Public Health Online Degrees

A Public health worker is person who has a lot of things to cover in their jobs. Most careers in the field of public health are also involved in advocates representing people who are not capable of voicing out themselves like children, the mentally handicapped, the disabled and the poor, this people cannot help themselves. Their job description is almost similar to that of the social worker. With only a difference in the terminologies that were used.

The usual kind of work a health professional is engaged is the alignment of the people in need with the given resources that are available. Like say for instance a temporary shelter for the homeless, care for the abandoned children, and other stuffs related to public service. In other words if you want to be a health worker your desire to help others should be exceptionally strong. Your heart should be dedicated in helping other people sincerely.

Generally a social work bachelor’s degree is a requirement for health jobs, sometimes however sociology or psychology degrees are considered as an alternative. A social work bachelor’s degree will be a prerequisite and a preparation for the practical applications of jobs in public health. You will be dealing with different kinds of people, and these people are usually less fortunate.

If you would like to advance further from doing fieldwork to management, then you must plan on taking up a master’s degree. Taking up a higher education will make you aware and you will be able to learn managing various cases that has something to do with health. You will also be engaged in bigger operations and your awareness will widen and your level of awareness will make determine operational and strategic needs of public health operations.

There are available public health online degrees and this will actually prepare you in becoming a front-liner in public health. You will be trained in caring and guiding your patients. It will qualify you for positions that are considered to be entry level in scope and nature. There are also advance programs under public health online degrees. However your expectations should be mostly manual, handling things all by yourself it’s like a field instruction that will at least give you the experience that you need to make more improvements in your career.

There are other things that you should undertake so you will be granted a license. Public health online degrees are actually easy to handle, the difficult part is the internship. This is something that most people would consider as a difficult task. It is not actually that difficult the problem with this however is that all theories may be supplied by online subjects and practical ones will be applied during the internship.

Public health online degrees should be pursued by people who have a heart, those who are considered to be volunteers and with little thoughts of being compensated, whose primary goal is to help, assist and make other smile out of the difficulties that they are facing, they should be thinking more of others and they should be warm towards others. There are many sites supporting public health online degrees and people who intend to volunteer for this should be up for the difficult tasks. Theoretically public health online degrees may be a great help to people who would like to extend help.

Selecting the Right Health-Medical Tourism Package

You should be knowledgeable to check your priorities for medical travel abroad upon inquiring a few medical tourism facilitators. Your priorities must closely match to the information of medical tourism providers.

Your surgery package begins with registering with the medical tourism provider. Knowing your priorities, the healthcare professionals give you cost estimate. Upon checking your financing options, the cost estimate and your health-medical tourism package will be conformed against the selected destination country and healthcare provider respectively. The type of surgery also is another major concern.

The destination country, the health provider and the surgeon is introduced to get familiarize along with your first consultation. Your medical tourism provider will arrange for video conferencing with your specialist abroad allowing you to express your health concerns, the recovery period, gaining self-confidence on the surgeon’s ability and your treatment options. The specialist will review your medical records and will ask you to get yourself prepared by giving some prescriptions or precautions to follow.

You will be assigned a personnel care manager who will take care of your itinerary of the whole travel destinations including the tourist locations, paper work for travel, contacting with host country manager and are included, be assigned to you. Upon your departure from your home country, the host country manager will receive you and proceed to the hospital for registering at the hospital.

The host manager will give you all the necessary information about the local travel, important phone numbers and hand phone to keep in touch with your family abroad and arrange for your next consultation with your specialist. Your specialist examines your health condition; perform any diagnostic tests required for your surgery to know the disease maturity. You should be able to convey any other troubling health condition so that it is taken care and do not obstruct surgery’s success. Your surgery dates and recovery periods are conformed to you.

Your post-surgery treatment will be detailed which has to be followed with strict adherence. Your discharge summary, medical records and relevant prescription for post-surgery treatment are transferred to your local physician in your home country. You can opt for telemedicine option in your home country as part of your post-surgery treatment.

Getting yourself prepared for the medical travel

You should know some important information before your travel. Your passport and visa validity should be in line with your tentative surgery dates and recovery period. Your itinerary should include additional few days in case of your recovery period extension. Your medical and insurance documents, if any, should be handy all the time. You should be able to furnish them when necessary.

It is important for the host manager to know about your dietary regimen. He should advice you about nearest ATMs, which accept MASTER or VISA credit cards to meet any emergency and local expenses. Planning in temperate weather conditions will allow your immunity to faster recovery and hence you should carry appropriate clothing.

Your host manager should also inform you about local culture, language spoken and make sure the medical tourism provider assist you in keeping a translator if there is any need. Planning for recreational activities should be on the advice of your specialist.

Health Medical Supplies

The purpose of this article is to give seniors and caregivers lifestyle advice that can create a positive impact. With baby-boomer closing in on retirement there are more and more seniors on the web every day. Health Medical Supplies is all about improving your life or a loved one’s life in the later years by giving comprehensive advise about health and medical supplies. In this article I just want to discuss the importance of staying active and independent for as long as possible. In my experience as a life and health insurance agent I have gone on thousands of in home appointments with seniors and I have seen everything.

I have also worked with seniors in thirteen different states, so when I say I’ve seen everything I mean literally everything, and if I haven’t seen, I’ve heard it from my co-workers. So if I had to give one piece of advise from my experience it would be “take care of your body and it will take care of you”. The healthiest seniors Ive met were always active ones, mentally and physically. I’m not saying you have to be Jack Lalanne, just try to be active is all I’m saying. Get out and walk once in a while, take the stairs, sign up for a water exercise class. Always consult your doctor before making these sort of changes to your life.

