A Valentine’s Day Salute to Better Health

Love is on many minds as the dreariness of February dons the red and pink hues of Valentine’s Day. Although expressing love and affection between family members and friends garners a slice of Valentine’s Day attention, the holiday is most known in this country for a focus on romantic love, with millions of Valentine’s Day cards and gifts exchanged between sweethearts.

Some argue the February 14th holiday is but a scheme for the card, candy, and flower vendors to dupe folks out of their hard-earned cash. And while the commercialization of Valentine’s Day has, undeniably, increased, that’s no reason to forego celebrating the loving relationships in our lives. One significant motivation for celebrating all things love related is the myriad of health benefits experienced by those who find themselves surrounded by love.

When it comes to friendships, Kirtly Parker Jones, MD, of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Utah Healthcare, notes, “People involved in loving, philia-based relationships have [fewer] doctor visits, shorter hospital visits, have less pain, and have more positive emotions.” 

The romantic-couple kind of love is powerful as well“We are social creatures, and we do best when we have strong social support systems,” explains Baran Kilical, MD, a cardiologist at Anne Arundel Medical Center. “Being in love can affect everything from your stress levels to your heart health.”

Specific health benefits related to loving relationships include—

  • Longevity

Social ties and longevity have been positively linked in numerous studies. “People, particularly men, are healthier when they’re married, and they live longer,” says Jones.

Factors such as reduced stress—a benefit in and of itself—as well as a willingness to give up bad, health-harming habits to support the relationship, result in better health. And notes Dr. Helen Riess, author, and director of the Empathy and Relational Science Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, “Couples encourage each other to go to the doctor when they don’t want to.”

  • Improved heart and lung health

The old ticker gets a big boost from loving relationships. Married folks experience half the risk of death from heart disease over their unmarried or divorced counterparts, along with a lowered risk of death following a heart attack. Strong, loving relationships tend to lower blood pressure and heart rate, likely due to a decreased stress response.

The same goes for the lungs. Being married can help ward off complications and death from pneumonia, shorten hospital stays, reduce the likelihood of ventilator support, and the need for admission to an intensive care unit.

  • Less anxiety, less loneliness

“The feeling of loneliness stimulates anxiety, which is mediated by different neurotransmitters, like norepinephrine,” states Riess. “Also, cortisol and adrenaline levels rise when people feel insecure and threatened.” But close, loving relationships lessen both loneliness and anxiety.

So, this February, make a point to appreciate and nurture the loving relationships in your life. Your physical, mental, and emotional health will thank you.

Medical Temporaries, Inc., is proud to partner with the premier health care facilities whose priority is to provide state-of-the-art health care services to the greater Virginia Beach community. Our goal is and has always been to recruit and staff qualified, reliable, and professional health care workers for our client facilities. Contact our team today.

 

 

 

Safety Tips for a Hazard-Free Winter

It’s that time of year again when our focus shifts to wintery weather.

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac editor, Janice Stillman, “For some parts of the country, frigid and frosty conditions will last well into spring, bringing little relief to the winter-weary. It could feel like the never-ending winter, particularly in the Midwest and east to the Ohio Valley and Appalachians, where wintery weather will last well into March, and even through the first days of spring.”

Despite the beauty of a fresh blanket of powdery white flakes, winter comes with a hefty share of hazards. Being mindful of the dangers and intentional with safeguards will make this winter a safer season for you and your family.

Beware of falls

Did you know that falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injuries in adults 45 and older? Consider these fall-prevention tips from Hinsdale Chiropractic Health Care.

1. Choose the right footwear. Shoes/boots with excellent traction and a proper fit. Consider snow boots or hiking boots for the best protection. 

2. Leave early. Allow plenty of time for comings and goings as falls are more likely to happen when one is rushing about.

3. Walk like a penguin. Take short steps and walk as flat-footed as possible on icy or slippery ground.

4. Keep your hands free. Avoid carrying heavy loads or stowing hands in your pockets as “hands-free” will offer better balance.

