Anyone can have a stroke. Everyone should be ready. Learn the F.A.S.T. warning signs!Read More
School nurses are heroes to the more than 50 million children in our nation’s schools, and it is highly likely that more people interact with a school nurse than any other nursing specialist.Read More
Who Does Frailty Affect?
About 5 percent to 10 percent of people over age 65 are frail, according to a 2013 article in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association (JAMDA).2 Most are over 80 years old and most are women, partly because women live longer than men. Smoking, depression, long-term medical problems and being underweight seem to increase the likelihood of becoming frail.Read More
May Employee Birthdays and Anniversaries to Celebrate!
Congratulations to our May Employee of the Month, Linda C., RN.Read More
Celebrate National Humor Month with a smile!
By Chris Hammerlund
April being National Humor Month, it's a pretty good month to remember one of your Illinois neighbors, Hunter Doherty Adams. Never heard of Hunter Doherty Adams who lives in Urbana these days? Of course you have.
He's the real funny-faced doctor“Patch Adams” made famous by Robin Williams in the movie of the same name. Actually, Adams was made famous by himself long before Robin Williams came along.
He's devoted his life to caring for people who spend most of their lives in the rips of the health safety net. In the first 10 years of his official medical career, he treated 15,000 patients for free.
He was his own national health insurance plan. He's a doctor with different point of view.
This is sort of his month because Adams has always believed that humor was a tool to keep people healthy. But not a silly, feel-good sort of trick. An actual medically valid tool.
He's sort of a holistic medical holy warrior and though the movie that bears his name portrayed him as a mostly well-meaning eccentric, the real Patch Adams has spent his life as a tough - minded civic activist.
But his teams of volunteers still gather every year, load up their clown makeup, bright colored fright wigs and head off to a remote foreign locale to deliver medical expertise - and laughs.
The thing to remember about Adams is that humor is a not a casual affectation to him. It's a way to face health troubles and triumph over them. He believes the power of a large unrestrained laugh, a wide smile and an open heart can cure what some medicines can't. He's teaching us to take care of ourselves with laughter. Love is not a grim duty. It's joyous. And Adams has always taught that the healthy person is firmly planted in a community of shared joy, a family of care and a sense of happiness.
It's one of those ideas that seem “new age” now, but in 100 years the concept will seem so obvious that no one needs to defend it. Remember the days when we thought acupuncture was some goofy hocus-pocus?
Adams used his own funny faces to help conquer his own depression. And then he went global.
So this is his month in a real, meaningful way. But he won't keep it to himself because being funny is only real if your share it. Science already knows thatlaughter has positive physical effects.
One day science might prove that happiness is its own cure.
So, make yourself laugh and mean it.
Make someone you care about giggle.
It might be the best thing you can do for good health.
Congratulations to our April Employee of the Month, Sherrie W., CNA
Sherrie W. will celebrate her 3rd Anniversary with Assured Healthcare on April 18th. She is a highly skilled CNA with a great deal of experience and compassion for what she does. Sherrie has been a life saver for us lately filling in shifts that we could not cover for our clients. Thank you for all that you do Sherrie!
Brenda W. • April 2
Shakeeda G. • April 4
Jasmin S.. • April 8
Ellen G. K. • April 11
Annette M..• April 17
Linda K. • April 21
Christine M. • April 26
Guadalupe L. • April 26
Christina L. • April 27
Heidi M. • April 28
Ellen G.K. • 4/8/2014
Jocelyne M. • 4/14/2014
James S. • 4/17/2016
Sherrie W. • 4/18/2014
Lorraine H.W. • 4/22/2011
A big thank you to all that joined us at our 10th Anniversary Open House Celebration!
Do you have a special memory or story you would like to share? We would love to hear about it!
All you need to get your shamrock spinning is a simple puff of air! Cut out a shamrock shape from double-sided scrapbooking paper. Press a tack through the center of the pinwheel and into the side of a pencil's eraser, leaving a bit of space so the paper can turn freely. Blow on the side of the shamrock for the best spin.
8 Healthy Reasons to Love this Time of Year
Boost to mental health
If the colder months caused you to hibernate and develop a case of the winter blues, then you are in for a treat. The longer days, fresh outdoors, and warmer temperature can help you experience more enjoyment while feeling less stressed. Take time to enjoy the greenery and burst of spring colors surrounding you while spending time with friends and family outside.
A spring-cleaned diet
Holiday sweets and heavy winter comfort foods make it convenient to gain the unwanted pounds during the colder months. Now is the time to sweep out your cold-weather diet and make room for fresh, local produce. Kale, asparagus, and peas are just a few vitamin-rich vegetables that emerge to their prime during the spring.
