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Changing course: a second degree and second career 

Debbie Robles, recipient of the Hospice of Michigan Second Degree-Second Career Nursing Scholarship, prepares for her nurse licensure exam and a new career in hospice and palliative care.

Debbie Robles, recipient of the Hospice of Michigan Second Degree-Second Career Nursing Scholarship, prepares for her nurse licensure exam and a new career in hospice and palliative care.

Debbie Robles was drawn to the nursing profession at a young age. She recalls dressing as a nurse for career day in elementary school, and also caring for her sick grandmother and great-aunt as a young adult. But as an 18-year-old college student, a nursing degree just wasn’t something she could pursue.

“I paid my way through college and had to work several jobs to pay the bills,” Robles explains. “The nursing program required a lot of time, homework and use of a car that I didn’t have. Instead I chose to pursue a math degree. Math always came easy to me, and I knew it wouldn’t be as time intensive, allowing me to work more.”

Robles graduated from Franciscan University with a bachelor’s degree in math along with a teaching endorsement. She went on to lead a successful career teaching middle school and high school and even working as an adjunct math professor at Grand Valley State University.

Eventually, Robles decided to put her teaching career on hold while she and her husband started a family. Five children and 11 years later, Robles was ready to go back to work and found herself back in the classroom where she intended to take a couple biology classes to keep up her teaching certificate and to expand the subjects she could teach. That’s when the stars began to align for her and a career in hospice and palliative care began taking shape.

“As I started to talk with other students in my class, I learned that GVSU offered an accelerated second-degree nursing program, and the two classes I was taking were both prerequisites for the degree,” Robles says. “I went home that night and told my husband ‘This is what I want to do.’”

GVSU’s second-degree nursing program is offered through its Kirkhof College of Nursing and targeted toward individuals who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university and wish to pursue a bachelor of science in nursing. Students are admitted to the full-time, 15-month program once per year, applying in January for a May start.

By the end of her first semester back in college, Robles had made her decision to pursue the nursing degree when she learned her 69-year-old father was diagnosed with late-stage sarcoma. With no treatment options available, her father died within weeks of diagnosis.

“As I reflected on this experience with my dad, it struck me that in the health courses I’d been taking, the focus was on treatment and saving lives. No one talked about death and what to do when treatment wasn’t available,” Robles recalls. “Death is inevitable, but it’s something nobody wants to talk about.”

Shortly after her father died, Robles learned that Hospice of Michigan offered a Second Degree-Second Career Nursing Scholarship through GVSU. Responding to a shortage of nursing students interested in end-of-life care, HOM established the scholarship in 2009 to provide the funds and the opportunity for students like Robles to change their career path.

“I was amazed when I found out about the scholarship program,” Robles said. “Not only did I stumble across the second-degree nursing program, but then I found out there is a scholarship available for the exact type of medicine I had recently decided I wanted to go into. I knew then that hospice and palliative care is what I was meant to do.”

With funding provided by HOM, the scholarship, which was created to nurture future registered nurses in the field of hospice and palliative care, awards recipients full tuition, a stipend and a nursing residency with HOM that provides first-hand experience. After the student graduates and passes the licensure exam, he or she will enter into a two-year agreement to work as a full-time nurse for HOM.

“Since many students study nursing right after high school, the idea of a career in palliative care doesn’t interest them,” said Dr. Michael Paletta, executive director of the Hospice of Michigan Institute. “Offering the Second Degree-Second Career scholarship to those seeking nursing as a career change later in life allows HOM to reach students who may be more interested and comfortable with a career in hospice and palliative care. Scholarship recipients will receive top-notch training both in the classroom and in the field. To date, we have given three scholarships and have nursing students practicing around the state.”

Robles applied and was delighted to be selected as the 2013 scholarship recipient. She graduated from GVSU’s nursing program this summer and is currently studying for her licensure exam.

“The first-hand experience I’ve had working with HOM through my education has reassured me that this was the profession I was meant to be in,” Robles says. “I’m very excited to begin my new career and couldn’t be happier that it’s with Hospice of Michigan.”

For more information about Hospice of Michigan and its Second Degree-Second Career Nursing Scholarship visit www.hom.org.

