Monday, December 19, 2016

Career Paths for Certified Nursing Assistants

nurse and elderly woman in wheelchair
Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) are key to the daily care of individuals that have limited cognitive or physical abilities. They assist with the basic activities associated with living and act as a principal caregiver. CNAs typically perform their duties under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Nurse Practicioner (LPN).

CNA careers including working with patients in nursing homes, hospice care, or residential care facilities. They provide assistance with eating, hygiene, dispensing medication, and patient transfers. Some CNAs that are assigned to at-home care may assist with grocery shopping, light cleaning, washing laundry, and transporting the patient to appointments.

How to Become a CNA

To become a CNA, candidates must first pass post-secondary CNA program and an exam. There are many of these programs available in community colleges, online schools, and trade schools. Once a CNA passes their state-approved certification exam, several CNA careers become available, including employment in several of the environments previously mentioned. Although a certification is a must, CNAs must also have other important qualities, including compassion, patience, communication skills, and physical stamina since they spend much time on their feet and moving patients. Additional certifications CNAs may earn include Certified Medication Assistant (CMA) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

CNA Pay and Career Development

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for CNAs is currently at $25,710, though CNA salaries can vary by state pretty significantly. This wage attracts many entry-level nursing professionals who are just getting started in their careers. Although the career of a CNA may offer some fulfillment, increased pay opportunities encourage many to continue to drive towards being either an RN or LPN. One of the most efficient ways for CNAs to do this (during their initial training) is to complete a diploma that will transfer into an accredited nursing program later on. Many community colleges offer these types of programs.

RNs and LPNs do benefit from CNA experiences because they develop core skills in basic patient care and relationships. This allows student RNs and LPNs to focus their learning on the more complex medical care surrounding their profession, including earning the required degree. Although one can become an RN by obtaining an associate’s degree, many hospitals require a bachelor’s degree. States also require all RNs to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). RN professionals can earn a median annual wage of $67,490 and can enjoy a long-term career in a growing field.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Conditions Acupuncture Can Treat

Acupuncture works by stimulating the body’s own natural ability to heal itself. Acupuncturists insert needles into meridians, also known as acupoints. There are 361 meridians that TCM practitioners have mapped on the human body that run along 14 energy pathways. If you have a medical condition that needs treatment, the acupuncturist will examine you and then insert needles in various acupoints to affect treatment.

Acupuncture has been use for more than 3,000 years as one of the primary components of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It has been used for much less time in the West, but more and more it is being seen as an effective treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. Here is a look at some of the medical conditions acupuncture is particularly effective at treating.

Back Pain
One of the most exciting things about acupuncture is that it is commonly effective at treating conditions that Western medicine is notorious for struggling to treat. First among these is back pain. Many Western doctors are stymied by treating back pain, but most types of back pain can be relieved almost immediately from the first acupuncture treatment.

People who suffer from chronic headaches that Western medicine can only treat with debilitating opiate drugs can find simple, effective pain relief with acupuncture.

Arthritis is one of the most frustrating conditions, but many people find great relief from their arthritis with regular acupuncture treatments.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel is another painful condition that Western medicine struggles to do anything with other than prescribing opiates. However, acupuncture is very effective at relieving pain for carpal tunnel sufferers.

Other Forms of Pain
No matter what kind of pain a patient has, acupuncture is usually effective at providing them relief. This includes both acute and chronic forms of pain. Anyone who has struggled to find pain relief with traditional methods can usually get help from acupuncture.

For anyone who has nausea from cancer treatments or other causes, they will find that acupuncture treatments may be effective at settling their stomachs and increasing the appetites.

Gastrointestinal Disorders
Any kind of gastric distress that a patient suffers from can be treated with acupuncture. Irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and gastroesophageal reflux disease are just a few of the gastrointestinal disorders that can be treated with acupuncture.

Many women who have had trouble conceiving have found themselves getting pregnant with the help of acupuncture treatments.

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Evolution of Dentistry through the Years

I went to my local dentist in Lansing, Michigan a few weeks ago and it dawned on me how happy I am to receive dental care now as opposed to any time in the past. Can you imagine tooth extraction in the 1800s? No thank you. Dentistry has seen a significant morphing from a basic skills profession to a specialized medical field. It has seen great strides from the 1700s when it was first seen as a standalone profession. Before this, one could very well be a barber, a minor surgeon, an embalmer as well as provide tooth extracting services. A rudimentary tool for tooth extraction called the turnkey was invented in the 1800s. This era included the use of tin, gold foil, lead and silver for filling while ivory and cattle teeth were used for dentures. These are some of the changes.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Best Costumes for Office Theme Parties

Sure, there are strict workplaces that demand professionalism on the way their employees dress or conduct themselves. But going to work every day with the same uptight outfit can be stifling, especially if the organization wants to encourage creativity from its workforce. I agree that there are some workplacefashion do’s and don’ts that everyone should adhere to, but there are certain days when having office theme parties can break the monotony of the 9 to 5 schedule. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Are Brain Surgeons Really Smarter Than The Rest Of Us?

Raven's Progressive Matrices Example
We have all grown up hearing the phrase "its not brain surgery" referring to something less than the ultimate thought-task. Are brain surgeons really all that smarter than the rest of us?

