Johnston Health, now part of UNC Health Care, is Johnston County’s health care system. It includes an acute care hospital, urgent care center and hospice house in Smithfield and an outpatient campus and freestanding emergency department in Clayton.
It’s not often that respiratory therapists at Johnston Health get called to intubate premature babies. But when they do, clinical coordinator Tonya Murphy wants every respiratory therapist in her department to feel comfortable doing so.
Toward that end, they’re getting in some valuable practice, thanks to Ann, a premature baby manikin. To enhance the learning experience, her teaching kit comes with bottles of goo and fake blood to simulate birth.
The manikin is among the teaching tools, equipment and consumables that Johnston Health Volunteers bought last year with proceeds from the hospital gift shops. Between both campuses, they funded more than $48,000 worth of requests from departments.
“We love the volunteers,” says Shelby Holt, director of cardiovascular and pulmonology services. “It’s so helpful to have them and the gift shops as resources.”
Ann has other capabilities, too, Murphy says. Nurses can practice starting IVs, and providers can practice inserting umbilical catheters. While the hospital has other baby manikins, none are as tiny or lifelike as Ann, who is 25 weeks.
The respiratory therapists also use Ann to demonstrate their competencies on skills day. All are certified in neonatal resuscitation; one is an NRP instructor. While they can complete their coursework online, they must demonstrate their skills in order to recertify every two years.
Gale Cass, president of the volunteers, says it’s rewarding to see the gift shop proceeds benefit patients. She regularly sees patients headed to procedures, for example, who are wrapped in blankets heated in blanket-warming cabinets, which was a previous gift the Volunteers purchased.
So next time you visit the hospital, take a stop at the gift shop. You’re purchases go towards making us a better hospital and provide ways for us to give back to those in our community.
Pictured: Thanks to proceeds from the Volunteer Gift Shops, respiratory therapists are now able to practice and hone their skills on the tiniest of patients. At left and right, Tonya Murphy, clinical coordinator for respiratory therapy, and Lakreisha Davis, respiratory therapist, try out a new premature manikin named Ann. It’s one of the many items requested and purchased last year for departments.
The Johnston Health Therapeutic Wound Center was recently highlighted in an article featured in The Triangle Physician. Written by Suzette Rodriguez, the article describes the expertise and care of the wound center staff and physicians. Click to read the full article.
If you have a wound that has not healed, consider seeking help from the Johnston Health Therapeutic Wound Center. Carefully researched methods allow patients to receive state-of-the-art treatment of wounds that have resisted healing despite months, or even years of conventional treatment. Since opening in 2003, we have earned a reputation for successfully treating wounds that others thought were impossible to heal.
Johnston CORE is the new employee engagement advisory council led and managed by Johnston Health Employees. CORE stands for “Creating Opportunities. Recognizing Employees.” Meet our CORE members with our weekly profiles and fun facts.
Meet Jessica Herring
Jessica Herring loves being a nurse in the Smithfield emergency department where every day brings on challenges, rewards and, always, the unexpected. She has been with Johnston Health the past 14 years.
“During their visits, patients and families look to their nurse for answers and guidance,” she says. “I treat them the way I would want to be treated. In this way, you can never go wrong.”
One of the most enjoyable parts of her job has been to precept students, paramedics and new nurses. “Making a good first impression is crucial to their future at the hospital,” she says. “It’s neat that some of them still work here.”
Herring lives in Newton Grove and enjoys spending time with her 3-year-old son, Paxton. And one day, she would like to go back to school to advance her education.
“I feel the CORE team is off to a great start,” she says. “With representatives from so many areas in the hospital, I think we, as a team, can work together to make things happen for our employees.“
Toward that end, she offers this quote from Henry Ford: Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.
What’s been your proudest moment? The proudest moment for me was 04-25-15 which was the day I had my son, Paxton.
What’s your favorite fast food? Well, I find myself frequenting McDonald’s a lot. Not that it is my favorite place, but I am guessing that it might have a little something to do with having a toddler that likes the play place.
If you’ve had a heart attack or heart surgery, your doctor is likely to recommend cardiac rehabilitation, a 12-week program designed to help you strengthen your heart and reduce the likelihood of another heart event.
