Rehab Open House set for Feb. 16
The St. Mary’s Hospital Cardiac Rehab program is inviting everyone to their Open House next Wednesday, February 16th from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Speakers will include Dr. Jeremy Ostrander, Deanna English, RN, and Kevin Conger, Certified Dietary Technician. Coupons for a free lipid panel will also be distributed. Blood pressure checks, blood glucose screens and an O2 test will be available at no charge. Attendees will also receive a free key chain flashlight, a refrigerator magnet listing the signs and symptoms of heart attacks and strokes and a pedometer.
According to the American Heart Association cardiovascular diseases, including strokes are the nation’s Number One killer. While heart disease and stroke kill one in every 3.7 men, one in 2.4 women lose their lives to heart disease and stroke.
“It’s never too early or too late to focus on our cardiac health,” said Mary Watson, RN, Coordinator, St. Mary’s Hospital Cardiac Rehab program. “Because February is National Heart Health Month we’d like to capitalize on people’s raised awareness and focus on achieving and maintaining good cardiovascular health. We’d also like to raise people’s awareness about the signs and symptoms of stroke and heart attack.”
Dr. Ostrander is the Medical Director of the program. He will be available for questions and answers after his presentation. Deanna English, Certified Massage Therapist and Yoga Instructor, will speak about stress and relaxation breath in relation to cardiovascular health.
According to Watson, the Cardiac Rehab program works with patients who’ve experienced a cardiovascular event helping them achieve their full potential for well being and a healthy outcome through a monitored exercise and education program.
Other cardiac rehab staff include Shelly Lothspeich; RN, Jana Frei, RN; Faunda Butler, Respiratory Therapist; and Karla Enneking, Cardiac Rehab technician.
“On behalf of the staff I want to encourage people, whether they have cardiac issues or not, to attend our Open House from 1:00 to 3:00 in the room across from the Chapel. I can guarantee that everyone will learn something and what they learn may make a huge difference in their life and health. The more we know about our cardiovascular health, the better choices we make whether they be lifestyle choices or the choice when and if to come to the ER,” said Watson. For more information or questions contact her at 962-3251 extension 2233.
Appointments available for Ladies Night Out
The SMH Cottonwood Medical Clinic is still accepting appointments for this year’s first Ladies-Night-Out on Wednesday, February 16th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. All women are welcome to have their annual exam that evening while also enjoying female camaraderie, free goody bags, refreshments and heart health information. Appointments for an annual wellness exam can be made by calling the Cottonwood Clinic, 962-3267.
Each of the four upcoming events this next year are paid for through the St. Mary’s Hospital third Komen for the Cure grant from their Boise affiliate. The theme for the February evening is Heart Health for Women. Leah Kludt, RN, BSN, CVRN will be the featured presenter. She holds a cardiac specialty with a cardiac-vascular certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She is the RN coordinator for the Women’s Heart Health Program at the International Heart Institute of Montana in Missoula. The program, established four years ago, has over 800 participants. She is also an SMH clinic nurse.
“Prevention is the key to reducing the likelihood of cardiovascular disease. We all should know what are our risk factors are and what lifestyle choices we make to lower our risk,” said Kludt who has also presented at a variety of conferences. Last February she attended the National Women’s Heart Health convention in Washington, DC. “It is also extremely important to recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack for women because they can be different than a man’s.”
According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease is the leading killer of women over age 25, but only 13 percent of women think heart disease is a threat to their health. A recent study reported that the top five symptoms reported by women included unusual fatigue, trouble sleeping, shortness of breath, indigestion, and anxiety. The AHA says recognizing and treating a heart attack right away dramatically improves a patient’s chance for survival. The typical American, male or female, waits two hours before calling for help.
“Hopefully, women will attend our February evening and learn more about cardiovascular health. It’s extremely important and we’re fortunate that Leah will be there to answer any questions and provide potentially lifesaving heart health information,” said Stephanie Wagner, SMH clinics manager, who is working with the Cottonwood Medical Clinic admit staff to plan this year’s events.