5. Keep walkways free of snow and ice. Shovel, scrape, and apply ice melt frequently.

6. Utilize exterior lights. A lighted pathway is always safer. 

7. Keep your cell phone with you. Even on quick trips to the mailbox or the car, a phone will allow a call for help should a fall occur. 

 Beware of shoveling and snow-blowing injuries

Shoveling snow or using a snowblower are among winter’s most grueling activities. High levels of activity in cold temperatures put many people at risk of heart attack, especially those that have inactive lifestyles,” warns the National Safety Council.

Dress in layers being mindful of the need for adequate protection of the head, face, and hands.

Share snow removal responsibilities among family members. Take frequent breaks and head inside at the very first sign of over-exertion, pain, or lightheadedness.

Beware of the dangers of outside play

Of course, the kids want to play in the snow! But in their enthusiasm, little ones may be a bit careless about the hats, hoods, gloves, and boots that will protect them from winter’s cold. Waterproof coats and pants or snowsuits will be their best defense against the cold, wet snow we expect them to roll about in as they play. 

The threat of frostbite and hypothermia are very real dangers regardless of the outside activity or the age of the participants.

“Frostbite can happen within minutes,” warns the National Weather Service. “If people suspect frostbite, they should head to a heated location and begin warming up using warm water or body heat, seeking medical attention for severe frostbite.”

“Hypothermia occurs when the body’s core temperature drops below 95 degrees,” advises the National Safety Council. “Hypothermia is most associated with exposure to extreme cold, but it can also occur at higher temperatures if a person becomes chilled from being soaked with rain or submerged in water.”

Medical Temporaries, Inc., encourages safe enjoyment of the great outdoors this winter. Remember to contact our team of staffing specialists for assistance with both sides of the employment equation. 

Bringing Awareness to the Need for Blood Donations

“Someone’s blood saved my life and made my mom smile – was that you?” – A five-year-old kid

January is National Blood Donor Month. Unfortunately, wintery weather and the expected instances of flu and colds create obstacles that often hamper donors’ ability to give and challenge the annual drive’s efforts to collect life-saving donations.

“Tens of thousands of blood donors are needed each day across the U.S. to transform the lives of patients requiring blood transfusions,” says Mitzy Edgecomb, vice president of marketing and communications at Vitalant. “Summer and winter are notoriously difficult times for collecting enough blood donations, but the need does not stop and can even rise due to increased travel, activity, adverse weather events, and cold and flu season, among other factors.”

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood, creating a demand that is too often greater than the supply. A primary reason for the shortage is, frankly, that giving blood is not top-of-mind.

A 2019 survey conducted on behalf of the Red Cross indicated a troubling disconnect between the public’s perception of blood donations and the reality of the needs.

  • When it comes to donations, people primarily thought of clothes (69%), money (63%), and food (53%) as ways to help others in the past year. Yet only 3% of people in the U.S. give blood.
  • A third (33%) of the public has never considered that blood may not be available when a loved one needs it.
  • While blood transfusion is one of the most common hospital procedures in the U.S., “Never really thought about it” was cited as the primary reason, (26%) that people do not give blood among those who haven’t given recently.

Facebook Joins Forces with Blood Donation Organizations

In mid-2019, the social media giant launched its Blood Donations feature in the U.S. Since 2017, the company had been working with blood donation centers worldwide to leverage its monumental platform not only to reach potential donors but also to connect with them in times of need. Facebook now partners with various organizations across the U.S., including America’s Blood Centers, the American Red Cross, Inova, New York Blood Center, Rock River Valley Blood Center, Stanford Blood Center, Versiti and Vitalant.

“People will see and respond to these blood donation requests and opportunities on the Blood Donations destination on Facebook. They can also use tools on this page to inspire their friends to donate, too,” reports Sarah Perez.