It’s a simple program that can be a lifesaver—cardiac rehab reduces mortality by more than 50 percent, compared with patients who don’t do it, according to the American Heart Association. Still, few people take advantage of it.
You’ll need a doctor’s referral and to commit to attending an hourlong class three times a week.
Read on to find out how cardiac rehab can improve overall health, helping you live better with heart disease.
Physical Benefits: Become a Stronger You
Cardiac rehab focuses on reducing risk factors for heart disease, such as excess weight and high blood pressure. Light to moderate aerobic activity can do the trick. Patients use equipment such as treadmills, stationary bicycles and elliptical machines, aiming to increase their workload as the sessions progress. So a patient who starts out walking 2 mph on a treadmill with no incline might, 12 weeks later, be walking at 3.5 mph with varying grades of incline.
If you’re working out in cardiac rehab, the staff is monitoring you every step of the way to make sure your heart is responding well throughout. They keep track of your heart rate, rhythm, blood pressure and, if you have diabetes, blood sugar. This ensures your workout is effective and safe. And because all your numbers are logged in an electronic system, your cardiologist can see how you’re doing, too.
Mental Health Benefits: You Can Do This
It’s natural to feel uncertain about your life and abilities after a heart attack or surgery. Many people feel anxious about exercising or playing with their children or grandchildren. Some feel they’ve lost their identity as a healthy person.
Cardiac rehab can help you recover your confidence and sense of well-being, all while reducing one of the risk factors for heart disease: stress. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins and gives you ownership over your recovery. The exercise physiologists and therapists who conduct the sessions give advice on stress management and lead progressive relaxation exercises.
All this leads to a sense of empowerment that helps you see opportunities, not just limitations, in living with heart disease.
Nutritional Benefits: Food Matters
Of course, exercise alone won’t make your heart as healthy as it can be. What you eat is a major factor in your success. That’s why part of cardiac rehab is nutrition education from a registered dietitian who is also a trained diabetes educator. A dietitian provides both individual counseling and group education, including a session for family members.
Don’t expect the dietitian to prescribe a rigid, eat-this-but-never-that “diet,” however. A heart-healthy diet is a lifestyle change, not a set of rules. The dietitian teaches skills such as reading food labels, limiting sodium and choosing healthier fats.
The great news? Patients who change how they eat in small but significant ways often see weight loss, especially when combined with the program’s exercises. That’s good for your heart and makes you feel good about yourself.
Support Benefits: You’re Not in This Alone
Cardiac rehab exercises are personalized for each patient, but they’re done in a group. So you’ll be spending time with—and getting support from—other people who also have heart disease. That helps you know you’re not alone, even when things are challenging.
Patients get inspiration and advice from what other patients are going through or have experienced in the past. No one is required or expected to socialize, but people inevitably form friendships and help keep each other motivated. And because people enter rehab when they need to, everyone in the class is at different stages of the program; that can help inspire newcomers to see that progress is possible.
This year, February 2 is recognized as National Wear Red Day® to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease in women and save lives. The American Heart Association is a wonderful resource to find lots of information about heart disease and what you can do to lower your risk.
What do you think is the No. 1 cause of death of women in the United States?
Many people think it’s breast cancer, but that’s not the right answer. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, accounting for 22.4 percent of women’s deaths in 2013. Cancer—and that’s all forms of cancer combined, not just breast cancer—came in second place.
Heart disease is traditionally thought of as a man’s disease, which is one reason why many people don’t know it’s the leading cause of death in American women. In fact, heart disease affects more women than men, says dietitian Rose Langley, RD, LDN, with UNC REX Heart & Vascular.
When anyone suffers a heart attack, getting immediate medical help is crucial in helping save that person’s life. But women having a heart attack are more likely to experience different symptoms than the ones commonly portrayed on TV and in movies, such as crushing pain to the chest. For that reason, they may not realize they need to call 911.
Here’s what you need to know about heart attack signs and symptoms:
Symptom: Chest Pain
In men: Heart attacks are sometimes described as feeling like an elephant is sitting on your chest. And while chest pain is a common heart attack symptom in men, it’s often much subtler. Most heart attacks start slowly as mild pain or discomfort. People often dismiss heart attack warning signs as heartburn or a pulled muscle, causing them to wait too long before getting help.
