Archive for March 2010
The mother’s ability to adapt her lifestyle to motherhood will depend on her emotional well-being, her physical recovery, her maturity and the support she receives from family and friends. Women in the United States with unwanted pregnancies are less likely to intiate or continue breastfeeding in comparison with women who planned to have their babies. Breastfeeding has many positive results besides feeding your baby however. Breastfeeding has been proven to help prevent cancer, and also burns off some of the baby weight that may be left over from pregnancy. Single mothers in the United States is something worth looking at. In the US 34% of children born in 2002 were unmarried. In these cases a woman may have sole responsibility of her baby because of a choce to remain single, separation or divorce, the death of a spouse or a situation that requires the baby’s father to be away…like the military. She may live alone, with a partner, her family, or a roommate. She may have multiple responsibilities like work, school, household chores, and parenting. I can’t believe how many shows are on channels like MTV now addressing sixteen year olds having babies. I don’t think it is ethically wrong to have a baby and be a young mother, but it astounds me that any young girl would make such a limiting decision. There are so many different things to look forward to when you are young such as; college, travelling, freedom, relationships, dating, establishing your own goals. I am still trying to figure out what to think about that Octopulet mom. Jeez. 13 kids? Now she is probably an excellent candidate for a lactation consultant. If you are a songrapher and find childbirth to interest you, you may want to consider getting your lactation consultant certification. The more you know, the more valuable you are to your employer, to new mothers, and to your community. Tomorrow we will talk more about single moms.
Almost all national and international statements regarding lactation consultant certification, call for changes to improve education for health care providers and lactation management. There has been a general plan for improvement that was arrived at based on evidence. Changing current practices has been a slow process that needs a well thought-out- plan. We will be focusing on the next couple of blogs about the subject of evidence based practice as the foundation to making changes. The blueprint that was developed for change and to guide policy makers in the attempt to protect and support breast feeding is outlined as followed; Step 1 – Establish national breast feeding committees. Step 2 – Promote the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) Step 3 – Implement and enforce the International Code on Marketing Breast-milk substitutes, Step 4 – Establish maternity protection, Step 5 – Train Medical Personnel and Health care workers, Step 6 – Support exclusive and sustained breast feeding throughout the community, Step 7 – Provide resources for support groups, Step 8 – Promote breast feeding campaigns, Step 9 – Integrate breast feeding messages into child health activities, and finally Step 10 – Improve women’s social and economic status. Breast feeding is one of the most critical ways a baby and mother first relate. It is no accident that newborns have only enough site developed to see roughly the distance from a mothers’ breast to a mothers’ face. Babies are born with the most basic tools to identify their mother and begin the natural bond of trust and dependence. Lactation consultants help enable mothers to establish a healthy bond with their newborns through breast feeding, facilitating a lifelong pattern of trust and dependence that a child and mother share.
Look at the whole patient, not just the disease or illness. How many times was this drummed into your head in school? By now, you should have a good understanding of this concept. In order to individualize the care plan and maximize the outcomes for each patient, you have to look at the whole patient. Enlist the patient and their family and caregivers to see beyond the diagnosis as well. You need to help your patient’s their families, and caregivers to understand that all the patient’s personal habits and lifestyle choices will need to be incorporated into long-term plans for coping with his health status. The patient’s family, job, hobbies, culture, diet, and habits all contribute to his illness and risk factors. Some patient’s won’t share these with you and you will need to examine them for themselves in order to ensure wellness and improved outcomes. Although when you think of an ultrasound technician, you immediately think of little babies…an ultrasound technician will deal with a variety of different cases. It will not always be pregnant mothers. Some of the other organs and cases that ultrasounds are used for are many. For example, ultrasound technicians may specialize in obstetric and gynecologic sonography, abdominal sonography, neurosonography, or ophthalmic sonography. Ultrasound technicians also have a variety of responsibilities such as; explaining the procedure to the patient, recording any relevant medical history, operating the equipment, directing the patient in how to move to obtain the best images, selecting the best images for the physician to review, maintaining patient records, and adjusting and maintaining equipment.
