Friday, October 30, 2009
Texas Health Resources is dedicated to positively impacting the level of health and wellness in the communities we serve. As a leader in providing health care to the region, we know that health and fitness go hand in hand. Maintaining a regular exercise regimen can provide you with increase strength, added energy, reduced stress, improved heart health, weight loss, a decrease in symptoms of many chronic conditions, and an overall increase in self esteem. With that in mind, we are bringing a top notch fitness facility to the residents of Burleson and surrounding communities. Our staff and services will offer the expert assistance you need to make your workouts productive, safe and fun.
Some of our amenities will include:
· Energetic, motivating, non-intimidating atmosphere
· Top of the line strength training equipment that are user-friendly, yet very effective
· Spacious Free Weight training area
· State of the art Cardio equipment featuring built-in TV monitors
· Full Group Fitness schedule including cardio, aqua, stretching, and cycle based programming
· Clean, spacious locker area featuring complementary towel service
· Babysitting services available for your children while you exercise
· Café area serving a variety of smoothie options as well as coffee, healthy food options and gift items
· 25 meter, 3 lane lap pool. This exquisite pool is available for both group aqua classes and individual lap swimming.
· Highly qualified staff of fitness trainers
Fitness Navigators available on the floor to assist you as needed with your fitness plan at no charge
We are excited about helping the residents of the Burleson area establish and maintain a healthier lifestyle. Our facility will cater to the general public, and is scheduled to open in April of next year.
Competitively priced memberships will be available starting in November of this year.
Please call 1-877-THR-Well for more information.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Vickie Debbs began her commitment to serve through compassionate care almost eight years ago here at Texas Health Fort Worth in the Nutrition department; since then, she has come to be known as ‘Ms. Vickie’. You see “Ms. Vickie has the presence of a dignified elder and makes you feel like smiling” (Anonymous Patient). I asked Ms. Vickie what she liked most about her job, and without hesitation she replied in her own sincere and passionate way, “the patients….I love the patients…I like to see them smile”.
Her principle of service is grounded in something she learned from Dr. King. "Everyone has the power for greatness—not for fame, but greatness, because greatness is determined by service (Martin Luther King Jr).”
As a hostess Ms. Vickie deliver’s bed side meals and snacks to patients, as well as assists them in making menu choices. She also “enjoys meeting new people”. “Sometimes I get pastors and really spiritual people and we spend time talking about the Bible.”
That is what service with a smile looks like.
"He who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That's your new definition of greatness. … It means that everybody can be great because everybody can serve. … You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. And you can be that servant." — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Chef Hugh Gittens
Friday, October 23, 2009
The proposed Soda Tax has been a hot topic on several prominent websites dedicated to nutrition. I’m not an expert in Food & Obesity Policy (see www.yaleruddcenter.org for all statistics in this article and very interesting reading) for educated experts talk about these issues, but as a health care provider, I do have an interest in reducing childhood obesity and improving the overall health in my community.
A 2004 study reports that the average person drinks 50 gallons of soda a year! So if you do the math, that is approximately 533 cans of soda per year. Not far reaching if one is drinking 1-2 sodas per day. That doesn’t even touch the stories of teens who drink 1-2 liters of soda per day.
Soda is the single largest contributor of calorie intake in the United States. We know what that means…extra calories, extra weight, and soon obesity related health problems. For children, each extra can or glass of soda consumed per day increases their chance of becoming obese by 60%. A 2009 California study found that adults who drink one or more sodas per day are 27% more likely to be overweight or obese than those who do not drink soda.
The marketing geniuses for soda companies recognize that traditional carbonated drink sales are down, and have been marketing beverages sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened waters and teas. Sales of these non-carbonated sweetened drinks are up. That brings up the recommendation that all sugar-sweetened beverages be taxed.
You may scoff at soda if you have more sophisticated tastes (yes, I’m talking to you foodies). But what about those sugar-laden coffee or juice drinks that are available at most fast food markets, coffee houses, or gas stations? The bottom line is everything we eat and drinks needs to be analyzed. Empty calories in any form can affect the bottom line…your health.
- Tiffany Norris, MSN, RN, BC, PMHNP
Bariatric Nurse Coordinator
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The Center for Women and Infant's Health at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth is a Brazelton Touchpoints Recognized Program. For you as new parents this means the staff will collaborate with you and empower you to have the ability to maintain your child's health and the health of your family. By using the Touchpoints values, principles and practices as guidance each caregiver will work with you to provide the care and support your baby needs to be healthy and ready to learn. Touchpoints are predictable periods in a child's development that can disrupt family relations. These are times of disorganization that we value as opportunities to support family strengths and optimize children's development Did you know you are an expert on your baby’s behavior even before birth? Think about what you know about your baby before he/she is born. What is his/her activity level? How does he/she respond to noise or touch? Our staff has received special training in child development and is here to help you recognize your baby’s individual strengths and cues. From the moment you arrive at The Center for Women and Infants' Health you are in contact with Touchpoints trained caregivers. Investment in and commitment to the Touchpoints model gives our staff the opportunity to build relationships and influence your bond between you and your baby.
