Category Archives: Learning

How Is Technology Affecting Your Health?

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Technology is everywhere. Some people say it is great while others think the opposite. Whatever the opinion, technology can be both! Like many great things, there can be some setbacks. One of the main concerns with technology is the devices that are being invented. How do those affect our health?

First, let’s look at the benefits of technology! Some forms of technology such as phone apps, Fitbits, pedometers, and much more encourage users to exercise more! Computer programs also provide a variety of online videos to guide users through a workout. The websites fitnessblender.com and workoutz.com are just two with several videos. Check them out! Apps can also be used to track weight loss and calorie intake. It’s amazing how easy is can be! Some apps are even being created to help diabetics manage their blood sugar. There are also apps to track sleep. Do you know how much sleep you are really getting at night? One of the best benefits of technology is the ability to maintain social connections. Stay up to date with friends and family through texts or on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Technology can also be bad. Although it can encourage users to exercise more, it can also lead to exercising less. Video games, television, games on phones, social media, the list could go on. These things are keeping people from being active. Other downfalls include back and neck pain which can be caused by someone who is a frequent user of phones and computers. Tilting of your head puts a lot of stress on your back and neck which can lead them to be sore. Another way technology can be bad is the germs that build up on our devices. Sure germs are everywhere, but when was the last time your devices were cleaned? Good thing this is an easy fix! Headaches and eye strain can also be caused by technology use. Take breaks by looking away from the screen. Also avoid technology use before bed to get a better night’s sleep!

All of this technology can be beneficial to our health. The list of these benefits could keep on going! However, moderation and proper care of these devices is necessary to maintain good health. Enjoy the convenience and fun of technology, but be careful with the amount of time you spend on them!

 

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/05/health-effects-of-technol_n_6263120.html

https://www.positivehealthwellness.com/fitness/8-ways-technology-improving-health/

https://thenextweb.com/dd/2014/09/19/smart-devices-can-disruptive-without-intrusive/#.tnw_R6bwFUAQ

Apply for the RN-BSN Program Today!

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MSUM’s BSN degree is an entirely online program that is designed for motivated RNs looking to further their education. With the BSN, you can more greatly impact patient outcomes, advance your career, and consider graduate school one day. More detailed information on program requirements and outcomes can be found using the links below.

WHY MSUM ???

Ø  Flexibility with total online delivery, rolling admissions, and progression at your own pace (average part-time completion: 2 years)

Ø  National accreditation since 1981 through CCNE to ensure the highest academic rigor to advance your career – and/or be accepted into graduate schools one day

Ø  A smart investment by delivering a nationally recognized and highly reputable BSN more affordability than any in the area (e.g. compared to other public, for-profit, private institutions)

Ø  Meaningful connections and readily accessible faculty who are will equipped to manage an online learning environment with high quality faculty

Ø  With rolling admissions, applications are processed every six weeks. No more waiting for the biyearly deadlines we have had in the past! Apply now and within next few weeks you will know if you have been accepted into MSUM’s RN-BSN program!

 

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Learn more:

  1. Visit the RN-BSN program website | https://www.mnstate.edu/snhl/bsn.aspx
  2. You will note a separate link for the RN-BSN Program Admission & Application information.
  3. Call or email to get your questions answered with ease. 218.477.2693 | nursing@mnstate.edu

MSUM Students Study Abroad – London 2017

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A group of 21 graduate and undergraduate students led by SNHL faculty Brandi Sillerud, DNP and Nancy Stock, DNP recently returned from a week-long study abroad trip to London, UK. The focus of the trip was to explore healthcare and nursing in London with cultural immersion. The group left on May 20th and returned May 26th, 2017. The weather was fabulous with temps in the 70’s with no rain!! The group had a wonderful experience with an itinerary that included:

  • Guided walking and bus tours of London to places such as Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Shakespeare’s Theatre, Convent Gardens, etc.
  • Meeting with a Master’s prepared nurse specializing in Pediatric Palliative Care.
  • Site visit at ‘Antidote” a web-based business matching patients with U.S. clinical trials
  • Tour of the Florence Nightingale museum
  • Panel discussion on UK’s National Health System (NHS) healthcare delivery model
  • Tour of the Royal College of Physicians & medicinal garden with a lecture on medical history
  • Site visit at the Good Care Group focusing on elder care in the community setting.
  • Cultural excursions included: London Eye, River Thames cruise, Tower of London, plus others.
  • Multi-cultural dining experiences included the popular fish & chips and an Indian dinner.

Some of the comments made by students include:

  • “A trip of a lifetime!!”
  • “I learned so much about the differences and similarities between US and UK healthcare!”
  • “Where are we going next time??”

Check out more photos and comments on the MSUM Healthcare & Nursing in London Facebook Page

Submitted by : Nancy Stock, DNP, Assistant Professor

Stay Safe Outdoors This Summer!

