Tag Archives: health

10 Ways to Improve Your Bedside Manner

84516963A physician must absorb a tremendous amount of knowledge before he or she is prepared to treat patients.

But computers and robots are capable of absorbing far greater quantities of information. So why is no one calling for doctors to be replaced by computers or robots?

The answer is that medical patients are looking for warmth, support and understanding in addition to expert medical knowledge. These are things that human beings can provide but machines cannot.

It is a part of your responsibility as a physician to cultivate a compassionate and comforting bedside manner, and here are 10 recommendations that can help you improve your performance in this vitally important area:

#1 Focus exclusively on your patient

Doctors are like jugglers trying to keep a dozen balls in the air at the same time. But no matter how busy or pressed for time you are you should never allow yourself to become distracted by other matters when you are with a patient.

#2 Observe the non-verbal elements of every encounter

Listen to the tone of your patient’s voice and watch his or her body language closely. This will tell you a lot about what your patient is really thinking and feeling, making it easier for you to respond in the appropriate manner.

#3 Work hard to make a good subliminal impression

By this we mean pay attention to your own body language, facial expressions and vocal tones. Your patient should see you as authoritative yet receptive, businesslike yet compassionate.

#4 Make your patient feel safe and comfortable.

If the medical problem is of a highly personal nature, let your patient know you would be willing to move to a more private space to discuss it.

#5 Adopt an open style of questioning

Draw your patients out and get them to go into detail about their problem and the symptoms they’ve been experiencing. You’ll gain more insight while validating their desire to be listened to and taken seriously.

#6 Listen closely

Make absolutely sure you understand the nature of your patient’s symptoms. If anything seems ambiguous or unclear ask questions and pay close attention to the answers. If your patient thinks you haven’t been listening he or she will see it as a sign of indifference and disrespect.

#7 Don’t judge

You are a professional and you can’t do your job properly unless you remain detached. Be honest with yourself and hold yourself accountable if and when you come up short in this area.

#8 Choose your words carefully

You must never forget your patients are apprehensive and in an emotionally fragile state. So always try to stay positive, upbeat, hopeful and encouraging, but without being trite, condescending or patronizing.

#9 Be reassuring

Let your patients know exactly what they have to do to get better and explain to them the role you will play in the healing process. Always emphasize healing over illness or injury, it will help your patient stay optimistic and relaxed.

#10 Stay in control but remain warm and polite

If your bedside manner is good your patients may be so comforted by your presence they won’t want to let you go. Be as polite as you can when you have to end an appointment and let your patients know you will always be available if and when they need to visit you again.

Making it Second Nature

At times it may be difficult to put your best foot forward in your interactions with your patients. After all you are a human being who has bad days just like everyone else.

But never forget that practice makes perfect. The more diligent you are about cultivating a warm and caring persona the easier it will be to maintain it in every circumstance.

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Everything You Need to Know About Comas

450063159Comas are a popular plot point in movies and television, but what exactly is a coma?

What Is a Coma?

When someone falls into a coma, he or she is in a prolonged state of unconsciousness. To outsiders, it looks as though the patient is just in a deep sleep; however, the patient can’t be awakened.

What Causes a Coma?

Comas are the result of injury to the brain. The injury can be caused by bleeding, increased pressure, buildup of toxins or a lack of oxygen. The injury can be either temporary and reversible or permanent. Over half of comas are related to head trauma or to disturbances in the circulatory system of the brain.

The following problems in the brain can lead to a coma:

  • trauma
  • swelling
  • bleeding
  • stroke
  • blood sugar
  • oxygen deprivation
  • infection
  • toxins
  • repeated seizures

What Are the Types of Coma?

Types of coma include:

  • Toxic-metabolic encephalopathy—an acute condition of brain dysfunction where the patient presents as confused, delirious, or both. This condition can usually be reversed. The causes are varied, but can include infection, systemic illness and organ failure.
  • Anoxic brain injury—This brain condition is caused by a complete lack of oxygen to the brain. When the brain lacks oxygen for a few minutes, brain tissues can experience cell death. Anoxic brain injuries can be a result of a heart attack, drowning, head injury or trauma, drug overdose or poisoning.
  • Persistent vegetative state—Patients in this state are severely unconscious. The patient is unaware of his or her surroundings and is not able to move. Even if a patient in a persistent vegetative state is able to awaken, he or she may have no higher brain functioning. Those in persistent vegetative state are able to breathe and have sleep-wake cycles.
  • Locked-in syndrome—With this rare neurological condition, the patient is completely paralyzed except for the eye muscles. The patient remains awake and alert and has a normal mind.
  • Brain death—Brain death can be caused by lasting or widespread injury to the brain. The patient loses all brain function, and the condition is irreversible.
  • Medically induced—This is a type of temporary coma, or a deep state of unconsciousness. Doctors use this type of coma to protect the brain from swelling if the patient has suffered an injury. The doctor administers a controlled dose of anesthetic, which makes the patient lose feeling or awareness. The doctors then watch the patient’s vitals.