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Michigan monitoring for cases of enterovirus

 

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is receiving reports indicating an increase in severe respiratory illness in children ages 5-17 across the state. MDCH is working with local health departments and hospitals to investigate these cases. At this time, Michigan has no confirmed cases of Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) associated with the national outbreak, but MDCH is forwarding samples to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for testing.

Nationally, clusters of EV-D68 infections have recently impacted the pediatric population in multiple states. Original reports described clusters of illness in Missouri and most recently Illinois. The majority of those cases had a previous medical history of asthma or prior wheezing. Currently, suspected cases are also being investigated in Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah.

Enteroviruses are very common viruses; there are more than 100 types. It is estimated that 10 to 15 million enterovirus infections occur in the United States each year. Symptoms of EV-D68 infection can include wheezing, difficulty breathing, fever and racing heart rate. Most people infected with enteroviruses have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, but some infections can be serious requiring hospitalization.

Enteroviruses are transmitted through close contact with an infected person, or by touching objects or surfaces that are contaminated with the virus and then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes. There is no specific treatment for EV-D68 infections but supportive care can be provided.

Young residents with asthma are encouraged to be vigilant in taking their asthma controlling medications. Further, Michiganders can protect themselves from enterovirus by taking general hygiene precautions:

• Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers.

• Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.

• Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, EV-D68 was first identified in California in 1962. Compared with other enteroviruses, EV-D68 has been rarely reported in the United States for the last 40 years. There is no vaccine for it.

For more info about it, visit www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/about/EV-D68.html.

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Fly & Remember

Each September, Hospice of Michigan encourages families across the state to decorate and fly kites during community events to celebrate the lives of those who have died.

Each September, Hospice of Michigan encourages families across the state to decorate and fly kites during community events to celebrate the lives of those who have died.

Celebrating the lives of those we’ve lost

Even though Judy Fleming’s father died three years ago, she takes comfort knowing he lived a good life and died a peaceful death in his home with family around him. While she has made peace with his death, she often finds herself missing him and looks for an opportunity to remember and feel connected.
“Even after we learn to cope with the grief of losing a loved one, there is no promise we will stop missing them,” said Karen Monts, director of grief support services at Hospice of Michigan. “And for some of us, we don’t want to. In fact, people often say the fading memory of those we love can be the hardest things to cope with.”
To offer the bereaved an opportunity to remember and celebrate the legacy of their lost loved ones, HOM will hold nine community-wide Fly & Remember memorial events throughout Michigan in September. Attendees at these free annual events have the opportunity to personalize a kite in memory of their loved one and then to fly it in that person’s honor. Anyone who has experienced a loss is welcome to attend, not just those who died under Hospice of Michigan care.
“Fly & Remember is an uplifting event that provides people with time to remember their loved ones and reflect on their life in a positive and productive way,” Monts explains. “Memorializing loved ones who have passed allows the bereaved to keep the essence of their loved one alive. It is important to remember that coping with grief isn’t about forgetting your loved one, it’s about getting to a place where you can find peace with the loss and happiness in the memories you once shared.”
In an effort to keep the memory of her father alive, Fleming has attended Fly & Remember each year since his death. She also brings her mother, who is looking for ways to hold on to memories of her husband of 65 years.
“Instead of typical kite decorations, my mom and I write a letter to my dad on the kite,” Fleming said. “When we fly it, we feel like we’re sending him a message.”
“The Fly & Remember event has become a wonderful day to remember and celebrate my father,” Fleming adds. “When I fly the kite I feel connected to him and a sense of peace falls over me. I’m reminded that he’s gone to a better place.”
Fleming says that in addition to memorializing her father, there is an overwhelming feeling of support by those who attend. “The event is very welcoming. I see many of the same people attend each year, and I’ve become friends with some of them,” Fleming recalled. “There are people there that I can talk to and even cry with; and they understand where I’m coming from.”
Each community hosting a Fly & Remember event plans to partner with other organizations and offer unique activities, such as live music and reading of poems. Events will be held:
•    Saturday, Sept. 6, in Manistee
•    Monday, Sept. 8th in Boyne City
•    Friday, Sept. 12, in Lake City
•    Saturday, Sept. 13, in Gaylord
•    Saturday, Sept. 13, in Royal Oak
•    Tuesday, Sept. 16, in Ann Arbor
•    Tuesday, Sept. 16, in Grand Rapids
•    Thursday, Sept. 18, in Traverse City
•    Saturday, Sept. 27, in Alpena
“These events offer something for all members of a family,” Monts explained. “In addition to the spiritual healing it offers adults, it offers kids a healthy way to remember those they’ve lost and creates an opportunity for them to open up and talk about it.”
Fly & Remember registration information and location specifics can be found on http://hom.convio.net/site/PageServer?pagename=FLY_and_Remember.
For those who can’t attend, HOM is also offering families the opportunity to make a donation and fly a virtual kite in memory of a loved one. The virtual experience also gives friends and family an opportunity to post messages of support and share memories of the deceased.
Fly & Remember, which was first held in 2009, is just one of many ways that HOM works with patients and patient families to offer support, strength and guidance through the emotional challenges of loss. For more information on HOM grief support and memorial events, visit www.hom.org.

