Tag Archive: Medical


Word to The Wise

Word to The Wise


“Treatment Denied!”
By
Gregory V. Boulware

A 60 year old “Registered Nurse” walked into a Philadelphia Community Health Center seeking help. The pubic clinic was supposed to open at 7:30 A.M. The staff inside did not open its doors until 7:50 A.M. The crowd of about twenty-five people began arriving at or before 7 A.M. The old and the young lined up with no place to sit there weary, sick, and aching bodies. A pole alongside the building was the only comfort zone. The people were made up of a multi-racial community. Some where able to walk while others walked with canes or where in wheel-chairs. The woman (once inside), who lined the patients along an inside wall, treated the people like they were illiterates. She spoke like that of a ‘Master Drill Sergeant.’
“All right, now listen up closely! I don’t want to repeat myself! All those of you who are here for the first time…line up over here! All of you who have received treatment before – that means if you’ve been here before, as I’m sure that many of you have…line up over there and have all of your paperwork ready! Does any one have any questions before I walk away? Good, now let’s get to it! Yo lady, I said over there, didn’t you hear me?”

Doesn’t this just make you angry?

Some of the old folk weren’t able to hear, move, contemplate, or suffered some other debilitating ailment that prevented them from adhering to the rigorous et al instructions. The nurse seeking help for severe arthritic pain and swelling depended on a cane to assist in her limited mobility. She spent several hours in the mix of ailing individuals who were, like her, seeking medical assistance. Every emergency telephone number that was contacted suggested…insisted that she seek emergency medical assistance and guidance via the Philadelphia Community Health Center. I watched as many of the individuals who were waiting on line since before 7 A.M. depart, nearly as soon as they were briefly interviewed. They all waited in the heat for an hour or more only to be told that you had to seek assistance elsewhere or we cannot provide assistance to you. Some folks who appeared to be homeless, for some unbeknownst reason, where not turned away for lack of treatment. The help-seeking nurse was told they couldn’t help her with her painful knees of severe headache. They gave her a list of other community health centers and sent her on her way.

Prior to this health treatment sojourn, the 60 year old nurse did attempt to capitalize on the new healthcare programs. Once inquiring online, the telephone jumped off the holder. The quoted and listed premiums were priced so far out of reach, one would need a six figure salary in order to affordably qualify for coverage. The 40 year veteran registered nurse; for 15 years, worked part-time as a nursing assistant instructor for a prominent healthcare workers union, is not able to afford the healthcare she has provided to thousands upon thousands of patients at many hospitals and nursing centers throughout the Philadelphia area. This professional, proficient, and highly knowledgeable registered nurse served in this profession until her knees have virtually disintegrated. Standing, let alone walking has become an unbearable to nearly impossible task. However, she has managed to attend her students throughout this ailment that has plagued her for many years.

Doesn’t this just make you angry?

The schedule for nursing assistance training classes is sporadic, thus allowing for breaks or separation in employment status. Not being able to qualify for general medical assistance or disadvantaged enough to take advantage of government healthcare programs, is like being “between a rock and a hard place.” What’s a person to do when you make to much to qualify for the help they say you can afford while the reception of unemployment benefits say otherwise?

Help was sought at the nearest hospital as well. The emergency room staff were pleasant enough. The medical staff weren’t to quick to see patients. It appeared that this nurse would finally receive the deeply needed health care attention after her blood pressure was taken. It was extremely high…high enough to produce a stroke. The Med Students practiced their bed-side manner on a woman who had been in the business before they were born. She didn’t tell them she was a nurse. The only one that knew was the intake clerk. They simply patronized another patient seeking care without a chance in hell of receiving treatment. They would not send the poor woman to the x-ray department because she couldn’t pay for it. They wouldn’t treat the high-blood pressure symptoms because, as the excuse went, its only been one day. This reporter recalls having a headache for more than three days. I made an attempt to ignore the pain, but it just wouldn’t stop. The fifth day at ‘Chestnut Hill Hospital,’ my pressure was taken and treatment was ordered immediately. I was right at the cusp of having a stroke. I didn’t have health insurance (at that time) either…and I was not turned away because the high pressure reading was only detected for just one day! They (and my wife) saved my life!

So how is it that the medical staff at ‘Jeanes’ Hospital’ can, in earnest, deny a needy patient assistance? Let alone, a colleague?

Advisors have suggested applying to Social Security. By the time that process is processed, a body could become quite dusty in the wait. And that includes the possibility or probability of “No You Don’t Qualify!”

I think, in some sort of conscience clearing, they provided a knee immobilizer to hopefully help another human being who happens to be a colleague…maybe.

Doesn’t this just make you angry?

