SimMom prepares nursing students for labor and delivery

Categories: Allied Health, Back to School, General, Labor and Delivery, Mesa Campus, Nursing, Parenting Skills, Registered Nurse

SimMomPreparesLaborAndDeliveryImagine, you’re nearly 9 months pregnant while purchasing some last minute grocery items to stock your refrigerator before the highly anticipated arrival of your little bundle of joy.  When all of a sudden, your water breaks and contractions begin! While ditching your cart and waddling to your car, you call your partner, as it’s time to head to the hospital!  You arrive with your perfectly packed suitcase and begin the process of labor and delivery check-in.  Once in your labor and delivery room, the nurse and doctor perform an examination; you’re so close to meeting your little one!

With approximately 267 humans born each minute around the world, Labor and Delivery professionals truly have their hands full.  While birth stories vary to a great degree, most involve a combination of specially trained nurses, midwifes and/or physicians. The professionals are required to know, minute by minute, the health status of the laboring mother and that of the unborn child.  This process might seem daunting to some, but with real-world scenario training on High-Fidelity simulation manikins, healthcare professionals are well prepared for a wide variety of birthing scenarios that may require multiple plans of action.

Arizona College’s Department of Nursing is pleased to announce the newest addition to the simulation lab: SimMom!  SimMom is the latest innovation in full-body birthing simulation.  SimMom is a High Fidelity, anatomically precise manikin that is programmed to create a wide variety of extremely realistic labor and delivery scenarios.  One scenario that the SimMom is equipped to simulate is a postpartum hemorrhage, which is the leading cause of maternal death post-delivery, even in developed countries.  Arizona College nursing students use the knowledge received from their courses and experience during simulation laboratory and clinicals, to be prepared to care for a mother during labor and delivery.

A nursing education with high-fidelity manikins, such as with SimMom, provides incredible benefits to students.  SimMom allows nursing instructors to accommodate individual students or team learning environments at basic or advanced levels.  Learning how to make quick decisions during childbirth can mean the difference between life and death.  A nursing education that includes training with advanced simulation manikins, such as SimMom, provides the confidence needed to make fast and accurate decisions under pressure.

Nurses can work in a wide variety of settings including labor and delivery.  If you are interested in a Nursing Career and would like the education, experience and credentials required to begin working in the rewarding healthcare industry, contact Arizona College today.  Our Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is offered at our Mesa, AZ campus which includes modern facilities and simulation laboratories for a hands-on educational experience.

Healthy Toddlers: Taking Care of Tiny Teeth

Categories: Back to School, Dental Assisting, General, Healthcare, Healthy Living, Parenting Skills

TakingCareOfTinyTeethMany parents often wonder, “What should I do to care for my toddler’s teeth?” The truth is, many dentists recommend at-home dental care should start way before a toddler sprouts their first pearly white!  Amazingly, teeth are actually formed in the womb during the second trimester of pregnancy and reside in the jaw and gums where they await their big debut.   Proper cleaning and examination of an infant’s mouth can start any time after birth to develop good, lifelong oral health during all stages of development.

One of the first steps in cleaning your infant’s gums is to gently rub a clean washcloth along the top and bottom gum line.  This process can easily be done during your nightly bath time routine. You may find that when your infant is teething, they will look forward to this routine as it often soothes achy and swollen gums.  Wiping an infant’s gums physically removes any harmful bacteria build up and creates a feeling of trust.

Once you notice that your infant‘s first tooth has appeared, you should contact a Pediatric Dentist to schedule an appointment;   Pediatric Dentists specialize in early childhood and adolescent tooth and gum care.   One of the benefits of a Pediatric Dental office is that they are incredibly kid friendly. This helps because, many times, going to the dentist can feel intimidating, even for adults. They can have specialized cordless equipment that resembles animals or other fun objects, a playroom with movies on display screens and of course toys!  Depending on the age of your child and how many teeth have surfaced, the initial visit will typically include a simple polish of existing teeth surfaces, floss, fluoride treatment (if child is of appropriate age) and examination.  The dentist will give general guidelines and instructions for continued oral hygiene.

After a toddler has sprouted their first tooth, you can begin brushing with a pediatric toothbrush and training toothpaste (fluoride free).  This will create excitement for the child and also get them accustomed to the sensation of a toothbrush on their gums and teeth.  Around 2 years of age, a child can usually cognitively understand instruction and can begin to spit out regular fluoride toothpaste.  Under close supervision and assistance of an adult, an extremely small amount, no larger than the size of a pea, can be applied to the pediatric toothbrush during their tooth brushing routine.

