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I have been a registered nurse, nurse practitioner and most importantly a patient advocate for over 20 years. I have worked in hospitals, homes and as a private consultant, always teaching patients how to speak up for themselves and to make well informed healthcare decisions that are right for them and help them to avoid all types of Medical Errors. The many things I have seen in healthcare led me write "What Did the Doctor Just Say." In it are all the steps every patient needs to take to remain safe in the healthcare system and avoid medical errors. My personal goal is help to save 100,000 people from the horrors of a medical error and I wrote What Did the Doctor Just Say? to help make that happen.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Doctor Just Said: Decrease Your Stress -- Here's How

We've all heard the saying"stress kills." Well it's true. Stress makes high blood pressure higher and increases blood sugar. Your headache, your backache and your stomach ache, your inability to sleep your depression and your tense relationships are all directly related to and affected by your stress level.

Decreasing stress is one of the first and one of the most important steps in taking control of your health and your healthcare. When you decrease your stress your life and your health improve. When you are healthy and feeling well you do not need to enter the healthcare system for the treatment of an illness. In this way being healthy greatly decreases your chances of falling victim to a medical error - you can't get hurt in the system if you're not in the system. In the upcoming weeks I will share with you many simple, free and effective ways to decrease your stress. Today I want to talk about meditation. I really believe in meditation as a health and healing modality, it has kept me sane through the most difficult times of my life and helps me to live everyday with joy, hope, laughter and love despite being tried and earnestly challenged by this life. The positive affects I and millions of others have experienced through meditation are well documented. In fact meditation has been shown to improve many of the conditions mentioned in this posting.

Usually, when I say the word meditation the woman I'm talking with will say something like "I want to meditate but I can't ; because I can't _______ (sit still, pay attention, be quite, stop my thoughts) you fill in the blank for yourself. I then go on to explain that there are hundreds of ways to meditate. There are walking meditations, yoga and thi chi are forms of meditation and of course there is the classic sitting still and clearing the mind type of meditation most of us are at least somewhat familiar with. There are many types of meditation and there is probably a type that will suit your unique personality.

If you would like to try to meditate, if you'd like to experience it's benefits for yourself watch this video. And let me know what you think.

Do You Know How To Prevent A Hospital Infection?

One in every 20 hospitalized patients will develop an infection from something they were exposed to in the hospital: an IV, a surgical wound, a urinary catheter, a procedure, or an infected and contagious roommate are among the many causes of hospital-acquired infections. In 2002 hospital acquired infections took the lives of 90,000 Americans and cost our healthcare system more than $30 billion dollars to treat. Hospital-acquired infections may lead to weeks of hospitalization, trips to the ICU, the loss of limbs, and/or death.

Do You Know Enough About Your Medications?

It is estimated that medication errors harm as many as 1.5 people each and every year. Injuries from medication range in severity from a simple itch to organ failure and death. Up to 70 percent of all medication errors could be prevented if those taking them knew how to take their medications safely. Medication safety is only possible when you know what medications you are taking, why you are taking them, how to mix them with your other medications and how to recognize a negative reaction to a medication and what to do about that reaction. Whew!!! that's a lot of information. Of course you can get all the questions you should ask and answer before taking any medication in WDTDJS, you can also check out the following link to they have a great website and you'll learn a whole lot about your medications and how to take them safely.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

You Must Ask Your Doctors the Right Questions

Dr. Stephanie Moore, of "Moore on Your Health " talks about why asking your healthcare providers questions and knowing what questions to ask is the cornerstone of patient safety.  

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Medical Error Could Take Your Life

Every year in America medical errors, the mistakes made by doctors and others take the lives of an estimated 100,000 patients. Hundreds of patients die needlessly, everyday because they do not understand what the doctor is saying or how to make safe healthcare decisions. “What Did The Doctor Just Say? will help you avoid falling victim to medical error by teaching you how to understand what the doctor says and how to ensure he understands you too. Once you and the doctor are “speaking the same language” you will be able to ask questions and gather the information you need to make high quality, safe healthcare decisions.

Through the use of structured question sets you will learn: how to hire a good doctor and fire a bad one, how to manage your illnesses and to take your medications safely, you will learn how to choose the best hospitals, and much more.
Written in plain English by an experienced educator who knows the difficulty over 40 million people have understanding the medical language, What Did The Doctor Just say? is an informative, easy to read guide to patient safety that could help to save your life. This book is a must for anyone interested in safe healthcare.

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