More fresh produce in season
Many local farmers markets are in full swing and the bounty of fresh produce available makes eating healthy even more delicious. There may be some of your healthy favorites available to you year-round, but now is time to revel in local, seasonal goodies.
More vitamin D
In the winter, vitamin-producing sunlight can be rare to come by. A lack of vitamin D can put our bones at risk, hurt immunity and impair healthy muscle and nerve functioning. The return of spring allows us to more easily soak up with our body needs.
A healthier home
Bring the sunshine and fresh air indoors by opening up windows during spring cleaning. Did you know more organization and less clutter in the home can make you more fit? Researchers have found that those who live in orderly homes are more likely to be physically fit than those who live with surrounding clutter.
Say goodbye to winter skin and hair
If you live in an area encompassed of high winds or freezing temperatures during the winter, then you know who much damage is done to your skin and hair. Enjoy these few months before summer’s heat arrives and the frizz factor sets it.
No more excuses to avoid exercise
If winter is too cold and summer is too hot, then spring is your time to enjoy outdoor exercise. With daylight savings, there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy evening walks or bike rides with the family. The longer days and moderate temperatures are perfect reasons to take your workout outside.
You’re socializing more
Spending time with friends while emerging from your annual winter hibernation helps create a healthy mindset. Say goodbye to cabin fever and enjoy engaging in outdoor activities with friends including lunch in the park, after dinner strolls, working in the garden, etc.
Congratulations to our Employee of the Month, Phoebe L.
Phoebe has been with Assured Healthcare Staffing since 2012 and is a Clinical Data Coordinator at a well-known global pharmaceutical company in Lake County. We want to recognize her and let her know how much we appreciate her. She has been on this long term assignment and just goes to work and does a great job. She has been a dependable, wonderful employee!
Ruth B. • 3/1
Elizabeth K. • 3/3
Carine B. • 3/4
Cindy L. • 3/5
Daisy A. • 3/7
Danea G. A. • 3/7
Cyndi H. • 3/8
Gregory C. • 3/9
Janet S. G. • 3/11
Katie B. • 3/13
Patricia S. • 3/16
Holly G. • 3/20
LaToya W. • 3/20
Betsy W. • 3/20
Claudia V. • 3/24
Kimberly S. • 3/28
Talesha M. • 3/1/2017
Vanessa H. • 3/1/2017
Monica L. • 3/1/2014
Lauren S. • 3/3/2016
Gail S. • 3/3/2015
Gregory C. • 3/8/2008
Chantelle B. • 3/8/2014
John Michael N. • 3/8/2014
Adrienne F. • 3/9/2015
Brenda W. • 3/10/2014
Nathalie M.Y. • 3/12/2014
Carine B. • 3/12/2016
Allyson V. • 3/14/2015
Elizabeth K. • 3/21/2014
Domonique L. • 3/22/2016
Ashley E. • 3/26/2016
Jazmine S. • 3/30/2013
It’s hard to believe we’ve been in business for ten years. They say, “Time flies when you’re having fun!” - Christine Hammerlund, RN and President of Assured Healthcare StaffingRead More
Congratulations to our February Employee of the Month, Tricia E.
Tricia is a Pharmacist working at pharmaceutical company in Lake County in their phase one unit and has been with Assured Healthcare Staffing since 2009.
She recently received an award from our customer and this is what her manager had to say:
“I want to thank you for all your efforts required to complete the User Acceptance testing of a new PIMS pharmacy module a success. Without your persistence and resilience the testing would never have been completed. What a great example of Making Possibilities Real!”
Employee Birthdays and Anniversaries to celebrate!
Brandie F. • 2/1
Laurel O. • 2/2
Brenda W. • 2/2
Jennifer C. • 2/4
Jeanette H. • 2/15
Brianne B. • 2/18
Chantelle B. • 2/26
Kourtney W. • 2/1/14
Debra A. • 2/9/15
Tracey O.V. • 2/15/12
Lorie B. • 2/26/07
Daniel F. Al. • 2/26/07
Keely J. S. • 2/26/07
Janet S. G. • 2/26/07
Jessica G. • 2/29/16
How to walk 10,000 “steps” to better fitness.
By Chris Hammerlund
The most useful suggestion for activity or exercise is the one that matches up to your life most naturally.
But that's the question with exercise isn't it? If your desire to exercise doesn't cause you to change your life, then how can it possibly make a difference? The underlying truth is that exercise seldom works if you simply drop an artificial exercise regime on top of a sedentary lifestyle expecting it to be a lifechanger. Something has to change. As in you have to change a little.