In women: The most common heart attack symptom in women, as with men, is chest pain or discomfort. However, sometimes women have heart attacks and feel no chest pain at all, and women are more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms. “Women will present to the ER with more nausea, fatigue and shortness of breath, while men talk about the intense chest pressure,” says Paula Miller, MD, director of the UNC Women’s Heart Program.
Common Heart Attack Symptoms in Both Men and Women
The flu is miserable. If you’ve ever had it, you know how brutal it can be: the headache, the fever, the chills.
But sometimes, it’s more than miserable—it’s a medical emergency.
Most people recover from the flu at home, but some need a doctor’s care. So how do you know whether to seek help?
First, check your symptoms against this list of flu symptoms:
Fever (not always present)
Runny or stuffy nose
Sometimes diarrhea and vomiting
Recovering at Home
If your symptoms are mild and you choose to recover at home, don’t go to work or other public places where you can pass the flu to others. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you need to stay home at least 24 hours after you have become fever-free without the aid of medicine.
While you’re at home, make sure to rest and drink a lot of fluids. The following supplies can help you minimize the spread of flu and feel better:
Laundry detergent (you’re going to want to wash those blankets you’re using)
Household cleaners (make sure to wipe down surfaces, including door handles)
Soap (wash your hands a lot and encourage anyone you live with to do the same)
Seeing a Doctor
If your symptoms are moderate to severe or you’re at higher risk of developing flu-related complications, you may want to see your doctor. People at higher risk include children younger than 5 and adults 65 and older, pregnant women, residents of nursing homes, and people with chronic illnesses such as asthma, lung disease and heart disease.
Your doctor will assess your symptoms and may prescribe an . If you can’t see your doctor promptly or the office is closed, you can visit an urgent care clinic to be treated for flu.
When Flu Becomes an Emergency
Some people who get the flu get very sick, and it can sometimes be fatal. Thousands of people each year die of flu-related complications. Seek immediate emergency medical attention—call 911—if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Pain or pressure in the chest or stomach
Severe or persistent vomiting
Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Have the flu and need to see a doctor? You can find urgent care clinic locations and primary care doctors in both Smithfield and Clayton.
Now more than ever, My UNC Chart allows you access to your care team and your medical records all in one, secure, easy-to-use online portal. Not only can patients go online to access the My UNC Chart patient portal but they can also access their medical records through the My Chart app which is available for both iOS and Android.
Top features of My UNC Chart
Connect with your provider.
Use our secure messaging system to get answers to your medical questions.
Manage your appointments.
Request new appointments, view past and upcoming appointments and cancel appointments. Managing appointments can help you to prevent missing an appointment and avoid cancellation fees. It also ensures that you are better prepared for your appointments.
Get the MyChart mobile app.
Connect with your care anytime, anywhere, with the free MyChart mobile app for Android and iPhone users from the App Store and Google Play.
Request prescription refills.
Request a refill for you prescription medications.
Access test results.
View your results and your doctor’s comments for many standard medical tests.
Pay bills online.
Pay your hospital and provider bills online.
Manage accounts of loved ones.
Use your account for permission-based access to manage the care of your children, spouse, parents and other loved ones who are UNC Health Care patients.
Track your health.
View a snapshot of your UNC Health Care medical history, a clinical summary of your office visits, and hospital and emergency department discharge instructions.
Get connected to your care.
For more information or to sign up, go to myuncchart.org or call UNC HealthLink™ at (888) 996-2767.
HealthQuest Fitness and Wellness Center teaches a different education topic every month. For October it was a “Grocery Store Tour”. The main goal for this tour was for participants to look at grocery stores in a different way and learn some tips to help make healthier choices the next time they go shopping.
Participants were asked to observe the store and see what stood out to them the most (i.e. what marketing tactics were being used to draw them in). These are everywhere. Above and down aisles, you see bold words and bright orange, yellow, and red color signs posted strategically to draw your attention and recognize those same colors in the products they hope you’ll put in your cart. End caps (aka the pretty displays at the end of each aisle) are designed to be impressive, neat, and the first impression of what’s on the aisle. You’ll often find these items on sale or buy one get one. Let’s think…how many end caps have healthy food on them? Unfortunately, very few.