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EarthTalk®

According to a report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), nearly half of American kids aged eight and under consume potentially harmful amounts of vitamin A, zinc and niacin because of excessive food fortification. Photo by Andy Melton, courtesy Flickr

According to a report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), nearly half of American kids aged eight and under consume potentially harmful amounts of vitamin A, zinc and niacin because of excessive food fortification. Photo by Andy Melton, courtesy Flickr


E – The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that much of our food—including cereals and snacks eaten by children—is actually over-fortified with excessive amounts of vitamins and minerals that can be dangerous to our health?
             – Diane Summerton, Waukesha, WI
Added nutrients in the processed foods we eat could indeed be too much of a good thing, especially for kids. According to a report from non-profit health research and advocacy group Environmental Working Group (EWG), nearly half of American kids aged eight and under “consume potentially harmful amounts of vitamin A, zinc and niacin because of excessive food fortification, outdated nutritional labeling rules and misleading marketing tactics used by food manufacturers.” EWG’s analysis for the “How Much Is Too Much?” report focused on two frequently fortified food categories: breakfast cereals and snack bars.
Of the 1,550 common cereals studied by EWG, 114 (including Total Raisin Bran, Wheaties Fuel, Cocoa Krispies, Krave and others) were fortified with 30 percent or more of the adult Daily Value for vitamin A, zinc and/or niacin. And 27 of 1,000 brands of snack bars studied (including Balance, Kind and Marathon bars) were fortified with 50 percent or more of the adult Daily Value for at least one of these nutrients. EWG researchers based their analysis on Nutrition Facts labels on the various food items’ packaging.
“Heavily fortified foods may sound like a good thing, but it when it comes to children and pregnant women, excessive exposure to high nutrient levels could actually cause short or long-term health problems,” says EWG research director Renee Sharp, who co-authored the report.  “Manufacturers use vitamin and mineral fortification to sell their products, adding amounts in excess of what people need and more than might be prudent for young children to consume.”
Sharp adds that excessive levels of vitamin A can lead to skeletal abnormalities, liver damage and hair loss, while high doses of zinc can impede copper absorption, compromise red and white blood cells and impair immune function. Also, too much vitamin A during pregnancy can lead to fetal developmental issues. And older adults who get too much vitamin A are at more risk for osteoporosis and hip fractures.
EWG suggests it’s time to overhaul our food labeling system to better account for how ingredients may affect children as well as adults. “In other words, when a parent picks up a box of cereal and sees that one serving provides 50 percent of the Daily Value for vitamin A, he or she may think that it provides 50 percent of a child’s recommended intake,” says EWG researcher and report co-author Olga Naidenko. “But he or she would most likely be wrong, since the Daily Values are based on an adult’s dietary needs.”
EWG is working on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to update its guidelines for Nutrition Facts to better reflect how foods affect children as well as adults. In the meantime, parents might want to consider scaling back on fortified foods for their kids in favor of so-called whole foods (unprocessed, unrefined fruits, vegetables and whole grains) that deliver the right amounts of nutrients naturally.
“Research consistently shows that the nutrient amounts and types found in whole foods provide optimal nutrition as well as least risk,” says Ashley Koff, a registered dietitian and a former ad executive for kid’s cereals and snack bars. “We owe it to parents and kids to make it easiest to choose better quality foods.”
See EWG’s “How Much Is Too Much?” report, www.ewg.org/research/how-much-is-too-much.
EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: earthtalk@emagazine.com.

