.  Family therapy, aimed at changing parent-child interaction and expectations is the most successful treatment; still, only about 50% of anorexics fully recover. Bulimia is usually easier to treat than anorexia, using therapy focused on support groups, nutrition education, and revising eating habits and thoughts about food.

erin golden psychologistDr. Golden sees patients at OCH Christian County Clinic in Nixa. Her focus includes the evaluation/testing; individual and family therapy; adult and pediatric patients with depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, eating disorders, and behavioral issues. Dr. Golden worked as a psychologist in Arkansas since 2011. She received her education from the University of Michigan and the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology. Dr. Golden is currently a member of the Missouri Association of Play Therapists and the American Psychological Association. Dr. Erin Golden can accept Medicaid, Medicare and UHC Military insurances. To contact her, call the Nixa clinic (417) 724-3100 or fax (417) 725-7380.