Truth About the Healthcare System

Despite of political influence, there are a number of facts about the healthcare industry of USA that are not unveiled to the general public. There is a need of realization that there is a desperate need of change.  You might have heard few stories unveiling the truth of the healthcare system in USA. In this article I’ll unveil the facts that may start you to wonder.

  1. The Health Care System Cost Americans around 2.8 Trillion Dollars in 2013

Under the current reforms regarding health care system in US, it costed US 2.8 trillion dollars last year. The cost is still not settled and is expected to increase every year. The ever-increasing costs of health care system and the rising profits of health are corporations have all lead to bankruptcy and personal debt.

US spend more than twice as much per person on healthcare than any other developed country, but still, the quality of treatment is well below its level.  The control of US healthcare system continues to spiral downward. With reference to a report by Health Care for America Now, five biggest United States health insurance companies ended up with a combined profit of $12.2 billion in the end of 2009 year. It is a frightening scenario to even imagine the cost being spent in the healthcare industry in the coming years.

  1. 50 million people with no health insurance

Although, US spends highest recorded budget on healthcare than any other country in the world, there are still approximately 50 million people with no health insurance at all. Many people on salaries are not able to bare the health insurance cost. According to a middle-class American Citizen, Julie Shay, the insurance firms do not realize or care about what patients are going through.

They care more about their profits rather than providing cheap treatments to the patients. There are numerous patients who do not get care and are falling through the cracks. Too much money is spent by doctors on carrying out tests which are not needed. Lot money is wasted on inefficient claims processing as well.

  1. Due to preventable medical errors, up to 400,000 people are killed every year

Rather than being treated by US health care, many people are experiencing disasters. People who come to seek help and treatment in health care centres, ends up giving their lives due to the mishaps that could have been easily prevented. In 1999, the number of deaths due to preventable medical errors was 98,000 and today, the number of deaths has been increased to 400,000. It is a number beyond our imagination.

According to a CNN report of this April, at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, at least 40 US veterans were died waiting for appointments. Most of them were placed on a secret waiting list. After heart diseases and cancer, most people in US die because of preventable medical errors, making it the third-leading cause of death in US. According to healthcare industry leaders, these errors are difficult to be prevented as hospitals are a complex place. There is a need of accurately reporting of preventable errors in the healthcare industry.

Patients seek treatment which is potentially harmful to them. Too many people are suffering harm whereas the rising costs in healthcare industry are not proportional to the quality of treatment being served.

  1. $750 billion were wasted by US healthcare system

Around $750 billion were wasted in 2009 on expensive and useless treatments. That means 30 cents of every healthcare dollar was wasted. The money included the excessive administration cost, inefficiently delivered services and medical fraud as well. Lack of fully adopted medical records resulted in high corruption.

Besides that, higher cost options for treatment were chosen over the cheaper ones. Payments were made for services with no or little evidence that they will contribute to better health outcomes. Claims were made to third party insurance companies and no such services were delivered. The amount of money wasted by healthcare system was more than the Department of Defense spent in that year.

According to the report of Institute of Medicine, the amount of money that was wasted could have been spent to provide health insurance to 150 million workers. Above that, 75,000 deaths could have been prevented from that money. If the increasing healthcare costs would not be able to be controlled, the cost will trigger up to $4.5 trillion by 2019. There are thousands of American residents who cannot afford the treatments in the healthcare institutes, and to waste that much amount was tragic and devastating for these people. The US healthcare system needs better government reforms.

  1. In 2012 nearly 55 million people were underinsured

In 2012, out of 85 million people, 55 million were underinsured. These were the adults of between 19 years old to 64 years old. They did not have health insurance for the full year. These were the people who had health insurance but still struggled to pay their bills to health insurance companies. They had to face limits on various services and some services they had to pay were way too expensive to be afforded by a common man.

Mostly the people with lower income level were affected. They were underinsured and have to experience a time without health insurance. 72% of Americans who had to face underinsurance were the people with incomes under the 250% of poverty.

