Many people don’t think about their health until an adverse health event occurs, but we should all endeavor not to take good health for granted.  Preparing for an eventual illness or injury isn’t as difficult as one might think. And, we really do need someone to look out for us when we’re well, too!

Medical Test ResultsHere’s an example from my own life that brought the matter very close to home for me and a loved one. Having lived with cancer for over a dozen years, it’s quite routine for me to examine every lab test, pathology and radiology report with an eagle eye. It’s not so common for most people to be that way. My habit of looking over diagnostic reports led me to ask a friend if I could read the radiologist’s report of a CT scan she’d had more than a year before.

When my friend suffered an acute appendicitis attack, she’d gone to an urgent care clinic, and the physician had ordered a CT scan.  The scan results showed an inflamed appendix. It also pointed out that there was another condition going on.  Something very serious, which, until I read the report, had gone unnoticed by every health care provider who’d had any contact with my friend — even while she was hospitalized!  What I saw in the radiologist’s report was chilling.  She mentioned that she saw a mass in one of the kidneys that was worrisome and required follow-up.  However, every single doctor who had treated my friend since then had missed it.

Upon learning of the finding, my friend immediately notified her primary care physician, who scheduled further tests.  He learned that the mass had more than doubled in size since that first CT scan. He made sure that my friend was seen by a specialist (a surgeon), and, within the brief timespan of a month, my friend had a diagnosis of renal cell carcinoma and had a radical nephrectomy to remove it.

What’s my point in relating this story to our readers?  I want to encourage everyone out there to READ their lab test results and diagnostic reports.  Have a friend or other loved one read them, too. If you have ANY questions about what the results mean, communicate that to your health care provider as soon as possible.  Don’t delay!

Get copies of all test results!  Read them!  Have someone else look them over with you!  Ask your doctor about anything that appears to be out of the ordinary, or anything you don’t understand!

Stay well!


It isn’t about teenage woes any longer: professional women, wives, and expecting mothers are becoming victims of eating disorder. The condition is a complex compulsion to start eating in a way that disturbs psychological and physical wellbeing. It may include normal eating with instances of purging and binging; or may include the ingesting of extra calories.

Women with eating disorders may consider food as the only way to cope with negative emotions. Those with binge eating disorders will consume a large amount of food in a short period and feel shame or guilt afterwards.

Eating disorders may affect an individual’s daily functioning in several ways. Factors to consider include:

  • Social: Thoughts about consumption of food may make you uncomfortable in a social setting; overeating or undereating in front of your peers can raise stress levels.
  • Coping: Is reliance on food is used for managing stressors or coping with life’s problems? Overconsumption makes it a challenge to deal with stress and body-image issues.
  • Concentration: Adverse eating habits may result in loss of concentration in personal and professional life. It may also impede performance at college or workplace.

Women can experience these issues in every type of eating disorder, but they pertain mainly to these three:

Bulimia nervosa

This disorder includes purging and bingeing of food, and includes the intake of an excessive amount of food in a short sitting, and then trying to burn calories via enemas, vomiting, or over-exercising. Symptoms include eating beyond comfortable fullness, extreme dieting over a few months, and increased concern about body shape and weight. The effect can’t be generalized because the condition in present differently in women due to the complexity of the biological system.

Binge Eating Disorder

Most sufferers binge in secret to hide their habits, and eat till they get uncomfortably full. Many victims feel powerless to put an end to eating and feel disgusted, but don’t attempt to reverse the affect as in case of the previous condition. Patients may not be overweight, but health problems related to obesity may arise. Sufferers are also at a risk of depression and potential cardiac problems.

Anorexia nervosa

This is an eating disorder that can negatively affect your health; because of the dread of becoming overweight or feeling disgusted with your body image, mealtime and eating can become an overwhelming affair. Thoughts about eating less and watching what goes into the mouth consumes a major portion of the day, leaving little time for other activities. The sufferer develops a relentless goal of taking extreme measures to lose weight.

Ways to overcome eating disorders

You’ll be glad to know that there are several ways to overcome this condition; the following are some effective treatment options:

Psychologists: An eating disorder psychologist may help treat the condition and is often a part of multidisciplinary teams providing patient care. After identifying and attending to important issues faced by the patient, they help patients to replace negative behaviors and thoughts with positive ones.