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Officials urge residents to vaccinate against whooping cough

As Michigan continues to see new pertussis cases this year, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is reminding residents during National Immunization Awareness Month of the importance of being up to date on all vaccinations including pertussis, also known as whooping cough. Through the end of July, Michigan has seen 546 cases, about 45 percent more than in the same period of 2013. Several other states, including Ohio, California, and Florida, are reporting similar increases.
“Children are routinely recommended to receive a series of pertussis vaccine doses in infancy and early childhood,” said Dr. Matthew Davis, chief medical executive of MDCH. “Adolescents and adults should receive a booster dose of the vaccine. In addition, pregnant women should get a booster in the third trimester of each pregnancy to help protect newborns, who are most vulnerable to the illness in the first few months of life.”
Pertussis is a respiratory infection caused by a bacterium that results in a prolonged illness. Severe coughing episodes are often accompanied by vomiting and difficulty breathing.  In some cases, a characteristic “whooping” noise is heard as the afflicted person tries to catch their breath. Once extremely common, vaccines developed in the US starting in the mid-1940s and helped drive down the occurrence of pertussis. But in recent decades, pertussis has been making a comeback.
“Part of the challenge,” Davis explained, “is that immunity to pertussis wears off, so getting a booster vaccine dose later in life can help extend the protection. Our primary focus is on preventing the disease in babies; they have smaller airways and less developed respiratory systems, which puts them at higher risk for severe cases as well as hospitalization and death from pertussis.”
Babies get a first dose of the vaccine at two months of age, but they are not optimally protected until completing the series of several more doses over the next year and half. MDCH strongly recommends that adults or adolescents who will be around infants receive the recommended pertussis booster vaccine dose, and that all residents receive their vaccines on time.
If you are uncertain about whether you or your children have had all recommended vaccines and doses, speak with your doctor or contact your local health department. For more information about pertussis, or any recommended or required vaccine, visit www.michigan.gov/immunize.

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Make Summer Fitness Fun

HEA-fitness-fun1(Family Features) For most people, there is typically one main motivator for wanting to get in shape for the warmer weather months — they want to fit into the smaller, more revealing clothing of the season.

Whether it’s a new swimsuit they’d like to purchase in a smaller size or they just want last year’s shorts to fit more comfortably, getting a beach-ready body can often seem unattainable. But summer boasts an abundance of outdoor activities that take away the “chore” of getting in shape. Focus on the fun of the season, and before you know it, you will be fitting into your favorite summer wardrobe staples.

“Now that the weather is warmer, people are outside training more,” said KT Tape Founder Jim Jenson. “It is important to have the proper training gear and equipment to avoid injury.”

Go take a hike

Nothing allows you to take in the peace and tranquility of nature more than a long hike. This summer, incorporate many long hikes into your weekly routine and build up your endurance with this beneficial cardio exercise. Check with your county and state parks for trails and expand on your hiking skills, advancing in difficulty levels and length as the season progresses.

What it works: Hiking engages the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and gluts. This activity also strengthens your abdominal core, especially while carrying a heavy pack.

 

Break a sweat, courtside

All you need to increase your heart rate is a basketball and an empty court at the local park or school playground. Practice shooting, normal dribbling, dribbling while doing sit-ups and dribbling behind the back of your legs. Make it a weekly event to gather for a game with friends and you’ll forget you are even working out.

What it works: Basketball can be a full-body workout, but it mainly targets your triceps, shoulders, biceps and pectoral muscles.

 

Go for a swim

While the summer days often bring about occasions to relax by the pool, there’s no reason not to jump right in. Take refuge from the sun’s heat and burn calories at the same time by swimming. This exercise is a top choice for those with physical limitations or who find simple cardio activities — such as walking, hiking or jogging — difficult or painful.

What it works: Swimming works all major muscles groups, especially the shoulders, abdominals, legs, hips and back.