Millennials to the Rescue

Abbott sees millennials as the key to combating the shortage of blood donations. The Abbott-YouGov May 2019 survey noted that of the millennials surveyed, 12% say they are regularly donating blood. Known for their passion and activism toward causes they believe in, this vast segment of the population could have a notable impact on the nation’s blood supply.

“Millennials are known for wanting to impact global issues positively, and we are hoping to see that passion applied to donating blood,” says Alexander Carterson, M.D., Ph.D., global medical director, Transfusion Medicine, Abbott.

What would motivate millennials to donate? Survey results reveal inspiring factors, including —

  • 23% would donate if they knew someone who needed blood
  • 20% would donate if there were special needs specifically for their blood type
  • 18% said they’d be inspired if they could see the impact on someone’s life

“Historically, 45% of blood donations in the U.S. are from people 50 and older,” notes the global healthcare leader.  “A large portion of these regular donors are baby boomers who are starting to reach an age when they develop health problems that make them ineligible to give blood. With millennials expected to overtake baby boomers as the nation’s largest living adult generation in 2019, it’s more critical than ever that this new generation of blood donors step up to take boomers’ place.

Combating the Myths about Donating Blood

The Blood Center dispels these common myths that can deter potential donors.

  • “I might get a disease from donating blood.”

Because all equipment is brand new, state-of-the-art, disposable, and used only one time, the procedure is entirely safe.

  • “They don’t really need my type.”

All types, including common ones like O-positive and A-positive, are needed by patients all the time. The need is on-going, constant, and too often reaches critical levels.

  • “I’m too young or too old.”

With a minimum age of 16 and no upper age limit whatsoever, a person’s health, not age, is the primary concern.

  • “Other people must be giving enough blood.”

Less than 5% of the eligible population donates blood.

“Donating blood is the one selfless act that most people can do to transform three lives from just one donation,” said Dave Green, CEO and President of Vitalant, formerly Blood Systems. “We’re asking everyone, especially the younger generations, to step up and donate so they can save lives, and maybe transform their own in the process.”

Because Medical Temporaries, Inc., cares about your community as much as you do, we rate all applicants on their professionalism and overall presentation. Our goal is to provide our premier healthcare facility clients with qualified, reliable, and professional health care workers. Get 2020 off to a great start by contacting our team of staffing specialists today.

 

Career Goals Check-Up for 2020

You know the poking nudge you get each January to reflect on your professional life? The prodding you often try to tamp down or ignore altogether? Well, considering that this January not only launches a new year, but a new decade, now is the time to give serious thought to your career.

Are you happy with your current employment scenario? Do you long for something fresh and new? Have you put off additional training, certifications, or coursework? Are you moving forward or are you stuck in a rut? Bottom line—are you where you want to be? If the answer is no, the key is to ask, “What am I going to do about it?”

Career whiz and head of content for Humu, Liz Fosslien, sees goals as incredible motivators. “An effective goal will push you to get things done — but keep yourself honest. Research also shows that the more decisions we get to make for ourselves, the better we feel and the harder we work. When you commit to making something happen, you boost the chances that it will actually become a reality.”

So, what would you like to see on the career front? What needs to take place to get you there? When it comes to setting professional goals, Laura Petrolino suggests answering these four questions:

  • What do I want to learn?
  • What do I want to create?
  • Who do I want to affect?
  • Where do I need to improve?

These questions delve into the heart of what you desire to accomplish through your professional life—a scenario that many folks spend little time pondering, as they’re too busy simply making a living. The years slip away and before one is aware, the chance to do something different has come and gone. If the prospect of a new decade has your mind either racing with the possibilities or panicked at the prospect that time is running out, take a deep breath, grab pen and paper, and retreat to a quiet place to think.

As your thoughts come together, jot down goals in three different time frames:

  • Immediate short-term: 1 – 6 weeks
  • Short-term: 2 – 6 months
  • Semi-long-term: 6 – 12 months

Scrutinize the various goals. Then, prioritize, delete, rearrange until you have a manageable, realistic set of objectives. Remember, it’s one thing to challenge yourself, but it’s an entirely different matter to drive yourself to the brink of exhaustion or insanity by embarking on an impossible journey.

