provide public service
Both St. Mary’s and Clearwater Valley Hospital and their clinics provide an opportunity for residents in their service area to dispose properly of their sharps or needles they’ve used to administer intravenous medication. Anyone using the service is asked to put their used needles in a hard sided, lidded container such as an empty bleach or liquid detergent bottle. They can be brought to the local clinic or dropped off at the nurses’ station in the hospital.
“By encouraging people to bring their needles to our facilities for disposal we are helping reduce the likelihood of others becoming infected or injured by accidentally poking themselves with a used sharp,” said Cathie Hylton, RN, Sharps Disposal Coordinator. “Our hospitals hire a company to legally transport the items to a secure site designed for biohazard materials.”
Containers for used syringes can also be purchased at pharmacies or stores that sell pharmaceutical supplies. Needleless dialysis tubing can be safely disposed of with regular household materials.
“We’re offering this free service as a courtesy to the residents of this area,” said Hylton. “Hopefully, they’ll take advantage of it, rather than throwing them out in their own trash receptacles, creating a danger for anyone who might accidentally come into contact.”
Free Smoking Cessation classes offered
To help those people who made a New Year’s resolution to quit tobacco use St. Mary’s Hospital is offering a four session smoking cessation class using the American Cancer Society’s Freshstart program. The first class session will be held Wednesday, February 4th from 5:00-6:00 p.m. in the Cottonwood Medical Clinic reception area. Subsequent sessions will be held on Wednesdays, February 11th, 18th and 25th.
“The sessions will meet on Wednesday evenings during the month of February. Anyone interested in quitting and staying quit should plan on attending all four sessions,” said Faunda Butler, SMHC Respiratory Therapist. “I will be using the Freshstart curriculum and materials developed by the American Cancer Society. I would especially like to invite people who have tried to quit unsuccessfully and those who have been considering quitting. I’d also like to welcome all former participants if they are still struggling with nicotine addiction. Or if they’ve been successful in reaching their goals, we’d like them to join us and we’ll celebrate together!”
The Freshstart program recognizes that smoking cessation is a two part process. One is stopping and, two, is staying stopped. According to the ACS, Freshstart addresses both processes through the use of new techniques for ending the physical and psychological need to smoke. Topics covered include quitting cold turkey, use of the nicotine patch, fighting urges to smoke, addressing physical symptoms of withdrawal, weight control and stress management during the process. ACS provides a kit with materials for use in the classes and at home.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, resulting in an estimated 440,000 premature deaths annually. On average, adult men and women smokers lost 13.2 years and 14.5 years of life, respectively, because of tobacco use.
The CDC also asserts that if current trends continue, 6.4 million children will not live full lives because of tobacco.
“I believe most smokers would like to quit, but haven’t tried yet or have tried and failed. Sometimes people have to quit a number of times before they are successful and others are successful on their first try,” said Butler. “The Freshstart program provides the most effective elements for success. I am here to help people interested in quitting. It’s never easy, but the benefits are certainly worth it.”
To register for the class call SMHC, 962-3251 and ask for Faunda Butler then leave your name and phone number on the message machine. Pre registration is required.
Support Group reminder
Sr. Corinne Forsman, St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics Mission Services Coordinator, will facilitate an initial Alzheimer’s Support Group session on Wednesday, January 28th at 2:30 p.m. in their downstairs conference room. Those attending the initial session would determine if there was a need for an ongoing group and what its focus might be.
“The meeting is open to anyone interested in any form of dementia. We hear the most about Alzheimer’s but the needs of care takers, friends and family members is about the same when there is a person challenged by memory loss,” said Forsman. “The people who attend may decide to continue meeting as a support group or they may decide to add an educational component or they may decide not to continue. Those decisions can be made by those who attend. I welcome anyone with an interest.”
No preregistration is necessary. Easiest access to the conference room is through the lower parking lot entrance behind the hospital or the main entrance can be used.
Refreshments will be served. For further information contact Sr. Corinne Forsman, 962-3251.