Author Archives: Rex Healthcare

Keep Bugs at Bay

If the warm temperatures and sunshine beckon you outdoors this summer, don’t let biting bugs drive you back inside. Wearing insect repellent is one way to help protect you and your loved ones from the bite of pesky — and sometimes dangerous — bugs.

Why repellent?

062414_bugtbite1Some mosquitoes and ticks transmit viruses or bacteria that may cause diseases like Lyme disease, West Nile virus and St. Louis encephalitis when they bite you. In addition to wearing long sleeves and long pants and avoiding bug-friendly habitats like tall grass and standing water, applying insect repellent to skin can keep bugs from landing on you. To choose the best repellent for you, consider the insects you’ll be exposed to, the length of protection you need and the active ingredient. The higher the concentration of the active ingredient, the longer the protection.

Active ingredients

The most common and effective active ingredient is DEET. An EPA data review in 1998 confirmed that when users follow product label instructions, DEET poses no health concerns to humans. Many products promise protection of about two and a half hours, depending on concentration. Experts suggest that a concentration higher than 30 percent offers no additional protection.

062414_bugtbite3Other EPA-approved active ingredients include picaridin and several plant-based oils. Picaridin may be as effective as DEET according to recent studies, but there is no data showing long-term safety results. Further research is needed to understand how well the active ingredient repels ticks, as well. Plant-based insect repellents are made from the essential oils of citronella, cedar, eucalyptus and soybeans, with oil of lemon eucalyptus being the most effective. These products may offer protection for up to two hours. There are also citronella-scented candles that you can put outside of your home to make sitting outdoors more enjoyable.

062414_bugtbite2Application safety

  • Always read the product label and follow the directions.
  • Use just enough to cover exposed skin. Do not apply under clothing.
  • Avoid applying on or near eyes, mouth, ears and open sores.
  • Do not spray directly to face or in an enclosed area.
  • Wash skin and clothing with soap and water once you return indoors.

If you do get a bug bite that needs to be treated, Rex Express Care Centers are the perfect place to go. Check out our list of locations to find the nearest Rex Express Care to your home.

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Recipe: Fruit Pizza

Are you a pizza lover? Add more fresh fruit to your day with this fruit-inspired dessert pizza.

Number of servings: 12

062414_fruitpizzaIngredients

  • ½ cup margarine
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg (large)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, nonfat or light
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced (or kiwi, bananas, pears, peaches or blueberries)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. To make the crust: Cream margarine, sugar, vanilla and egg until light and fluffy.
  3. Add flour and baking powder, mixing well.
  4. Spread mixture about 1/8-inch thick on a pizza pan, baking sheet, or 9-inch by 13-inch pan.
  5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool.
  6. Mix together cream cheese and sugar. Spread on cooled cookie crust.
  7. Arrange fruit on top of pizza. Refrigerate until serving time.

Serves 12. Per serving: 240 calories, 8 g fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 310 mg sodium, 36 g total carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 19 g sugar, 6 g protein, 8 percent vitamin A, 15 percent vitamin C, 10 percent calcium, 6 percent iron.

recipefinder.nal.usda.gov

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Get Fired Up about Safe Grilling

052814_grill2When summer winds come blowing in, you can bet the aroma of grilling will be in the air. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, three out of four households own grills. Ensure your backyard barbecues are safe for your family and friends by sparking your knowledge about food and grill safety.

Make sure frozen meat, poultry or seafood is thawed before grilling so that it cooks evenly. The refrigerator works best for slow, safe defrosting. You may also place sealed packages of frozen meat in cold water to thaw. Never defrost meat at room temperature, as this can promote bacteria growth and foodborne illness.

052814_grill4Marinades can boost the flavor of meat and help keep it moist. You can marinate meat for several hours or a day or two in the refrigerator. As with defrosting, the kitchen counter is no place to marinate meat. If you plan to use a portion of the marinade for cooked food, make sure to boil the marinade for at least three minutes to kill any bacteria.