It’s amazing how big the diet industry, everyone wants to find the magical pill they can take that makes the fat melt away. So now I’m going to pass along a secret, a secret that you can use to help you lose weight that is guaranteed to work, are you ready, here it is – Diet & Exercise really work!! – whew. Glad I got that out there. When you exercise and watch what your eating you have more energy, when you have more energy you feel better, when you feel better you have less stress, etc. Its a heck of a cycle, but again it works. So what does medical supplies have to do with staying health and independent?

I will go over one of my favorites: Hot/Cold Water Therapy system is a machine that you fill up with water and then it has a tube connected to a wrap. You take the wrap and wrap it around your leg or back or hands or wherever you have pain, swelling, poor circulation, etc. You turn the machine on and it pumps hot or cold water through the wrap increasing you blood flow and reducing any pain or inflammation that you are experiences. I luckily have access to this machine so I use it my self. I like to do 15 minutes of hot water and then 15 minutes of cold water therapy until I’m satisfied. So if you have Medicare you can get one of these for nothing. So hopefully I have helped someone out today and then maybe I’ll help out another person tomorrow or next week with this article. I just know that I can reach so many more people online. So that’s it hope you enjoyed and have a great day!

A Working Definition of Wellness

The tide is beginning to turn. For many years and for many reasons (which may have more to do with the human mind than they do with the medical establishment), we have been defining health as the absence of illness and wellness as being roughly the same as health. This made health unattainable for two reasons. The first was that it meant health was mostly a matter of good luck, something that happened rather than something you could make happen. The second was that enough scrutiny would always produce signs of illness or potential illness. If we looked for problems, we would find them.

Wellness has been an even more slippery concept. It is the term that developed in opposition to the notion that everyone is broken or potentially broken (sometimes known as the medical model). Essentially, wellness is the opposite of sickness. That works as a concept, but it is very hard to recognize in real life.

What if we take a different approach? What if we ask: what are the characteristics of people who are living satisfying lives? We can build a working definition of wellness on the conditions we observe in people who, whatever their state of physical health, are experiencing life as a good thing. Based on this approach, I am going to suggest that wellness includes three necessary, sufficient and balanced elements. A working definition of wellness is that it is a state of being energized, engaged and effective.

Energy is a state of mind and body in which someone feels capable of doing behaviours or thinking thoughts. It may result from appropriate physical conditions (rest,nutrition and exercise) or it may be produced in response to a problem or a goal (running away from a bear provides a quick burst of energy). People who have energy are able to do and think the things that result in well-being. People who lack energy have difficulty responding to change. Energy is the way most people know that they are alive and that life is a good thing. It is the first condition of wellness.

Engagement connects a person to something outside himself or herself. The need for engagement emerges in many fields and forms. It is a need for human relationships that are deep enough so that our own sense of well-being is influenced by someone else’s well-being. Engagement may also connect a person to ideas or places or organizations. In every instance, the individual feels differently because of things happening outside his/her personal experience. Engagement may give energy to an individual or draw on his/her energy to support the perceptions and behaviours necessary to influence the connection.

Effectiveness means that the individual is able to make changes in his/her behaviour or thoughts that have a tangible, positive impact. All people need to know that they can form an intention and carry it out: they need to know that in some respects they are able to influence themselves and the world in a way that is both predictable and desirable. People imagine the world or themselves as different than they are and then take the steps necessary to make themselves or the world different. To be alive is to change and to be well is to change intentionally, at least some of the time.

Energy, engagement and effectiveness are the necessary components of wellness. If one is missing or broken, then a person becomes incapable of leading a satisfying life. These are also sufficient components of wellness: a person who has the energy to connect with the outside world, make goals, and effect change in themselves or the world is well. They are balanced components: although all three do not have to be equal, if one or two of these qualities dominate, then the person stops experiencing wellness.

There are many implications to this view of wellness. One is that people are well by intention as much as by chance. When they make choices to experience energy, engagement and effectiveness, they also experience wellness. Another is that wellness is not identical to health: instead of seeing people with terminal illnesses as “dying” this sees them as living beings capable of experiencing wellness through the balance of the energy they have with their engagement and effectiveness in the world. The third implication concerns our ability to work with the necessary balance of these elements of wellness. Changing one component does not always involve focusing on that component: sometimes it will mean changing the balance in the system so that all three elements are present and supported.

Not everyone can be healthy. But it’s possible that everyone can experience energy and engagement and effectiveness. Perhaps wellness is practical and achievable through the right working definition.

The Mental Health Debate

We have two sides of a debate: One says the mental health drugs are the only option and the other says the drugs cause mental health problems.

The drugs’ side gives lots of false information to the public.

The other side gives lots of facts to disprove the falsities.

Yet, the public, largely, goes for the drugs’ side. Despite the facts that show there is no basis in science for the use of the drugs and despite the facts that show the financial incentives for why people are being given drugs they don’t need, the public goes for the “experts”.

There is even a test to evidence how poor someone will metabolize the drug and yet the drugs’ side is using that test to apparently adjust the drug dose or choice of drug so the person “has the best chance they can get”.