The hottest concept in fitness these days gradually morphs exercise into a natural part of your life - a slightly “new” life based on activity
It's called the “10,000 steps a day” program. Some corporations have adopted it for their employees, but anybody can use it.
Here's the theory. Even total couch potatoes take a predictable number of steps each day. Fit people do the same. The difference in the number of steps is not so much a function of exercise. It's a function of how they life their lives.
So, how many steps each day translate into the likelihood of fitness. The answer is about 10,000 which sounds like a lot. But even couch potatoes average about 2,000 a day. It takes about 2,000 steps to walk a mile and so 10,000 steps is about five miles.
To reach 10,000, you don't have to quintuple the total from one day to the next. But add 500 steps every day. The object is to increase the daily rate. A good walk with the dog will work wonders. Buy a pedometer and track your steps. They'll add up.
So, here's the good part. There are hundreds of ways to “walk” by doing other fun things besides walking. Here some equivalencies of common physical events that translate into steps:
Aerobic dancing (low impact) - 115
Aerobics (intense) - 190
Aerobic step training, 4" step (beginner) - 145
Backpacking (no load) - 155
Backpacking with 10 pound load - 180
Backpacking with 30 pound load - 235
Badminton - 150
Basketball (game) - 220
Basketball (leisurely, non-game) - 130
Bicycling, 10 mph (6 minutes/mile) - 125
Bowling - 55
Canoeing, 2.5 mph - 75
Cross-country snow skiing (leisurely) - 155
Cross-country snow skiing (moderate) - 220
Cross-country snow skiing (intense) - 330
Cycling, 15 mph (5 minutes/mile) - 200
Cycling, 5 mph - 55
Dancing (fast) - 175
Gardening (heavy) - 155
Gardening (moderate) - 90
Golfing (with a cart) - 70
Handball - 230
Housework - 90
Ice skating (leisurely) - 95
Mopping - 85
Mowing - 135
Painting - 80
Ping Pong - 90
Racquetball - 205
Roller skating (moderate) - 150
Rowing machine - 180
Running 8 mph (7.5 minutes/mile) - 305
Running 10 mph (6 minutes/mile) - 350
Scrubbing the floor - 140
Scuba diving - 140
Shopping for groceries - 60
Skipping rope - 285
Snow shoveling - 195
Snow skiing, downhill - 130
Soccer (competitive) - 195
Squash - 205
Stair climber machine - 160
Stair climbing - 140
Swimming (25 yrds/minute) - 120
Swimming (50 yards/minute) - 225
Swimming (75 yards/min) - 290
Tennis (doubles) - 110
Tennis (singles) - 160
Vacuuming - 75
Volleyball (leisurely) - 70
Washing the car - 75
Water Skiing - 160
Waxing the car - 100
Window Cleaning - 75
OK, so I am NOT going to wash windows to get in better shape. That's worse than jogging.
10 tips for Winter Wellness
- Go for a walk even when the weather is really cold – your body has to work overtime to get warm and you may burn up to 50% more calories than you would on the same walk in summer! But remember, go a little slower until you get warm and keep up the hydration.
- If you find it hard to get motivated to exercise in winter…just think of spring and how much harder it is to get back into shape rather than maintain your fitness throughout the winter.
- Be aware of tendonitis and stress fracture if you don”t exercise in winter and expect to pick up where you left off after a whole winter with no exercise.
- Instead of picking up a cup of hot chocolate to keep yourself warm, try a herbal beverage.
- Gain an interest in indoor sports as opposed to cycling and jogging outdoors. Don”t forget that swimming at an indoor pool is an option for a great cardio workout!
- The cold air and indoor heaters can dry out your skin. Make sure you drink at least 8 glasses of water each day and use moisturizers throughout winter.
- Buy some indoor plants to soften up the dry atmosphere caused through heating. Indoor plants give off moisture and oxygen and the colours will brighten up a dull day outside.
- Caught a cold or flu? If the infection is above the neck (nose, throat) you could be OK to complete a low intensity workout. However, if you have symptoms that are worse than an average cold (chest congestion, muscle aches), exercise will only make you worse and delay your recovery. Rest is the best medicine.
- Wear the right clothes when exercising in winter. Polypropylene is the perfect fabric to wear underneath a tracksuit, which will provide great insulation but minimise moisture loss. Gore-Tex is a fabric used widely for providing protection from the rain and wind.
- Feel like sitting on the couch with a video and snacking on a cold, wet day? Reach for a protein bar or packet of soy nuts instead of high energy, high fat snacks.
Congratulations to Employee of the Month Sandy M., RN!