If a dishwasher had the right training couldn't he do brain surgery? Would a brain surgeon be able to run your Hobart instead of defaulting to the clavicle out of confused frustration?

I think I would much rather take my chances in the dish room with the surgeon at the end of the day, but I think I would also allow the dish man his degree upon completion. I do believe both would be up to the job. Often what we have come to believe is intelligence is based upon IQ or intelligence quotient scoring. New studies in IQ scoring has proven that we might all be able to be brain surgeons, and our IQ will even grow as we do so. No more should you think you might not be smart enough based on an IQ test. Get smarter. Raise Your IQ.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Why A Ford Focus Is A Smart Used Car Purchase

The average American buys 9.4 cars in their lifetime according to research by Polk. This number dropped from the previous average of 13 prior to the most recent recession. Obviously, people are being a little more cautious with their expenditures and this would seem to have extended to automotive purchases. So while there are many decision making factors in deciding which car to purchase, overall value is an increasing priority. Enter the Ford Focus.

Ford's resurgence in the automotive market has been well documented the past several years, but the reverie surrounding the brand doesn't seem to extend to some of the less sexy models like the Ford Focus. The Focus, however, deserves some attention in its own right and buyers in the used car market should take notice.

Focus on cost savings

For a compact sedan, you'll be hard pressed to find a model that gets better gas mileage. Depending on which model you purchase, the Focus can get up to 40 miles per gallon on the highway and 28 in the city. On top of the obvious savings in gas, the car is one of Ford's most produced models, so finding a deal on one is remarkably easy. Shopping online at a site like will provide plenty of options within your local area (and you can be very particular about price there as well). But even if you just want to shop at your local dealership, the cost of a Focus tends to be lower as the prevalence of the model motivates dealerships to move them often at discounted prices.An additional value point of the Focus is its reliability. If you purchase a Ford extended warranty there's additional piece of mind, but even then you're likely to run into less problems than you would in comparable cars.

Focus on safety

On top of the cost savings of choosing a Focus, the car is also one of the safest in its class. The standard focus comes with airbags for the driver and passenger, while many models also have additional side and curtain air bags to provide additional safety for all occupants. Another standard feature that increases the safety factor is traction control. If you live in a climate with inclement weather, traction control can be a life saver.

Focus on style

As mentioned above, the Focus is ubiquitous. So with a huge number of these cars on the road, and with a large assortment of models and styles, you can be fairly particular about selecting your style of trim. Some of Ford's greatest improvements with their cars the past few years has been the interiors, and the Focus is no exception. So if you're looking for a souped up interior with high tech features, you can find that in a Focus as well. As far as external styling, there are several options here as well including a hatchback model. No matter which internal or external features you're looking for, it's likely you can find it in a Focus.

While there's a nearly limitless selection of automotive options for buyers these days, it's understandable how difficult a purchase can be. But if a value is what your after, it's hard to go wrong with the Ford Focus.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Interesting Facts About Me

Catholic Cross Jesus
(Photo credit:
In lieu of anything to say, I was tagged by my brother over at Music on Your Pizza at some point before finals, so I’m getting around to it now. I’m not going to tag anyone else (especially as any of you who read this have probably already gotten this one), but I’ll answer:

Meme premise: I am to list ten (somewhat) interesting and (relatively) unknown facts about me/opinions of mine/habits/etc. I am also to tag ten other people, but as I said, I’m not going to. Given that I’m not particularly forthcoming on this blog, this may be a big first, but so it goes….

1) I don’t actually like doing research, though I’ve worked in multiple labs over the years in different bioogical fields. Now that I’m in medical school, I’m very happy that I won’t have to do basic research ever again. Obviously, however, I like talking about it.
2) At one point, I did, in fact, have an investment license (and I was a public notary). Amusing.
3) I’ve always suspected that my father’s side of the family plays up their Scottish heritage more than is strictly true, but I’ve never cared enough to truly dispute it. I find it more entertaining to carry on the possible vast exaggeration than to be the whistleblower.
4) A nun once hit me on the head with a bible for falling asleep during a prayer service. I think it’s an even funnier event considering that I’m not Catholic, and never have been, but happened to go to a Catholic high school.
5) I paid WAY too much for a car warranty...WAY too much.
6) I often appear younger than my younger brother, so when we’re out together, I invariably get carded, while he does not. When he’s not around, I appear about as old as I am, but there’s something about his presence.
7) I’m convinced that if I work hard enough, I can grow almonds in Wisconsin.
8) I secretly love shoes, and if I ever have the money, I intend to have lots of them. I feel rather guilty about this, but it seems a harmless secret passion. The only real problem is that I tend to leave all my shoes by the door, having taken them off when arriving home.
9) I didn’t really have an interest in dolls as a child - I had My Little Ponies instead. Dolls seemed boring.
10) If I weren’t in medicine, I’d sort of love to be a bohemian artist. Of course, I realize it’s not all my mental image thinks it is, but I still sort of like it. For a little while.

As I said, no tags, but I didn’t want to be totally remiss in my “having-been-tagged” obligation.