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The Doctor's Channel

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5 Reasons Why Hospital Queues Are So Long

There is no question that every patient dreads having to wait in a hospital emergency department queue. It can be a frustrating, time-consuming, and confusing process. Research backs up this experience: a study by Bleustein et al found that patient satisfaction is negatively correlated with longer wait times for provider care. Furthermore, physicians and other caregivers also perceive longer waits to represent lesser quality information and treatment. So why are the hospital queues so long? Patient urgency is decided by triage. Because patients come into emergency departments with varying needs, the order in which patients are moved to a care room is determined by the seriousness of their injury or illness. Triage comes from the French word for ‘to sort’ and has been the system in place for medical care since the late 1700s. Immediate, urgent, and non-urgent remain the three main categories for patients, and patients who are non-urgent may experience significantly longer wait times than those who have more pressing needs. Administrative information must be gathered prior to treatment. Anyone who has been to a hospital knows that a major portion of time before treatment is spent filling out paperwork, providing documents and insurance information, and working with administrative personnel to make sure payment is covered for the services that will be provided. One study on wait times for German hospitals by Kuchinke et al found that...

What It’s Like As A Woman With PCOS

Could you be suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and not even know? As many as one in every five women in the UK suffers from the condition, which affects cysts in the ovaries, high levels of male hormones and irregular periods. It’s hard enough battling an illness without many of the symptoms being so visible. Many women with the condition experience weight gain, acne and hair loss as well as depression and anxiety. Frustratingly, many treatments bring side effects and more hormonal fluctuation (such as the contraceptive pill) – creating a vicious cycle. The key things to remember about controlling PCOS, is making sure you do the following: Balance your hormones Normalise your insulin levels Reduce inflammation Balance pH levels The good news is that these actions can be controlled naturally, allowing you to be in charge of your health and wellbeing. Add natural supplements to your diet Women with PCOS need supplements – even if you follow a strict PCOS diet and lifestyle, there are gaps here and there to fill. The dilemma is how to choose the right supplements to manage PCOS. There is so much information out there it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Supplements can help your body to: Build its immune system Restore energy levels Balance hormones Promote healthy blood flow Some key contenders include: Inofolic – which combines myo-inositol (a naturally occurring substance found in...

Your Apple Watch Could Detect Stroke

Stroke comes in at number five at the top ten killers in the US, affecting more than 800,000 people a year in the US alone. The problem is that there are no symptoms of a stroke, until it actually occurs. A large percentage of those are caused by atrial fibrillation. Traditionally, Atrial fibrillation or a-fib could be diagnosed in a laboratory setting with the use of an ECG. But, that’s just too complicated and takes a long time. Plus, all the sensors and wires attached to the body make it an uncomfortable process. But, what if there was a way to skip all the wires and sensors and get a real time reading of your heart right on your smart watch? Researchers think that day could be here sooner than you think. Smartwatches already have heart rate sensors, albeit they are crude and basic. The technology works by shining a green light from the LED into the skin, then measuring how much of it is reflected back through your red blood. The results vary based on the volume of blood, which can give you a pulse reading. Up until now, the main challenge for these smartwatch sensors is that they cannot detect every beat, and intermittently determine the heart rate. By employing a machine learning algorithm, researchers were able to use a neural net to teach the algorithm to...

Reading Before Bed Helps Better Sleep

It’s official: reading before bed has been proven to promote better sleep. Unlike many modern ways of consuming info such as phones and TV, it doesn’t stimulate the brain into staying awake. Discover the benefits of taking a book to bed, and how this can fit in with a good sleep routine below. 6 Minutes to Slumber Infographic by Mattress Online. The Health Scout recounts why sleep matters for pre-med students and medical professionals: A mentor once told me, “Whenever you say ‘yes’ to something, you’re saying ‘no’ to something else.” Sometimes saying ‘yes’ to sleep means my life appears pretty boring from the outside. For example, when I was a 4th year med student on my surgery sub-internship, I woke up at 4:00am every day and usually didn’t get home until 7pm or later. When I got home, I ate dinner while I talked to my husband, showered, and then got in bed around 8:00pm. This was also in July, so I was actually in bed before the sun set every night. This sounds like a really pathetic existence, but I swear I was happy. Giving up some time with my husband after work in favor of getting enough sleep was worth it because I wasn’t exhausted on my days off. I actually had energy to spend time with him. And getting enough sleep helped me perform at my...

How To Write A Nursing Resume That Will Get You Hired

When trying to figure out how to write a nursing resume, it’s important to keep in mind your primary goal: show all of your experience and education to set yourself apart and entice hiring managers to call you for an interview. But this focus on getting hired doesn’t mean that once you land a job you should forget about your resume until you start looking again. Instead, as the nursing resume samples show below, your resume is a living document that you should continuously update. Once you understand the basic elements and common mistakes, you can look for ways to improve it, whether by earning an advanced degree, volunteering, or by joining professional organizations. Nursing Resume Basics There are 4 key areas that must be covered when writing your nursing resume. Locations you’ve worked Where you studied and degrees earned Your clinical rotations and how many hours you worked in each Your placements in school Normally, the details of each are included in the nine elements of how to write a nursing resume, listed below. #1: Contact Information Your nursing resume should have all of your contact information front and center. After all, you want your potential employer to be able to easily contact you. Some essential contact information includes: Name Address Phone number Email You should also include any information that can help you stand out from other...

Is Vaping Safer Than Smoking?

The whole reason that e-cigarettes were invented was to provide a less harmful alternative to smoking – one which – unlike traditional NRT’s (Patches, gum etc) – actually feels like smoking, and gives you a genuinely satisfying nicotine hit. Something that is still actually pleasurable, but without the known problems associated with smoking. So naturally, ever since their conception there has been a great deal of debate over just how safe they really are. With well over a decade since the first generation of the humble e-cig hit the market we’ve seen a lot of good and a lot of bad research into vaping, vapor and the devices used to create it. In the following sections we’d like to try and sift the fact from fiction and provide you with a brief overview of the evidence that will answer is vaping safer than smoking. 1. The Basic Premise Since the 1950’s it has been increasingly well documented that it is the combustion of tobacco and the resultant smoke and tar inhaled, that cause the diseases associated with smoking. These include, lung cancer, COPD, cardiovascular disease, bronchitis, emphysema, and so on. One of the founding fathers of tobacco cessation, Professor Michael Russell, wrote: “People smoke for nicotine, but they die from the tar” There are over 5000 chemicals contained in cigarette smoke (source), over 70 of which are known carcinogens. Some...

What You Need To Do About Blood and Organ Donation

Blood and deceased-donor organ donation improves and saves the lives of thousands, if not millions, across the world each year, but there’s still many misconceptions about the process. Lack of education, fear and cultural factors greatly impede the amount of people signing up as organ donors or attending blood drives, and this shortage has a huge and long lasting effect on the health of those who need it, despite mounting efforts to encourage Americans to sign up for donation.   As a (current or future) medical professional, you are likely know more than most about the process of donating blood, or how organs are donated and transplanted upon a patient’s death—as well as how imperative donations of all types are to global health.   However, for the a cross-section of general public, the concept isn’t as simple.  Some of the most common concerns for potential donors include eligibility issues; including whether race, sexuality/sexual identity or age affects eligibility, to whether their religion will allow blood or organ donation in any form. Fortunately, Work the World have created a new infographic to mark National Donor Day (February 14th) that covers some of the most common myths and facts that potential donors need to know. For example, not many people know that you can become a donor even in your old age, as tissue and corneas are able to be donated...