News and Articles - Sheridan Community Hospital

 

Why Do Inhalers Change Often?     By: Nicole Falatic DNP, FNP-C  |  June 23, 2021

Inhalers Changing

We have all been there. You go to pick up your Pro Air Rescue Inhaler only to find out it has been switched to Ventolin. Frustration is the word and it occurs with us, as providers, as well. Insurance companies every year come together, often times more than once, and create changes to their formularies. These are lists of medications that are covered, or partially covered with copays through your insurance plan. What was once covered 6 months ago, may not be covered now. Part of this is due to generic replacements, additional clinical restrictions, medications being less effective than other similar medications, or medications being effective as similar medications, but at a higher cost. Just as medicine is ever evolving with recommendations and guidelines, so too do health insurance coverages.

At Sheridan Care, we do our best to ensure that we prescribe medications that are covered by your plan, and may be why you often see changes to things like inhalers based on coverage.

 

How Can I Develop Good Sleeping Habits?        By: Dr. Eva Bartlett | June 16, 2021

Screening Tests and Exams

Trouble sleeping is one of the most common complaints we often see in primary care. Difficulty sleeping can be caused by many reasons, including physical, emotional, mental and behavioral. Poor sleep hygiene is a large part of sleeping troubles. Although some factors are not easy to control, there are a number of things that you can do at home to help yourself sleep better.

  • Try to keep a sleep schedule – even if you have time to stay up later on weekends or vacations, don’t. Train your body to a sleep and wake time.
  • Pick a bedtime that is at least 7-8 hours before you need to wake up.
  • Find a bedtime routine that helps you relax.
  • Avoid electronics, even as much as 30 minutes before bedtime, if possible. Try not to watch television in bed.
  • Exercise regularly and eat well.
  • Reduce fluid intake before bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine in the afternoon or evening and don’t eat a large meal right before bedtime.
  • Avoid alcohol, nicotine, or medicine for panic attacks (like Xanax, Ativan, Valium) just before bedtime. It may seem that the alcohol relaxes you, but alcohol stimulates the alpha brain waves that should not normally be present during sleep and all three reduce delta waves that are necessary for restorative sleep. Your body will experience less REM sleep and more NREM slow wave sleep. You might fall asleep but the sleep you get will be less quality and make it easier for you to wake up more often and earlier.
  • Use your bed only for sleep or sex and make your bedroom cool, comfortable and quiet.
  • If you go to bed and cannot fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do a quiet activity with low light and no electronics. When you feel sleepy, return to bed.

If you snore heavily or quit breathing during sleep, see your doctor. These can indicate sleep apnea, a serious condition where your body stops breathing during sleep. This increases the pressure on your heart and blood vessels and can cause long term consequences.

Using these tips can help improve your sleep, if you are patient and consistent!

 

Visitor Restrictions – Effective June 15, 2021

Sheridan Community Hospital will allow up to two visitors per patient, in all departments, at the discretion of the nurse/physician overseeing patient’s care. All visitors will be screened, temperature checked and required to wear a mask or face covering upon entrance and throughout their entire visit. If a visitor has symptoms, they will not be allowed to stay/visit with the patient.

We do not want patients to delay care; our facilities are safe.

Click Here to read the full statement.

 

What is the Best Birth Control Option?     By: Nicole Falatic DNP, FNP-C  |  June 8, 2021

Birth Control Options

There are numerous methods and forms of birth control these days. While there are some that provide better protection than others, the choice of which birth control is best depends on your specific needs, lifestyle, and medical history. This is why it is important to have a consultation with your primary care provider to help choose the most appropriate and safe option. The most common forms of birth control our office prescribes and sees are oral contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, implants, and injections. Each form of birth control comes with its own benefits such as how it is administered, or length of time it is effective.

For example, a woman who is 20 without any medical history, who does not plan on having kids within the next 5 years, has a busy life, and doesn’t like shots, may choose to get a Mirena IUD because of its length of effectiveness and not having to worry about injections or pills with her lifestyle.

I encourage anyone interested to always research options. A great reference website is through The Department of Health and Human Services. This website provides accurate and easy to understand information about the options that are available.

For further information or questions regarding birth control options, contact your primary care provider.

 

What Types of Screening Tests or Exams Do I Need As a Woman?                            By: Dr. Eva Bartlett | June 2, 2021

Screening Tests and Exams

All women have different screening needs at different stages in their lives. Young women, in their teens, should be screened yearly for gonorrhea and chlamydia, generally with a urine test. The current recommendations include all sexually active women ages 13-24 and women older than 24 at increased risk of infection. Some providers choose to screen adolescents regardless of reported sexual activity, because not all younger patients feel comfortable disclosing that information.

Gone are the days of going for your yearly pap smear, from middle school to retirement. The newer, more accurate, liquid based pap tests have reduced the need for testing frequently. They also allow a single sample to be tested for cancer cells, HPV virus, and several other infections when needed. 21 years old is the age for an initial pap test, whether you have been sexually active or not. From ages 21-29, it is recommended to have a pap smear every three years. Women ages 30-65 can have a pap smear with HPV testing, and if both of those results are negative, they can go five years between tests. Pap smears are generally discontinued at age 65, if they have been normal. Since medical providers understand that cervical cancer is caused by the HPV virus, we can expect that a women, who has reached age 65 without having abnormal cells or cancer cells caused by HPV, will be at extremely low risk of having an abnormal pap in the future.