When in reality the most important facts are that it is normal to experience anxiety, sadness, grief and an entire list of emotions in response to life’s stresses. Additionally, if one wants to introduce science and medical evidence to the list of options, there are medical ailments that cause mental health problems and those ailments can be tested for and can be treated with non-mental health treatments that effectively cure the person of the cause for those symptoms and behaviors.

Why dose a drug; why test to see the metabolic rate for a drug that is not medically needed; why not simply find the medical ailment and cure it. Why live a life of mental health drugs and adverse consequences?

The subject of drugs (pharma) and genetics (the study of inherited characteristics) is called “Pharacogenomics”.

Pharmacogenomics looks at how specific genetic characteristics influence medication response. The medical community has had a medical test, for years, which can evidence the inability of a person’s body, to assimilate and utilize a drug.

Individual differences in drug metabolism are due to differences in the activity of enzymes (electron transfer agents in metabolic pathways) that metabolize the majority of drugs.

The enzymes are affected by and will produce varying behaviors by over 50 different genes and these genes and the varying behaviors have been studied and evidenced by medical science, yet the public is not made aware that this test exists. This includes testing for drugs that are prescribed for physical ailments as well as mental health symptoms

In addition to the 50 different genes that affect whether someone can utilize the drug, without having adverse reactions and potentially fatal consequences, there are a group of enzymes that have several different versions of each enzyme due to one’s genetic make-up. There are, also, proteins, within the body that play a role in whether the body can break down and assimilate a drug or whether the drug will simply act as a toxin. This adds up to a lot of variables that determine whether an individual can predict that they are likely to experience the FDA adverse effect warnings of mania, psychosis, hallucinations, sudden death, paranoia, delusions, suicidal thoughts and homicidal thoughts and more.

The absorption, distribution, metabolism or elimination of the drug is all influenced by hereditary factors.

In summation, genetic variants can occur at any step in the drug metabolism pathway, in both the genes that make receptor proteins and the genes that make various drug-metabolizing enzymes.

Health Care Reform – Why Are People So Worked Up?

Why are Americans so worked up about health care reform? Statements such as “don’t touch my Medicare” or “everyone should have access to state of the art health care irrespective of cost” are in my opinion uninformed and visceral responses that indicate a poor understanding of our health care system’s history, its current and future resources and the funding challenges that America faces going forward. While we all wonder how the health care system has reached what some refer to as a crisis stage. Let’s try to take some of the emotion out of the debate by briefly examining how health care in this country emerged and how that has formed our thinking and culture about health care. With that as a foundation let’s look at the pros and cons of the Obama administration health care reform proposals and let’s look at the concepts put forth by the Republicans?

Access to state of the art health care services is something we can all agree would be a good thing for this country. Experiencing a serious illness is one of life’s major challenges and to face it without the means to pay for it is positively frightening. But as we shall see, once we know the facts, we will find that achieving this goal will not be easy without our individual contribution.

These are the themes I will touch on to try to make some sense out of what is happening to American health care and the steps we can personally take to make things better.

A recent history of American health care – what has driven the costs so high?
Key elements of the Obama health care plan
The Republican view of health care – free market competition
Universal access to state of the art health care – a worthy goal but not easy to achieve
what can we do?

First, let’s get a little historical perspective on American health care. This is not intended to be an exhausted look into that history but it will give us an appreciation of how the health care system and our expectations for it developed. What drove costs higher and higher?

To begin, let’s turn to the American civil war. In that war, dated tactics and the carnage inflicted by modern weapons of the era combined to cause ghastly results. Not generally known is that most of the deaths on both sides of that war were not the result of actual combat but to what happened after a battlefield wound was inflicted. To begin with, evacuation of the wounded moved at a snail’s pace and this caused severe delays in treating the wounded. Secondly, many wounds were subjected to wound care, related surgeries and/or amputations of the affected limbs and this often resulted in the onset of massive infection. So you might survive a battle wound only to die at the hands of medical care providers who although well-intentioned, their interventions were often quite lethal. High death tolls can also be ascribed to everyday sicknesses and diseases in a time when no antibiotics existed. In total something like 600,000 deaths occurred from all causes, over 2% of the U.S. population at the time!

Let’s skip to the first half of the 20th century for some additional perspective and to bring us up to more modern times. After the civil war there were steady improvements in American medicine in both the understanding and treatment of certain diseases, new surgical techniques and in physician education and training. But for the most part the best that doctors could offer their patients was a “wait and see” approach. Medicine could handle bone fractures and increasingly attempt risky surgeries (now largely performed in sterile surgical environments) but medicines were not yet available to handle serious illnesses. The majority of deaths remained the result of untreatable conditions such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, scarlet fever and measles and/or related complications. Doctors were increasingly aware of heart and vascular conditions, and cancer but they had almost nothing with which to treat these conditions.

This very basic review of American medical history helps us to understand that until quite recently (around the 1950′s) we had virtually no technologies with which to treat serious or even minor ailments. Here is a critical point we need to understand; “nothing to treat you with means that visits to the doctor if at all were relegated to emergencies so in such a scenario costs are curtailed. The simple fact is that there was little for doctors to offer and therefore virtually nothing to drive health care spending. A second factor holding down costs was that medical treatments that were provided were paid for out-of-pocket, meaning by way of an individuals personal resources. There was no such thing as health insurance and certainly not health insurance paid by an employer. Except for the very destitute who were lucky to find their way into a charity hospital, health care costs were the responsibility of the individual.