 

When the weather warms up and spending hours at the gym sounds less appealing, give a few of these fun activities a try. For more fitness tips, visit www.elivingtoday.com.

 

HEA-fitness-fun2Take care of your muscles

By engaging in a workout routine, you’ve already proven that you care for your body. But do you have a care plan for the muscles that take you to your next level of fitness? Here are some ways to keep those hard working muscles in top shape so you can give it your all at every workout.

 

•Warm up and cool down

Regardless of the sport or activity you pursue, it’s always best to ease into it slowly and build your endurance as you go. Warming up can include light jogging, walking or performing the activity at a very slow pace. At the end of your routine, be sure to lightly stretch out each major muscle group you worked.

 

•Have a backup plan

In case of injury, always have a reliable pain relief and support product on hand, such as KT Tape, an elastic sports and fitness tape designed for muscle, ligament and tendon pain relief and support. It’s lightweight, comfortable to wear and can be used on many common injuries, such as lower back pain, knee pain, shin splints and tennis elbow. For more information, visit www.kttape.com.

 

•Listen to your body

If you should experience any sharp or sudden pains while exercising, don’t ignore the warning signs. Working out through the pain may make a small injury much worse. As a general rule, if it feels wrong, stop the workout.

 

•Engage in various activities

A body involved in different exercises will call on different muscle groups. This type of cross training prevents overly stressing one area of muscle.

 

•Allow the body to rest

In order to achieve the maximum benefit of your workout, your muscles need proper nourishment. This means sleep is extremely important, but it also means resting for a few days in between workouts. A proper rest period will give muscles time to heal.

 

Today’s trends in fitness

For those who long for a little variety in their fitness routine, here are some new trends taking shape — for indoors and outdoors — that may be just what you need to take your fitness to the next level.

• Body weight training

This new trend in fitness works by using your own body weight as resistance, which can help you shape muscles, tone, increase flexibility and ultimately, burn fat.

• High intensity interval training

This routine is great for those who are short on time, requiring extreme exertion in short intervals followed by a shorter recovery time.

• Yoga by air

Yoga’s newest offering is called aerial or antigravity yoga, which combines classic yoga moves with acrobatics; all while being suspended in the air from a hammock.

 

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Consider health and safety risks when getting body art

 

Body art modification has become increasingly popular with one out of four persons ages 18-25 in the United States now having tattoo or body piercing. As body art such as tattoos or piercings becomes more common, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is urging residents to protect their health and wellness by working with a local state licensed body art facility for their body art.

The MDCH is running public service announcements on Pandora Radio through August to help educate Michigan residents about the risks associated with getting body art from an unlicensed facility. Residents interested in body art modification can protect themselves against infection by choosing licensed body art facilities when electing a tattoo or body piercing procedure.

Body art procedures are invasive processes that can be associated with serious health risks including transmission of blood-borne diseases such as Hepatitis B (HBV), Hepatitis C (HCV), and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). These procedures also carry the risk of skin infections such as Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).

In 2010, State of Michigan Public Act 375 was enacted to encourage and require collaborative on-site facility inspections of body art facilities in Michigan to ensure the health and safety of residents. Public Act 375, along with the Body Art Licensing Program at MDCH, requires licensed body art facilities to adhere to a uniform set of standards to protect the health and safety of body art practitioners, their customers, and the general public.

To learn more about the MDCH Body Art Licensing Program, body art procedure risks, body art facility licensing requirements, or to find a list of local state licensed body art facilities, visit the MDCH website at www.michigan.gov/bodyart.

To listen to Michigan’s new public service announcements about body art safety, visit the MDCH YouTube page at www.youtube.com/michigandch.

 

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Stroke and osteoporosis screenings coming to Cedar Springs

 

Cedar Springs, Michigan – Residents living in and around the Cedar Springs, Michigan community can be screened to reduce their risk of having a stroke or bone fracture. Solon Center Wesleyan Church will host Life Line Screening on August 23. The site is located at 15671 Algoma in Cedar Springs.

Steve Hennigar of Oscoda, MI attended a Life Line Screening and said, “I’m sure Life Line Screening saved my life.”