First rule today is, an ultrasound technician should never diagnose. That is the doctors job. Doctors have the advantage of having a longer-term relationship with a patient then most allied health professionals. Doctors will see their patients from the first initial visit where a diagnosis may be received all the way to the end where the cure or the long-term-treatment has taken its course. Doctors receive their emotional rewards when the patient is cured or learns to cope with the stress when an illness continues. Doctors help patients in these situations, to make the appropriate lifestyle changes to cope or adapt.
Ultrasound technicians are a part of this ongoing process as well, except that they never diagnose….(in some instances, ultrasound technicians have been called upon and may be qualified to give a professional opinion, but as a rule it is better not to diagnose.) They collaborate with the physician and coordinate the scientific information about the patients health. Ultrasound technicians may see a patient regularly too. Especially since in this field there are a lot of expecting mothers who will get numerous ultrasounds throughout the term of their pregnancy. The ultrasound technician still however, actually has a more limited experience with the patient according to where she practices. This might be a two to four day hospital stay and the ultrasound technician spends a short amount of time to participate in the care, in comparison to the doctor.
This makes being an ultrasound technician a much more enjoyable job because they are able to work with patients without the stress of diagnosing them and communicating about ailments.
When considering a degree in the allied health field, it is important to also consider the different professionals you may be working closely with. One of the most common types of allied health fields a sonographer or ultrasound technician may be working with is a LPN or also known as an LVN. LPN stands for Licensed Practical Nurse and LVN stands for Licensed Vocational Nurse. The field for LPNs and LVNs is in high demand. Although it is not the highest paying field in Allied Health, it can be one of the most versatile. It was found that the highest paying states in this allied health profession are Massachussette, District of Columbia, New Jersey, Connecticut, and California. You can find these helpful individuals in hospitals, doctors offices, outpatient facilities, homes, long term care facilities, and clinics.
Just last year, In 2009, licensed vocational nurses, and licensed practical nurses were among the occupations with the most job openings. For LPN’s and LVN’s seeking a job, all the education that is required is an associate’s degree. In the next eight years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the job is expected to grow steadily in demand by 20%. This growth rate is much higher than the national average. While overall jobs prospects will be very good, job outlook varies by healthcare industry. It appears that the states with the highest demand for licensed vocational nurses, and licensed practical nurses are Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, and West Virginia.
When patients are delivered to other healthcare providers, you must relay information about them and their conditions and treatments to provide a complete transfer of care (such as reporting when a paitent is delivered to the emergency department). Certain incidents require notifying law enforcement, and you must provide appropriate information in those situations. A police report may be required for animal bites, industrial acceidents, suspected child abuse, rape, or gunshot wounds. Reporting regulations vary from state to state, check with your local law enforcement agency to find out what incidents must be reported. Sometimes medical experts can be subpeoned for information. In this case legal documentation requires you to honor the rules of the court and tell what you know. As a medical professional you must always follow court orders. Third party payment is one other time that confidentiality requirements may be different. It is fairly common for a third party payer such as an insurance company that covers patient expenses. Often times others besides the patient must submit patient and insurance information.
Always check with your state regulations and also your employer to find out what their expectations are for confidentiality. This extra step will help to protect you and your job, and also the patient’s that you serve.
Medical ethics is just one of the courses students must take if they are studying to be an ultrasound technician. The ethics courses are designed to teach potential sonographers about the standards and ethics of any medical profession. Ultrasound technicians have a great deal of interaction with patients, especially expectant mothers and they need to know the best practices for handling any unusual circumstances. A large part of ethics seems to be common sense for example; knowing how to keep patient information confidential, how to handle patients that are unruly or upset, and how to treat patients with courtesy. The medical community is dedicated to making patients feel welcome and secure in a medical environment. Learning ethics is part of implementing that theory. Confidentiality of patients is one of the most common ethical topics.
Confidentiality of Patients – You learn a lot of personal information from patients in the course of assessing them and providing care. The patient’s age, and past/recent medical record are usually given. Any information coming from the patient or a physical examination should be considered confidential. Treatment administered is also considered confidential information. Patients have a right and expectation that their privacy will be protected. The patient is the only one who has the right to share information freely. An Ultrasound technician should acquire written consent before any personal information is divulged to an outside party. An ultrasound technician should not speak with family, friends, media or anyone else not directly involved with the patient’s care. Tomorrow we will explore when and how confidential information can be released. If you are interested in becoming an ultrasound technician, ethics will be a topic you should consider.