What does health care insurance have to do with health care costs? Its impact on health care costs has been, and remains to this day, absolutely enormous. When health insurance for individuals and families emerged as a means for corporations to escape wage freezes and to attract and retain employees after World War II, almost overnight a great pool of money became available to pay for health care. Money, as a result of the availability of billions of dollars from health insurance pools, encouraged an innovative America to increase medical research efforts. More Americans became insured not only through private, employer sponsored health insurance but through increased government funding that created Medicare and Medicaid (1965). In addition funding became available for expanded veterans health care benefits. Finding a cure for almost anything has consequently become very lucrative. This is also the primary reason for the vast array of treatments we have available today.

I do not wish to convey that medical innovations are a bad thing. Think of the tens of millions of lives that have been saved, extended, enhanced and made more productive as a result. But with a funding source grown to its current magnitude (hundreds of billions of dollars annually) upward pressure on health care costs are inevitable. Doctor’s offer and most of us demand and get access to the latest available health care technology in the form of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostic tools and surgical procedures. So the result is that there is more health care to spend our money on and until very recently most of us were insured and the costs were largely covered by a third-party (government, employers). Add an insatiable and unrealistic public demand for access and treatment and we have the “perfect storm” for higher and higher health care costs. And by and large the storm is only intensifying.

At this point, let’s turn to the key questions that will lead us into a review and hopefully a better understanding of the health care reform proposals in the news today. Is the current trajectory of U.S. health care spending sustainable? Can America maintain its world competitiveness when 16%, heading for 20% of our gross national product is being spent on health care? What are the other industrialized countries spending on health care and is it even close to these numbers? When we add politics and an election year to the debate, information to help us answer these questions become critical. We need to spend some effort in understanding health care and sorting out how we think about it. Properly armed we can more intelligently determine whether certain health care proposals might solve or worsen some of these problems. What can be done about the challenges? How can we as individuals contribute to the solutions?

The Obama health care plan is complex for sure – I have never seen a health care plan that isn’t. But through a variety of programs his plan attempts to deal with a) increasing the number of American that are covered by adequate insurance (almost 50 million are not), and b) managing costs in such a manner that quality and our access to health care is not adversely affected. Republicans seek to achieve these same basic and broad goals, but their approach is proposed as being more market driven than government driven. Let’s look at what the Obama plan does to accomplish the two objectives above. Remember, by the way, that his plan was passed by congress, and begins to seriously kick-in starting in 2014. So this is the direction we are currently taking as we attempt to reform health care.

Through insurance exchanges and an expansion of Medicaid,the Obama plan dramatically expands the number of Americans that will be covered by health insurance.

To cover the cost of this expansion the plan requires everyone to have health insurance with a penalty to be paid if we don’t comply. It will purportedly send money to the states to cover those individuals added to state-based Medicaid programs.

To cover the added costs there were a number of new taxes introduced, one being a 2.5% tax on new medical technologies and another increases taxes on interest and dividend income for wealthier Americans.

The Obama plan also uses concepts such as evidence-based medicine, accountable care organizations, comparative effectiveness research and reduced reimbursement to health care providers (doctors and hospitals) to control costs.

The insurance mandate covered by points 1 and 2 above is a worthy goal and most industrialized countries outside of the U.S. provide “free” (paid for by rather high individual and corporate taxes) health care to most if not all of their citizens. It is important to note, however, that there are a number of restrictions for which many Americans would be culturally unprepared. Here is the primary controversial aspect of the Obama plan, the insurance mandate. The U.S. Supreme Court recently decided to hear arguments as to the constitutionality of the health insurance mandate as a result of a petition by 26 states attorney’s general that congress exceeded its authority under the commerce clause of the U.S. constitution by passing this element of the plan. The problem is that if the Supreme Court should rule against the mandate, it is generally believed that the Obama plan as we know it is doomed. This is because its major goal of providing health insurance to all would be severely limited if not terminated altogether by such a decision.

As you would guess, the taxes covered by point 3 above are rather unpopular with those entities and individuals that have to pay them. Medical device companies, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, doctors and insurance companies all had to “give up” something that would either create new revenue or would reduce costs within their spheres of control. As an example, Stryker Corporation, a large medical device company, recently announced at least a 1,000 employee reduction in part to cover these new fees. This is being experienced by other medical device companies and pharmaceutical companies as well. The reduction in good paying jobs in these sectors and in the hospital sector may rise as former cost structures will have to be dealt with in order to accommodate the reduced rate of reimbursement to hospitals. Over the next ten years some estimates put the cost reductions to hospitals and physicians at half a trillion dollars and this will flow directly to and affect the companies that supply hospitals and doctors with the latest medical technologies. None of this is to say that efficiencies will not be realized by these changes or that other jobs will in turn be created but this will represent painful change for a while. It helps us to understand that health care reform does have an effect both positive and negative.

Finally, the Obama plan seeks to change the way medical decisions are made. While clinical and basic research underpins almost everything done in medicine today, doctors are creatures of habit like the rest of us and their training and day-to-day experiences dictate to a great extent how they go about diagnosing and treating our conditions. Enter the concept of evidence-based medicine and comparative effectiveness research. Both of these seek to develop and utilize data bases from electronic health records and other sources to give better and more timely information and feedback to physicians as to the outcomes and costs of the treatments they are providing. There is great waste in health care today, estimated at perhaps a third of an over 2 trillion dollar health care spend annually. Imagine the savings that are possible from a reduction in unnecessary test and procedures that do not compare favorably with health care interventions that are better documented as effective. Now the Republicans and others don’t generally like these ideas as they tend to characterize them as “big government control” of your and my health care. But to be fair, regardless of their political persuasions, most people who understand health care at all, know that better data for the purposes described above will be crucial to getting health care efficiencies, patient safety and costs headed in the right direction.