Wilson to make presentation
Sharing information about Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) with farmers and ranchers is not only a passion for Megan Wilson, it’s also a school assignment. Wilson, a Family Nurse Practitioner and a Pediatric Nurse practitioner in the clinics administered by St. Mary’s Hospital, says she usually uses the term ‘blood clots’ when talking with her patients and presenting to area agricultural workers.
“I am working on my doctorate of Nursing Practice which is a clinically based Doctorate, different from a PhD which is more research oriented,” said Wilson. “I decided to do my research project on DVT because over the past several years I have seen a number of farmers who were diagnosed after sitting in a tractor or combine for an extended period of time. These DVTs are potentially preventable. My project includes working in the clinic and out in the community educating people about the risks and prevention strategies for DVTs.” The Camas Prairie has a higher incidence of DVT than the national average, according to Wilson.
She was on last Monday’s agenda for the ‘cereal school’ coordinated by Ken Hart, crop specialist with the University of Idaho Extension Service. The program, designed for farmers and ranchers, was held at Greencreek Community Center. Over 60 people heard her message not only about DVT, but also about skin cancer.
She began her talk with a definition of lower extremity DVT which is a blood clot which forms in the leg. They can migrate to the lungs as a pulmonary embolism which can potentially cause death. The incidence of DVT is higher on the Camas Prairie than the nation’s average.
Risk factors include immobility for long periods of time, dehydration and sitting with legs bent at 120 degrees with feet off the floor. Signs and symptoms include lower leg pain, one calf larger than the other, swelling and redness of the lower leg and lower leg tenderness. Prevention strategies include frequent exercising against resistance, fluid intake, quitting tobacco use, sitting with feet touching the floor and wearing graduated compression stockings. Wilson pointed out that taking aspirin has not been proven effective in warding off DVTs.
She is slated to speak again on Tuesday, March 1 at the Legion Hall in Nezperce at a grower meeting coordinated by Nezperce Agriculture. For more information Wilson can be reached through the SMH Cottonwood Medical Clinic, 962-3267.
Shears is employee of the month
Theresa Shears, LPN, was first hired as a nurses’ aide at St. Mary’s Hospital in 1964 when it was located in the older three story building. ‘I remember the ER was on the third floor and the oxygen was in tanks rather than being piped in. It was not very convenient and the building was so old it used to creak which made it a very noisy place to recover,” said Shears. “It’s a lot quieter now, especially with the new carpet which is also easier on our feet.”
After working at SMH for two years Shears moved to Washington where she attended Big Ben Community College earning her Licensed Practical Nurse degree in 1967. “I remember being trained by Sister Mercedes when the sisters were very active in the day to day work of the hospital. She really taught me what I needed to know when it came to patient care. She was a good teacher.”
After returning to Idaho, Shears worked at both SMH and St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston prior to serving for 17 years with Dr. Imhoff in his clinic practice. She rejoined the SMH staff 20 years ago as an inpatient nurse in 1991. “I enjoyed clinic nursing and it was handy while I was raising my children because it was daytime work, but I really love hospital nursing the best. I love taking care of patients, seeing them improve and then able to return home.” She works the day shift, five days per week.
Shears and the other hospital nurses are learning use of the new Pixus system which is programmed for prescription medication dispensing. It is designed to reduce medication errors and help with documentation of prescription meds.
When she is not working Shears enjoys sewing, gardening, camping and spending time with her family including her husband, David, one daughter and three sons and their spouses, plus her two granddaughters and seven grandsons. She and her husband live outside of Craigmont past the old townsite of Westlake.
Her nomination form was full of praise saying, she puts the patients best interest first by showing compassion and concern…her focus is her patients when she is at work and she gives all of herself to them. When asked if any patient stood out in her mind from her years as a nurse, she was quick to reply, “They all do. Every day I feel I chose the right profession. I can’t imagine ever doing anything else.”