Flushing Hospital’s Nurse of The Month

Our nurses are the pillars of our community. In addition to meeting the demands of being a caregiver, they wear several hats including that of an educator, nurturer,  and comforter.

Not only do nurses care for patients; they provide support to families and loved ones during difficult times.

Our nurses pour their hearts into all aspects of their job, and this is one of the many reasons we celebrate their accomplishments.

Join us in congratulating Kelly Wong, RN for receiving Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Nurse of the Month.

Meet Kelly:

Q&A:

Q: How long have you been working for FHMC? A: I have been working at Flushing Hospital for almost four years.

Q: On which unit do you currently work? A:   The Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)

Q: Why did you want to become a nurse? A:  Nursing is a profession that is filled with passion, kindness and respect. My father always taught me, life is not only about money and possessions, but to have a kind heart and be a positive influence in society. I dedicate this to him because he is the reason I became a nurse. He taught me that it’s never wrong to help someone in need, there is no such thing as doing too many good deeds. When a patient and their family are going through their toughest times and obstacles in life, nurses are at the front line. To me, this is not only a job but a way to make a difference in people’s lives.

QWhat is the best part of your job? A: Knowing that I can make a difference and be there for patients when they need it the most. Being able to bring a sense of peace and comfort during difficult times. I love to hear stories from my patients and families. I can’t imagine doing anything else. When I go home each day, I feel accomplished knowing I did as much as I could for my patients and their families. It is truly an amazing profession.

 

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

February’s Flushing Hospital Employee Spotlight – Eligio Infante

February’s Employee Spotlight shines on Eligio Infante, Patient Navigator Supervisor and Interpreter at Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

Eligio is a graduate of the University of Vermont, where he received a B.A. in Psychology.  As a Supervisor, he leads a group of dedicated Navigators who assist patients in overcoming barriers that may prevent them from receiving healthcare.

As part of his work day, Eligio and his team may be scheduling appointments and reminders for patients, providing medical interpretations, Diabetes prevention classes for those at risk, diet and nutrition workshops, community outreach at health fairs, smoking cessation workshops to help smokers quit and stay smoke free and make healthier lifestyle choices.

When asked about his hobbies, Eligio responded, “I enjoy reading, travel, visiting new places and cultures as well as focusing on health and wellness.  I like to go to the gym and going for a run.”

Being a Patient Navigator Supervisor and Interpreter is both rewarding and challenging.  “It’s challenging to see a patient looking stressed or confused.  However, I feel especially pleased when a patient is not fluent or has a very limited understanding of the English language and I can be there for them at their doctor’s visit.  When you see the look fear turn to relief and gratitude on the patients face knowing it was me that helped them understand their diagnosis treatment through interpretation or knowing that their diabetes is under control or I having assisted them by providing the tools to quit smoking is very rewarding.”

For these and so many other reasons we congratulate Eligion Infante for being Flushing Hospital’s February Employee Spotlight!

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Medical Reasons We May Be Gaining Weight

We know that there are certain things that we do to cause us to gain weight. Habits such as overeating, late night snacking, and lack of exercise can all contribute to gaining weight. For some however, weight gain might be caused by any number of medical conditions including:

  • Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
  • Mood disorders (depression, stress and anxiety)
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Menopause
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Ovarian tumor
  • Insomnia
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Pregnancy

Taking certain medications to treat diabetes, high blood pressure and psychiatric conditions can also lead to weight gain. In addition, when people stop smoking, this may lead to weight gain because the metabolism slows down. People who experience heart failure will retain greater than normal amounts of fluid in their lower extremities and abdomen which can also lead to  weight gain.

Some of the side effects of weight gain are noticeable and can include changes in vision, sweating, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and heart palpitations.

Treatment for sudden weight gain has to include finding out what the cause is.

If a person is experiencing rapid weight gain and they can’t determine the reason why, it is important to see a physician who will recommend tests to determine the cause.

To schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Smoking and the Effects on the Skin

Everyone knows that smoking is bad for your health. The skin is one area that smoking has a very noticeable effect and can be seen very easily.

There are thousands of chemicals in tobacco smoke. Some of these can affect the skin’s elasticity which will lead to wrinkles and skin that looks baggy. Smoke also affects oxygenation of the blood which can lead to a change in skin tone and pallor.

Some other effects smoking can have on skin include:

  • Psoriasis
  • Hair thinning
  • Yellow fingers
  • Slower wound healing
  • Cancerous skin lesions

Quitting smoking can reverse some of the negative effects. This is due to better oxygenation of the blood and also removal of the toxic chemicals from the body.

If you smoke and would like to quit, you can speak to your doctor and see what method would be best for you. Flushing Hospital Medical Center provides extensive assistance for people willing to quit smoking.  More information is available at 718-206-8494.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Signs of a Heart Attack You Shouldn’t Ignore

Heart attack is the number one cause of death in women and men in the United States.  It is estimated that one in every four deaths are caused by a heart attack. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, that only 27% of people know the warning signs of a heart attack and when to call 9-1-1. Knowing the signs of a heart attack and following the suggested guidelines can reduce the probability of death.

Warning signs differ with each individual; they may be mild or severe. For some the attack can be immediate while for others symptoms can begin days or weeks in advance. Heart attacks have several key symptoms and warning signs to be aware of, some of which include:

  • Chest pains or discomfort (This is the most common symptom)
  • A squeezing, aching  or pressure sensation in the chest or arms, this may spread to the back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breaking out into a cold sweat
  • Nausea and (or) vomiting
  • Dizziness

If someone is experiencing these symptoms, act immediately and call 9-1-1. While waiting for emergency response, if nitroglycerin is prescribed by a doctor it should be given as instructed. Aspirin can also help during a heart attack by reducing damage to the heart and preventing the blood from clotting. However aspirin should be administered only if recommended by a physician, as aspirin can have adverse effects if taken with certain medications.

Complications due to heart disease can be prevented by exercising, quitting smoking, eating heart- healthy foods such as salmon, getting regular health screenings, taking medication, reducing alcohol consumption and maintaining a healthy weight.

To make an appointment  to discuss, improve or maintain your heart health  call Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory  Care Center at 718- 670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors

Body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) is a general term used to describe a set of disorders that are categorized by chronic self-grooming behaviors that result in damage to the body.   The most common BFRBs include continuous nail-biting, compulsive hair pulling and skin picking. Other body-focused repetitive behaviors are compulsive nose-picking, teeth grinding, lip biting, knuckle cracking and scab picking.

The exact cause of BFRBs is unknown; however, it is believed that these behaviors are related to impulse control disorders, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Unlike individuals with self- injury disorders, those with BFRBs typically do not intend to harm themselves and often make repeated attempts to reduce or stop the behaviors.

Body-focused repetitive behaviors are very difficult to control and in addition to causing physical harm to the body, can lead to severe emotional distress and the functional impairment of one’s life. Therefore, it is very important to manage BFRBs.

Management for BFRBs can include cognitive behavioral therapy, medication or doctor-recommended supplements such as N-acetylcysteine.

If you’re struggling with body-focused repetitive behaviors Flushing Hospital Medical Center can provide you with high-quality mental health services and support. To schedule an appointment at our outpatient psychiatry clinic, please call (718) 670-5562.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

What Is Raynaud’s Disease?

You are probably aware of the many different ways the cold weather can affect your health.  Conditions such as heart attack, asthma, and arthritis can all worsen when we are exposed to the cold, but did you know that the cold can also affect blood supply to your skin, resulting in a condition known as Raynaud’s disease.

In Raynaud’s disease, smaller arteries that supply blood to your skin become narrow, limiting blood circulation to affected areas, most commonly the fingers and toes.