So now that we’ve recognized some tricks that are being used, how can we shop through the grocery store without grabbing impulse items that may not be on our healthy eating?
Here are 8 grocery store hacks that everyone can use:
Plan ahead and use a list…STICK TO IT! Using a list will keep you from wasting time and money. By focusing on your list you get exactly what you need and don’t get caught in the grocery store tactics that are trying to get you to spend more. Implementing this tip will also keep you from having duplicates in your kitchen- that extra thing of Garlic Salt in your spice cabinet or second bottle of Ranch in your pantry. Be sure to look at what you already have in your pantry so you don’t buy more than you need.
Don’t go to the grocery store hungry. We are all guilty of this. It causes us to grab everything that looks yummy (usually unhealthy) and throw it in the cart. It isn’t until we get to the register that we see what ended up in our cart and how much more we are spending. (This is also about the time that the feeling of disappointment settles in knowing that these items will haunt us every time we open the pantry.) If you can’t go after eating a meal, then eat a small snack that will hold you over until after you are done with your grocery shopping.
Use a smaller cart. Most people have a tendency to fill the cart because it looks empty. Unless you have a really long grocery list (see tip #1) or are purchasing large items, try to use a smaller cart so you aren’t tempted purchase more than needed.
Try to put every color of the rainbow in your cart. Use this as a challenge when purchasing produce. We always go for those staple produce items such as: bananas, apples, grapes, and carrots. Why not branch out? Try an eggplant and use a fun recipe for it.
Avoid end cap sales that are not healthy. Again, stick to your list! Remember, end caps are designed for the impulse buyer.
Shop the perimeter of the store. You will find healthy and fresh groceries that have integrity along the outside aisles of the store.
Look at the ingredient list. The listing of ingredients is in descending order of predominance by weight (fda.gov). All this means is that the ingredient that weighs the most is listed first, and the ingredient that weighs the least is listed last. Here’s a test. Can you pronounce the ingredients on the list? The healthier the items usually contain fewer ingredients and are easy to say. Those are the ones you should purchase.
Avoid items that have cartoons on the packaging. This may sound silly; however, cartoons are targeting kids and will probably be expensive and full of sugar. Don’t fall into the “Peter Pan” mentality of not wanting to grow up. I’m sure Peter always ate his fruits and veggies anyways.
So now it’s time to put these tips to good use. Give them a try the next time your doing your grocery shopping and let us know if there are other helpful tips you use to shop healthy!
This blog post was contributed by Samantha Barbour, Health & Wellness Specialist at HealthQuest Fitness & Wellness Center. HealthQuest, located in the Johnston Medical Mall, is a hospital-affiliated fitness and wellness center with medically based programs that will improve your health and your lifestyle. Find out more at www.johnstonhealth.org/healthquest or call 919-938-7581.
Accidents are unpredictable and can occur at a moment’s notice. When an accident occurs it is difficult to rationally decipher what appropriate actions need to be taken. Most people have been trained to immediately go to the emergency room however, depending upon the severity of the injury, this might not be the best solution.
Urgent care centers are facilities that function similarly to a primary care office, expect there is no appointment necessary and they have extended after care hours. They are trained to treat non-life threatening conditions that need immediate medical attention. Emergency Rooms visits should be reserved for true emergencies, such as chest pain and severe injuries. In general, an emergency condition is one that can permanently impair or endanger the life of an individual.
Deciding which symptoms indicate a need for the emergency department versus the urgent care can be challenging. A general rule of thumb is that if the condition is non-life threatening, and will not permanently impair or endanger your life if not treated immediately, then an urgent care facility may be appropriate.
