September 17, 2014

[INFOGRAPHIC]: How Germs Spread

Now that school has been back in session for nearly a month, this infographic couldn’t have come at a better time. Special thanks to the Mother Nature Network and Pediatrics After Hours for sharing such a simple and useful guide.

Arming the family with knowledge of these facts and stats might mean the difference between the kids missing a week of school (which keeps you out of work no less) and the perfect attendance award.

We even called out a few below to help you and yours get a jump on besting all those pesky germs out there!

  • Be sure to coach your kids so they’re among the 77% people who wash their hands after using public restrooms! BTW, this number should definitely be higher than 77%… Eek!
  • Remember that poor hygiene and food don’t mix. FYI 50% of food related illnesses are caused by poor personal hygiene.
  • Germs don’t die they multiply. A single germ can become a germ-army numbering more than 8 million in just 24 hours!!!
  • Teach the kiddos to cover their mouths with the vampire arm when coughing or sneezing, but don’t forget to teach them that they should also avoid covering the mouths of others when they sneeze. Germs can travel at speeds of up to 80 mph when projected by a sneeze.
  • And finally… If at all possible, don’t buy that iguana to celebrate your Pre-K kids’ first “A-Honor-Roll” (heck… if you aren’t careful you may wind up with a baby alligator anyway). Kids 5 and under are more susceptible to being among the 70,000 people who develop salmonella each year, simply from coming in contact with pet reptiles!

How Germs Spread 2014 St. Joseph Health System Real Wellness Post

How Germs Spread Infographic Courtesy of : http://www.mnn.com/

September 12, 2014

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month – No More Fearing the Prostate Exam

St. Joseph Prostate Cancer Awareness Month Ribbon

Prostate cancer remains the highest diagnosed malignancy among men and second only to female breast cancer among US diagnoses.

Despite the glaring statistics, it would likely come as no surprise if someone told you that they heard a man say: “Given the choice between prostate cancer and having a prostate exam, I’d choose prostate cancer.”

Though this wouldn’t be shocking it would be off-putting, especially if said by a father, brother, son or friend. It’s as the old adage goes: Out of sight out of mind, and things simply don’t get much more out of sight than the location of a man’s prostate, not to mention, where his doctor must go to examine it. The latter condition almost certainly forces a man’s prostate, and the risk he might assume by avoiding the exam, even further out of mind than does the prostate’s ‘invisibility’ and imperceptible positioning among the anatomy of – “where the sun don’t shine”.

These kinds of attitudes towards our own health and well-being – especially when rooted in fears associated with stigmas or stereotypes (i.e. Dentists aren’t really that scary) – aren’t always as benign as we may think. And as far as we intend Real Wellness to be a resource for health and wellness, we know that understanding and information are the best way to create attitudes that lead to health and wellness outcomes.

In honor of September being Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Real Wellness is sharing a few facts and tips that may help men feel more comfortable about talking to their doctor about prostate exams and about enduring the exam itself. This is often a critical first step towards reducing risk and towards ensuring that the best treatment is received if treatment becomes necessary.

Beat the anxiety of the unknown with information.

Often we measure and evaluate that which we don’t know about a process based on what we do know, no matter how limited what we know may be. Aside from creating misconceptions, this often leads to anxiety and fear – primarily, fear of the unknown. The best way to get past such fear is to attain (the correct) information. Learning what takes place, and how to communicate with their doctors, during a prostate exam is a great way for men over 50 to begin the process of best managing their prostate health.

Assess your risk.

Healthcare is increasingly becoming a 2-way street in the sense that patients are taking a more proactive role in their own care with support from their doctors to do so. The amount of medical information accessible via the web, apps and smart devices is more vast than ever before (and growing more rapidly than ever before). With just the click of a button a man can learn how much risk he may face relative to certain illnesses and diseases. For example, African American men and men who have instances of prostate cancer in their family histories are at greater risk of developing prostate cancer than their counterparts in other subgroups. It is recommended that men in these higher-risk categories begin having prostate exams at age 40, ten years earlier than the suggested age for men not in groups associated with higher risk-factors.

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month St. Joseph Health System

Prostate Cancer Statistics Courtesy of ProtectingOurHealth.com

Know the resources.

Though the amount of information available today can be an asset, it can also be a detriment if not reviewed thoroughly and carefully. Men should talk to their doctors about where and how to source information and to connect with credible resources. The Prostate Cancer Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to helping medical science eradicate the disease and to helping men be aware of and in reach of what they need to survive the disease if they are diagnosed with prostate cancer. The information they provide on prostate cancer screening is wide-ranging and could prove helpful to men who aren’t diagnosed, but who should be preparing to be screened.

Fear and funny don’t mix; there’s no need to take things so seriously.

One thing the “mass perception” regarding prostate exams fails to highlight is the fact that the exam only lasts about one minute. Yes, that’s a mere 60 seconds! A minute that could possibly save a man’s life. In fact, some patients who are able to remained relaxed during the exam can be examined in even less time. As one tip suggests: allowing the mind to wander from what is happening in the exam room, by focusing on a memory or a hobby (e.g. a great vacation experience or woodcarving) can be a great way to get through the exam “without even knowing it began”. And for any men out there that might claim that they don’t have a hobby or a great memory to focus on – tell them to be like the Echo Tool Guy!

September 11, 2014

Grimes St. Joseph & Burleson St. Joseph Hosting Lunches in Honor of First Responders

September 11, 2014Grimes St. Joseph and Burleson St. Joseph are each hosting lunch today in honor of our dedicated First Responders.

St. Joseph Emergency Medical Services Training

St. Joseph Health System EMS personnel in a training exercise involving a possible airlift.

When we think about Real Wellness, we tend to focus on preventive medicine, or on Wellness Care. It’s not often that we mention caring for the ill or for the injured. However, part of our responsibility to our community is being there for those who face medical emergencies, in the very moment that a health situation becomes a crisis. Without our dedicated, selfless, and often heroic first responders we wouldn’t be able to succeed in our mission to preserve and improve the lives and well-being of our families, neighbors and friends in the Brazos Valley.

This is why our First Responders are so often the subjects of heartwarming and triumphant patient stories that typically have in common the theme of a First Responder exhibiting courage and heroism, resulting in a mother, or a sister, or a friend receiving life-saving medical care against seemingly insurmountable odds!

Therefore with a great sense of pride, we take this opportunity to join Grimes St. Joesph and Burleson St. Joseph in saluting our First Responders! We appreciate you, First Responders and all that you do.

There are so many reasons to be grateful for you and these reasons are not limited to, your willingness to risk your own lives to save others, the time and effort that you spend preparing for the unexpected, or the poise and courage you show every day to take the correct and necessary action even in the face of danger. It is for these and for many other reasons that we remain eternally grateful for SJHS’ First Responders, who are hugely important to, and who embody so much of what it takes for St. Joseph Health System to meet its mission and to uphold its responsibility to keep the St. Joseph community healthy and well.

Thank You First Responders, from Real Wellness.

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