Founder and CEO of The Lonely Entrepreneur, Michael Dermer, suggests, “The process of narrowing it down will require debate and discussion. Maybe with colleagues. Maybe with friends. Maybe with your significant other. The debate is important as it will really force you to make a choice about what you will focus on.”

Too often we hamper our own progress by not celebrating the small accomplishments that contribute to completing a major goal.  So, establish milestones along the way that will give you cause to revel in your success on the journey.

Let Medical Temporaries, Inc., be your partner in achieving your prioritized career goals in 2020. With more than 20 years of experience building bridges between talented healthcare workers and premier medical facilities, we have the relationships and resources available to make connections in a timely manner. Give us a ring today!

 

 

 

What’s Ahead for Healthcare Occupations in 2020?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in healthcare occupations is projected to grow by 14 percent from 2018 to 2028, adding approximately 1.9 million new jobs. Healthcare occupations are expected to add more jobs than any other occupational group. Driving this growth is a higher demand for healthcare services, attributed mainly to an aging population.

Career Profiles states, It goes without saying that healthcare has and always will be a major industry. But with an ever-aging group of baby boomers – looking to extend and enhance the quality of life – the timing has never been better to launch a career or business in this industry. Career opportunities in healthcare are broad and offer a variety of specialties to choose from. Through 2020 demand is predicted to be strongest for dentists, nurses, physician specialists, optometrists, physical therapists, and audiologists.” 

Of the 15 occupations predicted to be the fastest-growing from 2016-2026, eight are related to healthcare, including—

  • Home health aide
  • Personal care aide
  • Physician assistant
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Physical therapy assistant
  • Physical therapy aides
  • Medical assistants
  • Occupational therapy assistants

Aligning your job search with the times

These days, the role of social media in the recruitment process is a given. Both sides of the staffing equation are on board with this avenue for connecting employers and employees, as these stats reveal.

  • 79% of job seekers use social media during their job search
  • 72 % of job seekers use a mobile phone to find and apply for jobs
  • 80% of employers say social recruiting helps them find passive candidates

These numbers beg the question, of every job seeker: Are you utilizing every opportunity social media affords, including the convenience of mobile functions, in your pursuit of a healthcare position?

Predictions for the year ahead

Due to the ongoing skills gap, the growing trend of extending flexibility regarding candidate criteria is expected to continue. No one denies the need for skills; however, on-the-job training can quickly bring an enthusiastic, eager-to-learn candidate proficient in other “soft skills” up to speed for several entry-level positions.

Mindscope concurs. “Many companies have begun to more frequently recruit for soft, interpersonal skills that can be applied to a professional setting rather than the hard, technical skills one might learn in their post-secondary education. Skills like attention to detail, teamwork skills, and communication skills are now more valuable than ever!”

The take-away for candidates? Brush up on soft skills. On resumes and in interviews, focus on aptitudes relating to soft skills at least as much as on technical skills.

Join forces with Medical Temporaries, Inc. By joining our Talent Network today to receive alerts with new job opportunities that match your interests and stay up-to-date on current openings as they become available! Whether you choose to apply or merely leave your information, we look forward to staying connected with you.

 

Keeping the Happy and Healthy in Christmas

“The true Christmas spirit is putting others’ happiness before our own, and finding you’ve never known such happiness.”              Toni Sorenson

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year . . . ”

While that’s the goal and the intention, it’s often not the reality. Some folks admit, and lament, that the holiday season wins as the most stressful time of year. And what a shame that is. So, here are some tips toward achieving a holiday season that truly is the “Most wonderful time of the year.”

Let’s address the areas that can so quickly put a damper on the merriness and joy we desire.

Christmas shopping

For many, Christmas shopping has become a dreadful chore. But even if shopping is your thing, the crowds and packed parking lots, all that store-hopping to get the best price and the race to secure the hottest items can wear out even the hardiest shopper.