Signs and symptoms of Raynaud’s disease include:

  • Cold fingers or toes
  • Color changes in your skin in response to cold or stress
  • Numb, prickly feeling or stinging pain upon warming or stress relief

During an attack of Raynaud’s, affected areas of your skin typically first turn white. Then, they often turn blue and feel cold and numb. As you warm-up and circulation improves, the affected areas may turn red, throb, tingle or swell. After warming, it can take approximately 15 minutes for normal blood flow to return to the area.

Although Raynaud’s most commonly affects your fingers and toes, it can also affect other areas of your body, such as your nose, lips, ears and even nipples.

Cold temperatures are most likely to trigger an attack. However, exposure to cold, such as putting your hands in cold water, taking something from a freezer or being in cold air are also  common triggers. For some people, emotional stress can also trigger an episode.

There are two main types of the condition.

  • Primary Raynaud’s -Also called Raynaud’s disease, this most common form isn’t the result of an associated medical condition. It can be so mild that many people with primary Raynaud’s don’t seek treatment.
  • Secondary Raynaud’s -Also called Raynaud’s phenomenon, this form is caused by an underlying problem. Although secondary Raynaud’s is less common than the primary form, it tends to be more serious. In rare cases, diminished blood circulation to your fingers or toes could cause tissue damage.

Treatment of Raynaud’s disease depends on its severity and whether you have other health conditions. For most people, Raynaud’s disease isn’t disabling, but it can affect their quality of life.

To help prevent a Raynaud’s attack, bundle up when heading outdoors.  Wear a hat, scarf, face mask, and a snug fitting coat to prevent the cold air from circulating onto your skin. You should also wear heavy boots and two layers of socks and gloves if necessary. Also take precautions indoors. Air conditioners can trigger a reaction so be sure to set yours to a comfortable temperature. Use insulated drinking glasses when consuming a cold beverage as well.

See your doctor right away if you have a history of severe Raynaud’s and develop a sore or infection in one of your affected fingers or toes.

To schedule an appointment with a doctor at Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

What is Person-Centered Care?

Person-centered care is an approach to medical care that focuses on the individual patient, rather than just the medical condition. The healthcare providers work as partners with the patient and their relatives to determine the best courses of action. Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach to healthcare, the staff caters to the individual’s unique needs.

So, what is person-centered care? In short, it simply means recognizing that each and every patient is different. It means that staff members readjust their methods as needed to provide optimal care to each individual. Just because two patients have the same health condition doesn’t mean they should receive the exact same treatments.

Common Signs of Person-Centered Care

These are some of the most common elements of this approach:

  • Decisions are influenced and made by the patients and their family members
  • The patient’s unique preferences and values are considered when making decisions
  • The patient’s care plan is regularly evaluated and readjusted as needed
  • In some cases, one nurse is responsible for the majority of care, giving the patient and family members a central point of contact
  • The central contact manages scheduling and appointments
  • Family members are kept apprised of any changes
  • The patient feels comfortable and confident discussing aspects of the care that need to be changed

Benefits Associated with Person-Centered Care

Determining how to offer the best person-centered care

It’s abundantly clear that personalized care yields better results, including lower readmission rates, shorter lengths of stay, and higher patient experience scores. Patients flourish when their program of care is customized to their individual needs and when they are given greater agency in their own treatment. At Flushing Hospital Medical Center, we firmly believe that each patient deserves a personalized treatment plan that keeps their preferences and dignity fully intact.

Our Partnership with Planetree

In order to provide the best possible care for our patients, in 2019, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and Flushing Hospital Medical Center became 2 out of 12 hospitals selected to participate in a 24-month program to continue improving our person-centered care approach. The program gives us the opportunity to work with Planetree, an international non-profit that’s known as experts in personalized care.