Four key points every person needs to know:

• Stroke is the third leading cause of death and a leading cause of permanent disability

• 80% of stroke victims had no apparent warning signs prior to their stroke

• Preventive ultrasound screenings can help you avoid a stroke

• Screenings are fast, noninvasive, painless, affordable and convenient

Screenings identify potential cardiovascular conditions such as blocked arteries and irregular heart rhythm, abdominal aortic aneurysms, and hardening of the arteries in the legs, which is a strong predictor of heart disease. A bone density screening to assess osteoporosis risk is also offered and is appropriate for both men and women.

Packages start at $149. All five screenings take 60-90 minutes to complete.  For more information regarding the screenings or to schedule an appointment, call 1-877-237-1287 or visit our website at www.lifelinescreening.com. Pre-registration is required.

 

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Seven health myths that might surprise you

HEA-Seven-health-myths-web(BPT) – Living a healthy life takes some resolve, but success often comes down to knowing what pays the biggest dividends for a given effort. Health coaches are great sources for this insight. They’ve seen it all on the job and learned a lot in their training.

Health coaches for workplace well-being leader Provant identified seven commonly held health and wellness myths drawn from their research and experience:

Myth No. 1: An aerobic workout boosts your metabolism all day. Wrong, it just burns calories while you’re doing it. Muscle-strengthening exercises, however, will burn calories long after your workout.

Myth No. 2: If you don’t break a sweat, it’s not a workout. Wrong, sweat is just the body’s way of cooling itself. A better reflection of effort is the talk test: your workout is moderate if you can talk, but not sing, and vigorous if you need to take a breath every few words.

Myth No. 3: You should stretch before you exercise. Not really, you could hurt yourself. Better to stretch after you’re warmed up with light, smooth movement of gradually increasing intensity.

Myth No. 4: Frozen fruits and vegetables are less healthy than fresh ones. Actually, they’re both healthy. Frozen fruits and vegetables are generally picked and frozen at nutritional peak. Canned can be a fine choice if you’re watching your budget. Avoid fruits packed in syrup.

Myth No. 5: Cigars and chewing tobacco are safe because you don’t inhale. This is another myth. Cigar smokers have higher rates than nonsmokers of death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and are four to 10 times more likely to die from cancers of the throat, mouth, lips, larynx and esophagus, according to the American Cancer Society. People who chew tobacco are more likely to develop oral cancers that affect the tongue, lips, cheeks and gums.

Myth No. 6: Stress happens. There’s nothing you can do about it. Not true, stress doesn’t have to overwhelm you. There are several approaches to managing it. Set priorities and tackle simple problems first. Then move on to complex difficulties. Practice relaxation exercises. Make yourself more resilient by eating smart, exercising and avoiding tobacco.

Myth No. 7: Cold turkey is the best way to quit tobacco. Nope. It’s just one of the ways to quit, and the more times you try to quit, the better your chances of succeeding. Research indicates to help improve success rates, you need: the desire and readiness to quit, some form of pharmacotherapy (nicotine replacement therapy or prescription medications) and social support (family, friends, health coach).

Keep this information in mind as you go about improving your health, and most importantly, don’t give up.

 

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Work outside? Beat the heat!

Thousands of people become sick each year, some severely, from working in the heat.

Thousands of people become sick each year, some severely, from working in the heat.

(NAPS)—Thousands of people become sick each year and some even die from working in the heat. Heat illness most affects those who have not built up a physical tolerance to heat, and is especially dangerous for workers in agriculture, construction and transportation.

Working in hot weather can raise body temperatures past the level that normally can be cooled by sweating. Heat illness may initially appear in the form of heat rash or heat cramps—but can turn into heat exhaustion or heat stroke if preventative measures are not followed.

If your job requires working long hours outdoors this summer, make sure your employer is taking the necessary (and easy to provide) steps to keep you safe, including: scheduling frequent water breaks, providing shaded areas, and allowing enough time to rest. Remember this simple message to prevent heat illness: Water. Rest. Shade.

Want more information? The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a free “app” for mobile devices that can help. The app uses the temperature and heat index at your worksite, and displays risk levels, signs and symptoms of heat illness and what to do in case of emergency. The app, along with other important information (in English and Spanish) is available at osha.gov/heat.

 

 

 

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