Can Comas Be Treated?

Treatment for comas is mostly supportive. The patient may receive medications, surgery or antibiotics to help relieve complications. If a patient has suffered a coma because of an overdose, the coma can usually be reversed if the patient receives medical attention quickly.

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How to Recover from a Sinus Infection Faster

Young blonde female blowing her noseA sinus infection, otherwise known as sinusitis, can leave you feeling pretty miserable. The sinuses are pockets in the forehead and face that produce normal mucus to keep you healthy, as well as moisten the air you breathe. When the sinuses get inflamed, they’re not able to perform their usual functions, and this sometimes results in infection.

Symptoms

There is a range of symptoms that someone with a sinus infection might exhibit. These include:

  • a runny nose
  • congestion
  • coughing
  • sneezing
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • bad breath
  • sore throat
  • fever
  • pressure or tenderness around eyes

Not everyone has the same symptoms, and these symptoms also vary in severity dependent upon the individual.

Home Remedies

Often, sinus infections will improve on their own with time. To help alleviate symptoms, there are a number of measures you can take.

  • Use nasal saline
  • Apply warm heat
  • Breathe in steam vapors from the shower
  • Drink lots of fluids
  • Flush out sinuses
  • Rest
  • Use decongestants as needed
  • Use over-the-counter painkillers as needed
  • Drink tea
  • Eat spicy foods
  • Avoid cigarettes

When to See a Doctor

If your sinus infection isn’t going away with home remedies, you may need to see a doctor. If you have any of the symptoms below, call your doctor’s office for guidance.

Symptoms that don’t improve after seven to 10 days

  • Green, yellow or bloody mucus
  • A high fever
  • A strong headache not improved by OTC painkillers
  • Ear pain
  • Stiff neck
  • Severe neck pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Heaviness in the chest
  • Vision changes, swelling or redness around eyes
  • An allergic reaction to medication
  • Chronic sinusitis

Medical Treatments

About 2 to 10 percent of sinus infections are bacterial, and these can be treated with antibiotics. A doctor may also want to perform allergy testing to see if that is what’s causing your sinusitis, especially if it’s chronic. If you do have allergies he or she may prescribe or recommend certain allergy medications. Inhaled steroids are sometimes used to reduce inflammation. Lastly, surgery may be an option, if you continue to have bouts of sinusitis. You may need a procedure that enlarges the sinus passages and removes blockages.

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5 Nutrients You May Be Missing In Your Diet

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The average western diet is lacking in several important nutrients. Most westerners eat too many over-processed foods and not enough home cooked, unprocessed, natural whole foods. The lack of the following important nutrients contributes to many modern health problems.

Lack of Iron

Iron is needed for a healthy blood circulation, and lack of iron can lead to anemia. Women are more likely to suffer from iron deficiency because of their menstrual cycle. Vegetarians and vegans are often missing iron, since important sources include meat and poultry. Vegetarians and vegans can get iron from green vegetables and many dried fruits.

Lack of Calcium

Calcium keeps the bones healthy, and a lack of calcium increases the risk of osteoporosis. Young women and people in their 50s (and above) need extra calcium. The body cannot produce calcium naturally, and it is important to eat enough calcium-rich foods such as dairy produce and green leafy vegetables.

Lack of Fiber

Fiber is necessary for healthy digestion, and a lack of fiber in the diet often leads to constipation. A typical modern diet contains large amounts of processed grains which do not provide dietary fiber. Sources of insoluble fiber include brown rice, whole wheat, vegetables and legumes. Sources of soluble fiber include oats, lentils, beans and many fruits.

Lack of Vitamin D

The body creates Vitamin D from sunlight, and lack of vitamin D is a problem for those who live in areas with little sunlight. Vitamin D protects the bones, maintains calcium levels and regulates cell growth. Sources of Vitamin D include fortified milk and oily fish, especially salmon or tuna.

Lack of Potassium

The body needs potassium for many important functions including heart health and water balance, but unfortunately potassium is often replaced with sodium in food production. Symptoms of an insufficient potassium intake include fatigue, muscle cramps and constipation. Good sources of potassium include bananas, spinach and beetroot.

It is easy to change your eating habits for the better. Eat more whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and choose organic, local and seasonal produce when possible. Natural unprocessed foods contain more nutrients than processed or junk foods.

To find out more about a nutritious diet, make sure to read all the newest articles from Scanner Doc.

Do You Know The 10 Worst Food For Teeth? Find Out!

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People often develop serious dental problems when they eat certain types of food or beverages. These items can cause your teeth to develop cavities, turn yellow, fall out or become more sensitive. It is best to avoid them or at least promptly brush your teeth.

Dried Fruit

1. Most dried prunes, dates, figs, pineapples and other fruits contain substantial amounts of sugar that can trigger cavities. Small pieces often stick to teeth as well. However, they do offer some nutritional benefits like fiber and various vitamins.