Did you know that early childhood cavities are one of the leading diseases among children?  The good news is, there are some simple steps you can take to help prevent childhood cavities and tooth decay.  Remember these tips when caring for your infant and toddlers teeth:

  • Begin gum and tooth care early at infant stage
  • Schedule your child’s Pediatric Dental visit for twice per year
  • Follow good oral hygiene instructions early to develop positive dental habits
  • Avoid putting an infant or toddler to sleep with a bottle. The sugar in milk or juice can eat away enamel, which can cause a condition called “bottle mouth” resulting in pits and discoloration in teeth.
  • Follow healthy eating habits and limit sugary food and drink choices. If sugar is consumed, encourage your toddler to drink water and brush their teeth after consumption.

With a few small steps taken early in your child’s life, healthy teeth can have a lifelong benefit.  For more information regarding Pediatric Tooth Care, visit the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry website.

Do you like the idea of working with children?  Does becoming a Dental Assistant interest you?  If so, then a career in Pediatric Dentistry might be for you!  Arizona College, offers a Dental Assisting program that could help you achieve your goal of working with children in a dental setting.  With two conveniently located campuses in Glendale and Mesa, AZ, you can find a campus near you to begin your future today!

Boost your immune system this Fall

Categories: Allied Health, Back to School, General, Healthcare, Healthy Living, Medical Safety, Wise Health Consumer

Honey, cinnamon, ginger and lemon isolated on whiteSay goodbye to the lazy days of summer and triple digit heat…Say hello to cool, crisp morning and evening air as Fall has arrived!  Our favorite indications of Fall are here; everything pumpkin (pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie), Halloween, scare crows, corn mazes and just around the corner, Thanksgiving!  Unfortunately, the wonderful, highly anticipated change of weather often brings with it the unwelcomed cold and flu season.  Enjoy all the splendors of this Fall and boost your immune system to prevent unwanted colds and flus that make you feel under the weather.

The immune system is vitally important to overall health.  It protects the body from disease and other potentially harmful foreign bodies.  What can you do to boost your immune system this cold and flu season?

  • Manage stress levels-Too much stress increases the hormone Cortisol. If Cortisol levels remain high for a long period of time, it can suppress the immune system. Try practicing yoga to relax at the end of the day or make some lifestyle changes to minimize stress.
  • Get sufficient sleep-A good nights rest consisting of 7-8 hours of un-interrupted sleep is optimal. Sleep resets the immune system, increases t-cells and decreases inflammation-causing cells.
  • Avoid smoking-Smoking and secondhand smoke interrupts proper function of the immune system and increases the probability of bronchitis, pneumonia and cancer in the lungs.
  • Eat a well balanced diet-A diet that contains a wide variety of naturally occurring/minimally processed foods including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds provides the body with dense nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that support and help rebuild the immune system and it’s cells.
  • Get some sun-Sunlight prompts the skin to produce a natural form of vitamin D. A deficiency of vitamin D has been shown to increase the likelihood of contracting a respiratory infection. Sunlight is also a natural way to reduce stress and invigorate the body and soul.
  • Get moving-Exercise increases blood flow, oxygen intake, and muscle endurance, all of which have an amazing impact on the amount of oxygen available in the body.. The more oxygen available to your cells improves the functionality and efficiency of cells that fight infection and bacteria.
  • Eat garlic-Garlic is an amazing broad-spectrum, antimicrobial agent and immune booster. Garlic contains Allicin, which is a naturally occurring form of anti-biotic and is used in alternative medicine. Make sure you ingest the garlic raw for maximum benefit as heat reduces the effectiveness of key properties.
  • Hydrate-Drink at least 8 glasses of water each day to replenish the body and assist with the elimination of toxins. Water assists cells by providing much needed oxygen and helps the kidneys circulate fluid and remove contaminants. If caffeinated beverages are consumed, an equal portion of water should be consumed in addition to the recommended 8 glasses.

Many physicians recommend getting a yearly flu vaccine.  If vaccinated, it does not mean that you will not come down with the flu, however; typically the symptoms and the duration of the flu would not be as severe.  As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  By boosting your immune system in a few simple ways, your body will be well equipped to battle this year’s cold and flu season.

Does the world of medicine and healthcare interest you?  It takes a wide range of healthcare professionals to keep people healthy and prevent illness.  Arizona College offers allied health programs including Medical Assisting, Dental Assisting, Pharmacy Technician,Massage Therapy, Health Information Technician, Phlebotomy, and even aBachelor of Science in Nursing.  Contact us for information about starting a new healthcare career today!

What is Diabetes and how can it be prevented?

Categories: Allied Health, General, Healthcare, Important, Medical Safety

Glucose level blood testNovember is National Diabetes Awareness Month.  It is a month that the American Diabetes Association and other organizations try to raise awareness and offer support to those who are impacted by and are living with diabetes.  Diabetes affects nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States alone, and an additional 86 million Americans have pre-diabetes.  It is estimated that approximately $245 billion is spent annually diagnosing and treating diabetes each year within the United States.

