A Clinic Triage Nurse

Do you ever have a question about your health that you are not sure what to do about? Or are you feeling ill and not sure when to see your provider?  These are great times to talk to your clinic triage nurse.

The clinic triage nurse will help you with general questions about your health and help determine the type of care you may need.  Whether you are in the clinic or call in, the triage nurse can help you decide what needs to be done and provide another line of communication between you and your health care provider.  The nurse will gather the needed information by listening and discussing your symptoms. This helps determine the best course of action whether it be to come to the clinic and see your provider, monitor your symptoms, or be seen in the emergency room.   Providing enough information to the triage nurse gives your [ ]

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Safe Summer Fun

Summer fun is in full swing!

With county fairs going on and the state fair going on most people will likely be spending more time with friends and family outside. Following are some tips to be mindful of for heat/sun related illnesses.
Here are a few prevention tips:
Stay Cool:  avoid direct sunlight, find shady or air conditioned shelters, wear lightweight light colored clothing
Stay Hydrated: drink more water than usual, avoid alcohol or drinks containing large amounts of sugar
Wear Sunscreen: use SPF 30 or higher broad spectrum sunscreen with water resistance, apply and reapply according to the directions on the bottle

Here is a good example from the Center of Disease (CDC) on how to spot signs/symptoms of heat/sun related illnesses and what to for them:


Make sure not to forget your furry four legged friend too!

Wendy Seddon, CNA
Adair County Health System

The information provided on the Adair County Health System’s Blog is not [ ]

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Steps to Healthy Swimming: Protection against Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs)


You can choose to swim healthy! You have the power to help keep germs out the water in places we swim in the first place. Remember, chlorine and other disinfectants don’t kill germs instantly. Additionally, the mixing of chlorine with pee and sweat uses up the chlorine in the pool, which would otherwise kill germs.

We all share the water we swim in, and each of us needs to do our part to help keep ourselves, our families and our friends healthy. To help protect yourself and other swimmers from germs, here are a few easy and effective steps all swimmers can take each time we swim:

Keep the pee, poop, sweat, and dirt out of the water!

·         Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea.

·         Shower before you get in the water.

·         Don’t pee or poop in the water.

·         Don’t swallow the water.

Every hour—everyone out!

·         [ ]

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Mental Health in Rural Iowa


Mental Health in Rural Iowa

Mental disorders/health concerns have been recognized as a major rural health priority.

At the least, 50% of the world’s population will be impacted by a mental disorder.

Mental Health…

involves effective functioning in daily activities resulting in

Productive activities (work, school, caregiving)
Healthy relationships
Ability to adapt to change and cope with adversity

Mental Illness…

refers collectively to all diagnosable mental disorders – health conditions involving:

Significant changes in thinking, emotion and/or behavior
Distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities

Mental health is the foundation for thinking, communication, learning, resilience and self-esteem. Mental health is also key to relationships, personal and emotional well-being and contributing to community or society.

Mental disorders include three major categories of mental illness:

1. Schizophrenia

[ ]

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Getting Care During and After Allergic Reaction


What was that? Was that a bee? It just bit me!! I’m allergic. What do I do?

What would you do? Well, if you know you have an allergy to bees, then you have been bit before! The symptoms of an allergic reaction can be mild to severe. Starting with the most severe:

“ANAPHYLACTIC” reaction. This is a biggie! The most common causes of anaphylaxis are food, medications, chemicals, insects, or latex.  There are more, but these are the most common.  Symptoms of anaphylaxis are: shortness of breath, voice changing, making a “wheezing” sound from the lungs or throat, tongue swelling, itchy throat, vomiting, a feeling of losing consciousness, or swelling of the hands and/or face.

Remedies: If you see someone or you are experiencing these symptoms, please dial 911. You will be taken to an emergency room for emergency care, which would include reversing the symptoms [ ]

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Outdoor Exercise – Starting Slow and Getting Ready

If you are like most of us in the Midwest, you are ready for spring to arrive!  Spring is the season where we end our months-long hibernation, see our neighbors again, and finally start the exercise program we have been thinking about all winter long.  We know the numerous physical and mental benefits of regular exercise, and even simple activities like walking for 20 to 30 minutes most days of the week can make a big difference.  But what about those aches and pains after the first week?  How much is too much?