A brief review of how Republicans and more conservative individuals think about health care reform. I believe they would agree that costs must come under control and that more, not fewer Americans should have access to health care regardless of their ability to pay. But the main difference is that these folks see market forces and competition as the way to creating the cost reductions and efficiencies we need. There are a number of ideas with regard to driving more competition among health insurance companies and health care providers (doctors and hospitals) so that the consumer would begin to drive cost down by the choices we make. This works in many sectors of our economy but this formula has shown that improvements are illusive when applied to health care. Primarily the problem is that health care choices are difficult even for those who understand it and are connected. The general population, however, is not so informed and besides we have all been brought up to “go to the doctor” when we feel it is necessary and we also have a cultural heritage that has engendered within most of us the feeling that health care is something that is just there and there really isn’t any reason not to access it for whatever the reason and worse we all feel that there is nothing we can do to affect its costs to insure its availability to those with serious problems.

OK, this article was not intended to be an exhaustive study as I needed to keep it short in an attempt to hold my audience’s attention and to leave some room for discussing what we can do contribute mightily to solving some of the problems. First we must understand that the dollars available for health care are not limitless. Any changes that are put in place to provide better insurance coverage and access to care will cost more. And somehow we have to find the revenues to pay for these changes. At the same time we have to pay less for medical treatments and procedures and do something to restrict the availability of unproven or poorly documented treatments as we are the highest cost health care system in the world and don’t necessarily have the best results in terms of longevity or avoiding chronic diseases much earlier than necessary.

I believe that we need a revolutionary change in the way we think about health care, its availability, its costs and who pays for it. And if you think I am about to say we should arbitrarily and drastically reduce spending on health care you would be wrong. Here it is fellow citizens – health care spending needs to be preserved and protected for those who need it. And to free up these dollars those of us who don’t need it or can delay it or avoid it need to act. First, we need to convince our politicians that this country needs sustained public education with regard to the value of preventive health strategies. This should be a top priority and it has worked to reduce the number of U.S. smokers for example. If prevention were to take hold, it is reasonable to assume that those needing health care for the myriad of life style engendered chronic diseases would decrease dramatically. Millions of Americans are experiencing these diseases far earlier than in decades past and much of this is due to poor life style choices. This change alone would free up plenty of money to handle the health care costs of those in dire need of treatment, whether due to an acute emergency or chronic condition.

Let’s go deeper on the first issue. Most of us refuse do something about implementing basic wellness strategies into our daily lives. We don’t exercise but we offer a lot of excuses. We don’t eat right but we offer a lot of excuses. We smoke and/or we drink alcohol to excess and we offer a lot of excuses as to why we can’t do anything about managing these known to be destructive personal health habits. We don’t take advantage of preventive health check-ups that look at blood pressure, cholesterol readings and body weight but we offer a lot of excuses. In short we neglect these things and the result is that we succumb much earlier than necessary to chronic diseases like heart problems, diabetes and high blood pressure. We wind up accessing doctors for these and more routine matters because “health care is there” and somehow we think we have no responsibility for reducing our demand on it.

It is difficult for us to listen to these truths but easy to blame the sick. Maybe they should take better care of themselves! Well, that might be true or maybe they have a genetic condition and they have become among the unfortunate through absolutely no fault of their own. But the point is that you and I can implement personalized preventive disease measures as a way of dramatically improving health care access for others while reducing its costs. It is far better to be productive by doing something we can control then shifting the blame.

There are a huge number of free web sites available that can steer us to a more healthful life style. A soon as you can, “Google” “preventive health care strategies”, look up your local hospital’s web site and you will find more than enough help to get you started. Finally, there is a lot to think about here and I have tried to outline the challenges but also the very powerful effect we could have on preserving the best of America’s health care system now and into the future. I am anxious to hear from you and until then – take charge and increase your chances for good health while making sure that health care is there when we need it.

Different Treatments for Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation

There are several reasons why people fall victim to drug and alcohol addiction, and no one is an exception to the rule. Whether they’re teenagers succumbing to the force of peer-pressure, parents taking prescribed drugs to cope with the hardship of their lives, or thousands of homeless people trapped in a world of “street drugs,” drug and alcohol addiction can happen to anyone. According to a recent in-depth analysis of addiction treatment in America, more than 23 million people “aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol abuse problem… ” Surprisingly, a little over 11 percent of these people actually received it at a rehab facility (Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health). Drug rehabilitation facilities offer clients a wide-range of different treatments, including: in-patient or residential treatment, out-patient treatment, intensive outpatient care, local support groups, recovery houses, and medical care. All forms of addiction treatments carry beneficial therapeutic values for drug and alcohol addicts.

In-Patient/Residential Treatment
When a client receives care from licensed therapists at a rehab center, he becomes a “patient” of the facility. A residential patient, or an inpatient, is someone who lives in a treatment facility for 24 hours a day, for as long as weeks or months. Living in a treatment facility allows the patient to free his mind from external problems, and focus only on recovering. Residential drug therapy is designed to help addicts understand the necessary changes they need to make in order to quit abusing drugs and lead healthy lifestyles. An inpatient will receive services such as individual therapy, group therapy, detox, art therapy, yoga, meditation, the 12-Steps, and physical exercise as part of their regimen. In the initializing process, licensed physicians and therapists conduct medical examinations, medical history evaluations and psychological evaluations in order to assess the severity of the patient’s addiction. Based on this information, physicians are able to decide what medications are required and the therapists create the program that best fits the patient’s treatment plan. The addiction therapy plan takes into account the patient’s family health history and any mental health disorders that could be affecting the patient, the physical and mental condition of the addict, and evaluation of his or her personality traits.