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Summer is the time to be outside and enjoy the weather, but don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun, bugs, and traffic! Taking the time to put on sunscreen, bug spray, and protective clothing may seem unnecessary and something that you don’t want to do, but read on to find out why you should!

It takes just fifteen minutes for the sun to damage your skin, but that doesn’t mean you can’t soak up the rays! Wear sunscreen, take breaks in the shade, and cover your skin with long sleeve shirts and pants. Wearing long sleeve shirts and pants may not be your forte, so you should at least keep a t-shirt or some sort of cover-up to provide some protection. Keep a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses on hand to protect your face, eyes, and ears. When using sunscreen, make sure you are covering all exposed areas of skin and don’t forget to reapply! Applying once for being outside for more than two hours just does not cut it. Why should you follow all of these protective recommendations? The reason is skin cancer! Overexposure to the sun can cause skin cancer. The rate of melanoma is increasing faster than other cancers and is the most deadly form of skin cancer. On average, it kills one person every hour. Statistics have also shown that just one sunburn increases your risk for skin cancer in the future. If using sun protection to prevent the possibility of getting cancer isn’t enough to convince you to protect yourself from the sun, then I am not sure what is!

The sun isn’t the only thing you need to protect yourself from. Watch out for the ticks and mosquitoes! There are no vaccines or medications to protect you from vector borne illnesses such as Zika, dengue, and Lyme disease. The CDC recommends using a bug spray with at least 20% DEET. While other bug sprays can repel mosquitoes, they may not repel ticks. If you are using sunscreen and bug spray at the same time, apply the sunscreen first and allow it to dry before spraying on repellent. Wearing the appropriate clothing is a great way to keep the bugs from biting. Wear long sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, shoes, and a hat. If you are walking through tall grass or walking through wooded areas, tuck in your shirt and tuck your pants into your socks to keep bugs from crawling under your clothes. Always check yourself to make sure that there are no bugs crawling on you or trying to bite. After coming indoors, put clothes in the dryer on high heat to kill any ticks that may be hanging on. If you start feeling sick after being bit by a mosquito or tick, you may need to contact your doctor.

If exercising outdoors is your thing, then this is for you! Make sure you dress for the weather. Try to make sure your clothing is reflective so that drivers can see you. When crossing intersections, make sure you look for cars before crossing. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen and bug spray, too! If you use headphones, make sure you can still hear what is going on around you. You should also exercise in well-traveled areas and let people know where you are. Following these recommendations can increase your chances of being safe during your workout.

Take the steps to protect yourself from your surroundings. Risks are taken with everything we do, not just going outside so don’t let sunburns, bugs, and potential danger ruin your outdoor fun!

 

Sources:

http://www.sunsafetyalliance.org/bare_facts.html

https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/sun-safety.htm

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/avoid-bug-bites

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2013/05/9-tips-for-safe-outdoor-workouts/

http://www.ladysoda.com/the-heat-is-on/

Make Every Day World No Tobacco Day!

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Every year on May 31st, the World Health Organization (WHO) sponsors World No Tobacco Day. The purpose is to spread awareness about the dangers of tobacco. Tobacco is the largest preventable cause of death in the United States. Around the world it is the cause of death for almost 7 million people. Cancer, heart disease, stroke, COPD, and lung disease are just a few health conditions that can be a result of tobacco use. Read the following facts to get an idea of how serious tobacco use is.

  • In the United States, 480,000 deaths per year are caused by smoking. 41,000 of those deaths are victims of secondhand smoke.
  • In the world, 890,000 of the 7 million deaths per year caused my tobacco are victims of second hand smoke.
  • Smokers die about 10 years earlier than those who do not smoke.
  • At the current smoking rate for American’s younger than 18, one in thirteen are expected to die prematurely.

Preventing tobacco use in middle school and high school students is an important part of stopping tobacco use. They are more at risk for nicotine addiction and are more likely to smoke into adulthood. Cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, hookahs, and electronic cigarettes are just a few of the tobacco products common in this generation.

What is happening to reduce the harmful effects of tobacco? Ideally, everyone who uses tobacco would quit, but that is a tedious process. One thing that has taken a step toward ending tobacco use is taxes. Higher taxes are used to discourage smokers from buying tobacco as many tobacco users are in low-income communities. Another tactic is the use of anti-smoking commercials. Have you ever seen those commercials where individuals with a stoma are interviewed? How about the ones where tobacco users have to pay for their tobacco products with some of their skin? There are many more, but the intent of these commercials is to encourage people to say no to tobacco. Laws are another tactic used to avoid smoking in public places. These laws are used to prevent harmful effects of secondhand smoking unto those who choose not to smoke.