If it doesn’t, you’re probably a very rich or financially well-off individual without a sense of what it is to be poor; or working class poor and have never had to live from paycheck to paycheck; nor have you ever had to wonder what its like to wonder if you’ll be able to feed your kids – if you’ll be able to care for yourself once you’ve become old.

Meanwhile, as the bones crumble further, and the popping of over-the-counter-headache cure-all’s, healthcare patients who were health care providers are continually (like everyone else without coverage) kicked to the curb with a parting song of “don’t come back unless you have some type of health coverage.”

Is this how we want to treat our healthcare professionals…the people who have helped and saved us over and over again? I can’t help but wonder how many of you remember how our troops were and are treated upon there arrival home – i.e., our ‘Viet Nam Vets?’

What would you do if or when this happens to you – “Treatment Denied?”

Til Next Time…

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“The Amazing MRI”

“The Amazing MRI”
By
Gregory V. Boulware

The aging human has emerged as one of the biggest and dominating challenges to the healthcare profession of many major nations. The need for improved and enhanced medical services and support is phenomenal as we become a burden to nursing homes, senior services centers, hospital staff, and medical transportation. The Social Security Administration has its points of frustration as well. They really didn’t think we’d live that long, or did they?

The drug manufacturers are making a killing too… The drugs needed to keep people, maybe like you and me, has been produced in mass quantities for a long, long time. I can’t help but wonder if they already knew that we’d need medical support to sustain us after age thirty? They had a plan in the movie ‘Logan’s Run’ didn’t they? After thirty, your age clock started dropping a dime on you, you knew it was time to kiss your behind goodbye. If you didn’t, they made arrangements for you to do so – with a lie of course. But we’re dealing with some truth here. X-rays were the law of the land back in the day. But I’m here to tell ya…if you’ve had an injury that hurts like hell, pain that can’t be explained or shown on an x-ray – you need to get an MRI! Yes, that’s right the Magnetic Resonance Imager! It sees some pretty amazing and incredible things. It goes were no man has gone before.

In my very first article/weblog report, “IT and BI”, I mentioned the steps beginning technology students should take in order to ascend to the highest level of career achievements in the world of computers.

Recently, I visited with my general practitioner (the Doctor). The needed updating and renewal of my prescription was at hand. While we chatted during my examination I asked the Doctor a few questions concerning my past prognosis (history). She didn’t have a clue as to what I was talking about. I said, “Doc you’ve been treating me for more than eight years and treated for a major illness.” “What do you think or how do you feel about the way the treatment has turned out? The look of someone who was in the twilight zone came upon her face, the look of someone who has traded places with my doctor. I described to her the diagnosis and prognosis of the total experience up to now. Her demeanor made an abrupt change to OK, now I remember mode.

The doctor then started to explain the how and why of their patient records keeping system. The patient records were kept on an outdated wall roll out filing system in the administration portion of this very large and prominent city hospital clinic. I asked, “Doc, why is it that you don’t have my records at hand for review as opposed to making a whole new file on me?” She then explained if a patient has not come into the office for more than two years, the hard copy files go to a central repository for storage. And soon after the records arrive to the repository, before long, they are destroyed. I then asked the doctor what would happen if a medical professional needed to access a patient’s medical history to assist in the diagnosis and comparison of a new illness. The only answer that she could give me was “the hospital could not afford to store old patient files.” I asked, isn’t that a dangerous practice? She replied, yes.

Albeit, my doctor agreed with the need for an Electronic Medical Records keeping system for all hospitals, especially one as large as this…

I was appalled at the lack of technology that major hospitals and medical facilities in many cities and counties do not incorporate within their day-to-day responsibilities. Not to mention my anger of the danger factor in not having access to patient records, regardless of how long it’s been between doctor visits. An EMR System will aid in the saving of life, the treatment and prevention of illnesses throughout this planet, its’ people, animals, and life forms.

Our country, as well as the rest of the world, is in need of the EMR System. The system needs operators for ETL and other operational functions. This system will be implemented whether hospital administrators like it or not…whether they can afford it or not. And the people to maintain and operate the functions of said system is inevitable.

Einstein Medical Hospital in Philadelphia and its Suburbs is one such hospital. They are equipped with the technology and technological services and abilities that allow a patient to access his/her medical records ONLINE! Oh yes, the patient receives a copy, for their personal use, of his/her medical evaluation-report(s) that includes the x-ray report and the MRI report with its findings. Not to mention the needed access of affiliating medical professionals and specialists that may not be attached to one particular hospital system and cannot access the needed medical data – could mean life or death for the attended patient. Time is always of the essence… Would you want to horse around with waiting for files to be delivered to the examining doctor? I didn’t think you did.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures inside the body. In many cases MRI gives different information about structures in the body than can be seen with an X-ray, ultrasound, or computed tomography (CT) scan. MRI also may show problems that cannot be seen with other imaging methods.