Marinade bonus: Not only can marinades enhance flavor, they may provide health benefits. Marinating meats before grilling may reduce cancer-causing substances that occur when meat is charred over high heat. In addition, some marinades contain antioxidants and vitamins that may offer protection against heart disease and cell and tissue damage.

052814_grill3Scrub the grilling surface with a wire grill brush to remove any charred food. Have plenty of clean grilling utensils and platters on hand, and prevent the spread of harmful bacteria by using different platters and utensils for raw meat and cooked meat. Thoroughly wash your hands with warm, soapy water after handling raw meat.

Instruct children to stay away from the grill, and keep pets away from the grilling area. Set up your barbecuing station in a well-ventilated area and only use approved fire starters with a charcoal grill. Let the starter fluid burn off before putting food on the grill, and keep a squirt bottle of water nearby to douse any flare-ups. When heating up the grill and flipping food, wear flameproof mitts and use cooking utensils with long handles.

Heat meat to a safe internal temperature to kill bacteria. Use a food thermometer and place it in the deepest part of the meat to determine if it’s done (see chart). Turn meat at least once during the cooking process, and make sure it is no longer pink inside.

052814_grill1When food has reached a safe temperature, remove the meat with clean tongs and place it on a clean platter. Serve food as soon as possible after cooking. In hot weather, food should never sit out for more than one hour. Immediately refrigerate any leftovers in shallow containers.

Now you’re ready to make grilling season a breeze! By following these health and safety tips, you’ll know your grill has the sweet smell of success.

Ready to Serve?

Food                                                                                        Cook to at Least…

Whole poultry and thighs                                                           180°F

Poultry breasts                                                                          170°F

Ground poultry                                                                         165°F

Pork (all cuts), ground beef hamburgers                                     160°F

Beef, veal, lamb steaks, roasts and chops, fish and seafood       145°F

 

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The Sun’s Out: Seek Protection and Be Sun Smart!


052714_meridethprofilePost by Meredith Brown, Rex Wellness Centers intern for the Summer of 2014. Meredith is a senior at East Carolina University majoring in Public Health with a concentration in Community Health.

The summer is just around the corner and for most of us that means weekend trips to the beach, hanging by the pool, evening walks, and grilling out with family and friends. While the summer brings fun in the sun it can also bring some not so fun times – SUNBURN.

052714_sunscreen1As a child, my mom would apply the sunscreen every hour. I was taken care of and had no need to worry. As I reached my teenage years, sitting by the pool or beach getting bronzed became fun and something I loved about summer months. In high school, I went on a beach trip with friends.  At this age, I rarely bothered with using sunscreen because I only wanted darker skin and I thought sunscreen was blocking the sun from me altogether-I was very wrong! Needless to say, I got burned. Severely burned! Sitting out in the sun for 7 hours with no protection in my cute bikini was not the best idea.

I still love being in the sun as it gives me time to relax and read – two things I rarely have time for these days!  Although now, I have learned from many severe sunburns that not using sunscreen all can be very damaging to my skin and my future.

Here are some helpful tips for beach trips, pool days, and days out in the sun during the summertime:

  • 052714_sunscreen2The experts say that using the ridiculously high SPF sunscreens are useless. Instead, go for a SPF between 15 and 60.
  • Remember to reapply every 2-3 hours. Many sunscreens rub off and fade away after periods of time so continue to reapply throughout the day, especially when jumping in and out of water.
  • Pay attention to the ingredients in your sunscreen products.
  • Always protect your face.  Apply sunscreen and pack a hat or umbrella to seek coverage when you need an escape from the sun.
  • Each sunburn can double your chance of skin cancers, especially sunburns in your youth.

Always remember to be responsible when enjoying the sun this summer. Use sunscreen and have fun!

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Rex Encourages the Breastfeeding Journey

Jennifer Majors, IBCLC, RN, is a Lactation Consultant at Rex Healthcare. Prior to being an IBCLC, she was a Pediatric RN. Jennifer and her husband have three boys.