Lemons & Limes

2. Two of the most acidic fruits include limes and lemons. If you consume them frequently, they can quickly cause tooth enamel to deteriorate and discolor. It is less harmful to mix the juice into a drink or a food, such as guacamole.

Soda

3. Most sodas contain high amounts of sugar or extremely sweet corn syrup. This triggers significant damage on its own. Many brands also add harmful acids that cause additional tooth decay and promote bacteria growth in your mouth.

Sports Drinks

4. Although people often consider them to be slightly healthier, sports beverages have a high acid content that can cause even more harm to your teeth than soda. To make matters worse, these products supply considerable amounts of sugar as well.

Energy Drinks

5. Energy drinks are nearly as damaging to your teeth, as well. Dental problems develop due to their acid and sugar content. If you need more energy, it is safer to eat a high-protein food. For example, consider making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on wheat bread.

Alcohol

6. It seems counter-intuitive that something wet would dry out your mouth, but this happens with most alcoholic beverages. Dryness promotes bacteria growth and allows more plaque to form on your teeth. Be sure to drink water and use a toothbrush after visiting the bar.

Kombuca

7. Kombucha is a sweet-tasting tea made with yeast cultures. It is more acidic than many beverages and fruits. Despite some claims about kombucha’s health benefits, regular consumption has the potential to generate cavities and aid bacteria.

Sour Candy

8. While they might seem less harmful than sweets, most sour candies deliver equivalent amounts of sugar. They are actually more dangerous because they tend to contain citric acid as well. These substances stick to your teeth and cause them to decay.

Illness May Cause Problems

9. Any food or drink that you throw up will be extremely acidic. Vomiting brings about major tooth damage, so it is important to avoid behaviors and illnesses that cause it. Remember to obtain a flu vaccine, avoid heavy drinking, and cook meals thoroughly.

Ice

10. It is not really a food, but many people chew on ice. The combination of a hard material and extreme cold can damage fillings and break teeth. Always discard leftover ice or wait for cubes to fully melt before drinking them.

By taking precautions with regard to these foods and drinks, you can avoid unnecessary trips to the dentist. Your teeth may also feel better and you could enjoy an improvement in overall health that will last for many years to come.

Tips On How To Lower The Risk Of Cancer

Brain CancerLeading a fulfilling and fruitful life will require that you do everything you can to remain healthy. In other words, life is something you have to work at to enjoy. So if you ever get the news that you have cancer, remember that this isn’t the end. It’s only your cue to work harder. Find out how to work harder and smarter by using the tips below.

Chemotherapy can damage the body in many ways. One key to remaining healthy throughout your treatment is to keep your weight stable and your immune system strong. If you are losing weight, eat calorie-rich, sugar-free foods. Also use foods and vitamins to boost your immune system, such as vitamin C, garlic and tomatoes.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer the best advice anyone can offer you is to take it in stride. Whatever you do, don’t freak out or panic. Rather, take a methodical approach, and try to get yourself cured. While the rates of cancer related deaths are still alarmingly high, they get better every year. There is hope.

It’s important to take detection and the possibility of early treatment, seriously, when thinking about cancer. Learn how to self-examine yourself for cancers of the skin, colon, prostate, cervix and breast. Be sure to perform checks regularly so that you can start fighting early and give yourself the best chance possible.

You should read books about cancer survivors when you are coping with cancer because it may help to give you inspiration. Reading inspirational books about survivors is a great way to give yourself the mental boost that is needed when you are feeling worried, stressed or depressed about your cancer.

It’s trite and a definite cliché, but nobody ever said life was easy. It might be exceedingly more difficult with cancer, but there is absolutely nothing you cannot accomplish when you put your mind to it. Implement the information you’ve learned here and fight your way back and enjoy your life.

These Tips Can Help In Improving Your Memory

469708075Improving your memory retention can help you in so many ways. It has a positive effect on your business practices, your personal hobbies, and might even help to fight off cognitive deficits when you age. There are many memory improvement tips, with a few being stronger than others. In this article we will discuss some of the best, quickest and easiest ways to improve your memory function.

When trying to commit a large amount of information to memory, having several shorter study sessions is significantly better than having one long study session. The reason for this is that it takes several separate instances of reviewing the material in order to commit the material to long term memory. Holding the information in long term memory will allow you to more readily recall the information than if it was stored in short term memory.

If you have noticed that your memory isn’t what it used to be, maybe you aren’t getting enough sleep. You need to be sleeping seven to eight hours each night in order to improve your memory. During your sleep cycle, your brain processes all new information to create these memories for you so you have them to recall later.

Like an actor does before putting on a play, rehearsing what you learn is a great way to improve your memory. If you are attempting to study, recite the problems and answers aloud, and you will absorb the information easier, and ultimately, retain it more efficiently. This is a great way to improve your overall memory.

Improving your memory function is valuable in life. Your business practices will improve and you will enjoy personal hobbies more as well. Finding ways to improve your memory can be important and knowing which tips work is always beneficial. In this article we have presented you with some tried and true tips that will help to improve your memory. Use them and watch as you experience the benefits.