For more information on Brazelton Touchpoints visit www.touchpoints.org
Thanks to T. Berry Brazelton, MD for his work with over 25,000 children and parents. Dr. Brazelton is also the author of over 40 books on pediatrics and child development.
- Becky Law, RN
Monday, October 19, 2009
I don’t watch a lot of television, but I’m always interested in viewing programs that feature nurses in key roles. Unfortunately for our profession, nurses are almost always cast in an unfavorable light, either as lovelorn incompetents, physicians’ handmaidens, or mean Nurse Ratcheds. So far this TV season has been no different and I feel I need to speak out against the way nurses are stereotyped on TV. If you know a nurse you know these images are far from true…and oft times insulting.
You don’t see it on TV, but before a Registered Nurse begins to practice they spend years in college gaining the classroom and clinical skills needed to be able to deliver quality, safe patient care. Once they graduate from their nursing program, they must pass a comprehensive exam to obtain their license to practice…and believe me, it is not something you can prepare for by standing around chatting about your love life…like they do on TV.
Professional nursing is most assuredly a science, but it is also an art. Nurses care for the whole person and know that what we do not only impacts the individual patient but their family and community, and it is not just in thirty minute or one hour segments like it is on TV. It is a 24/7 profession, and to borrow an old phrase, a nurse’s work is never done. Professional nurses work in a variety of disciplines and settings, and then specialize even further. For example, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Nurses have specialized knowledge and training and care for our tiniest and most vulnerable patients. And they don’t just care for their tiny patients, they also provide care and support for the whole family. They listen and provide encouragement daily for worried family members as they sit by the incubators of their precious babies. They teach those families how to care for their babies when they are discharged, and how to keep them safe.
Here is an example of the wholistic approach of nursing. If one of those vulnerable babies were to get the flu, it could cause very serious problems for them. To help decrease that risk, the NICU nurses came up with the idea of providing free flu shots to families while they are visiting their babies. By providing immunizations to the families, they decrease the risk of exposure for the babies in the nursery, and in the community. Mom and dad, grandma and grandpa, don’t have to leave the NICU to find a provider for their immunization and don’t have to add more expense or worry to a difficult situation.
Giving out free flu shots may not have enough romance or drama for TV network executives, but to a worried mom or dad whose baby is in NICU, it is a “true life” story worthy of “reality TV”.
- Devonna McNeil, RN, MS
Friday, October 16, 2009
October is a busy month for Breast Cancer Awareness. Whether you are in the store, watching TV, watching professional sports or college sports, or reading the newspaper, there is something PINK in the midst of it all. It is awesome that something as simple as a color can bring a reminder to each and every one of us. PINK= Breast Cancer.
I know that most of us have a sister, mother, aunt, friend, wife, or yourself, that has been touched by breast cancer. The facts are astounding and the message is HOPE.
An estimated 182,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to occur in the U.S. this year, according to ACS. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. The second leading cause of death among women, (lung cancer is first), and breast cancer is also the most common. Fortunately, breast cancer deaths have been decreasing since 1990 as detection and treatment improve, reducing the mortality rate to 3 in 100.
Early detection and treatment are keys to breast cancer survival. When breast cancer has not strayed outside the breast, the five year survival rate is close to 100%! Mammography is the most reliable way to detect breast cancer. Now, most women are diagnosed at early stages. Still, 25% of breast cancers are detected through a breast exam, about 35% by mammography and 40% through a combination of exam and mammography. Performing routine breast self-exams is still essential.
Here are some ways to check for possible signs of breast cancer. The 3 most common symptoms are: 1. changes in the look or feel of the breast. 2. Changes in the look or feel of the nipple. 3. Nipple discharge. Lumps do no necessarily mean you have cancer; most are benign. Changes to the skin include redness, darkening, puckering (a pulling that causes an indentation), or dimpling. An inverted nipple – one that pulls inward-may be another sign. Nipples may also become itchy, scaly, sore, or have a rash or discharge.
In addition to mammograms, other imaging options include stereotactic imaging, ultrasound, PET scans. None of these are standard screening methods, and some are still experimental.
Many factors are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. One of the most important factors is aging. The older you get, the greater the risk. At age 20 your risk is just 1 in 1,985. But at age 70, your risk increases to 1 in 24. If you live to 85 years old, your odds increase to 1 in 8. The lifetime risk of breast cancer is 8%, or 1 in 12.