Breastfeeding is a hot topic these days, from the rise of milk banks to Gieselle Bundchen’s instagram photo that shows that supermodels can breastfeed too. There was also a recent report that announced that only 16.4% of U.S. mothers exclusively breastfeed for at least 6 months.

At Rex, our most important goal is that your baby is getting the nutrition he or she needs. We want to support EVERY Mom (and dad) and their feeding goals no matter what they are- as long as the baby is getting fed!

With that being said, we do encourage breastfeeding as much as possible. Here are some things we at Rex do to help moms reach their breastfeeding goals:

  • 050514_breastfeeding1Automatic visit from an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) for all first time moms, moms with multiples, and moms with late preterm or small for gestational age newborns. Any routine experienced mom can easily request a consult with an IBCLC.
  • The staff nurses go through yearly training and check-offs on basic breastfeeding skills that are relevant to their working area
  • There are numerous IBCLC’s staffed during the day, and Rex even offers night shift IBCLC’s every night of the week!
  • Rex is working on protocols to help specific groups of babies based on gestational age
  • We have developed a protocol for supplementation if it happens to be needed and will speak with the parents at length regarding any need for supplementation
  • We absolutely do not give out goodie bags stuffed with formula
  • We try to encourage rooming in with the baby for better reading of baby’s hunger cues
  • If you are having difficulty once you go home, call Rex Lactation at 919-784-3224, for any questions/concerns, or to schedule an outpatient visit with one of our IBCLCs
  • 050514_breastfeeding2We can give you info on additional services as well that can improve the breastfeeding relationship. We have a list of support groups such as Le Leche League, and Nursing Mothers of Raleigh. We also have lists of private practice IBCLC’s in the area that can come to your home and spend a lot of focused one on one time with and mom/baby.
  • We have an office down on the first floor that handles pump rentals and sales. It also carries nursing bras and other breastfeeding necessities and gizmos. They are open 9-12 Monday-Friday.

The bottom line is that Rex is happy to support all moms who feed their babies! We hope our new moms and dads will use our resources to help them as much as possible on their new journey.

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Rex turns 120: Co-Worker Ginny Martin Reflects

Post by Ginny Martin, Application Coordinator and Project Analyst at Rex Healthcare. In honor of Rex’s 120 Anniversary on May 1, Ginny reflects on her 34-year career at Rex.

Rex Hospital at it's 'new' location at Lake Boone Trail, 1981

Rex Hospital at it’s ‘new’ location at Lake Boone Trail, 1981

I was born at Rex in the St. Mary’s street hospital, and I started working at Rex in 1979. My records would show that I have been with Rex since 1980- my first son was born before I had been an employee for a year, and I was re-hired after a 4-week maternity leave.

I was back at Rex by September 1980 when we moved from the St. Mary’s street location to the ‘new’ hospital on Lake Boone Trail. I remember that when we moved here, everyone was amazed how big it was- we thought there was no way we would use all the space!

All of my children, and now both of my grandchildren, were also born at Rex. Over my 30+ year career here, I have loved my family and friends at Rex so much that I wanted my youngest son Jason to be a part of Rex family as well. Jason joined Rex a few years ago as a Project Coordinator- my former title- and it is such a joy to share this experience with him.

Another blessing I’ve had in my long career at Rex is that I’ve been able to watch so many of my friends grow their careers here. Not only am I blessed with my family, but I am blessed with an extended family here at Rex. I’ve watched friends date, get married, have kids, and then become grandparents!

Rexie with friends at the Wakefield Open House, 2009

Rexie with friends at the Wakefield Open House, 2009

Rex has always encouraged me to fulfill my dreams and offered me the opportunity to make them come true. I’ve worked in the same department my entire career. I’ve never even transferred to another position within my department. I’ve been blessed that my job evolved like it has. I started out using a number 2 pencil, abstracting general demographics and ICD codes in block formation for statistics to building a second EMR, and now I am working on the EPIC implementation. Talk about a technology jump!