For an MRI test, the area of the body being studied is placed inside a special machine that contains a strong magnet. Pictures from an MRI scan are digital images that can be saved and stored on a computer for more study. The images also can be reviewed remotely, such as in a clinic or an operating room. In some cases, contrast material may be used during the MRI scan to show certain structures more clearly.

Why It Is Done
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is done for many reasons. It is used to find problems such as tumors, bleeding, injury, blood vessel diseases, or infection. MRI also may be done to provide more information about a problem seen on an X-ray, ultrasound scan, or CT scan. Contrast material may be used during MRI to show abnormal tissue more clearly. An MRI scan can be done for the:

• Head. MRI can look at the brain for tumors, an aneurysm, bleeding in the brain, nerve injury, and other problems, such as damage caused by a stroke. MRI can also find problems of the eyes and optic nerves, and the ears and auditory nerves.

• Chest. MRI of the chest can look at the heart, the valves, and coronary blood vessels. It can show if the heart or lungs are damaged. MRI of the chest may also be used to look for breast or lung cancer.

• Blood vessels. Using MRI to look at blood vessels and the flow of blood through them is called magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). It can find problems of the arteries and veins, such as an aneurysm, a blocked blood vessel, or the torn lining of a blood vessel (dissection). Sometimes contrast material issued to see the blood vessels more clearly.

• Abdomen and pelvis. MRI can find problems in the organs and structures in the belly, such as the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidneys, and bladder. It is used to find tumors, bleeding, infection, and blockage. In women, it can look at the uterus and ovaries. In men, it looks at the prostate.

• Bones and joints. MRI can check for problems of the bones and joints, such as arthritis, problems with the temporomandibular joint, bone marrow problems, bone tumors, cartilage problems, torn ligaments or tendons, or infection. MRI may also be used to tell if a bone is broken when X-ray results are not clear. MRI is done more commonly than other tests to check for some bone and joint problems.

• Spine. MRI can check the discs and nerves of the spine for conditions such as spinal stenosis, disc bulges, and spinal tumors.

How To Prepare Before your MRI test, tell your doctor and the MRI technologist if you:
• Are allergic to any medicines. The contrast material used for MRI does not contain iodine. If you know that you are allergic to the contrast material used for the MRI, tell your doctor before having another test. Are or might be pregnant.
Have any metal implanted in your body. This helps your doctor know if the test is safe for you. Tell your doctor if you have:
Heart and blood vessel devices such as a coronary artery stent, a pacemaker, an ICD (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator), or a metal heart valve.
Metal pins, clips, or metal parts in your body, including artificial limbs and dental work or braces. Any other implanted medical device, such as a medicine infusion pump or a cochlear implant.
Cosmetic metal implants, such as in your ears, or tattooed eyeliner.
Had recent surgery on a blood vessel. In some cases, you may not be able to have the MRI test.
Have an intrauterine device (IUD) in place. An IUD may prevent you from having the MRI test done.
Become very nervous in confined spaces. You need to lie very still inside the MRI magnet, so you may need medicine to help you relax. Or you may be able to have the test done with open MRI equipment. It is not as confining as standard MRI machines.
Have any other health conditions, such as kidney problems or sickle cell anemia that may prevent you from having an MRI using contrast material.
Wear any medicine patches. The MRI may cause a burn at the patch site.
You may need to arrange for someone to drive you home after the test, if you are given a medicine (sedative) to help you relax.
For an MRI of the abdomen or pelvis, you may be asked to not eat or drink for several hours before the test.
Medical Centers throughout the U.S. have begun to utilize, support, and promote “EMR” software and hardware technology. A few years ago, one such medical center began an initiative to promote 25-minute emergency department services.
It’s all good… If you have a serious enough injury, the medical professionals at Einstein and The Moss Rehab Center(s) will make sure that you get the help you need, quick, fast, and proficiently.

Til Next Time…

References:
“The EMR And You”
http://ezinearticles.com/?The-EMR-And-You&id=2226446

A Concurrence – “The EMR and You Too”
http://ezinearticles.com/?A-Concurrence—The-EMR-and-You-Too&id=2393317

“The MRI”
(http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/magnetic-resonance-imaging-mri)
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Imaging (MRI)
http://EzineArticles.com/2393317
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Chromosome:
Genetic material DNA RNA Gene; a rod-shaped structure, usually found in pairs in a cell nucleus, that carries the genes that determine sex and the characteristics an organism inherits from its parents. A human body cell usually contains 46 chromosomes arranged in 23 pairs. Rod-shaped structure carrying genes.