Scrubin Uniforms Newsletter

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Don’t forget handwashing during the holidays — and year-round!

“Did you wash your hands?”

We heard it all the time as kids (and often fibbed), and if you work in healthcare it’s a near-constant reminder thanks to posters and other reminders. Of course, none of that is a bad thing — good hand hygiene goes a very long way toward avoiding illness, as well as passing infections along.

That’s why National Handwashing Awareness Week, which rolls around during the first full week of December every year, is a worthy event to celebrate. Thanks to cheerful mascot Henry the Hand, there are lots of great materials for kids to enjoy, as well as those for adults to remind everyone about handwashing.

OK, to the facts. Here are the Principles of Hand Hygiene endorsed by the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians:

  •       Wash your hands when they are dirty and before eating;
  •       Do not cough into your hands;
  •       Do not sneeze into your hands;
  •       Above all, do not put your hands into your eyes, ears, and mouth.

And why is this so important? Here comes the icky part. When we cough into the open air, or into our hands, some 3,000 droplets are forced out the body at around 50 miles per hour, according to InsideScience, a news site supported by the American Institute of Physics. Sneezing is even more impressive: 40,000 droplets blast out of us at 200 miles per hour.

The big deal here is that while some of these droplets are big enough to float to the floor or another surface, others are quite small. Those hang around and can be moved out further by air movement such as making a hospital bed, or opening a door.

Even if you shield your mouth and nose for coughing and sneezing with the vampire move, you’re still putting all those droplets out into the air. So, to break the chain of infection, wash those hands!

The Centers for Disease Control tells us that washing with soap and water is the best way to lower the number of microbes on the hands. No water? Use a hand sanitizers with at last 60% alcohol.

And of course, there’s a technique! If you’re using hand sanitizer, apply enough to remain on the hands for 20-30 seconds. For soap and water, the whole process should take 40 seconds to a minute.

When we’re in a hurry, it’s easy to let the little things slide. But if less than a minute can help improve our own health, not to mention that of everyone around us, it’s worth taking the time to slow down and keep those hands clean.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Breast Cancer Awareness Month reminds us to not skip regular exams

Every year, October shows up right after September, on schedule and no surprises. Our annual physical should be that way as well, and so should things like mammograms and self-checks for lumps or anything else abnormal.

But we’re often not good about such self-care, which is why Breast Cancer Awareness Month reminds us, once again, to do the work necessary to minimize the risk of, and hopefully prevent, breast cancer. And while nobody likes scare tactics, it’s necessary sometimes to look at the statistics for a sobering reminder of what’s at risk here according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation:

  •       One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime.
  •       Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.
  •       Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women.
  •       Each year it is estimated that more than 252,710 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,500 will die.
  •       On average, every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer and one woman will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes.
  •       More than 3.3 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the United States today. 

The World Health Organization reports that breast cancer is the most common cancer among women around the world, with hundreds of thousands dying each year. The good news is that in recent years, a gradual reduction has been seen in women aged 50 and older, and death rates have been declining for more than 25 years thanks to early detection, more awareness and the growing number of treatment options.

All that said, it still begins with you. Not sure where to start? Download this handy guide that will walk you through self-exams, when to see a doctor and much more. And whether you’re unaffected, a survivor or have a survivor in your friends and family tree, learn how to pitch in to support education, awareness, research and treatment here. This is one fight we all need to take on, so that breast cancer (and all other cancers) become a thing of the past!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Use National Yoga Month to get limber during these (downward) dog days

Trying to start some kind of exercise regimen as we move into fall? Or maybe you’ve been pretty serious about getting cardio or working out in the past, but have let that slide? Whatever the case, why not use National Yoga Month as a nudge to take a look at a centuries-old style of exercise and movement that has a ton of benefits.

All around the world, hundreds of thousands of people practice yoga every day. (The fact that it’s called a “practice” should be encouraging to any newcomers — yoga has many types, one of which will meet you right where you are.)

Yoga takes place in studios, in parks … wherever fellow practitioners can get together with their instructor. Many people start out with DVDs or stream how-to and beginners’ programs, and then search out opportunities in their community. Whether you’re new to the physical and mental benefits of “meditation through movement,” here are some ways to engage during September:

·    •  Do yoga in the park. During temperate times of year, many classes take place outside.
·    •   Visit a studio. If you’re nervous, don't be — working on your poses and balances with a group of helpful, supportive people is a great way to grow your practice.
·   •   Look into meditation. Many yogis say that their gateway to an enriching meditation practice began with yoga classes.