According to Commonwealth Fund, underinsured people spend 10% more of their income on medical expenses. Due to these reasons, more and more people underinsured people refrained themselves from going to hospitals and did not undergo preventive checkups or lab tests. Even when they did, they were not able bare all their medical expenses which eventually cost lives of hundreds of people. Although, there is a lot of disagreement on funding and structure of new healthcare reforms but there is an immediate need of healthcare reforms to happen.

Intro to Natural Disasters

Intro to Natural DisastersNatural disasters are the effects of a natural hazard. It negatively affects the lifestyle, the land, the economy and has long-term consequences. Natural disasters can be caused by naturally occurring events. They usually occur when the earth’s natural processes concentrate energy and then release it. In reality, they are just internal process of earth’s energy flow but when they occur, these natural processes becomes natural disasters.

They are events that lead to hardships, sufferings and awful tragedies. The consequences can be critical damage to infrastructure such as destruction of roads, bridges, buildings, houses etc. It can also result into limitless injuries and even deaths. They have negative influence on businesses as well. The cost of rebuilding the business and infrastructure is a solemn problem for the sufferers of natural disasters. The adverse effects of economy leave some of the longest-lasting trauma.

The areas affected by natural disaster are beyond repair or takes a lot of time to become liveable again. Scientists and geologists put together a lot of effort in predicting major disasters, with all the technology available, and prevent as much damage as possible.

Natural disasters include earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, tsunami, drought etc.

  • Earthquake

Earthquake is a result of sudden release of energy that causes a sudden shake and collision of earths’ plates. The magnitude of vibration varies each time. Earthquakes usually occur at the boundaries where the plates met each other. Earthquakes can result in collapsing of buildings and bridges. It may cause deaths and injuries in a populated area. After an earthquake, aftershocks may also occur causing the further damage.

  • Flood

Flood is submerging of dry land due to overflow of water. It is temporarily covering of dry land with water. It is caused by the overflowing of water bodies such as a river or lake. Floods often cause damage to the homes and businesses located near the banks of river. The crops located near river are usually destroyed. The damage can be reduced by emigrating away from the banks of river.

  • Hurricane

A hurricane is a severe tropical storm which exceeds a constant speed of at least 74 miles per hour. They are accompanied by thunderstorms. A hurricane brings high winds, heavy rain and surging storm. Floods caused by heavy rain throughout a hurricane can cause severe damage and loss of life. More dangerous than the flood can be winds of hurricane which can devastate coastal communities.

  • Tsunami

Tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of water. They are caused by the earthquakes that occur in water bodies. They usually occur in a sea or ocean. The adverse effects of tsunami are quite similar to the effects of a flood.

  • Drought

Drought occurs due to deficiency of water supply in an area in extended period of time. It can even last for years. It can also reduce water quality. It has devastating effects on the surroundings and the communities nearby. Crops are destroyed and it leads to migration of local communities.

What to Expect while Travelling to Africa

What to Expect while Travelling to AfricaSometimes it can be a challenge to know what to expect while travelling to Africa. Africa is a beautiful and amazing continent with the friendliest and warm-hearted people. It offers some of the most attractive land, scenery, food and people. You might be scared of myths and misconceptions heard in the West but it is quite other way around. In Africa, try not to compare the things with your homeland and be a bit liberal about the things here. This will eventually help you have a care-free and pleasurable tour.

One of the things most common things you face in Africa is the unwanted attention. Local people there stare you as you are some kind of aliens to them. Although, there are places where many tourists visit quite often, but still, people will stare at you. By staring they certainly mean no harm to you and it is just the curiosity for the most part. If you are a woman, you might be naturally frightened when a group of men stare at you, but in Africa, it is not like that. Just try to ignore the stares and enjoy the tour.

Begging is another thing you will notice a lot in Africa due to the high poverty. You might not know how to respond to the beggars when you visit Africa. Mostly, just try to keep a bit of change but for children, who are begging, try to provide them with food instead of money as they eventually end up giving money to their parents or a gang leader.