The Assured Healthcare Staffing employee of the month for January of 2017 is Sandy Martin, who is an RN contracted at the SC Johnson facility in Bay City, Michigan.
Sandy has been an outstanding Occupational Nurse at the customer location in Bay City. She started in a job-sharing arrangement, which then transitioned into a full time position. Sandy was able to quickly master the intricacies of the position and was able to work on her own. In fact, Sandy worked alone in the clinic for 2 months during a transition period.
Sandy was able to do this while maintaining very active outside of work.
We are very happy to honor Sandy as our employee of the month for January. Sandy has shown the true Assured Healthcare Staffing spirit of customer service.
Congratulations to Lori R., RN on her retirement!
Lori retired as of 12/31/2016 and she will be missed! She was very smart, flexible, dependable, energetic, detailed and one of our best. We wish her a restful and wonderful retirement!
January Birthdays and Anniversaries to Celebrate!
Maureen A. • 1/13/2015
Barbara B. • 1/16/2015
Laura C. • 1/21/2016
Vickie H. • 1/2/2010
Clarice J. • 1/6/2016
Cinthia K. • 1/10/2016
Betsy W. • 1/7/2013
Marlene F. • 1/1
Evelyn G. • 1/3
Camille B. • 1/4
Hailey R. • 1/4
Eilish G. • 1/10
Monica D. • 1/11
Dawn G. • 1/11
Rosalba M. • 1/11
Keely S. • 1/13
Sandra S. • 1/13
Antoinette T. • 1/13
Eric M. • 1/15
Vickie H. • 1/21
Lorraine H.W. • 1/22
Wendy M. • 1/22
Tricia E. • 1/23
Ashley B. • 1/24
James S. • 1/24
Sherrie W. • 1/25
Sebrena A. • 1/26
Patrick H. • 1/26
Tracey J. • 1/26
Heather W. • 1/28
Lorie B. • 1/31
Let the tears roll, for crying out loud
By Chris Hammerlund
Dear Chris: The holidays always leave me an emotional wreck. I'm the one in the family who prepares all the food, gets the decorations ready, handles the Christmas tree and deals with the kids and their gifts. But instead of it making me happier, I find myself crying for no particular reason. Is that normal? Any tips so I don't always feel like a mess? Angela in Mundelein
Dear Angela: Not only is a good cry a permissible gift to yourself, science says it's a necessary way the body cleanses itself internally. Look it up. It's in all the biology books.
But even if I didn't have the research at my fingertips, just ask yourself how you feel after a big, loud, blubbery cry. Most people feel much better, and it's not just an illusion. Your body often sends you clear signals. Crying is one of them.
What makes you cry can be a thousand different stimuli - pain, grief, joy, hormones, or even genetic influences. This uniquely-human experience is natural and necessary for biochemical cleansing - helping the body dump toxins and reset healing processes. Sobbing flushes stress hormones while prompting endorphin production - the feel-good chemical responsible for soothing raw pain, calming overstimulation, and boosting optimism.
I love those endorphins. In fact, I've often wondered if people who are more naturally and visibly “happy” with the world are that way partly because their endorphin triggers are easier to access. People who cry freely may have a big advantage in tapping endorphins.
You may be one of those people who cry at any moment - weddings, birthday parties, or your kids' school plays. Or you may be the type who can't remember when you last cried.
Either way, crying often catches everyone when or where they don't want to weep. Others might not want to watch you weep.
But sorry, Angela, they're just going to have to get over it. What sort of a family do you have anyway? The “why” of crying may seem obvious. You're happy or sad. But that's too simplistic.
Dr. Stephen Sideroff is Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA's School of Medicine, as well as the Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Ethics says people cry for very complex reasons. For instance, he says, people cry in response to something of beauty. He calls it “melting.” They are letting go of their guard, and tapping into a place deep. Crying can also be a survival mechanism.
Jodi DeLuca, a neuropsychologist at Tampa General Hospital in Florida, says that crying might be a signal you need to address something. Maybe you are frustrated, overwhelmed or even just trying to get someone's attention. Maybe you are secretly angry that no one helps you at the holidays. That would certainly make me cry.
On top of that, crying may have a purging biochemical purpose. So relax. It's just a part of being a complex physical specimen.
In any case, the last emotion you should feel about crying is that it's a bad thing that should be stifled because it makes someone else uncomfortable. Personally, I think we need a National Day of Crying.
Who am I, and why would a person listen to me? Both fair questions. I'm Christine Hammerlund and I've been a nurse for years. I have delivered babies, saved lives, and cared for hundreds of patients through their medical triumphs and tragedies. Now I run Assured Healthcare at http://www.assuredhealthcare.com.
