Health
Thursday, September 07, 2006
 
Names are important for caregivers and patients

By Dr. Anthony Policastro
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital
Medical Director

"What's in a name" is a famous quote. We often take names for granted. When we meet new people, we do not remember their names. When we hear a name on the phone, we often asked to have it spelled because we didn't listen carefully the first time. Of course when the name is "John Smith" and you ask to have it spelled, you really sound like you are in sad shape. Medical care involves relationships. There are patients. There are caregivers. It is important for them to know each other's names. Policastro is not an easy name to remember. Sometimes I introduce myself as Dr. Policastro. People then assume that my last name is Castro. If I tried the full name, people would wonder why I am bothering with my first name. I can't win. If I need a patient to remember my name, I tell them to think about it as a "polar" bear chasing Fidel "Castro." That makes it easier to remember. When I was in the Air Force, I was just Dr P. That was easier still. Patients need to know the name of their caregiver. That is true if it is their physician. That is true if it is a nurse. That is true if it is someone drawing his or her blood. That is true if it is the receptionist that answers the phone. That is a basic expectation. Patients usually know the name of their physicians. However, it is a little harder when there are multiple caregivers. That is true in the hospital setting. It is almost like going to a party and meeting many people. It is hard to remember all those names. It takes a little effort. When I meet a patient, I will them my name. If I introduce myself every time that I see them after that, they will think that I do not remember them. It is sometimes hard to remember which patients you have introduced yourself to in the past. So sometimes you assume that you have done so. Then you do not introduce yourself. In those situations, you come across as rude. So you either look like you have a poor memory or look like you are rude. It is not an easy task. There should be an expectation that patients will be addressed by name. That may be by first and last name. It may be by Mr. or Mrs. with the last name. It might just be by first name. Using only a first name is more common in pediatrics. Physicians see a lot of patients. Many times a medical record is needed to help jog the memory. There are some patients they know well. In these cases, it is easy to recognize the patient and call them by name. Other patients are not seen quite as often. Knowing their names without a record there becomes more difficult. Again the physician may come across as not caring because he or she does not remember the patient's name. That is not at all the case. The bottom line is that patients should know who is treating them by name. Caregivers should address patients by name. Sometimes those things do not easily work out. We need to understand that so that everyone can work on proper communication with each other.

Nominations being accepted for 2006 CNA of the Year
It's not too late to recognize the importance of Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) as invaluable members of the health care team; nominations are being accepted until September 15 at Delaware Technical & Community College, Owens Campus, for the 2006 CNA of the Year award. The award will be presented at the 10th annual CNA Recognition Day held on Friday, Oct. 20, at the Owens Campus in Georgetown. The honoree will be chosen from nominations submitted by family, friends, employers, and patients based on the CNA's dedication to providing care, comfort, and commitment to his/her patients. Completed nomination forms must be returned to the college no later than September 15. CNA Recognition Day is an annual event held at the Owens Campus and co-sponsored by the college along with local hospitals, long-term care facilities, and home health agencies. It provides an occasion for CNAs to improve their professional skills, develop their professional identity, and increase their sense of pride and self-esteem. The event includes workshops, exhibits, door prizes, and networking opportunities as it brings together CNAs from Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland. For more information about the award, the event or to receive a form, call 302-856-5400, Ext. 3190.

Nanticoke Memorial Hospital to offer Family and Friend First Aid Class
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Training Center will offer a community First Aid classes to anyone interested in learning first aid on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 10 a.m.-noon, at the Nanticoke Resource Center, 620 W. Stein Highway, Seaford. Cost is $5. Proceeds to be donated to the American Heart Walk 2006. This program teaches how to manage illness and injuries in a child for the first few minutes until professional help arrives. It also includes important information on child safety and preventing injuries. This program is a fun, dynamic way for families, friends and communities to learn first aid basics for children in a classroom setting. The course is open to anyone caring for infants and children, including family members, grandparents, siblings, new or expecting parents, babysitters and neighbors. This program is a fun, dynamic way for families, friends and communities to learn CPR but do not need a course completion card. To register or for further information contact the NMH Training Center office at 629-6611, extension 8919. Pre-registration is required.

Family, Friend CPR Class
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Training Center will offer a community CPR classes to anyone interested in learning CPR on Saturday, Sept. 16, from 9 a.m.-noon, at the Nanticoke Resource Center, 620 W. Stein Highway, Seaford. Cost is $5. Proceeds to be donated to the American Heart Walk 2006. This program contains information on how to perform the basic skills of CPR on adults, children, and infants and how to help an adult, child, or infant who is choking. The course is open to anyone caring for infants and children, including family members, grandparents, siblings, new or expecting parents, babysitters and neighbors. This program is a fun, dynamic way for families, friends and communities to learn CPR but do not need a course completion card. To register or for further information contact the NMH Training Center office at 629-6611, ext. 8919. Pre-registration is required.