Furthermore, people in Africa will try to offer you an unwanted service in deceitful way. Generally, people are poorer than you – they get attracted towards your money. They are just trying to earn their living, so, rather than further dealing with them, try to avoid them. Local Africans in towns will also offer you to exchange currency by offering you a better rate than the banks there. Do not exchange money with those people. This is an illegal way of exchanging money. Other than that you might be robbed as well. Just do not show your belongings, especially money and jewellery, to anyone or you might just wind up losing all your belongings to a robber.

Moreover, do not expect anything to be free in Africa. If a person offers you a free service he might end up charging you in deceitful way. Taxi drivers might also misguide you on your very first day in Africa.  If you are travelling alone, try to make a reservation for the hotel before you arrive or else taxi driver might convince you to stay in a hotel of their choice for the commission he would be earning from the hotel owners. The hotel can be pleasant but still might not suit you.

Health and safety are big concerns while travelling anywhere. It is the same while travelling to Africa. Most of the countries in Africa are not dangerous, but in some countries there might be a threat of a terrorist attack or life-threatening diseases. So, while travelling to some of these countries in Africa, precautions should be taken accordingly.

Keys to Healthy Aging

Keys to Healthy AgingIn my career I’ve nursed many older people and seen how they battle medical conditions. Taking care of your body at younger age can prevent problems when you get older. Aging does not necessitate that you should be afflicted with various medical conditions. A healthy lifestyle will certainly help you out when you age. Getting older includes lots of changes both of the positive type and negative category too. From the healthy older people I‘ve seen, it is possible to enjoy aging, if you listen to your body and take the needed steps to keep your health.

Changes you notice as you age

When you age, there are several changes that happen to all parts of your body. While the positive changes are good, don’t let the negative ones catch you unawares.

For instance, the bones are the most commonly affected part as you age. They become brittle as you age and this is more pronounced in case of women. The thinning of bones is called as osteoporosis. You get decreased bone mass, which can lead to increased risk of fracture, if you fall. You need to consult your physician to prevent this condition.

The heart is the next in line of parts that see the most changes. A regular diet and exercise keeps the heart ticking happily. As you age, the size may increase with a lowered heart rate, and you can also see thickening of the walls in the heart.

Brain and the nervous system are also affected by old age. There are changes in reflexes and senses. Dementia is a commonly seen condition in old age. Some people experience a mild amount of memory loss as they age. This is due to the damage in the brain cells and the nerves, which leads to tangles or plaques forming in the cells.

Digestive system turns more rigid and firm, which makes it less flexible and there are reduced contractions, which can lead to stomach pain, constipations and nausea. Changing your diet to a fiber rich one and refraining from refined foods and foods with high starch content should be followed to prevent this.

Senses, particularly hearing and vision dull as you age. You will not be able to see or hear as clearly as you did before. You can start losing your taste sense, sense of touch and smell too. Your body takes more time to react and also needs more stimuli for activation.

Your teeth too experience the effects of aging. The enamel or outer covering of teeth wears away as you age, leaving you more susceptible to cavity formation; Gums are also more prone to diseases. A good dental hygiene will take care of your teeth and also prevent gum disease. Dry mouth is a condition that affects people when they take some medications.

The skin is the organ that shows visible signs of aging. It will lose its elasticity and start to wrinkle and sag. By protecting your skin from the harmful ultra violet rays and abstaining from habits like smoking will keep the skin young and glowing. Also proper protection from sun can prevent occurrence of skin cancer.

Sexual experience also wanes as you age. Especially in women after they attain menopause there are physical changes like reduced vaginal lubrication. For men, the most common problem with aging is erectile dysfunction. But both problems can be treated effectively.

As you can see there are several changes that take place, but you should not that these changes need not slow your pace. By keeping your body healthy and protected, you can avoid most of the problems that are associated with aging.

What you should practice

It is important to look after your physical health to age in a healthy way and also to enjoy the maturity you get with aging. I know certain ways on how to stay physically fit.  I recommend strength training for increased muscle tone.  By taking up good activities and diet, you can reap the benefits of a healthy life.