Six years ago I was given the opportunity to be Rexie, and it has enabled me to meet other mascots and share my love for Rex. Working with kids as a mascot is one of the most amazing and rewarding experiences that a person could ever imagine. I will tell you that everyone that meets Rexie is convinced that it is a guy in the suit. I’m constantly getting chest bumps which is an experience all by itself! My husband has also been a major part of the Rex experience. He has been by my side for every event that I’ve done as Rexie.

From 1979 to 2014, a lot has changed at Rex, but the caring and compassion of its co-workers has remained steadfast. It is an honor to work for an organization that takes care of its community as well as we do. Happy anniversary, Rex!

Ginny3

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The Mental and Social Benefits of Volunteering

Post by Kerry Grace Heckle, Director of Community Relations and PR at Rex Healthcare.

As Raleigh turns its eyes to the Rex Hospital Open next month, May 22-25 at TPC at Wakefield Plantation, the tournament would not be possible without the help of over 400 volunteers. The volunteers are the glue that holds the tournament together- they dedicate countless hours in over 15 different committees that attribute to much of the success of the Rex Hospital Open.

So why volunteer?

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Dedicating your time as a volunteer is a great way to make new friends, expand your network, and boost your social skills. One of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity together. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, especially if you are new to an area. Volunteering also strengthens your ties to the community and broadens your support network, exposing you to people with common interests, neighborhood resources, and fun and fulfilling activities.

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Volunteering is both good for your body and mind. Volunteering can provide a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. Doing good for others and the community provides a natural sense of accomplishment. And the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals.

Volunteering is a fun and easy way to explore your interests and passions. Doing volunteer work you find meaningful and interesting can be a relaxing, energizing escape from your day-to-day routine of work, school, or family commitments.

Volunteering at the Rex Open comes with a lot of perks in addition to the health benefits listed above! So what does a Volunteer for the Rex Hospital Open receive?

  • 042414_volunteerOne Tournament polo shirt
  • One Tournament ball cap or visor
  • Free breakfast and lunch on the days that you volunteer
  • Tournament Volunteer badge, which is good all week for free admittance
  • Up to six free weekly Guest badges- give to family or friends
  • Free parking in the volunteer parking lot with frequent shuttles to and from the course
  • And one voucher for a free round of golf at TPC at Wakefield Plantation (cart fee not included) if you work three or more shifts!

Volunteers are still needed for the Rex Hospital Open and we want you to join us!  Please visit the tournament website www.rexhospitalopen.com/volunteer for more information and to sign-up.

Hope to see you there!

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Recipe: Sunshine Salad

Brighten up your day with a salad that’s colorful and sweet—and good for you!

Ingredients

  • 032714_sunshinesalad5 cups spinach leaves, packed, washed and dried well
  • ½ red onion, sliced thin
  • ½ red pepper, sliced
  • 1 whole cucumber, sliced
  • 1 whole tomato, slided
  • 2 oranges, peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • ⅓ cup of bottle light vinaigrette dressing

Directions
Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss again. Serve immediately.

Makes 5 servings. Per serving: cholesterol: 0 mg, fiber: 8 g, sodium: 200 mg, calories from protein: 18 percent, calories from carbohydrate: 62 percent, calories from fat: 20 percent.

Recipe courtesy of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

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What you need to know about AEDs

Post Glenn W. Barham, EMT-P and Coordinator for the Emergency Response Team at Rex Healthcare.

032714_AED1Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are literal lifesavers, delivering a shock to restore a heart’s normal rhythm following sudden cardiac arrest. But would you know how to use one in an emergency situation?

AEDs are available in many public places, including malls, grocery stores and airports, and are actually very user-friendly. While there are several AED brands on the market, they all work similarly.  The first thing to do is turn it on, and then just follow the voice and visual prompts.  They are designed to be used by untrained lay people.