Mammograms are another female screening that has changed over the years. The current recommendation is to start yearly mammograms at age 50 and continue until age 74. Women who have a first degree relative (sibling, parent, or child) with a history of breast cancer are at higher risk and should consider a mammogram starting at 40. For other patients ages 40-49, the decision to have a mammogram should be discussed with your provider and made individually. Performing mammograms on routine risk patients, in that specific age group, can increase the chance of overtreatment, over-diagnosis, and more biopsies than necessary.

Screening recommendations are based on thousands of people followed over many years, but you should always talk to your provider and make sure that the plan you choose to follow fits you as an individual!

 

Got Veins?     By: Dr. John Morris - Vascular Specialist  |  May 18, 2021

Got Veins

Varicose veins and venous insufficiency affect 25% of the population and can be seen in both men and women. Varicose veins are bulging veins, under the skin, usually located in the legs. Spider veins are a subset of varicose veins that are smaller and form within the skin.

Valves in your veins help coordinate blood flow back to the heart. Valve dysfunction, also known as venous reflux or insufficiency, leads to increased venous pressure and vein enlargement over time. Many symptoms are common, such as swelling, discomfort, heaviness/fatigue, skin discoloration, itching and cramping. The risk factor for venous insufficiency include advanced age, female gender, family history, obesity and prolonged standing. Untreated venous insufficiency can lead to chronic pain, permanent skin changes, bleeding, wounds/skin ulcerations or blood clots.

Physical examination by an experienced health care provider and venous ultrasound are usually the only tests needed diagnose venous insufficiency. Your health care provider can order a venous insufficiency ultrasound at Sheridan Community Hospital and you can have a virtual visit with a vascular surgeon to discuss your results and potential treatment!

There are treatment options! Conservative treatment with compression stockings and leg elevation can be used for symptomatic relief, but results may only be temporary.

Minimally invasive procedures are available to almost all patients and can provide immediate longterm relief. These office based procedures take less than one hour and are performed with local anesthesia. Patients are ambulatory after the procedures and can perform normal daily activities. Imagine that…a procedure in the office while you are awake and you walk out of the office within an hour and your condition is treated! Great symptom relief and cosmetic results.

To schedule a virtual visit with Sheridan Community Hospital’s Vascular Specialist, Dr. John Morris, contact 989-291-6311.

 

How Can I Boost My Memory?     By: Nicole Falatic DNP, FNP-C  |  May 11, 2021

Boost My Memory

I like to think of the brain as another muscle of the body. Like other muscles, in order for them to increase in size and strength, they need to be worked out or exercised. The same principles can be applied with the brain, not necessarily in a physical capacity, but a mental one. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Brain boosting measures include tasks that are new, challenging, and create the opportunity for learning. This could be learning to play a musical instrument, learning a new sport, or learning a new game. These activities stimulate the formation of new neural pathways and can also build upon existing ones.

Physical activity in general is also helpful in keeping your mind sharp. Through exercise we increase the flow of blood and oxygen to our cells, as well as, the production of helpful brain chemicals, which can promote and decrease stress. Research has shown that long term/chronic stress can lead to the destruction of brain cells and damage an area of the brain called the hippocampus, which is responsible for the formulation of new memories and the retrieval of old ones. Other ways to reduce stress include spending time with friends and loved ones, and partaking in hobbies or activities that you enjoy. Laughter is also a great stress reducer.

Sleep is essential for the promotion of memory, as well. I recommend 7-8 hours as a rule of thumb. Sleep is an important part of memory consolidation and occurs during the REM cycle, which is the deepest aspect of sleep. Remember how you functioned the next day after you got 3-4 hours of sleep due to a sick child, a new puppy, or completing a work project. Lack of sleep affects memory, creativity, problem solving, and critical thinking abilities.

A balanced and healthy diet will also help to boost memory. Omega 3 is especially beneficial to the brain and can be found in fish and fish oil supplements. Fruits and vegetables produce great antioxidants that prevent brain cell damage. Research has also shown reducing your saturated fat (red meat, dairy) has proven to reduce the risk of dementia and improve concentration and memory. It has also shown that red wine in moderation (1 glass per day for women and 2 glasses per day for men) can boost blood flow to the brain as it contains a flavonoid called resveratrol. Yes you read that right, the one and only time it will be encouraged, red wine! Other options include grape juice and cranberry juice.

 

How Does Sleep Impact My Health?     By: Ashley Saylor, FNP-C  |  May 4, 2021

Sleep Impacts My Health

Sleep is crucial to health, both physical and mental. It is recommended that adults get at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night, more for infants, children, and teens. Lack of proper sleep can lead to serious health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure, which can in turn, lead to an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, and heart attacks (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). Lack of sleep can also contribute to poor mental health and can increase one’s risk for depression.

There are some sleep recommendations that may improve sleep. Having a routine sleep schedule, ensuring a dark room, not browsing on the phone or internet prior before bedtime, and not watching television prior to bedtime can all increase the chance of better sleep. Avoiding caffeine approximately 5 hours prior to bedtime, avoiding sugar a few hours prior to bedtime, and avoiding alcohol a few hours prior to bedtime can also contribute to better sleep. Finally, if you are still having sleep issues or feel excessively fatigued, it would be important to follow-up with your PCP to make sure that there is not some other health issue going on.

Reference: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). High blood pressure. CDC Website

 

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