Outpatient treatment:
Outpatient treatment is the treatment provided to those who periodically visit the treatment facility in undergoing “outpatient treatment”. Patients will only receive therapy as recommended by a licensed therapist, allowing them to attend to his or her day-to-day responsibilities-such as attending to work or school. Outpatient treatment includes individual therapy, group therapy, relapse intervention, family counseling, the 12 steps, and after-care programs on “need basis”. The 12 Steps program has shown to be a successful treatment method because for decades, it has helped addicts accept their drug or alcohol problem, come to admit that they’re drug addicts, and find faith in God in reaching sobriety. Outpatient treatment is recommended for patients who are able to balance their daily day-to-day activities with clinical interventions and therapy sessions.

Intensive Outpatient Care:
Intensive outpatient care is a treatment program that does not require patients to participate in drug detoxification, but still requires individual therapy, group counseling, psycho-educational group therapy, self-management support, and useful methods such as the 12 Steps. It usually serves as a follow-up to residential care and detoxification services. Sessions usually range from 8 to 14 hours a week depending on what is recommended by their personal recovery specialist. Like outpatient care, the patient can still perform his daily activities, outside of their treatment facilities, and visit their counselors either in the morning or at the end of the day. The goal in intensive outpatient care is to generate relapse prevention techniques and develop stress management skills for the recovering addict.

Local Support Groups:
Local Support Groups are a form of group therapy, where patients are able to share and talk about similar experiences about their drug or alcohol addiction. Its benefit comes from addicts working with one another to cope with the emotional turmoil of drug addiction (whether it’s a matter of talking about financial issues, family relationship problems, or the physical pain endured during withdrawal). The benefits of participating in local support groups are establishing sympathetic discernment from others, developing social networks, and understanding the experiences of other addicts. Ultimately, the goal of local support groups is to help the addict build a greater understanding of their addiction problem through the integration of social networking.

Recovery House:
When a drug addict is consumed by the problems caused by drug addiction (whether it is financial, emotional or physical), they often forget what life was like before the addiction-like how to enjoy a family ‘get together,’ manage responsibilities with work or school, or how to lead productive lives. The proper treatment for such alienated behavior is to “re-acquaint” the addict with the reality of social living. Recovery houses solve that problem. A recovery house, or a sober house, is a treatment program that requires daily intensive individual and group counseling for residential patients and detox. Recovery houses are recommended for drug addicts who cannot manage their lives alone, and need disciplinary teachings in order to re-acquaint themselves with society’s way of living. In recovery houses, with the aid of intensive individual and group counseling, drug addicts learn to take control of their urges and refrain from taking drugs and drinking alcohol. More importantly, addicts learn to re-integrate themselves with society and become productive members of the community. Most health insurances cover the cost of staying at a recovery house, so make sure to ask about it upon deciding a treatment plan.

Medical and Mental Health Care
In all drug and alcohol rehabilitation, health practitioners, licensed physicians and doctors work together to provide the best possible treatment program for every individual addict. There are times that an addict cannot recover without the aid or use of medical drugs. Pharmacotherapy means providing ‘treatment for a disease through the application of prescribed medical drugs by health practitioners.’ As stated earlier, upon entering treatment, a personal physician or medical examiner will evaluate the patient’s medical history-checking for any striking family health problems, mental health disorders, and the physical and mental condition of the patient. This information is then assessed as to what type of treatment the patient will receive. Licensed physicians determine what kind of medication is necessary (or not) for the patient’s recovery program, and soon after the detoxification begins. When a personal physician administers medical drugs to an addict, the purpose is to help lessen the pain of withdrawal symptoms and aid in relapse prevention.

There are numerous approaches to drug and alcohol rehabilitation that one can take. Psychiatrists, behavioral psychologists, and health practitioners work round-the-clock to improve the therapeutic effects of drug rehab. Indeed, every addict lives in his or her own world of problems like many non addicts. The call for treatment can save lives.

Is Your Health/Fitness Sinking or Swimming

Did you know that when you are eating properly & have enough fiber in
your diet that your waste will float in the toilet. Are you floating
or sinking?

The eating of plenty of fresh raw fruits & vegetables will not only
provide life-producing enzymes for health maintenance, but the
vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, & fibers for a healthy colon. When
you go to the bathroom, it should only be a long trip if you want to
steal away for some quiet time away from the family or some moments
of peace of mind or reading – not because you need the time to
eliminate. Your solid waste elimination process can & should be just
as quick as the process of urination, & it should be at least 1 or
more times a day.

There are some people who eliminate waste only once or twice a week
or even a month. These people need a serious overhaul of their eating
habits & /or their colon.

If you are having an elimination problem, try natural sources of help
like prunes, prune juice, psyllium or senna tablets. Psyllium is a
natural fiber that can help with the elimination process. Senna
provides a gentle stool-softening effect rather than the harsh effect
of some laxatives. Natural foods & remedies should always be our first
choice of action. You should try your local health food store & /or
try a naturapathic doctor for advice on foods & other remedies & make
some lifestyle changes vs. quick fixes might help for the short run.
If you keep on doing what you’re doing, you will keep on getting what
you’re getting.

