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Showing posts from March, 2013

Unhappy Nurses

I am sad to read that a new survey reported in Forbes shows that nurses are the 4th most unhappy profession in the US.  The survey evaluated 10 factors of the workplace including  work environment, relationships with co-workers, compensation, and control over one's daily responsibilities.  They required at least 50 employee reviews to qualify in a category.

Careerbliss  found out that associate attorneys are the most unhappy followed by customer service associates, clerks  and coming in 4th on the unhappy scale was the registered nurse.  Equally sad was that teaching came in 5th on the unhappiness scale.

What workers were most happy?  Number one was Real estate agent followed by Senior Quality Associate Engineer.  Sales Reps and Construction Superintendents were also happy in their jobs.

Overwork, lack of opportunity for advancement and poor workplace culture were the biggest factors in the dissatisfied categories.  Nurses were most unhappy with the workplace culture and the peop…

Tuberculosis Made Easy

Tuberculosis (TB) is a contageous infection that is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. One third of the world population has been infected with TB and it caused over 1.5 million deaths in 2010.  We don't hear as much about TB in the developed world but new infections in third world countries occur at a rate of about 1 per second.    Risk factors for TB are:
A weakened immune system such as diabetes or HIVWorking in health care or refugee campsTraveling to countries where TB is endemicLiving in overcrowded situations or extreme poverty  The disease usually affects the lungs and is spread when people cough or sneeze and spray moisture droplets.  In the old days, TB was called "consumption" and at the turn of the century it was treated by isolating patients in sanitariums for months to years and hoping they recovered. In the 19th Century, TB killed more people in New England than any other disease.

Active TB is when a person has symptoms (fever, cough,…

Ten Sleep Facts That May Surprise You

I think we all know that sleep is not only beneficial for good health, but lack of sleep can lead to a number of serious disorders and diseases.   Here are ten sleep facts that may surprise you:

1.    When we are awake our brain cells produce adenosine as a byproduct. The build-up of adenosine in the brain is thought to be one factor that leads to our perception of being tired. (Incidentally, this feeling is counteracted by the use of caffeine which blocks the actions of adenosine in the brain and keeps us alert.)

2.    Older adults need about the same amount of sleep as younger adults (7-9 hours) but seniors go to bed earlier and wake up earlier than when they were younger.

3.     We dream only during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep but get the deepest sleep during non-REM cycles.

4.     It is not only important to get sleep to learn, but it is also important to get good sleep after we learn something new to process and retain that knowledge.

5.     Insomnia is the most common …

Blogger Malaise

For the past few weeks I have experienced Blogger Malaise.  This is a little different than writers block.  I have had a number of subjects swirl through my head that I thought would be of interest, but had no motivation to translate them into a thoughtful blog.  As each day went by I made excuses not to do the research and writing.  I even started feeling a little sorry for myself and wondered if I should even continue blogging.

It didn't take much to re-inspire me, however.  I got an email from an old patient I haven't seen or heard from in years who mentioned a blog that helped her tremendously. (Thanks, Lynn).  Today at a management meeting I got unsolicited, kind,  blogging feedback from people I seldom see. (Thanks, Shaun, Richard and Susan).  And my stats show that even without writing for the past couple of weeks, I still had 2700 page views yesterday so I realized people are reading the blog and, hopefully, getting something from it.

That is all I need as a health bl…

Ascaris Lumbricoides

The answer to yesterday's Image Challenge was #1 - Ascariasis

Ascaris lumbricoides worms were causing intestinal obstruction in this child from Kenya.  After the intestine blockage was removed, the child recovered.

Ascariasis is a disease caused by roundworms.  The parasite, Ascaris lumbricoides  is one of the most common infections in the world and it affects up to one fourth of the worlds population and up to 95% of Africans are infected with roundworms at any time.   The life-cycle of this parasite is amazing.

Infection starts when food contaminated with Ascaris eggs from feces are swallowed.  the larvae hatch in the intestine, burrow through the gut wall and migrate to the lungs through the blood system.  They then pass through the alveoli, up the trachea and esophagus where they are coughed up and swallowed.  They then pass through to the stomach for a 2nd time into the intestine where they mature into adult worms,  Adult worms have a life-span of 1-2 years.

The adult worm c…