Make shopping excursions more productive by creating a thorough list of gift items to purchase. Make the experience more enjoyable by asking a friend to accompany you. And don’t forget to save time for a fun lunch or a stop at the coffee shop to celebrate surviving the experience.

Remember that online shopping can save not only time but aggravation as well. Perusing websites while snuggled under a warm throw in the recliner does have definite appeal. Consider grouping gift purchases to save on shipping costs and warn the family not to open any of the array of packages stacked on the porch.

Avoid the worry over missing a name on your gift list or of unexpected guests dropping in by stowing a few general gifts, such as chocolates, in the back of the linen closet.  

All that cooking!

As one young man remarked, “I can’t wait on the “awesome breakfasts” and “amazing dinners,” and oh yeah, “that one Christmas punch” that marks family festivities each Christmas.” He was quite partial to decorated sugar cookies as well, yet blissfully unaware of the time and effort that went into the delectable cuisine he looked forward to each year.

Create a plan to lighten the work of those treats and trimmings that would be sorely missed from your holiday menus. Assign folks to bring a dish or two to the big family dinner. Invite family and friends to an afternoon/evening of baking to knock out the traditional cookie and candy favorites. Rally the family to be kitchen assistants when preparing for that holiday party—fetching items from the fridge or pantry, emptying the trash, loading the dishwasher, setting the table.

Make a list of all the grocery items you can purchase in advance, as well as a perishables list for each week. Check it twice or even thrice, to avoid those frustratingly time-consuming, last-minute dashes to the store.

Relationship woes

If you dread the thought of an afternoon, a day, or a week with visiting relatives who tend to get under your skin, you’re not alone. Being family doesn’t guarantee against clashing perspectives, opposing political views, or brash opinions. Unfortunately, friction between family members when all should be “merry and bright” is a common occurrence.

Rather than skip the festivities, initiate some ground rules that touchy, potentially offensive subjects are off-limits. Lead the way toward a time of family-friendly getting along by bringing a stash of board games and a stack of classic Christmas movies along with a sincere smile and spirit that can’t help but be contagious.  

Keeping the “healthy” in Christmas

“Christmas is notoriously a time to indulge, but don’t let this be the green light to overindulge!” notes the Realbuzz Team. “You can still enjoy all the festivities of the season and get through the Christmas period without too much impact on your health and waistline.”

These practical tips will help—

Eat a snack or small nutritious meal before attending a holiday party.

Be extra vigilant at regular mealtimes, so that a bit of indulging at holiday gatherings won’t make a huge impact.

Drink lots of water and limit festive holiday beverages to one serving.

VicHealth’s CEO, Jerrill Rechter’s, advice makes sense. “Everything in moderation is a really good outlook to have. Pile your plate with veggies to have with your Christmas ham, then go for a walk around the block to warn off a food coma.”

And finally, a suggestion that fits nicely into both the “happy” and “healthy” department.

“We’re only as healthy as our community, so it’s important to remember those less fortunate than us as well,” reminds Rechter. “Helping others not only contributes to a healthier society but also makes us feel good, so it’s a win-win.”  

Look throughout the community for opportunities to donate time, money, and clothing, or household items. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Invite those with no family to celebrate with you in your home. Involve your children in giving-of-themselves opportunities. Share Christmas joy by hosting a night of caroling with the elderly residents of a care facility. The possibilities are virtually limitless if one genuinely looks for occasions to embody the spirit of Christmas.

From our homes to yours, Medical Temporaries, Inc., sends the warmest of wishes for a joyous and healthy Christmas to each of our valued clients. It has been our pleasure to service the staffing needs of your company this past year, and we look forward to a continuing partnership with you in 2020.  