December 4-10th is National Handwashing Awareness Week
The 4 Principles of Hand Awareness
- 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 fingers into your eyes, nose or mouth
Congratulations to our December employee of the month Heidi M., CNA
Heidi has been with us at Assured Healthcare since April of 2015 and has taken on some pretty big ‘live-in’ private duty patients.
She has been especially awesome with her connecting skills for a very challenging dementia patient. Heidi is kind and creative and has the heart that we admire here at Assured Healthcare Staffing.
We appreciate all the work Heidi has done, and, are very proud to have her as our employee of the month for December 2016.
Patricia M. • Dec 6th
Stacie M. • Dec 11th
Yaritza S. • Dec 12th
Latarsha M. • Dec 12th
Tammy B. • Dec 18th
Charice T. • Dec 20th
Lyleth B. • Dec 24th
Veronica C. • Dec 27th
Dawn W. • Dec 27th
Judith D. • Dec 31st
Denise S. • Dec 31st
Phoebe L. • 12/12/2012
Jennifer H. • 12/21/2012
Sandra S. • 12/26/2015
Rose V. • 12/14/2015
Shirley H. • 12/29/2015
Assured Healthcare recognizes client and veteran, Fergal Patrick Gallagher, as we celebrate Veteran’s Day on November 11th.
Ask the Nurse - 'Holiday reality check' gives aging parents a safety net
Ask the Nurse: Christine Hammerlund, President of Assured Healthcare Staffing and Nurse
As Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, it is smart to be aware of changing roles with aging parents.
You have the full turkey dinner at your mom and dad's house. You do the cooking as you have for the last few years because mom is not quite up to pulling off such an event by herself as she did when she was your age.
So you get to do the honors. It it exhausting but satisfying. All your kids will be there. Aunts, uncles and cousins, too.
Mom and dad are getting older now, and you're always concerned about them because they are living on their own. In recent days, you have become very sensitive to the changes that age can impose. It's the price of being a caring adult child. But this was the first year you started to pay special attention to them this way.
These had been those years when your roles had shifted subtly, and you took pride by helping them in ways they used to help you.
One of these days you'll be the one who makes “the decision”. When will it be time for residential assisted living or in-home help to keep them safe? Or perhaps it's a more systematic method to organize their outings or regularly monitor their domestic needs.
You know it's no longer merely a question of chronological age to think of these issues. But life conditions change. Health changes. Fitness changes.
But how do you know when to pay special attention and what you should be looking for?
As it turns out, there are good tools to help you. Those of us who train in-home nurses use a checklist of symptoms and clues. Over the next few weeks as you ratchet up to the whirlwind of Christmas or Hanukah, I'll offer the “holiday reality check.”
If you are worrying about missing some basic signs, here are five categories from the “reality check.”
- Is your parent starting to have difficulty with basic tasks? Is walking and talking becoming a stressful chore? And does getting dressed every day seem difficult?
- If there are stairs in their home, do they have a problem getting up and down easily? Even on the main floor, do they find it more difficult every day to move from room to room? Is it harder for them to organize how they cook and eat?
- Is their personal hygiene becoming more unpredictable? Do they bathe as often as they once did or do they seem sloppy when they once were fastidious about personal appearance and dental hygiene? Perhaps they're not worrying about their hair being combed and washed.
- Check around the house to see if they are tending to basic household chores. If they have piles of unopened mail and unpaid bills, it's a sign. If they have regular medications, maybe they are managing it less effectively. Check for low food supplies; dents and scratches on their car. One telltale sign is a growing number of cigarette burns on furniture or carpets.
- Then there are significant changes in basic good health. Do you see weight loss, difficulty sleeping, hearing loss, bed-wetting, and bruises from falls, or skin burns from cooking accidents? Do they spill more items during cooking than seems explainable? (Some of us have always been clumsy.)
None of these signs by themselves mean your parent needs nursing help. Everyone has accidents and trends in their behaviors.
But it's equally important to know how to read signs that someone you love needs support and help.
If you are beginning to wonder if some level of private duty nursing help would make their lives better, be sure to review our Top 7 things to consider when choosing a Qualified Home Care Provider.
November is American Diabetes Month and National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. It can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and other health problems if it’s not controlled. One in 11 Americans have diabetes – that’s more than 29 million people. And another 86 million adults in the United States are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
To learn more, visit the American Diabetes Association website at www.diabetes.org
November is also National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month. To Learn more about the disease and how to support patients and their caregivers visit Dementia Day by Day at www.dementia-by-day.com and The Alzheimers Reading Room websites at www.alzheimersreadingroom.com.