Here are some tips that will help you out

  • Regular exercise is must for all age groups and particularly when you age. I recommend exercising martial arts, as it helps you to stay strong both physically and mentally too.
  • An active social life with family and friends and also within the community will help you keep you mind active and also get the inspiration to stay healthy.
  • A healthy, nutritious and well balanced daily diet can bring about great changes to your body. Junk food should be avoided totally. Low fat, low cholesterol and high fiber foods are the best foods that keep you hale and hearty.
  • Regular health checkups are must. You should make regular appointments with your physician, dentist and ophthalmologist as you age. Taking the medications prescribed regularly will keep you from debilitating conditions.
  • Quit smoking and restrict alcohol to bare minimum, so you avoid risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Proper sleep is must as most old people suffer from insomnia. Check with your physician on getting a good and peaceful sleep, as it can make great difference in how you are feeling.

Taking care of what you eat is also important. I’d recommend living a green lifestyle to stay healthy. While you take up physical exercise and a good diet, you should also tend to your emotional health. Enjoying each and every day and savoring your good health is what you will do, if you plan out on your activities early in life.  Regular physical activity and a well-planned exercise routine is one of the healthiest things that you can do for your body and mind.

Even moderate amount of physical activity or exercise can bring about a change in the health of people who are weak or have debilitating aging conditions. Improved health and being independent in your old age is possible, if you take up regular physical exercise. Studies have found that regular exercise can retain the cognitive functions like being able to shift between tasks or planning a particular activity or ignoring information that is not needed. Improved mood and less stress is also a benefit when you take up a healthy lifestyle.

The Power of Encouragement

The Power of EncouragementLife does throw some really hard challenges at us, when we are not up to facing them. But still we do get help from the least expected sources, which I think is how God had meant it all to be. I chanced upon this quote of Alexander Graham Bell, “When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us” and thought how true it is. Some time ago I had to nurse a patient (John) who had hurt himself, while at work. He was a construction worker and had a hard and back breaking job. He had torn apart nails and a few other injuries in his hand and legs from the accident.

While tending to him, I found out that he not only had physical injuries, but had some emotional issues that were plaguing him to no end. He would often stare out aimlessly and not respond to my queries. Slowly he started to change after several attempts on my part. I used the power of encouragement to bring him to a stage where he started to come out of his deep depressed state.

I always make it a point to appreciate and understand the immense value encouragement can bring to an individual. Words are so powerful that they can break you easily or drive you towards success easily. But one thing is for sure. Words uttered in hatred cannot be got back and can cause more pain than any physical injury.

When we voice our positive thoughts, it gives the receiver a big ray of hope and inspiration. This is what happened in case of John. He fortunately was ready to listen to my words and maybe needed it desperately at that time. He realized that in time things will change for better and that he’d bigger and greater things were lying in wait for him eagerly.

I know that all of us need encouragement and support in our work, personal life and whatever we do, how small a task it may be. We need someone to appreciate our effort and encourage us and console us saying that everything would turn out right. And there are times of depression that we need a helping hand to pull us out from the dark and ugly dungeons of our negative thoughts.  When you’re surrounded by people with positive thoughts, you can feel you’re stronger than what you really are and can take on the world single handedly. It certainly makes you a better person all around.

Sometime later, I’d a letter from John. He was full of gratitude and said that I’d done a great deal of help to him and that he’s going to marry a girl he had just met – professional nail technician, Lucy. After reading the letter, I was happy for him and glad that everything had turned out well. Fate does have its own ironical ways to people’s hearts.

Strength and Conditioning Training

Strength and Conditioning TrainingThere are thousands of ways to exercise but a good workout routine should strengthen your muscles and condition your body to be ready for anything. CrossFit is one of the few programs out there that can offer you both of those things in one fast and efficient workout.

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit combines speed and strength training with plyometrics (or, jump training). It also includes weight lifting, gymnastics, endurance training, kettle bells, and much more to get your body in its peak condition. The goal of a complete CrossFit program is to improve cardiorespiratory health, endurance, strength, stamina, speed, flexibility, balance, agility, accuracy, and coordination.

The basic program requires between three and five workouts per week. However, due to their high intensity, one workout only takes about 5 to 15 minutes to do. This makes it ideal for those with a tight schedule that doesn’t allow for hours and hours of exercise. As long as you can find 15 minutes to spare somewhere in your schedule, you can successfully complete a CrossFit program and gain all the benefits it provides.

