Archive for September, 2014

Back to school: school nurses lead way to healthy year

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014



The nationwide average ratio of school nurse to students is one to 1,150, which is higher than the one-to-750 ratio recommended by the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) and Healthy People. While there is a shortage of funded school nurse positions, many states are moving to improve their ratios; 38 states increased their school nurse-to-student ratio.

“The health care industry is shifting toward a community-based approach to health,” says Dr. Bonnie Saucier, president of Chamberlain College of Nursing’s Tinley Park, Ill. campus. “Community health centers, clinics and schools all play an important role in keeping the population healthy. As the health care industry focuses on prevention, the school nurse plays an even more vital role in delivering health and wellness programs to students and their families.”

School nurses serve to remove barriers to learning by providing early intervention services – like scoliosis and eyesight checks – to the entire student body. They also manage individual student cases, which include moderating allergy triggers or allocating prescribed medication. It is estimated that 20 to 30 percent of children have chronic health conditions. In many cases, the school nurse is the only health care professional students see on a regular basis; 9 percent of children do not have health insurance, which makes the role of the school nurse even more crucial.

Schools that employ a nurse report increased attendance as chronic illness is identified and managed; teaching staff can focus on teaching, rather than providing health care; and less strain falls on other health services because of reduced number of emergency calls, according to NASN.

“In order for a student to be successful in the classroom, he or she has to be physically and emotionally well,” says Jennifer Joseph, a school nurse in Oak Park, Ill., and graduate of Chamberlain College of Nursing’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program. “As a parent and school nurse, knowing my kids have access to a baccalaureate-prepared nurse in their schools makes me feel more at ease when I send them to school each day.”

BSN degree programs, like Chamberlain’s, enable students to earn their degrees in as few as three years of year-round study. Chamberlain’s program introduces students to a variety of work settings – including schools – through diverse clinical experiences, and allows students to enter the workforce faster than peers in traditional four-year programs.

“Nurses who choose to serve in schools have the unique responsibility to care for students in the absence of their families,” says Dr. Saucier. “The academic success and vitality of the community starts at the school, and the school nurse is at the center of it all.”

Stress management tactics for an improved self, inside and out

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014



Helping women everywhere discover the benefits of a holistic approach to skincare, the Simple brand (a range of facial skincare products that is perfect even for sensitive skin) launched the Simple Advisory Board, which is a group of noted lifestyle and wellness experts who help women care for their skin from the inside out. By focusing on different lifestyle choices that can impact skin like diet, fitness and stress management, women can look beyond their typical skincare routine for ways to improve their skin’s health and overall well-being. Women can embody the holistic approach to skincare in every way possible, which is why, when it comes to ingredients, Simple knows that what is left out is just as important as what is put in. This philosophy is the reason why none of the products contain dyes, artificial perfumes or harsh chemicals that can upset skin, just the purest possible ingredients for natural, healthy-looking skin.

Simple Advisory Board member, Dr. Josie Howard, is a board-certified psychiatrist who specializes in psychodermatology, an area of medicine that focuses on the relationship between stress, emotional well-being and skin health. Below are Dr. Howard’s top tips for effectively and constructively managing stress to help minimize the effects it can have on your skin.

* Take a breather: Resting your body and mind is crucial to regulating blood flow and circulation, both of which are essential in achieving naturally healthy-looking skin. When you feel unusually anxious and stressed out, it may be a sign of exhaustion or fatigue. Find a calm and quiet space and take a few moments to “take a breather,” by meditating, napping or even just pausing from the busy day. Allowing both body and mind to take a break will keep your body feeling more regulated and your skin looking beautiful. Closing your eyes and focusing on the sounds and smells that surround you in that moment is a great way to center yourself in the present; a scented candle and soft music can be of great assistance with this exercise.

* Create a relaxation routine: Stress has a big influence on the health and appearance of skin and can show itself in many ways. When you are stressed, hormones in the body become thrown off balance. As a result, your skin’s ability to protect itself against environmental pollutants and irritants becomes compromised, leaving the skin more prone to breakouts, irritation and dehydration. There are many ways to create a sense of calm when things become stressful – listening to music, writing in a journal, or practicing yoga are great ways to constructively unwind. The trick is to pick an activity that works best for you and be sure to proactively make that practice a priority every day to effectively combat stress and improve your overall skin health.

Say it with a smile: Any level of emotional stress we experience can readily be detected on our face, whether it is seen through breakouts, irritation and even blushing. When we smile, we not only look better, less tired and more refreshed, but our brains also interpret this as a signal that we actually are feeling happy and content. Moreover, smiling can help others react to us in a more positive way, which can lead to less stressful experiences overall.