About 5%-10% of breast cancers are due to inherited genetic mutations, like BRCA1 and BRCA2. People with these mutations have a 40%-80% risk of contracting breast cancer and a high risk of ovarian cancer. Other factors that increase risk are:
-First period before age 12; menopause after 55; excess weight after menopause
-first child after age 30; no children’ taking birth control pills for 5 years or longer
-drinking more than one alcoholic drink per day.
Diet and exercise make a difference. Weight gain after age 18 and after menopause is a risk factor. In turn, losing that added weight may decrease your chances of getting breast cancer. Diet combined with exercise can be important for managing your risk. Physical activity also helps maintain a healthy immune system.
HRT or hormone replacement therapy can raise breast cancer risk. Lifetime exposure to estrogen provides a constant stimulus to breast cells. Early onset of puberty, late onset of menopause and having children after age 30-all events associated with increased estrogen production are risk factors. This does not prove, however, that estrogen causes breast cancer.
What is the biggest risk?? BEING A WOMAN. Although a small percentage of men develop breast cancer too. With better screening processes for early detection, breast cancer doesn’t have to be fatal.
So, with all of this said, be a friend and an advocate for yourself and others. Practice your self breast exams and get your yearly mammograms. If you find or see something unusual with your breasts, contact your physician. It could save your life.
- Dana McGuirk, RN
Breast Nurse Navigator
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Let me start out by saying that this was not just any patient. This particular patient had frequently been in our hospital several times.
This patient and family had spent the better part of the month with us. Needless to say, all of our nurses on the unit had cared for this patient.
On an afternoon, I walked out for report that morning, I immediately recognized the name written on the room, but couldn’t put a face to it. A short while later the patient’s family came from the waiting room to ask if we knew
anything at this point. As soon as I saw the family, all the details flooded back to me. With the help of the a few clinicians, I began to call all of the patient's previous doctors. We are blessed at Texas Health Fort Worth to have very talented physicians to work with. Within 30 minutes one of the patient's doctors was in the room and had talked to the family. He came back from the private waiting room they had been put in, and said they wanted to withdraw life support once all their family was there.
The orders were written to make the patient a DNR (do not resuscitate) and all of the withdrawal orders were in place. While we waited for the rest of the family, one of our patient care technicians said that the family asked her if we could wait to withdrawal until the patient was outside. I will admit the ICU nurse in me said ”WHAT?! We can’t take a ventilator outside!”
Once I returned to the unit, the family was in the room along with their priest. One of our palliative care nurse practitioners came by and we began to talk about the situation. I think just having her around makes you calmer and more compassionate. We talked for a while about how we could make this possible.
We then had to think of ways to get to the meditation garden without having to go straight through the lobby. She made a call to the palliative care unit and the nurses there as well as our PCT began to make calls to figure out how to get the back gate of the garden open. After endless phone calls, we had it figured out. We had the code to the gate and within a short amount of time the stretcher
was there as well as the two palliative care RNs.
We all decided we needed to do a test run to make sure the stretcher would fit through the gate as well as be able to get it where we needed it. We completed our test run successfully. The palliative care nurses went to set up their privacy screens for the small areas we would have to go by before we got into the garden. Once back upstairs, we set up the stretcher and I told the family the plan. They were going to go down to the garden and we would meet them there momentarily. The five of us moved the patient to the stretcher, got him comfortable and started on our way to the garden.
There were a few small bumps,but we made it and it was a beautiful
80-degree Texas day. There was a light breeze making it the perfect afternoon.
All of the patient's family was gathered in the shade next to the waterfall. The patient's next-of-kin said they were ready, and I extubated the patient. Through their tears, the family told the patient that he/she was loved and that the family kept their promise not to let him die in the hospital. We all stepped away to give the family alone time with the patient in these final moments. As we stood at the main entrance to the garden, I looked at the wall and saw the plaque that read “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. A time to give birth and a time to die…” It was perfect. Within a few minutes, the patient took one last breath and passed away in the arms of a loving family.
We have to deal with many deaths as nurses in the ICU, most of which are
unexpected and terribly traumatic. While no death happens without sadness, this was the perfect way for this patient to finish life. It was not in the hospital, as the family had promised the patient, and in the arms of a wonderful and caring family.
- An ICU Nurse
Texas Health Fort Worth
Do you dread the holidays and the never ending feasts? Do you gain the dreaded 7-10 pounds, only to start your New Year swearing to lose it? Though that number may be slightly exaggerated, the average adult does gain 1-2 pounds per year and doesn’t take it off. That estimate is often doubled for those who are already overweight.
Over the years those extra pounds turn into significant weight gain and can cause health related problems, such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnea, infertility. And the list goes on and on… Getting on the scale and having another talk about weight loss is often the reason most overweight and obese patients avoid medical follow up in the first place.