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, & the Life (John 14:6) & when we seek
Him w/our whole hearts, we will find the truth & the help that we
need for every area of our life.

Health, Drugs, and Rock and Roll

Next time you see a cancer patient banging his head to the mammoth-beats of Led Zeppelin, do not ever ask why. He might just be channeling the music’s healing property to his ailment and health as a whole.

Does it sound ridiculous? Wait until you hear about Music Therapy. Music therapy is a budding field in personal well-being and health care that uses music as a healing medium. Practitioners on this field believe in the profound impact of music on people’s health and psyche. No wonder there are more and more medical institutions that utilize background music to help heal their patients.

Music, according to music therapists, is an effective way to calm the nerves of patients who are traumatized by a disease. It has a huge role in the success of the pain management stage of the healing process. Music also helps ease muscle tension and it keeps the patient more focused.

Music has a direct effect on our brain waves. Music with harder beats keep the mind alert and more focused, while those with sluggish tempos promote a calm meditative state-of-mind. This may explain why kids who listen to The Ramones are more hyperactive and their elder brothers who dig dirge-y stuff like Sabbath are more laid-back. Well, we can point out the possibility of other extra-musical inputs that these people might be taking, but that would be dwelling far off the topic.

Let us go back to the main issue. Music, including its beat and structural changes, can also reduce stress via altering the heartbeat rate and breathing to a much calmer state. This explains why musical therapy can effectively aid the treatment of a patient with chronic stress.

If there is one area of physical well-being that music really hits good, it is our mental health. Music can function as an agent that promotes a more positive mental state. Through soothing music, depression and anxiety are kept off our mental territory. The result of this is very advantageous. A positive state-of-mind thwarts the body’s tendency to give in to stress. When the body gives in to stress, physical and mental health will break down next.

There are more benefits that music brings to our health. In fact, experts can write a whole treatise on the subject. These include the effect of music to a person’s blood pressure, sickness immunity and other varied physical problems. In time, this field in health care will be common to all medical institutions. For the meantime, let us bang our heads to the beat for health!

Hiring a Home Health Care Employee

Providing the primary care for an elder loved one can be difficult. When you cannot deliver all the elder care yourself and support from friends, family, and community organizations is not enough, it may be useful to hire a home health care worker. He or she can offer care from a few hours a week to 24 hours a day, and can provide many other helpful services. Types of in-home health care services include:

General Health Management like administration of medication or other medical treatments
Personal care such as bathing, oral hygiene, dressing, and shaving
Nutrition help like preparing meals, assisting eating, and grocery shopping
Homemaking services including laundry, dishwashing, and light housework
Companionship for example reading to the senior or taking them on walks

Recruiting and Interviewing Applicants

There are many avenues for hiring a home health care employee. Generally, home health care workers can be hired directly or through an agency. Home health care agencies often have a staff that includes social workers and nurses that will manage your care. However hiring an independent home health care worker is generally more cost effective, it will also give you more control over the type of care you receive.

Senior home care workers should be carefully screened for proper training, qualifications, and temperament. Fully discuss the needs of the elder care recipient during an interview with a prospective home health care employee. There should be a written copy the job description and the type of experience you are looking for.

References

Have applicants fill out an employment form that includes the following information:

Full name
Address
Phone number
Date of birth
Social Security number
Educational background
Work history

Before hiring, you should ask to see the senior home care worker’s licenses and certificates, if applicable, and personal identification including their social security card, driver’s license, or photo ID.

References should be checked out thoroughly. Prospective employees should provide the employer with names, dates of employment, and phone numbers of previous employers and how to contact them. It is best to talk directly to previous employers, rather than just to accept letters of recommendations. Also ask the applicant to provide or sign off on conducting a criminal background check

Special Points to Consider

Make sure the person you are considering hiring knows how to carry out the tasks the elder care recipient requires, such as transferring the senior to and from a wheelchair or bed. Training may be available, but make sure the worker completes the training successfully before hiring him or her.

No one should be hired on a seven-day-a-week basis. Even the most dedicated employee will soon burn out. All employees need some time to take care of their personal needs. No worker should be on call 24-hours a day. If the elder care recipient needs frequent supervision or care during the night, a family member or second home health care worker should be able to help out or fill in.

Live-in assistance may seem to be more convenient and economic than hourly or per-day employees but there can be drawbacks. Food and lodging costs must be calculated into the total cost of care, and it could be difficult to dismiss someone without immediate housing alternatives. If you decide to utilize a live-in arrangement, the employee should have his own living quarters, free time, and ample sleep.

Job Expectations and Considerations

Before hiring a senior home health care worker, you should go over the tasks you expect them to perform and other issues, such as promptness, benefits, pay scale, holidays, vacations, absences, and notification time needed for either employer or employee before employment is terminated. If you work and are heavily dependent on the home health care worker, emphasize the importance of being informed as soon as possible if he or she is going to be late or absent so that you can make alternative arrangements. Be clear about notification needed for time off, or what to do in the case the home health care worker experiences a personal emergency that requires them to abruptly leave work. It is important to have a backup list of friends, family, other home care workers, or a home health care agency you can call on.

Be clear about issues concerning salary, payment schedule, and reimbursement or petty cash funds for out of pocket expenses.