Take adequate rest: The notion of “beauty sleep” is not a myth: deep, restorative sleep is essential for growth hormone release, which is necessary for effective tissue repair in the skin. Stress can impair sleep quality, leading to a cascade of hormonal consequences that result in unwanted physical results – unhealthy food choices, weight gain and puffy skin. Over time, chronic sleep deprivation can leave skin looking pale and haggard, reducing its natural protective qualities. Dr. Howard advises removing electronics (even smartphones!) from the bedroom to keep stress triggers at bay and to step away from the computer and other electronic devices at least one hour before bedtime.

For more information about Simple Skincare and tips from Dr. Howard and the other Simple Advisory Board experts visit www.simpleskincare.com. While there, take the Simple Sense quiz to receive customized information and advice regarding skincare and holistic living.

Tips to make the most out of summer

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014


No matter what your summer plans are, everyone is looking to have a great time with friends and family. Keep the summer exciting with new activities and snacks. Trying new adventures in good company makes for lasting memories.

 
Stacy Keibler, actress and television personality, stays active all summer long and knows how important it is to enjoy every moment. No matter what she is doing, she knows that summer is about feeling great, having fun and staying healthy.
Below are some fabulous tips from Stacy on how to spice up your summer.

 
* “Fashion is a huge part of living up the summer. Whether I’m on a boat or taking a stroll, I always stay classy and feminine. My favorite classic pieces for the summer are a pair of neutral sandals and a great fedora or Panama hat, but you will definitely find me rocking some new trends like printed or colored denim and a great low-wasted flowing skirt. I’m going to have so much fun with my summer outfits.”

 
* “Traveling is a big part of my summer but it can be draining at times. That’s why I keep snacks on hand to keep my energy up. You can usually find alkaline water, raw nuts and my new favorite snack, New York Style Mini Bagel Crisps, in my purse. My new snack is a perfect little bite that helps me get through a long flight or drive.”

 
* “To stay in shape, I try to work out five days a week for an hour to an hour and a half. My workout routine changes daily and I love to challenge myself with new exercises. I love the feeling after working out knowing that I have done something good for myself and my health. Once you start your routine, you won’t want to stop.”

 
* “Summer is also a great time to adapt favorite recipes with healthier options. I love to cook and make recipes healthier by substituting things. I eat well and make sure to have three healthy meals throughout the day with two snacks in between. My favorite summer meal is grilled chicken with steamed or roasted veggies or salad with lots of fresh raw veggies and chicken. My favorite summer snack is Roasted Garlic New York Style Original Bagel Crisps. Bagel Crisps also make for a quick and delicious appetizer for guests when paired with creamy cheeses like, brie and goat cheese.”

 
* “It’s a good idea to always make it a point to have fun wherever you are. Usually, if you are having fun the people around you will too, so make the best of every situation. My favorite summertime activity is anything outdoors. Always make it a point to have fun wherever you are. My motto has always been carpe diem.”

 
Remember, you can make or break your summer, so go out and show off your best outfit and create unforgettable memories. To help you have fun this summer, New York Style is offering one winner a once-in-a-lifetime red carpet event for a mini taste of the VIP life. Visit www.Facebook.com/NewYorkStyleSnack for rules and how to enter.

High temperatures increase health risks for people with diabetes

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

“Heading to the beach, the pool or the park is a great way to cool down and stay in shape when the temperature rises, but people with diabetes may not realize the heat can place them at greater risk for serious, heat-related illness,” says Dr. Deneen Vojta, senior vice president and chief clinical officer of UnitedHealth Group’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance (DPCA). “Diabetes actually impairs a person’s ability to sweat, which means that hot, humid weather can dangerously reduce the body’s regulation of blood sugar levels. That’s why it is critical that people with this disease take proper precautions to avoid conditions like heat exhaustion and heat stroke.”
Vojta offers seven simple tips that may help people with this disease to stay active, healthy and safe when temperatures are high:
1. Check your blood sugar levels often. Changes in activity and heat levels can affect your body’s insulin needs.
2. Wear sunblock. Sunburn can tax your body and trigger increased blood glucose levels.
3. Stay cool. Take regular breaks from the heat in air-conditioned areas or designated cooling centers, if possible. Make sure to exercise in an air-conditioned place or exercise during early morning and evening hours when temperatures are cooler.
4. Keep medication and supplies cool and away from direct sunlight. Extreme temperatures and sunlight can have a damaging effect on diabetes medication such as insulin, causing the drug to break down or become less effective.
5. Stay hydrated. Dehydration stresses the body and affects glucose levels. 
6. Avoid caffeine and alcohol in high temperatures. Both alcohol and caffeine have diuretic effects that can increase risks of dehydration.
7. Be alert for common signs of heat exhaustion. Signs of serious health-related illnesses can include: heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting and fainting.
Vojta advises that people with diabetes should be on the lookout for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke and seek medical attention right away if they experience symptoms.
Additional resources on managing and preventing diabetes can be found by visiting the websites of the American Diabetes Association (www.diabetes.org) and the National Diabetes Education Program (ndep.nih.gov/resources). UnitedHealth Group also offers a range of helpful tips and information on the disease at www.unitedhealthgroup.com/diabetes.