Severe Chest Pain
Minor Back Pain
(Signs of) Heart Attack
Minor lacerations and sutures
(Signs of) Stroke
Compound fracture (bone protrudes through skin)
Heavy, uncontrollable breathing
Deep knife wounds or gunshot wounds
Sports and camp physicals
Moderate to severe burns
Sprain/ broken bones
Difficulty breathing/ Shortness of breath
Flu/ Cold symptoms
Severe Abdominal Pain
Animal/ Insect bites/ stings
Minor burns/ wound care
High Fevers (especially in newborns- less than 3 months old)
Skin rash/ poison ivy
Convulsions, seizures or loss of consciousness
Serious head, neck or back injury/ paralysis
Urinary Tract Infections/ Painful urination
Suicidal or homicidal feelings
Remember, ER visits should be reserved for true emergencies, such as chest pain and severe injuries. Seemingly small injuries and illnesses can be examined by urgent care physicians. If greater care is needed, staff will direct patients to the proper healthcare provider, or, if it is a true emergency, they will transfer patients directly to a hospital emergency room for further treatment. Remember if an accident occurs where the person is having difficulty breathing, is unresponsive, or is unconscious please call 9-1-1.
Avoid the wait times
Taking into consideration the severity of your symptoms before you go to the emergency room can help you to avoid the notoriously long wait times. According to the CDC in 2014, the median wait times to be seen at the emergency department were 30 minutes. The reason for the long wait times is that patients are treated according to the severity of their symptoms, those with more life threatening conditions take top priority. Knowing when to go where can help you skip the wait time.
Not only can you save time but you can also save money. According to a study done by the National Institute of Health in 2013 the average costs of an emergency room visit totaled at $1,233. That figure did not include fees associated with diagnostic or lab tests. The average cost for a visit to an urgent care facility can range from $50 to $150 depending upon your condition and whether or not you have health insurance.
Another point to consider in terms of costs from an emergency department visit, is whether or not your insurance will cover your visit. Emergency departments are required by law to treat everyone regardless of their ability to pay, however insurance companies have the authority to decide what services they will and will not cover.
Access to Services
While emergency departments do have more accessibility to hospital services, many urgent care facilities can provided similar medical services. Urgent care facilities are staffed by physicians and nurse practitioners who are able to provide the same quality medical services as those who work in emergency departments. They can provide laboratory services such as blood work, x-rays, and CAT scans. Urgent care facilities offer preventative services such as vaccinations, flu shots, physicals, gynecological exams, drug screenings, and even well baby checks. They can also administer IVs, medications, and prescriptions. Not only are they great facilities to go to for non-life threatening emergencies but they can also provide routine medical services.
While no one can plan for an accident, knowing the appropriate actions to take can help save time and money. Only you know the severity of your symptoms so always chose the option that works best for your situation.
Remember if an accident occurs where the person is having difficulty breathing, is unresponsive, or is unconscious please call 9-1-1.
Everyone knows how the saying goes. An apple a day keeps the doctor away! Turns out…there’s some truth to this statement.
March is Nutrition Month and each week we will feature a super food. You’ll learn about why this particular food is so good for you and then provide you with a healthy recipe to try. As you can see this week we are talking apples!
Apples are among the most popular types of fruit in the world, and are still in season in North Carolina! They contain about 95 calories each and make for an easy and inexpensive way to get in a cup of fruit! There are many different types of apples, each with their own texture and level of sweetness.
Apples are a good source of:
Apples are very versatile and can be eaten raw or cooked. And don’t toss the peel – that is where most of the fiber and nutrients are! Try adding sliced apples to your salad or sandwich for a touch of sweetness, or enjoy a balanced snack of sliced apples with peanut butter. Try the recipe below for a quick and easy way to incorporate apples into your diet.
Apple Peanut Butter Delights
makes 12 servings
6 whole Multi-Grain English Muffins, split in half
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 whole apples, cut into thin slices
2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread each English muffin half with about 1 tablespoon peanut butter. Lay slices of apple on top, overlapping and stacking a few.
Mix together the sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkle a teaspoon or two over each English muffin half.
Bake them for 10 minutes, then broil (watch them constantly!) until the top is nice and bubbly and starting to caramelize. (You can sprinkle on a little more cinnamon sugar after the initial 10 minutes of baking if you want to add a little more!)
Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then enjoy!
This post was provided by Louisa Sherrill, MS, RD, LDN, Clinical Dietitian for Johnston Health.
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