You should spend the day with the home health care worker on his first day to make sure you are both in agreement over how to carry out daily tasks. It would also be helpful to supply the home health care worker with a list of information on the elder care recipient such as: special diets, likes, dislikes, mobility problems, health issues, danger signs to monitor, possible behavior problems and accompanying coping strategies, medication schedule, therapeutic exercises, eye glasses, dentures, and any prosthetics.

You should also provide the following information to your home health care worker: your contact information, emergency contacts, security precautions and access to keys, clothing, and locations of washing/cleaning supplies, medical supplies, light bulbs, flashlights, fuse box, and other important household items.

Transportation

Another big consideration in hiring a senior home care worker is how he or she is going to get to work. If they do not have a reliable car or access to public transit, then you might want to consider hiring someone to drive him or her, which might be more economical than using taxis. Inform your insurance company if the home health care worker is going to drive your car when caring for the senior. Your insurance company will perform the necessary driving background checks. If the home health care worker is using his or her car to drive the elder care recipient, then discuss use of her or his car, and conduct a driving background check.

Insurance and Payroll

Check with an insurance company about the proper coverage for a worker in your home.

Make sure all the proper taxes are being drawn from the employee’s check by contacting the Internal Revenue Service, state treasury department, social security, and the labor department. If you do not want to deal with the complexities of the payroll withholdings yourself, than you can hire a payroll company for a fee.

Even if your home health care worker is working as a contractor, you are still obligated to report the earnings to the IRS. Talk to your accountant or financial adviser about making sure you are following IRS rules.

Ensuring Security

You should protect your private papers and valuables in a locked file cabinet, safe deposit box, or safe. If you are unable to pick up your mail on a daily basis, have someone you trust do it, or have it sent to a post box. You should check the phone bill for unusual items or unauthorized calls. You should put a block on your phone for 900 numbers, collect calls, and long-distance calls.

Keep checkbooks and credit cards locked up. Review credit card and bank statements on a monthly basis, and periodically request credit reports from credit reporting agencies. Lock up valuable possessions or keep an inventory of items accessible to people working in the house.

You can help to prevent elder abuse to your loved one by:

Make sure the home health care worker thoroughly understands his or her responsibilities, the elder care recipient’s medical problems and limitations, and how to cope with stressful situations.
Do not overburden the home health care worker.
Encourage openness over potential problems.

The following are possible signs of elder abuse or neglect:

Personality changes
Crying, whimpering, or refusing to talk
Sloppy appearance
Poor personal hygiene
Disorganized or dirty living conditions
Signs of inappropriate sedation, such as confusion, or excessive sleeping
Mysterious bruises, pressure sores, fractures, or burns
Weight loss

If you suspect abuse, act immediately. Do not wait until the situation turns tragic. Investigate the situation by talking to the elder care recipient in a safe situation, or install monitoring equipment. Examples of abusive behavior include yelling, threatening, or over controlling behavior that could involve isolating the senior from others. If the situation is serious, you should replace the home health care worker as quickly as possible. If you fear the elder care recipient is in danger, he or she should be separated from the home health care worker as soon as possible. Place the elder care recipient with a trusted relative or in a respite care facility. Make sure your loved one is safe before confronting the home health care worker, especially if there is concern about retaliation.

Report the situation to Adult Protective Services after ensuring the safety of the elder care recipient. The police should be contacted in the case of serious neglect, such as sexual abuse, physical injury, or misuse of funds.

Supervising a Home Health Care Worker

The most important thing to remember after hiring a home health care worker is to keep the lines of communication open. You should explain the job responsibilities clearly, and your responsibilities to the home health care worker. Do not forget that the home health care worker is there for the elder care recipient and not the rest of the family. For live-in arrangements, the maximum amount of privacy should be set up for the home health care worker’s living quarters. Meetings should be set up on a regular basis to assure that problems are nipped in the bud. If conflicts cannot be resolved after repeated attempts, than it is best to terminate the employee. In such a case, you may have to either place the elder care recipient in a nursing home temporarily or hire a home health care worker through an agency. Reserve funds should be kept on hand in the case of such an emergency.

General Eligibility Requirements for Home Care Benefits

Hiring a home health care worker directly is usually less expensive than hiring through a home health care agency; but if the elder care recipient is eligible and you wish to use assistance from Medicare, you must hire someone through a certified home health care agency. For the senior patient to be eligible, three or more services must be ordered by a physician. Other factors or eligibility are the required need for skilled nursing assistance, or one of the following therapies: physical, speech or occupational. The elder care recipient’s medical needs will determine asset and income requirements.

Hiring Home Health Care Workers through Home Health Care Agencies versus Independently

Different health professionals can assess the elder care recipient’s needs. A nurse or social worker can help with design and coordination of a home care plan. Your care manager, doctor, or discharge planner can help with services being covered by Medicare. They generally help make the arrangements with a home care agency.

You should ask the home health care agency how they supervise their employees, and what kind of training their employees receive. Find out the procedures for when an employee does not show up. Also ask about the fee schedule and what it covers, there may be a sliding fee schedule. Furthermore, find out if they have a policy for minimum or maximum hours. Ask the agency if there are any limitations on the types of tasks performed.

Especially if you have to pay for the care services yourself, find out if there are any hidden costs such as transportation. If all the costs for hiring a care worker through an agency become too much, you may want to consider hiring directly.

Hiring independent home health care workers is not only more economical than using an agency, but it also allows more direct control over the elder care.