Do you or someone you know use tobacco? Become educated about all of the health risks associated with tobacco whether you do or do not use it. There are places to go for help to quit smoking. Becoming educated about all of the benefits from quitting tobacco will amaze you. Our bodies start to heal almost immediately after quitting. Tobacco affects everyone and the best way to prevent those affects is to eliminate tobacco use all together. The benefits of quitting can begin to happen in as little as 20 minutes and continue throughout life. Encourage your friends and family to be tobacco free!

 

Sources:

https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/world-no-tobacco-day.html

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs339/en/

 

Are You Ready to Beat the Heat?

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Summer is finally here! Now you can spend your time at the lake, going camping, attending baseball games, and going swimming! These outdoor activities are exciting and fun. It would be unfortunate if the high heat had to ruin it! Heat illnesses cause more deaths per year than the combination of hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods! Death can be the result of very severe cases of heat illness, but many people are victims of heat illness and are able to recover if proper action is taken. There are several factors that affect the risk of getting heat illness:

  • Climate – those who live in hot and humid environments have a higher risk
  • Exercise and Activity – these can make it even harder for the body to cool off
  • Age – the elderly and young children are more at risk
  • Pre-existing illness and conditions – these may affect how the body responds to heat
  • Drugs and Medications – Some may make a person more susceptible to dehydration

Here is a list of heat illnesses:

  • Heat Cramps: these are painful, involuntary muscle contractions that are a result of strenuous activity in high heat. Loss of fluids and electrolytes are the underlying cause
    • To treat heat cramps, rest then massage and stretch the cramped muscles. Also make sure to drink fluids.
  • Heat Exhaustion: this illness occurs when lost fluid is not replaced. Signs and symptoms include weakness, dizziness, rapid and weak pulse, heavy sweating, nausea, fainting, and more. Heat cramps can also occur.
    • The first thing you should do if you are experiencing symptoms of heat exhaustion is to remove yourself from the heat. You will then want to cool your body down by removing excess clothing, spraying body with cool water or applying cool, wet cloths to skin, and rehydrating with an electrolyte drink such as Gatorade or just drinking milk.
  • Heat Stroke: this is the most serious heat illness. The body is not able to cool itself down. The main signs and symptoms include a body temperature above 104 degrees, flushed skin, decreased level of consciousness, altered mental status, convulsions/seizures, and unconsciousness.
    • To treat a heat stroke, the most important thing to do is to seek medical help immediately. Next you will want to try to cool the body using ice water soaked towels until medical help arrives. Bringing down the body temperature helps to reduce the chance and severity of brain damage, organ failure, and death.

It is so important to understand and know how to take care of heat illnesses. Although staying out of the heat is encouraged, at least try to limit your time exposed to the heat and take frequent breaks in the shade. Limit your time outside between 11am and 6pm which is when the heat is highest. It is also important to stay hydrated. Remember to wear sunscreen and protective clothing. Don’t let the heat put a damper on your summer fun!

 

Sources:

https://toolkit.climate.gov/nihhis/

http://www.weather.gov/rah/heat

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/social_media/spring_heat.html

American Red Cross emergency medical response. Yardley, PA: StayWell Health & Safety Solutions, 2011. Print.

 

 

 

What’s Your Risk? Mental Health Awareness Month 2017

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May is Mental Health Month and this year’s theme is Risky Business. Mental Health America wants to educate people about how certain behaviors and habits can affect mental health. These include risky sex, drug misuse, internet addiction, excessive spending, and problematic exercise routines. Mental illnesses affect almost everybody whether it is short term, long term, severe, or mild. According to a study, after following people ages 11-38, only 17% were able to avoid some sort of mental illness! Depression, anxiety, and substance abuse were the top three findings in the study.

College is a huge life transition. It is an exciting experience, but it is also full of stress and pressure to do well academically and socially. Did you know that 75% of all mental illnesses begin to show up by age 24? That makes college a critical time to become aware of the signs and symptoms of a mental illness. It is important for students to get help as soon as possible. Fortunately, the rates of students getting help has been increasing over the years, although it is difficult to determine how effective their help and treatment is.

The following link is a guide to common mental illnesses in college students. It provides coping strategies and advice to those who may be struggling with a mental illness, or those whose friends may be struggling. This link is also a great source to learn more about each mental illness.

http://www.learnpsychology.org/mental-health/

Mental illness is serious, and it is not something to be embarrassed about. There are people available who want to help. Here at MSUM, Hendrix Clinic and Counseling Center is a place to go for help! Evaluate your behaviors. Are they risky? If you or a friend are showing signs of a mental illness, don’t be afraid to utilize your available resources!

 

Sources:

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/when-your-adult-child-breaks-your-heart/201705/mental-health-awareness-month

http://time.com/4473575/college-mental-health-guidebook/

https://namiwilmington.org/mental-health-month-2017/