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Thursday, August 17, 2017

How to Become a Better Healthcare Leader

No matter how big or small the healthcare organization you manage is, you should always be looking for ways to develop your healthcare leadership skills and increase your healthcare knowledge. This often means getting out of your comfort zone and making an extra effort to do so.

Below are some of the most effective ways you can become a better healthcare leader, starting today.

Get an Accredited Healthcare Administration Qualification

Many leading healthcare professionals have natural leadership skills and abilities. However, to take these skills and abilities to the next level, you need to obtain a recognized healthcare administration qualification, such as an online masters in health administration.

A course like the online MHA degree is designed to make students better healthcare managers, planners, and strategists. Once you have completed this type of course, you will then be able to put in place procedures and processes that are guaranteed to make the healthcare organization you work in a more efficient and professional organization.

Hire and Train a Strong Team


Many of the best leaders become great leaders because of the people they surround themselves with. You should take a leaf out of these people's books and do the same thing. Always focus on hiring the best people to work for you.

Some of these employees will already have a great track record in the healthcare sector, while others need to develop certain skills and abilities. To ensure that the people who work for you in a healthcare organization are always on top of their game, you should provide adequate training on an ongoing basis, so that they continue to grow in your organization.

Find Out How Other Healthcare Leaders Operate


When you're trying to become a more accomplished healthcare leader and want to improve the current situation of a healthcare organization, you don't need to reinvent the wheel to do so. Instead, you should look at what other successful healthcare leaders are doing and reach out to them. You will often find that their advice could change your approach to your work and that you may also be able to help these individuals in some way, by networking and sharing ideas.

Keep Up-to-date with the Latest Healthcare Developments


The healthcare sector keeps changing, with new technologies, healthcare methods, and rules and regulations emerging every year. As the leading figure in your healthcare organization, you must keep up-to-date with these latest developments because they can have a huge effect on your healthcare facility or healthcare business in the future.

The internet makes it much easier to do this. Healthcare related organizations such as ONC (Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology), the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Mayo Clinic, and a wide range of other organizations have their own websites and social media pages that constantly publish the latest information that can help keep healthcare professionals updated about these latest developments.

Every healthcare administrator and manager should strive to become a better healthcare leader. You can achieve this important objective by following the tips above.

This is a guest blog entry.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Tackling Hyperextended Elbow

At some point, almost everyone who plays contact sports, either competitively or in weekend pickup games, will hyperextend their elbows. The list includes team sports like football, basketball, and baseball, along with individual sports like boxing and martial arts. Non-contact sports and activities, such as weightlifting or runners who brace themselves during falls, can also cause this injury.

Many joints, such as the wrist and ankle, have almost 360-degree flexibility. But the elbow does not flex backwards at all, so almost any pressure in that direction will cause a hyperextension or worse.

Because these injuries are so common, they are fairly easy for doctors or trainers to diagnose, and they are also fairly easy to treat, given the proper approach.

Symptoms


Hyperextended elbows always have two things in common: unnatural motion and a popping sound. The motion could be the backwards flex mentioned above, or it could also be too much lateral elbow movement. That popping sound is your humeroulnar joint, the muscle that provides elbow flexibility, separating from either your humerus (upper arm) or ulna (lower arm). Some more noticeable symptoms include:
  • Pain: All sports and fitness injuries cause mild, moderate, or severe discomfort, but the pain associated with elbow hyperextension is a little different. The injured area may not hurt much at all unless you flex or touch your elbow.    
  •  Swelling: Probably as a way of protecting the injured area, the tissue around the wound almost always swells. In addition to swelling all around the elbow, your arm may be stiff, which is another way the body tries to protect itself.
  • Loss of Strength: Other than the popping sound, a limp feeling in your elbow and arm is the most obvious sign of a hyperextension. Many people also experience severe muscle spasms, especially when they try to straighten their arms.

In more severe cases, the skin will become discolored and the elbow may become disfigured, due to poor blood circulation.

Diagnosis

Self-diagnosis is a little iffy, because although the symptoms are quite clear, you will have no idea about the extent of the injury or if there is something else to worry about as well, such as a hairline elbow fracture. A trainer, or even a very experienced teammate, can probably look at the injury, perform a surface examination, and pretty well estimate the extent of the injury, but without diagnostic equipment, further evaluation is impossible.

So, the best thing to do is go to the doctor. A physician has access to MRIs and X-Ray machines that can both accurately diagnose the full extent of the hyperextension and rule out any other injuries.

Treatment

Hyperextended elbows, like many other sports and fitness injuries, hardly ever require surgery and may not even require physical therapy. To speed recovery, follow this protocol:
  • Immobilization: Injured elbows are very vulnerable to reinjury, so use an elbow brace to fully immobilize the joint. Once the joint starts healing, another kind of brace that partially immobilizes the area may be a good idea. 
  • Compression: The elbow brace should also be rather tight to limit swelling. Essentially, the brace should feel like a tightly-wrapped ACE bandage.
  • Ice: Fifteen to twenty minutes of cold therapy per day will significantly reduce inflammation and also relieve pain. Your ice pack should remain freezer cold for the entire icing period.
  • Elevation: To further reduce swelling, use pillows to elevate the injured elbow above your heart for as long as possible.

There are also a number of elbow exercises you can use to both hasten recovery and also strengthen the joint to help prevent re-injury.

Prognosis

Most people who follow this treatment plan see significant improvement after about two weeks, and complete healing after about another two weeks.

Do not return to sports activity until the injury is 100 percent healed, which means no pain whatsoever and full range of motion without any discomfort. Furthermore, the formerly injured elbow should look exactly like the uninjured one. If you have any questions, consult a doctor or trainer.

Hyperextended elbows happen a lot, and with a little planning and action, they do not have to keep you sidelined for very long.

This is a guest blog entry.