Health Benefits of CrossFit

There are so many amazing benefits of CrossFit training that it’s hard to know where to begin talking about them. First of all, there are so many different exercises and many of them don’t require any sort of equipment. So, you can do CrossFit even if you don’t have the time or money to go to the gym or invest in a bunch of equipment.

Plus, there are variations of the CrossFit program that are designed specifically for specific sports so if you are an athlete (or just enjoy doing a specific sport in your free time), you can find the perfect CrossFit program to add to your training routine. To read more about all the health benefits you can gain from CrossFit training, and also some info about crossfit apparel, I recommend you to check out this website.

CrossFit Exercises

There are a number of different exercises included in the program and it’s this variety that helps keep you motivated and excited about your workout. Below, you can read about a few of the possible exercises you can do but to learn more about the full program, you should check out the original source.

One of my favorite CrossFit exercises is the Snatch. This is a weightlifting exercise where you start with a weighted bar on the ground and then rapidly pull it off the floor and up over your head until your arms a straight (but your elbows are not locked). Do a few repetitions of this and you will be surprised how quickly you build up strength.

Another staple exercise of the program is known as Burpees. This exercise uses only your body weight so you can do it anywhere. You begin in the standing position and then quickly drop to the floor to do a push-up. After you complete a full push-up, get into the squatting position and jump straight up into the standing position again. This gets your blood pumping quickly and it’s perfect to do in the morning before you take a shower.

Health Benefits of Martial Arts

Health Benefits of Martial ArtsAs a nurse I heard stories from patients who are stressed out and who also want to lose weight and improve their moods. I’m not the biggest fan of using mainstream prescription drugs and therefore I try not to recommend them to patients. One thing I recommend is martial arts because it makes for good cardio and it is a great way to relieve stress in your life.

My son attends Brazilian jiu jitsu training and based on pictures of him, he looks and feels healthy all around. He looks so manly in his bjj apparel – I can definitely say that attending martial arts made him the look and act like the Man should. Here are some health benefits of martial arts:

Your Heart Health Improves

Exercise is important in improving your heart health and martial arts are great in doing this. When your cardiovascular system doesn’t operate properly you experience weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath and possibly heart failure. When you do a few martial arts exercises you get the blood pumping through the heart.

Weight Loss And Better Muscles

Did you know that by engaging in regular martial arts you can burn 500 calories each day? This makes martial arts just as helpful as brisk walking or getting on the treadmill. Since martial arts requires heavy use of your muscles, you also build strong muscle mass over a period of time.

You Just Might Save Your Life

There will be times when you’ll have to defend yourself in a fight on the street against someone and you can use some of the same techniques in martial arts to defend yourself provided that the other person does not have a weapon on hand.

You’re In A Better Mood

On the days when you’re upset about problems at work or with your spouse, it would be a good idea to visit a martial arts center and do some kickboxing and other exercises because martial arts improves your mood. By doing this you let off a lot of inner steam and you’re less likely to lash out in a bout of frustration.

My Visit To Hospital Promoting Healthier Lifestyle

My Visit To Hospital Promoting Healthier LifestyleI visited a hospital after my toes were hurting really bad due to arthritis and one of the nurses gave me some medical herbs. Well I was surprised and got curious where she got that fresh looking herb. The nurse said that they are grown in the hospital using power efficient LED grow lighting. I asked her how this idea came about and she said that the hospital director decided to radically change hospital’s philosophy.

First of all, he read a few articles about the topic on specific website. He compared LED grow lights with HPS and decided that LED will do better. The nurse mentioned that in order to cut down on hospital food waste, they scrape off and save as much food as possible so that they can send it to the local compost to be used as plant fertilizer. This hospital also uses reusable and washable needles in place of the regular ones.

Medical Equipment Gets Reused

The amount of machines that are thrown out of hospitals turn to unnecessary waste and the nurse at the hospital mentioned that for the past year the hospital has been repairing and reusing their medical equipment instead of purchasing the latest models which may not be any better than the older models. This saved the hospital tons of money and it’s an example of how the medical field is catching on to sustainable living.