Here are three tips for getting back in shape this spring and avoiding injuries:

Start slow and increase in moderation

Most experts recommend allowing a full day of rest between exercise sessions meaning Monday, Wednesday, and Friday would be a good place to start.  Each week your overall activity should only increase by 10-20%.  For example, if you start [ ]

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Opioid Crisis in Iowa


Thought to be an issue only in major U.S. cities or more populated states, use of opioids (which includes heroin and prescription pain relievers) is becoming a problem of epidemic proportions in more rural areas of the country. While alcohol, marijuana and methamphetamines remain the primary substances misused in Iowa, in the last decade significant increases have been observed in the number of Iowans identifying opioids as their drug of choice at the time of admission to treatment – and in the number of overdose deaths.

Data collected by the Bureau of Substance Abuse show that treatment admissions related to opioid use have more than tripled since 2005. In addition, data from the Bureau of Health Statistics show that opioid overdose and related deaths have also tripled during the same time period (overdose meaning an opioid was identified as the primary cause of death in the medical examiner’s report; related meaning an opioid was referenced in the medical examiner’s report and could have contributed to the cause of death).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2012, health care providers wrote 259 million [ ]

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Small Changes Can Make Large Impacts – Healthy Cooking


By changing a few simple things in your diet, you can see big rewards.  Here are a few hints:

·        Use oil to replace fat in cooking and baking.

·        Use applesauce to replace equal amounts of oil in recipes for quick breads and brownies.

·        Substitute fat free milk for whole milk in cooking and baking.

·        Trim all visible fat from meat.  Bake, broil, roast or stew meat.  Drain and discard the fat.

·        Use spray oil (Pam) for frying.

·        Use coated skillets which require less fat.

·        Substitute fat free milk cheese for regular cheese.

·        Baking cocoa can replace baking chocolate.

·        Substitute plain low-fat yogurt for sour cream.

·        Use salt substitutes such as Mrs. Dash, Tones, etc.

Fats and sweets should be used sparingly in your diet.  These foods include salad dressings, cream, butter, margarine, sugars, soft drinks, candies and sweet desserts. Alcoholic beverages provide only calories and few vitamins and [ ]

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Gluten Free Recipe – Chicken with Creamy Parmesan and Spaghetti Squash


Since becoming gluten free 7 years ago, the meal I long for is fettucine alfredo.  Of course, I have tried many kinds of the gluten free pasta (Barilla is my favorite) – but I have recently discovered that I prefer spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta.  Not only is better for you – it tastes great too!

Below is one of my favorite NEW recipes.

Chicken with Creamy Parmesan and Spaghetti Squash – Serves 4

What you will need:

· 3/12 pounds spaghetti squash
· Olive Oil
· 6 chicken thighs
· Salt
· ¼ teaspoon dried basil
· Black Pepper
· ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
· Aluminum Foil
· ⅛ teaspoon dried rosemary
· 2 baking sheets
· ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
· 12” large high-side pan
· 8 ounces spinach

· 1 tablespoon minced garlic

· 3 packets unsalted butter

· ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

· 3 tablespoons white wine

· [ ]

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Why Use a Pain Clinic?


Chronic pain is, unfortunately, part of many people’s everyday lives and how best to treat it can be challenging. Pain clinics have become more common and have been getting a lot of press but with this comes questions: What exactly is a pain clinic and what do they do there? What types of providers do they have? What can I expect if I go there? How can I be referred to one? We’ll look at these questions as we explore the benefits of using a pain clinic.

What exactly is a Pain Clinic and what do they do there?
Typically pain management clinics are clinics where pain management specialists offer evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of diverse types of pain. Pain encompasses a wide spectrum of disorders, both acute and chronic. Arthritis, back pain, and cancer related pain are common diseases that are treated. Pain can also occur due to a reason like surgery, injury, damage to a nerve, or other medical problems like a migraine and diabetic neuropathy (nerve pain most commonly affecting the feet). At times, pain can arise and no source can be found, which can be frustrating for patients. Pain clinics offer a variety of ways to help treat pain. Oral medications, nerve blocks, spinal injections, and other interventional techniques may be used. The treatment of pain is complex, and the modalities [ ]

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