Education

Swingbed Defined

Swingbed is an extended hospital stay program. People who are recovering from an illness or procedure, who are not quite ready to go home yet, but don’t meet criteria for acute hospitalization, may need Swingbed. Once a patient has had 3 consecutive acute care nights, has the appropriate insurance and meets certain eligibility requirements (established by Medicare) the Discharge Planner can contact the Washington County Memorial Hospital Swingbed Coordinator to arrange for a possible transfer to the program.

For more information download the full document HERE.

Washington County Project C.A.L.M. (Childhood Asthma Linkages in Missouri)

This project has been established through the partnership of Washington County Asthma Coalition, Washington County Memorial Hospital, Washington County Health Department, C2000 Partnership and The Missouri Foundation for Health. Funding for the project was received from The Missouri Foundation for Health.

WHAT IS ASTHMA?

Asthma is a disease that affects the lungs and makes it difficult to breathe.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF ASTHMA?

Coughing
Wheezing
Shortness of breath
Itchy throat
Sneezing
Difficult Exhaling
Tightness in Chest
Waking up Frequently in the Night

WHAT HAPPENS

Something triggers an episode. During an asthma episode, air has trouble getting in and out. Here’s what happens:
The lining of the airways swells
Muscles around the airways get tighter. This narrows the airways more.
Mucus clogs the airways. Mucus normally helps the airways stay moist, but during the asthma episode, the airways get too much mucus.

WHAT ARE SOME TRIGGERS?

Triggers may be:
Allergic reactions to things like pests, dust mites or mold
Irritants such as dust or smoke
Outbursts of emotion or physical response to changing weather

Some other triggers:

Pollen
Strong chemical smells
Perfume
Exercise

HOW CAN ASTHMA BE CONTROLLED?

Identify triggers
Eliminate as many triggers as possible
Take medications as directed
Keep peak flow diary
Follow up with your doctor

Diabetes Education

What is Diabetes?

The human body is made of many tiny cells. Muscles, bones, skin, nerves, brain, everything is made of cells which need energy to function and grow. The energy the cells use comes from food. When we eat, much of our food is changed to glucose, a type of simple sugar. When the glucose arrives at the cells, it is converted to energy. In people who don’t have diabetes, glucose is used with no problems. But when a person has diabetes, something interferes with the process. Instead of becoming energy, the glucose floats around in the bloodstream and causes all types of health problems.

What are the dangers of uncontrolled Diabetes?

When the blood sugar stays high, many organs of the body are at risk. The following are some of the complications of uncontrolled diabetes:
Blindness
Kidney failure requiring dialysis
Amputations
Heart disease
Strokes
Neuropathy (pain and loss of feeling in parts of the body)
Death

What are the symptoms of Diabetes?

Excess thirstiness
Excess urination
Excess hunger
Weakness or tiredness
Unexplained weight loss
Tingling, burning, numbness, or pain in the feet and lower legs
Wounds that heal slowly or become worse, especially on the feet
Repeated infections
Vision problems
Frequent headaches
Dry, itchy skin
Dark bands of skin around the neck or in the armpits

What are Diabetes risk factors?

Family history of diabetes
Aging
Native American ancestry
Lack of physical activity
Being overweight
Having low blood sugar when younger
Having high blood sugar during pregnancy
Women having a baby over 9 pounds

How is Diabetes diagnosed?

There are several tests your doctor or nurse practitioner can order. They range from fingerstick blood tests to laboratory blood draws. The important thing is to contact your doctor if you think you have symptoms or are at high risk. The earlier the disease is diagnosed, the easier it is to get under control.

How can Diabetes be controlled?

There are many good medications that help people control the disease. Your doctor can talk to you about them. But the most important person in controlling Diabetes is the patient. Washington County Memorial Hospital has a Diabetic Educator who can help you learn how to take charge of Diabetes. In one-on-one sessions you can learn how to keep your glucose in range, prevent serious complications, and live a longer, healthier life.

Diabetes Group Meetings

On the second Thursday of each month, WCMH Diabetic Education Department hosts a group meeting at 6:00p.m. A wide range of topics is covered by guest speakers who share their insights about eye diseases, foot care, better food selections, medications, and many other diabetes-related subjects. The meetings are held in the Education Center at Kwan Plaza off Hwy 8 east.

For information about how you can take charge of Diabetes, call Janie Deal, RD LD at 573-438-5451, extension 334.