Growing Medical Herbs

This hospital’s staff believes that sustainable living goes beyond just cutting out excess waste; they also believe it means promoting holistic health for all of its’ patients. For this reason they grow all kinds of medical herbs such as garlic, ginger, mint, basil, thyme, burdock root, ginseng, St. John’s wort, garcinia cambogia and numerous others in the yard behind the hospital. Naturopathic doctors tend to the garden and they offer counsel for patients seeking medical advice.

Recycling As Way Of Life

As I spoke with other doctors at the hospital, they talked about how recycling is a major part of going green and that they recycle all plastic products, cardboard, glass products and blank sheets of paper so that they can bring it to the local recycling center.

Additional Ways Hospitals Are Going Green

Most hospitals are now seeking ways to cut back on waste and promote healthier lifestyles and they’re doing it by cutting back on water usage, using only green friendly products, and installing green friendly fixtures in the hospital. Some hospitals have motion sensor lighting that goes off when someone walks in the hospital.

Benefits of Hospitals Going Green

One benefit of hospitals going green is that it saves them money because the money is not going towards equipment and other items that will end up a waste in the long run. Another benefit is that it promotes alternative ways to get and stay healthy as seen in the hospital that grows medical herbs. When hospitals become sustainable they can maintain medical records thanks to the use of an electronic database to store patients’ medical information.


I’m glad to notice that more hospitals are becoming sustainable and they’re offering patients medicines that go beyond the usual prescriptions. This is probably going to be a part of hospitals for years to come.

How to Show Care for Patients

How to Show Care for PatientsIn hospitals, it is integral for doctors and nurses alike to show compassion and provide adequate care for their patients in order to make them comfortable and speed up the recovery process. A patient in pain and distress is always resistant to medical treatment as the excruciating pain makes them act irrationally. It is therefore the medical staff’s duty to handle the patient calmly and provide timely support in order to ease the pain. An effective way to show care for patients is to improve doctor-patient relation; which will help the doctor in dealing the patient with ease.

The best way to show care to patients is to educate them about their medical condition and ask their opinion and suggestions regarding the operation to be performed. This effective method boosts the patient’s confidence and incorporates a feeling of trust between the doctor and patient. Furthermore, listening to the patient’s is another way to show them that you care as it gives them an opportunity to provide feedback and helps the staff improve their services.

Another way to care for patients is to be ever present, listen to them and fulfill their need, as this helps them get comfortable and deal with their treatment.

An effective way to show care to patients is to demonstrate empathy and handle them with compassion. This helps boost the patient’s morale and shows the patient the positive intentions of the medical staff towards them and their commitment towards their work. Providing empathy can further remove complaints of malpractice as the patient is assured of the quality of treatment and that the staff understands of their condition.

Once, I had a very assuring example of difference in mentality of thinking. Back in time, when I was doing my usual job at hospital, my attention was drawn by the new nurse our hospital agreed upon for taking on practice. She was really beautiful and charming, so I decided to become acquainted with her. My short talk with her showed me that she was very accommodating, but empty inside.

At that time there was a patient who made a commotion – he gained an injury and his legs was in gypsum. Imagine yourself being a tourist in a different country, walking in the street and then suddenly waking up in the hospital. Yes, I made my research on this fellow, but me and doctor decided to give the new nurse a try to show off. As you’d imagine, Stephanie (it was her name) tried to speak up to patient, smiling, trying to charm him. That didn’t work. The patients panic level just increased.

Next was my turn. I just sat there and listened to his complaints. This man was from Latvia and he worked as a engineer at Citrus Solutions. A very good lad indeed, he was just shocked by the sudden events. Sometimes listening can be worth a thousand words.

Care and support is an important job requirement for medical staff as it helps build a positive relation with the patient. By providing timely care and treatment, recovery process of the patients is boosted and it removes any doubts about malpractice in the patient’s mind. Caring for the patient also helps build trust which goes a long way in the treatment of the patient as they are less resistance to the treatments being provided by the doctors. It is therefore important for all medical personnel to show genuine concern and care towards their patients in all matters.