One of the best things about yoga is that it’s a great way to step away from a hectic day and have some “me” time. Calming, centering and sometimes physically challenging, yoga is a great exercise program all on its own, or in addition to other activities you already enjoy. Find a local class or group and see what you’ve been missing! Namaste.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month reminds us cancer is an age-free foe

A cancer diagnosis is devastating news for anyone, and particularly heartbreaking when a child is involved. But thousands of children must face cancer every year, and according to the American Cancer Society and other organizations, a quarter of them will not survive.

While most of us are aware of cancer, if nothing else because we receive annual screenings for different types based on our age and gender, we may not know much about the particular types of cancer most common in children. That’s why Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is so important. By learning and sharing information, we can all be more in tune with the needs of children (and their families) in this struggle, as well as be on board to help raise much needed research funds and supply other support.

For some inspiration, read the stories of Gold Ribbon Heroes whose bravery and innovation affects the lives of those around them. Survivors have a powerful voice, too, as this story so eloquently points out. Know a patient, parent, healthcare provider or someone in the community who refuses to let cancer go unchallenged? Nominate them here.

Feeling really inspired? Then tap into a local activity in your community, or be really bold and start your own! Groups, businesses, churches and social clubs are all great places for a fundraiser that benefits a research organization of your choice, a local hospital’s pediatric wing or a nonprofit that provides support and resources to patients and their families.

We never know when the final breakthrough will come, the one that finally lets scientists crack the cancer code, and leads to treatments that allow physicians to eradicate this disease from anyone and everyone before it robs them of life. That’s why supporting research and medical facilities is so important. But we also can support each other, even if it’s just by sending a card, making a meal, or volunteering on a children’s ward to read or play games with patients.

Cancer can happen to anyone, and that’s why everyone must be engaged in the fight to cure it.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

National Health Center Week reminds us of the vital services these facilities provide

Here’s a sobering statistic: One in every 15 people living in the United States depends on services provided by a health center. These places do some amazing work in our communities, so it’s time to stop and think about their value during National Health Center Week.

In addition to delivering high-quality, cost effective and accessible care, health centers often are the economic hubs of their neighborhoods. Other businesses spring up around them, and the local economy benefits.

For more than 50 years, health centers have been improving (and saving) the lives of millions who otherwise might not be able to access medical care. They provide services to everyone who walks through the door, regardless of their ability to pay or insurance status.

This year, let’s dive a little deeper and look at some of the specific, and innovative, programs and services health centers provide, as well as ways we can all engage:

Aug. 13: Elected Officials Day. Contact your member of Congress, state legislator and city/county officials to express your support for health centers, and ask them to be more vocal when it comes to support and funding.

Aug. 14: Public Housing Health Center Day. Many health centers are near public housing, where residents are in great need of primary and preventive care. Often, they host health fairs and other events where you, your coworkers and friends could volunteer.

Aug. 16: Healthcare for the Homeless Day. Many health centers are in areas with large homeless populations in great need of care. They can always use donations of small items — socks, soap, feminine hygiene products — that they can give to patients who are being cared for.

Aug. 17: Agricultural Worker Health Day. Seasonal agricultural workers face many challenges, and getting appropriate, needed health care is high on the list. Health centers who work with these populations always need help and donations to cover mobile screening fairs and other outreach efforts.

Aug. 18: Consumer Board Member Day. Health centers have governing boards which include the very patients they serve, among other community members. Reach out and engage with a board member, if you can, to see what the center’s greatest needs are.

Aug. 19: Children’s Health Day. At-risk communities mean at-risk children. Health centers stand in the gap between kids and illness, and rely on community support so that they can see as many children as possible, especially for preventive care such as vaccines.

As you can see, there’s no shortage of ways to get involved. If you’re not sure where your local health center might be, reach out to the National Association of Community Health Centers, which was founded in 1971 to “promote the provision of high quality, comprehensive and affordable health care that is coordinated, culturally and linguistically competent, and community directed for all medically underserved populations.”