Peer and family support: You should know that you can’t overcome a condition like eating disorder overnight. So give time to recovery as you get support from friends and family, reminding yourself that you are in control of your eating and can overcome the condition. Although you are responsible for your own recovery, peers and family members can motivate you to take action.

Educate yourself: Many women facing eating disorders are not aware of the negative consequences of the condition, so reading resources and learning how such disorders can affect your health and wellbeing can motivate you to take steps to overcome them.

 


Education, licensing, and experience are required in order to obtain a career in the healthcare industry. Each of these requirements are vital components in ensuring that medical professionals have the knowledge and expertise to care for patients effectively.

However, another aspect that is often overlooked by those interested in working in the healthcare industry, as well as those looking to hire healthcare staff, is having the right personality. Personality traits including compassion, emotional stability, patience, and more are necessary for being the best at what you do.

Below is a more in depth explanation as to why such traits are needed in the healthcare industry.

  1. Compassion (The Ability to Nurture)

Whether you’re a nurse, physician, or medical receptionist, compassion and the ability to nurture is a necessary trait to have. Patients are ultimately coming to you for assistance with their health. Whether they’re getting an annual checkup, have been severely injured, or are dealing with a terminal illness, all medical personnel needs to have a certain level of compassion that lets the patients know you care. Having the ability to sympathize with patients and provide a sense of comfort is not something that can be taught, it is something that comes naturally and is necessary to provide quality service.

  1. Emotional Stability

There’s no denying that the healthcare industry is very stressful and as such, those looking to work in the industry (or those looking to hire), need to be able to cope with their emotions and the varying levels of stress. From having a hectic schedule, to going through the ups and downs of medical experiences with patients, many in the healthcare industry suffer from a workplace burnout. As such, it is important to be able to maintain your emotions without allowing it to affect your quality of care.

  1. Patience

Each patient you interact with will be different than the next. Having the patience to deal with each patient accordingly is a great characteristic to have. For example, a pediatrician must have the patience to deal with their young patients. They must also have the ability to be patient with inquisitive parents. Without patience, medical professionals run the risk of disconnecting with their patients in turn pushing them to other practices or to formulate negative opinions about medical professionals as a whole.

  1. Effective Communication

In the healthcare profession, even the slightest form of miscommunication to lead to disastrous results. Communicating with staff, supervisors, and patients is critical to the success of any medical practice. Doctors and nurses must effectively communicate to provide the best patient experience. Medical professionals must also know how to effectively communicate with patients to ensure they fully comprehend the status of their health. When the line of communication is not open and effective, everyone suffers.

Applying for a Healthcare Position

For those interested in working in the healthcare profession, if you believe you have the educational foundation, appropriate licensing/ certifications, and the above mentioned personality traits, then you will do well in the healthcare industry. Obtaining a job simply becomes about marketing yourself to the medical practices out there and gaining industry experience. With an effective resume and the right resources, you can be well on your way to making a difference in the lives of others.

Hiring Healthcare Professionals

In need of highly qualified healthcare professionals? If you’re currently looking to hire staff, it is important to look for individuals who not only have the educational background, experience, and expertise, but those who also have the personality to provide your patients with the best experience possible. When looking for the best employees, sometimes it is beneficial to receive the help of top healthcare staffing agencies. They have an array of resources that allows them to recruit only the best healthcare personnel. Based on your needs, many agencies can help you in putting together a team that will look good on paper and impress in person.

With a high burnout percentage, and an obvious shortage in the healthcare industry, having the right personality traits is equally as important as having necessary paperwork and education. Whether you’re looking to make a difference, or looking for the best medical team in the area, ensuring that you (or they) have what it takes to really make a difference in the lives of patients is extremely important; not only for the success of your career (or medical practice), but for the overall quality of providing effective customer care.

 


Whether your pregnancy was planned or a joyous surprise, first time moms can often become very anxious the moment they receive a positive pregnancy test. While you’re overwhelmed with the joy of bringing new life into the world, it can just as easily be scary when you have no idea of what to expect. Every mom wants to do what is best for her to sustain a full term pregnancy and birth a healthy child. However, many are very confused as to where to start, what to do, and what should be avoided. First and foremost, you shouldn’t feel singled out as it happens to all parents, but the good news is, there is a lot of reliable information out there to assist you.

Below are a few tidbits of health advice for newly expectant mothers. While this advice is beneficial to review, it does not in any way shape or form replace the medical advice you might be provided by your doctor. As such, for more specific or in depth advice on how to maintain good health for you and your growing baby, it is always best to consult with a doctor.