PSA screenings at NMH
Nanticoke Health Services will provide PSA screenings on Friday, Sept. 28. The blood tests will be offered at the Nanticoke's Cancer Care Center * 1st Floor, adjacent to the hospital from 8 a.m. till 5 p.m. The fee for the test will be $5. Results will be mailed approximately two weeks after the event. Prostate cancer is the most frequently occurring cancer in men. Between 1980 and 1990, prostate cancer incidence increased 65 percent. It is believed that this increase was the result of improved early detection. There is expected to be a further increase related to the use of the prostate specific antigen blood test. Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is a substance that is produced by the prostate gland. Men normally have a small amount of this substance in the blood. PSA levels differ according to age and tend to rise after the age of 60. PSA can be affected by several conditions in the prostate such as the normal enlargement in the prostate, which occurs with aging. Infection or inflammation and surgery to the prostate can also cause increased levels. There is no specific level of PSA that tells whether prostate cancer is present; however the higher the level, the more likely it is that cancer may be developing. Nanticoke Memorial Hospital encourages men over the age of 50 to take advantage of this service. If you are 40-years-old and at high risk of developing this cancer you are also encouraged to participate. African-American men are at high risk for developing prostate cancer, as are men who have a family history of the disease. For additional information on the PSA screening contact the Cancer Care Center at 302-629-6611, ext. 2588.

Jewelry fund raising sale
Fund raising "Jewelry Sale" in the Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Main Lobby, Thursday, Sept. 7, and Friday, Sept. 8, from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Presented by InDesign and sponsored by the Nanticoke Health Services Auxiliary. It is open to the public. All items are $5 each (50 to 80 percent off department store prices). Cash, checks, credit cards and payroll deduction accepted.

2006 Memory Basket
The LifeCare at Lofland Park Memory Walk Team is now selling the Longaberger Pen Pal Memory Basket. The basket is trimmed in purple around the top with ribbon tacks and has a special engraved tag. The cost is $48 which also includes the basket protector. All proceeds benefit the Alzheimer's Association Delaware Valley Chapter. For more information contact Tawnya at 302-628-3000 ext., 8452; or HYPERLINK "mailto:dennist@nanticoke.org" dennist@nanticoke.org.

Auxiliary Membership Day
Sept. 13 has been designated Membership Day by Nanticoke Health Services Auxiliary. Members will gather at 11:30 a.m. at the Methodist Manor House on Middleford Road (next to Nanticoke Hospital) for luncheon followed by a business meeting. Guest speaker will be Debbie Holbrook, director of Forensic Nursing at Nanticoke. Ms. Holbrook, a registered nurse, has had extensive training in the field of forensic nursing, and is a leader in this growing area involving rime victims. Janet Hubbard, president of Nanticoke's Auxiliary, will preside during the business meeting and greet newcomers. Membership is open to those desiring to become a volunteer at Nanticoke. Callers will be contacting members. Luncheon of chicken marsala with veggies, salad and pie will cost $8.

Nanticoke hosting benefits
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will be hosting two fundraising events to benefit the American Heart Association Heart Walk. On Saturday, Sept. 30 "Pumping Up The Volume" concert will be held at the Seaford Middle School auditorium. The vocal talents of Nanticoke employees and their families are sure to entertain the crowd with sounds of Country, Rock 'N Roll, Contemporary Christian and Classical music. There will be music for everyone. Emcee for the evening will be WBOC's Jimmy Hoppa. Cost is $20 for admission. Tickets are available by calling the hospital at 302-629-6611, ext. 2550 or via email at Millerl@nanticoke.org. The second fundraiser will be a Bingo on Thursday, Oct. 5, starting at 7 p.m. at the Seaford Moose, located on Rt. 13A in Seaford. The evening will consist of 20 exciting games and will feature several baskets Longaberger products as prizes. Advance tickets are $20 per person, $25 at the door. Advance ticket includes a chance to win the Large Hamper and the Autumn Treats set with Wrought Iron legs or one of the several door prizes. Nearly 30 chances to win. Refreshments will be available. For ticket information contact the hospital at 302-629-6611, ext. 2404 or via email at MorrisR¨nanticoke.org. All proceeds for the two events will be donated the American Heart Association Heart Walk 2006. The AHA Heart Walk is the signature fund-raising event for the American Heart Association and the Heart Walk promotes physical activity and heart-healthy living in a fun family environment. This year more than one-million walkers will participate in more than 600 events across the country, raising funds to save lives from this country's No. 1 and No. 3 killers, heart disease and stroke.