The WHY, WHEN, and HOW of Hand Washing

Each first full week of December, Henry the Hand promotes National Hand Washing Week. His mission? To bring awareness of how hand washing is the best way to prevent epidemics and pandemics. Henry reminds us that it’s the direct contamination of mucous membranes—our eyes, nose, or mouth—that allow infectious disease(s) to enter our body. Check out more tips from Henry at www.henrythehand.org

This holiday season, chock full of family gatherings, social engagements, and multiple trips to crowded shopping venues, is the perfect time to bring awareness to the why, when, and how of hand washing.

The WHY of hand washing

“The T Zone is the only portal of entry into the human body for ALL respiratory infections,” reminds Dr. Will Sawyer, Infection Prevention Specialist. The “T Zone” refers to the T-shaped portion of the face that includes the eyes, the nose, and the mouth.

Practicing the behaviors of the “4 Principles of Hand Awareness,” endorsed by the AMA and the AAFP, will significantly impact a person’s efforts to avoid the nasties, including influenza, adenovirus, RSV, common cold, conjunctivitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, Coxsackie virus, Streptococcus, Pneumococcus, TB and many other undesirable illnesses.

Those principals are—

  1. WASH your hands when they are dirty and BEFORE eating.
  2. DO NOT cough into your hands.
  3. DO NOT sneeze into your hands.
  4. Above all, DO NOT put your fingers into your eyes, nose, or mouth.

WHEN to wash

The CDC advises, “You can help yourself, and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs.”

  • Before, during, and after food preparation
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the bathroom
  • After changing diapers or assisting a child in the bathroom
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

The HOW of hand washing

There’s a right way to wash hands! Experts recommend lathering up with soap and clean water for at least 20 seconds, approximately the time it takes to sing the traditional “happy birthday to you . . .” song twice. Remember to scrub the back of the hands, between the fingers, and under the nails, then dry using a clean towel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls “hand washing ‘a do-it-yourself vaccine’ and suggests remembering these five easy steps: wet, lather, scrub, rinse, dry.”

Medical Temporaries, Inc., has more than 20 years of experience staffing premier medical facilities. We have the relationships and resources to make connections in a timely, best-fit manner because we know that our success is your success. Contact our team today.

 

An Attitude of Gratitude

When the calendar flips to November, our collective thoughts transition toward the holiday that beckons us to count our blessings. Many annual Thanksgiving family gatherings include a time of sharing ‘round the dinner table an answer to the traditional question “What are you thankful for?”

But this “attitude of gratitude” often disappears by the time a new year rolls around, tucked away until the next November’s official season of thanksgiving begins. Yet, a daily, conscious decision to focus on gratitude can have a profound influence on our perspectives, impacting our lives throughout the year. Studies have found that making a regular and deliberate choice to affirm one’s blessings provides a range of positive outcomes relating to both mental health and overall well-being.

As stated by the folks at the National Day Calendar, “Everything in our lives has the ability to improve when we are grateful. Research has shown that gratitude can enhance our moods, decrease stress, and drastically improve our overall level of health and wellbeing. On average, grateful people tend to have fewer stress-related illnesses and experience less depression and lowered blood pressure; they are more physically fit, they are happier, have a higher income, more satisfying personal and professional relationships, and will be better liked. Grateful kids are even more likely to get A’s in school.”

Everything, including the work-a-day world, yet too often we reserve the “attitude of gratitude” mindset for the time spent away from the workplace. Instead, we focus on family and friends, home, and health. “While being thankful for family, friends and everyday comforts seems easy, mustering up gratitude for one’s work and colleagues feels more challenging,” notes Leah Eichler. “It’s easier to apply a negative filter to the many tasks that need to get done in a day – the endless e-mails, the paperwork and having to deal with disgruntled colleagues or customers.”

A John Templeton Foundation survey found that people with annual salaries of less than $150,000 noted “your current job” at the bottom of the grateful list when given categories spanning from friends to education to modern medicine.

When you consider the chunk of waking hours spent on the job, extending the “attitude of gratitude” mindset to the workplace more than makes sense. Imagine how choosing to view employment opportunities through a lens of positivity and thankfulness, as well as incorporating gratitude into our daily workplace interactions, would impact our lives.