Diabetes is a disease in which the body cannot metabolize and regulate sugar (glucose) properly in the blood.  There are 3 forms of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational.

  • Type 1 Diabetes is typically diagnosed in children and young adults and is often referred to as Juvenile Diabetes.  It is estimated that this form of diabetes affects 5% of the population.  With Type 1 Diabetes, the body cannot produce insulin, which is a hormone required to convert sugar or starch into energy.  With insulin medication therapy and a healthy lifestyle, Type 1 diabetes can easily be controlled.
  • Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.  Unlike those with Type 1 Diabetes, the bodies of those with Type 2 Diabetes make insulin.  However, either their pancreas fails to make enough or their body cannot utilize it properly to stabilize blood sugar levels.
  • Gestational Diabetes is when an expecting mother has high blood sugar levels.  It occurs with approximately 4% of pregnant women.  It is often screened for and diagnosed during the first trimester of pregnancy.  Typically after delivery, the condition dissipates.

Scheduling a yearly physical examination is beneficial for many reasons, including obtaining a blood workup to screen for out of range glucose levels that may lead to diabetes.   Some warning signs of diabetes include: increased thirst or hunger, dry mouth, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, and headaches.  If diabetes is not diagnosed and treated within the early stages, the body can experience major harm including nerve and blood vessel damage in the eyes, kidneys, and heart.  It can also cause hardening of the arteries in the heart that may lead to stroke or heart attack and dehydration due to the buildup of sugar in the blood stream.  Lastly, unregulated diabetes can lead to diabetic coma.

Becoming aware, following a few simple steps, and developing a healthy lifestyle may help prevent the onset of diabetes.  Controlling your weight, eating healthy well-balanced meals, limiting sugary foods and drinks, increasing water intake, staying physically active, avoiding smoking and limiting alcohol consumption are simple ways to stay healthy and decreases the likelihood of a diabetes diagnosis.

Medical Assistants work with physicians who diagnose and treat patients for aliments including diabetes.  Medical Assistants and Phlebotomists are trained to perform blood draws and finger pricks to screen for diseases, such as diabetes.  If the medical field interests you, Arizona College offers a Medical Assisting and Phlebotomy program that could help you start your new medical career.  Contact us for a tour of our modern facilities and laboratories and begin the journey to your new healthcare career today!

Allied Health Professions Week 2014

Categories: Allied Health, Career Services Coordinator, Dental Assisting, General, Health Information, Healthcare, Healthy Living, Massage Therapy, Medical Assisting, Pharmacy, Pharmacy Technician, Phlebotomy

Blog12-HiresEvery year, the health care community desires to create awareness for particular health care related professions, including Allied Health. November 3rd-9th, 2014, is a week dedicated to honoring all Allied Health Professionals.  This event honors the more than 3 million health care providers working in more than 80 allied health professions.  It promotes the celebration of allied health careers by providers, educators, and allied health accreditors.

Who are Allied Health Professionals? Allied Health Professionals provide patient care, which including the medical, dental and pharmacy fields.  They work within a team to make the health care system function effectively and efficiently by providing a wide range of diagnostic, technical, therapeutic, and direct patient care and support services.  These professionals are crucial to the health care providers they support and the patients they tend.  It is estimated that Allied Health Professionals make up approximately 60% of the health care workforce.

What are some important traits for Allied Health Professionals to demonstrate?

  • Communication-Allied Health Professionals communicate detailed information on a daily basis with the patient directly or other health care team members. Good communication skills, both verbal and in writing, are imperative to ensure the best patient care is given.
  • Passion- Patients and team members often observe more from body language than spoken language, so make sure your passion for your field is ignited. A positive attitude and passionate person are often required for a satisfying health care career.
  • Empathy-Understanding and relating to a patient’s feelings are important in making patients feel comfortable. When health care professionals respond empathetically to a patient’s feelings, the patient is more likely to follow and stay on their treatment plans. An Allied Health Professional who is empathetic will assist on reducing their patient’s anxiety about their visit.
  • Knowledge- Completing a degree or diploma from an accredited institution is one way to learn about work within the field. Seeking additional certification within the field of study is another way to further skills and knowledge. Completing continuing education courses, networking, joining a field related professional organization, or volunteering could increase knowledge within a profession. If an Allied Health Professional is knowledgeable about her profession, she will more likely have a long lasting and rewarding career.

At Arizona College, our programs are designed with Allied Health Professions in mind. Our programs are accredited through the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).  We offer many exciting programs that include both lecture and laboratory courses for the ultimate hands on learning experience.  Our programs include: Medical Assisting (degree and diploma), Dental Assisting, Massage Therapy, Pharmacy Technician, Health Information Technology and Health Information Specialist. With two conveniently located campuses in Glendale and Mesa, AZ, you can find a campus near you to begin your Allied Health training today!