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- Nurse Barb
After over 30 years of constant international conflict and wars, chances are you or someone you love is a veteran or has been involved in some way in the military. Most health care providers in the community are caring for veterans, whether they know it or not. And the one question that we’re often not asking is this: Are you a veteran?
This a question that most health care providers don’t ask because we are in the dark. Most of us who practice in communities all over the US don’t know that less than 20% of veterans receive their care through the VA, which means that 8 out 10 are seeing us, their primary care providers, in the community. (more…)
Today I was able to interview Dr. Seth Amerman. Dr. Ammerman is an inspirational guy who works with homeless and uninsured teens. He has been going out where these kids are through a novel and effective mobile van, which is part of the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. This outreach is incredibly effective.
Many of these teens have no options for health care. It’s hard to earn their trust and they are notoriously hard to reach. Yet, if they are treated at the Packard Teen Van, more than 70% will come back, because the van comes back to them.
Alex called me to give me the bad news, our friend Bob was in the hospital after having a stroke. He had high blood pressure and had stopped taking his medication because he felt that he couldn’t afford it anymore. Bob is not alone. Many people are forgoing their medication or taking them intermittently because of concerns over costs. This is tragic, because the cost of a stroke is astronomical when you consider how it completely changes your life, could lead to death and causes severe limitations (more…)
You’re going to hear a lot about health care in the next few months with the election coming up. Many people will be talking about health care, Medicare and what it means to have the Best Health Care or the Most Cost Effective Health Care. These are big issues and more complicated than can be covered in a 3-day conference or a year long course, let alone a blog. However from my perspective as someone in the trenches caring for people, this is what I see.
There is a Tsunami of chronic disease in this country. Between the obesity and diabetes epidemics and heart disease, stroke and alzheimers, we need more health care providers than ever before. As our population ages and their health needs become more complicated, it’s good to know that there are thousands of new health care providers entering the health care system every year.
Nearly everyone knows that aging eyes need brighter light to read or even see. Now it turns out that bright indoor light, or better yet, bright sunlight, helps the body regulate all kinds of internal mechanisms influencing overall health. Older adults’ eyes have a role in things as seemingly-unrelated to them as memory and depression, reports Laurie Tarkan in The New York Times.
“I read on-line……..” This phrase has changed medicine, nursing and the way that we care for patients. Like many of my colleagues, I love it, when patients do their own research, because they are invested and interested in their own health. They’re much more likely to make healthier choices and I see their research as an opportunity. (more…)
I was recently in Fargo, North Dakota speaking to Nurse Practitioners who work in rural areas. Many of them are the only health care providers for 2,000 to 3,000 people within a 50 mile radius. Many cover the Emergency Rooms, their own clinics and the nursing homes in their small communities. Over 5 million people now live in rural areas and their perception of their health care is that they don’t have as much access.
I received a phone call this weekend from a friend, who was in the hospital because their partner, who was only in his mid 40’s had a stroke. A stroke? He’s too young, he doesn’t smoke, what happened? My brain was working overtime. Maybe he has an inherited clotting disorder or there was an aneurysm or an AV malformation? Something didn’t make sense. The most obvious reason never occurred to me, he had high and he had stopped taking his Blood Pressure medication, because after losing his job, and losing his insurance, he couldn’t afford it anymore.
When your loved one is discharged from the hospital back to home, skilled home health services probably will be ordered. That’s because being well enough to be discharged from the hospital doesn’t mean one feels well or is completely well.