Naz Beheshti admonishes, “We have to get over whatever is holding us back from giving thanks in the workplace. Gratitude should be a central feature of company culture.”

Gratitude goes high-tech with a multitude of apps that remind and encourage a daily recording of gratefulness. From free apps to those offered for purchase, the platforms vary from a simple diary-like recording of thankfulness items to a more structured approach that includes a daily challenge. Check out Jennifer Lance’s round-up of eight gratitude apps.

We at Medical Temporaries, Inc., encourage you to set your sights on a year-long journey of gratitude as we look forward to 2020. We appreciate the hard-working candidates who trust our expertise in meeting their healthcare-related career goals. Let us do the same for you. Give our team a call today.

National Family Caregivers Month

There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers and those who will need a caregiver.” ― Rosalyn Carter

The theme for this year’s National Family Caregivers Month gets to the heart of the matter: “Caregiving Around the Clock.” Increasing awareness of the role of the family caregiver and bringing to the forefront available support services is the goal of this annual campaign.

These unsung heroes take on a variety of roles, from taking parents to doctor’s appointments and managing their medications, to preparing meals and taking on household tasks, to assuming total care of a loved one.  

A snapshot of the family caregiver scenario looks like this—

Across the country, 42 million people, face the challenge of providing daily care to their older family members and friends.

Caregivers are primarily women between the ages of 40 – 60.

Almost half of family caregivers are adult children caring for their parents.

Approximately 1 in 5 are wives or husbands caring for their spouses.  

60% juggle a paid job in addition to caring for a family member or friend.

AARP’s Home alone revisited: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Care study sought a deeper understanding of what family caregivers experience. The results from the nationally representative, population-based, online survey of 2,089 family caregivers included these significant findings—

Today’s caregivers provide intense and complex care, performing medical/nursing tasks, and managing multiple health conditions that are often accompanied by pain.

Today’s caregivers are diverse, and so are their experiences.

Caregivers who are socially isolated or have no choice about caregiving are more at risk for experiencing difficulties with complicated care.

Caregivers performing more medical/nursing tasks experience both positive and negative impacts.

Many family caregivers are still on their own—health systems should do more to prepare these vital members of the team.

The Hazards of Caregiving

National Today sites several reasons caregiving is challenging.

Relationships may suffer

One out of every four caregivers reports diminished family relationships because of the caregiving required by a loved one.

Children do it too

Over a million American young people, aged eight to 18, care for an adult relative daily.

It’s challenging to do self-care. Nearly 70 percent of caregivers report they don’t see their doctor regularly because of their responsibilities.

National Today reminds us of the age-old wisdom, “If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else.”

“Health professionals lack of explicit attention to caregivers is a serious gap in health care in light of the more than two decades of research that documents the potential hazards of family caregiving. Caregivers are hidden patients themselves, with serious adverse physical and mental health consequences from their physically and emotionally demanding work as caregivers and reduced attention to their own health and health care,” note authors Susan C. Reinhard, Barbara Given, Nirvana Huhtala Petlic, and Ann Bemis, for NCBI’s Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses.

How Your Facility Can Assist Caregivers

Train your staff to be aware of, and attentive to caregiver stress

“Caregiver stress is due to the emotional and physical strain of caregiving. Caregivers report much higher levels of stress than people who are not caregivers. Many caregivers are providing help or are ‘on-call’ almost all day. Sometimes, this means there is little time for work or other family members or friends. Some caregivers may feel overwhelmed by the amount of care their aging, sick or disabled family member needs,” advises the Office of Women’s Health.

Detecting the signs of caregiver stress is the first step to ensuring both the patient and the caregiver receive the proper treatment. Establish a set of guidelines that gives high priority to cases of caregiver stress, complete with a set of steps staff members can follow to address each case.