Dealing with the Morning Sickness

While not all expectant mothers will experience this, morning sickness is one of the most commonly complained about symptoms during the first trimester of your pregnancy. Some symptoms you might experience include nausea, vomiting, and an upset stomach. While the name would suggest that these symptoms will only arise in the mornings, it can happen at any time. Since there are few medications that pregnant women are allowed to take, most doctors will recommend that you try natural remedies to ease your symptoms. Web MD points out some very good suggestions that would include:

  • Eating something small such as crackers or a piece of toast before getting your day started. This should help to lessen the affects of nausea.
  • Eat in smaller portions throughout the day to prevent becoming too full
  • Ginger tea can often be a great solution for soothing an upset stomach
  • Taking prenatal vitamins later in the day (if they upset your stomach in the morning)
  • Avoid foods that are difficult to digest
  • Keep a slice of lemon on hand as many women find smelling lemon calms nausea.

If the symptoms get really severe, such as excessive vomiting or the inability to keep any nutrients down then you’ll want to reach out to your doctor for further advice on how to handle your morning sickness.

Eating a Well Balanced Diet

In order for your baby to develop properly in the womb, it is important that you eat a well balanced diet that is complete with fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean meats. According to the American Pregnancy Association, a pregnant woman’s diet should consist of the following:

  • 2-4 servings of fruits
  • 4 servings of veggies
  • 6-11 servings of whole grain
  • 3 servings of protein
  • 4 servings of dairy

While these serving suggestions are ideal, it is important to talk with your doctor. This is especially true for expectant mothers who have medical conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. You’ll want to ensure that you’re consuming a diet that will not harm you or the baby.

Medication During Pregnancy

It is extremely important that you run all medications by your doctor before consuming them while pregnant. If you’re not careful, something as simplistic as a pain pill could cause harm to the fetus. Most doctors will try other solutions before agreeing to prescribe or recommend medications. However, if you’re currently taking medication for an existing medical condition, do not stop taking them until you’ve talked it over with your doctor. They will provide you with specific information as to which medications might be harmful and which are safe during pregnancy.

Finding Comfort

One of the things that most expectant mothers have in common is the discomfort they experience during their pregnancy. As their body shifts, grows, and adjusts to make room for the growing child, it can often leave the mother feeling less than comfortable. From being able to get a good night’s rest, to even having difficultly fitting in certain clothes, there’s always some challenge you’ll have to face. One great solution might be to receive a pregnancy massage from a specialist. Massages are a great way to relieve stress and get the blood circulating through your body. It can relieve any tension or inflammation you’re currently experience, and make pregnancy just a tad bit easier to get through.

While there isn’t much that a doctor can do to help with comfort, there are plenty of products on the market that can help give you the support and comfort you need. Some examples might include:

  • Support belts or shapers – these wrap around your belly and give you more support in the belly area.
  • Bobby Pillows – these C shaped pillows are great for mom’s looking to get a good night sleep. They can easily be placed between the legs, around the neck, or under the belly for extra cushion.
  • Compression hose – These panty hose are designed for pregnancy. Compression hose and support socks help to evenly distribute the pressure pregnant moms generally feel around their legs, thighs, and ankles.

There are a lot of products out there that you can invest in to help ease some of the growing pains you’ll feel during pregnancy. If you’re not sure about a particular product, it is always best to talk with your doctor before trying it out. There’s no such thing as a “dumb” question, and it’s always best to be safe than sorry.

Exercise or Physical Activity During Pregnancy

If you’re an expectant mother who loves to stay in shape, then you’re probably wondering if it’s safe for you to continue exercising or engaging in certain physical activities. While this advice will vary by individual, in most instances, physical activity is safe to continue. Activities such as walking, jogging, and yoga should be alright. As long as these activities don’t involve the any risks of trauma to the belly area, you should be fine. There are some fitness facilities that offer classes specifically for those who are expecting. Be sure that these classes are taught by a trained specialist through a reputable facility before participating.

While these are probably only a small fraction of the concerns you’ll have during your first pregnancy, this is enough to get you started. Remember, it is always best to run things by your doctor before trying them out to make sure that you’re not doing any harm to you and the baby. By maintaining your doctor’s appointments, eating a well balanced diet, and finding alternative ways to deal with the aches, pain, and discomfort you might experience, you should be well on your way to delivering a healthy bundle of joy.