Here are some pointers, courtesy of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, to keep in mind if you ever find yourself in an emergency situation requiring an AED:

  • 032714_AED2Before using an AED, check the person to make sure there is no response (shout at or shake him or her; if the person is a child, pinch instead).
  • Call 911; if more than one person is present, have one person call emergency services and get the AED while the other person begins CPR.
  • Check the breathing and pulse. If breathing and pulse are irregular or not present, get ready to use the AED as soon as possible.
  • Turn on the defibrillator, which will give you step-by-step instructions via voice and screen prompts.
  • 032714_AED3Make sure the wires from the electrodes are connected to the AED, and that no one is touching the person, then press the “analyze” button, which will allow the machine to check the person’s heart rhythm.
  • If the machine tells you a shock is needed, stand clear of the person before pressing the “shock” button.
  • Start or resume CPR until help arrives or the person begins moving. Stay with the person.

The residents of Raleigh and Wake County enjoy one of the best out-of-hospital cardiac arrest resuscitation rates in the country. Early CPR and defibrillation are cornerstones of that success. Every Emergency Response Team that works an event in our community is equipped with an AED, and their use has been instrumental, along with rapid CPR, in several successful resuscitations. While we don’t have to use them often, we realize they are one of the most vital pieces of equipment we have.

I encourage everyone to take a CPR class which includes the AED training. Do it for your family, your friends, and your neighbors.

If your company,  church, or other facility outside of Rex has an AED, please make sure that the local 911 center is aware. In cases of emergency, they can instruct the caller on its location. If you have a heart condition that puts you at risk for sudden cardiac arrest, talk with your health care provider about purchasing one for home use.

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25 Years of Cardiac Surgery at Rex

Written by Betsy Kelley RN, MS, GNC; Cardiovascular Clinical Nurse Specialist at Rex then (1989) and now (2014).

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CTRU and OR5 staff, March 1989

March 15, 2014 will mark 25 years since the first cardiac surgical procedure at Rex Hospital was performed. After months of preparation and planning by physicians, nurses, administrators, and a host of other disciplines, our first patient left OR5 after a “rolling call” to the new Cardiothoracic Recovery Unit (CTRU) on March 15, 1989.

Many things have changed at Rex since that day, including Rex becoming a part of the UNC Health Care system, CTRU’s name (now the CTICU) the length of time our heart patients are hospitalized, the variety of procedures performed, and most of the faces associated with the program. However, there are a few Rex co-workers who were part of that auspicious day, that are still working in their heart-related service areas at Rex.

As the first Clinical Nurse Specialist hired at Rex, and the person charged with educating and orienting all CTRU and 4W nurses, I was nervous on 3/15/89, hoping for a smooth start to our program, and a successful outcome for our patient.

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Nurses tending to the first heart patient, March 1989

Our first patient did extremely well, but our CNO at the time, Patti Fralix, wanted to make sure he continued to do well post-discharge and asked me to make a “home visit” to him. I met him at his bait and tackle shop in Fuquay-Varina, where I was pleased to see he was progressing satisfactorily. I’m sure such a visit by a non home-health nurse would never be allowable in this day and age!

My office was in the current Room 8 in CTRU, so I was close at hand for support of the staff. I slept in CTRU several nights in the first couple years of our program. The Clinical Manager Cheryl Batchelor and I were not both allowed to be on vacation at the same time during the first year. I worked with the cardiac surgery program for 11 years, and then left Rex.

FirstCase_DrsChaurdry_Davis_March and Jenny Monaco023

Doctors operate on the first heart patient, March 1989

Two years ago I had the opportunity to again work with the cardiothoracic surgeons and staff. One of my first tasks was helping our physicians and support staff to get our TAVR program up and running. It was a “mini” revisit to the excitement of 1989! Our heart program has outdone every expectation I ever had for it. The original open heart OR staff called our group “pioneers.” We are proud to have cleared a path for others to follow.

For those of us that were a part of the events that day, it is gratifying to see the growth of our heart services and cardiac surgery program, and there is much anticipation for our new North Carolina Heart and Vascular Hospital scheduled to open its doors by the end of 2016. We never would have imagined such a culmination to our work back in 1989. We are so proud of our program’s history, and our contributions to the excellent care provided to cardiac surgery patients at Rex.

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RNs Patricia Sloan, Betsy Kelly, and Vickie Alston, some of the original nurses still at Rex since the first heart surgery, March 2014

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