Advise caregivers to nap, chill, take a break

Just as new moms are urged to nap when the baby does, family caregivers should be encouraged to nap or ‘just chill’ when their loved ones are resting. It sounds too simple, like something too obvious, that it doesn’t merit a mention. But that doesn’t make the advice any less valuable.

Writing for National Family Caregivers Month, MilitaryBenefits.com states, “One of the healthiest things you can do for yourself is to fit naps into your weekly schedule. Round-the- clock caregiving is never easy. But when your loved one takes a break, don’t do another task — you take a break too. It’s important not to wear yourself down, or who will take care of you?”

Compile a list of community resources

Overwhelmed caregivers juggling many responsibilities seldom have the time or energy to scope out the resources that can ease the stress of caring for a loved one. So, lighten their load by compiling a list of local organizations, support groups, respite care options, and regional or national programs that offer services to caregivers and their families. Even better, train someone on your staff in the finer points of applying for and receiving these services.

Follow up with caregivers and make referrals as needed

The determination to care for a family member at home can blind a caregiver to his/her own needs. For the health and safety of all involved, do not brush aside the signs of caregiver stress or illness that the dedicated caregiver cannot see for him/herself. Insist that caregivers seek medical, mental, and emotional treatment and counseling for their own needs, offering referrals when appropriate.

At Medical Temporaries, Inc., we pride ourselves on assisting the premier medical and dental facilities in the Greater Virginia Beach communities with qualified candidates to meet all of their staffing needs. Give our team a ring to see what Medical Temporaries can do for you.

Promote a Safe and Healthy Halloween

As workers in the healthcare field, it’s essential to take advantage of opportunities to advocate for the safety of your patients. This October take time to promote a safe and healthy Halloween by sharing these reminders with the parents and families you encounter. Quizzing young patients and families about their fright night plans will open doors to sharing tips for making October 31 activities safe and fun for all.

Costume safety

Choosing the perfect Halloween costume is front-and-center on the minds of kids in the weeks leading up to the big trick-or-treat day. Since these eager youngsters won’t factor safety concerns into their costume selection, moms, dads, and grandparents may need to inject a fair bit of sound reasoning. Check costumes for both:

Positives:

  • Bright colors that will be easily visible in the evening’s fading light, OR add strategically placed reflective tape
  • Flame resistant fabrics

And Negatives:

  • Longtails, baggy pants, over-sized costumes, etc. that pose a tripping hazard
  • Masks that obscure vision

Trick-or-Treat guidelines

In their enthusiasm, children will need multiple reminders about safe trick-or-treating practices.

  • Insist that a parent or responsible adult accompany young children.
  • Bring a flashlight containing fresh batteries.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on.
  • Never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Review these guidelines as well as a detailed route plan with older children and teenagers venturing out on their own.
  • Insist that ALL treats be taken home and undergo a thorough sorting process that checks for tampering, spoilage, and open
    wrappers before consuming.

Pedestrian reminders

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration discovered that children aged 4 to 8 face experience a tenfold increase in the risk of vehicular death while trick-or-treating on Halloween night, compared with similar evenings on either side of Oct. 31. Vigilance to these precautions can prevent a tragedy.

  • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
  • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
  • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
  • Cross only at established crosswalks.
  • Don’t assume the right of way, as drivers may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters.
  • Be alert at all times and err on the side of caution.

Health considerations

Some strategies for dealing with all that candy!

    • A good meal before parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween sweets
    • After the sorting process, allow children to pick one or two favorites to enjoy, then store the remainder for later
    • Limit candy intake over the days and weeks following Halloween, pairing the candy rations with healthy snacks like fruit,
      yogurt, or milk.

The team at Medical Temporaries, Inc., takes seriously the opportunity to build bridges between qualified healthcare workers and the premier medical facilities in the greater Virginia Beach and Cedar Rapids communities. With more than 20 years of experience staffing for the medical community, we have the relationships and resources to make timely, perfect-fit connections. Let us help you get your foot in the door!