Weight loss isn’t simple. There is no quick fix solution for weight loss, but there are options for those who have tried again and again to lose weight and cannot do it on their own. Surgical weight loss or bariatric surgery has been proven to improve diabetes, high blood pressure and other obesity related health problems.
Texas Health Fort Worth offers several surgical weight loss options.
• Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
• Adjustable Gastric Banding
• Sleeve Gastrectomy
A free seminar will be presented by Dr. Douglas Lorimer and Dr. Antonio Castañeda on Monday, November 2nd at 6:00 p.m. in the Education Center. There is also a webinar available that addresses the most frequent questions about weight loss surgery.
For more information, visit our web.
- Tiffany Norris, MSN,RN,BC,PMHNP
Bariatric Nurse Coordinator
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
If you find yourself swallowed or drowning in your grief, whether it is from a recent loss or one that occurred many years ago, taking time to journey through the valley of grief might be helpful. Seek out a group or someone to journey with you.I would like to leave you with an ancient Irish blessing.
Monday, October 5, 2009
The holiday season starts in October with Halloween candy and lingers all the way through February with Valentine’s chocolate. If you eat sweets the whole way through, you are sure to gain weight! However, there are many healthy alternatives to sugary candy so let’s take a look.
Individually Packaged Goodies
Halloween candy should be individually packaged goodies for trick-or-treaters and parties. This helps with food safety and also allows for storage. Throw out the chocolate KISSES and Butterfingers and pick up mini boxes of raisins that are nutrient-rich and high in fiber. Other healthy alternatives include 100 calorie packs of whole grain trail mix and low-fat favorites like graham crackers, Teddy Grahams and Goldfish.
Toss the chocolate bars and grab some whole grain, individually packaged granola bars. Quaker® makes a variety of oat-based granola bars with chocolate and peanut butter flavors. Fiber 1®, Kashi® and Nature Valley® also have healthy choices for crunchy and chewy whole grain granola bars.
Other sweet, yet healthy favorites might include low-fat pudding cups (not already refrigerated), natural apple sauce cups and even whole fruits. Even healthy fats can be a Halloween treat. Try 100 calorie packs of almonds and peanut butter crackers.
So the key here is to think outside the box, look for some healthy options at the grocery store and provide your family and neighbors with some nutrient-rich Halloween goodies this season!
Friday, October 2, 2009
- Be a “shining” example in your neighborhood—wear reflective clothing and carry a bright flashlight.
- “It’s ten o’clock; do you know where your kids are?”—set a “check in” time, even if they go out foraging for more goodies again later.
- “Got young kids?” ---go with them.
- Have a word with your teen drivers about being extra cautious in neighborhoods.
- Pick out your favorite treat from their stash, and while you are looking through it, make sure all candy is wrapped and sealed.
- Churches and community centers throw great parties—consider a fall festival if trick or treating isn’t your bag.
- Remind your gremlins not to go between parked cars or dart across the street.
- Make sure Halloween costumes fit properly, if they are loose, or drag the ground, your goblins may trip and fall.
- Pumpkin carving always requires supervision! If you put candles in them, make sure your walkway is clear to avoid a fire hazard.
- Have a plan in case your child gets separated from the group—a safe location to meet.
- Walkie talkies and cell phones are great tools for keeping in touch.
- Tell your child to only go to homes that have their lights on and never go inside a stranger’s house
Thursday, October 1, 2009
- Difficulty breathing or breathing too fast
- Feeling confused or unable to stay awake
- A high fever that will not break
- Anyone who suffers from organ disease (liver, heart, brain, lung, etc.)
- Anyone who suffers from cancer
- Women who are pregnant
- Any patient who is immuno-compromised (eg. HIV patients, organ transplant recipients)
- Patients who are elderly (65 years or older)
- Anyone who feels sicker than they usually do with the flu
If you have children who have flu-like symptoms, you may consider visiting your local children's hospital when:
- They have a fever of 101 degrees or higher
- They are struggling to breathe, experiencing rapid breathing or spells of not breathing
- If they display bluish discoloration of the skin, specifically in the fingernails, toenails and lips
These symptoms are not complete or exclusive. As always, listen to your body. A primary care physician is equipped to treat flu-like symptoms. People often times think running to the emergency room is the best option. It is a good option for people who have serious flu-like complications. However, if you just feel kind of bad and want flu medicine, the ER is not the best place for you. What many don't realize is that the ER is still taking care of really sick patients (trauma patients, heart attack patients, etc.) who do not need to be surrounded by people who have the flu. I am not discouraging you from coming to the ER if you feel like your flu case is serious, but you might consider your local doctor first.
Also, one more important thing to remember - it is very important that children and individuals who are sick refrain from visiting loved ones who are in the hospital!
More to come tomorrow on the flu. Please leave any comments or questions you might have and we will do our best to get a response to you!
- Whitney Jodry
Public Information Officer