Contact Us to Learn More

What is person-centered care? We believe it’s the best way to ensure that patients receive the highest level of care, specific to their unique needs. If you have any questions, please call 718-670-5000. See the difference with our personalized approach to medical care.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Dangers of OTC Medication

Over the counter (OTC) remedies often seem like the way to alleviate allergy symptoms, headaches or common cold symptoms or pain. However, it is always important to read the labels of any OTC medicines, especially if you are taking medications to treat high blood pressure.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), are often used to relieve pain or reduce inflammation. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, are OTC medicines, which are considered NSAIDs, and cause you to retain fluid and decrease kidney function, placing a greater stress on your heart or kidneys.

Believe it or not, many cough and cold medications contain NSAIDs to relieve decongestion and pain. Decongestants can make your blood pressure and heart rate rise and may prevent high blood pressure medications from working properly. Avoid using them and seek alternative ways to ease the symptoms of cold, flu, or sinus problems.

Do you suffer from migraines? Some migraine headache medications work by constricting blood vessels in your head, but the medication also constricts blood vessels throughout your body. This can raise blood pressure, perhaps to dangerous levels. If you have high blood pressure or any other type of heart disease, speak with your doctor before taking medication for migraines or severe headaches.

Trying to lose weight? Appetite suppressants tend to speed-up the body and can make your blood pressure rise, placing more stress on your heart. Before using any weight loss drug, whether prescription or over-the-counter, be sure to check with your doctor. These medications may do you more harm than good.

Read medication labels before buying over-the-counter preparations. Talk to your doctor before using any over-the-counter medication, herbal preparation, vitamins, or other nutritional supplements. Ask for alternatives to potentially harmful medicines. Give a list of all the medications you use, both prescription and over-the-counter, to every doctor you visit, including dosages. If you do not have a physician and would like set up an appointment to meet with one, please contact Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Center at 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How To Stay Heart Healthy in the Winter

When asked which season has the highest incidence of cardiovascular problems, most wouldn’t guess the winter, but it is true, especially in cities like New York City, which are known for harsh weather conditions.

One of the main reasons for this is our blood vessels constrict in the cold weather. This happens because our bodies work hard to protect vital organs such as our brain and lungs from extreme conditions by preserving blood flow. As a result, our heart has to beat harder and faster to supply the rest of the body with the oxygen it needs.  As your heart rate and blood pressure increase, you raise your risk of blood clots, stroke, and heart attack.

Another factor for increasing our risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the winter is our diet. Both the quality and quantity of food we consume can have a significant role in our heart health during any time of the year, but it is especially important during cold weather months because to digest a heavy meal requires increased blood flow to the stomach, which, for previously stated reasons, can be difficult due to blood vessel constriction.

In addition to cold weather, the winter also brings with it an increased risk of contracting the influenza (flu) virus.  Flu season typically is most prevalent during the winter months and fighting it (as well as other viruses) can place an increased amount of stress on the heart and can drain the body of its energy.  For those with an already weakened heart, such as the elderly or those with a weakened immune system, this can be very dangerous.

Loneliness and depression have also been linked to an increased risk of heart attack by as much as 30%.  The development and maintaining of social relationships is never more difficult than during the winter months due to a variety of factors. One major factor is the weather. The frigid conditions limit the ability to attend social events. In addition, the days are shorter and darker in the winter, which can also increase the likelihood of depression.

Lastly, the winter weather can also limit an individual’s ability to properly maintain their health.  This can include interfering with a person’s ability to exercise regularly as well as allowing them access to critical healthcare resources, such as seeing their provider when they aren’t feeling well or refilling their medications. Failure to do so can have harmful effects on someone’s heart health.

Recognizing the increased heart health risk factors in the winter and taking steps to address them are vital to staying healthy in the winter. This includes making sure to avoid very cold temperatures and dressing warm, eating a heart healthy diet, getting your flu shot, maintaining social relationships, and closely monitoring your health, including seeing your doctor regularly and adhering to your medications.

To make an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call our Ambulatory Care Center at 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.