From the category archives:


Using Vestibular Swings for Your Patients

by Howard Gerber on September 27, 2011

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Vestibular swings are therapeutic devices designed to address a variety of vestibular disorders. VRT, or vestibular rehabilitation therapy, is the first line of treatment for most patients with this type of condition. The exercises designed by the therapist help to retrain the brain of the patient to compensate for their condition. Often VRT will make it possible for patients to lead a normal life without requiring surgery. This therapy is usually provided by a physical or occupational therapist. [continue reading…]


National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month

by Howard Gerber on September 6, 2011

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September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. Alcoholics and drug addicts who are no long are actively using or drinking will often tell people they are recovering rather than reformed or cured. This is because addiction is a lifelong condition. Patients who are recovering alcoholics or drug addicts work very hard to refrain from going back to the destructive path they were once on. It is important that people become aware of the difficulties associated with using drugs or consuming excessive amounts of alcohol, to know that there are options available to help with quitting, and that there are support programs to help them stay sober. [continue reading…]

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

by Howard Gerber on August 30, 2011

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that occurs in individuals who have been exposed to a traumatic event. The disorder is receiving more national media attention than in the past because of the number of new cases being seen in veterans returning from the wars in the Middle East. [continue reading…]

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How many children tell their parents they should be allowed to play video games because it improves their hand-eye coordination, critical thinking skills, and ability to work in a cooperative setting? In all fairness, probably very few put it just like that but maybe they should. It turns out that playing video games, and using other forms of interactive electronics, can be quite beneficial for people. A new journal looks at specific games, and other emerging technologies, that are beneficial for mental and physical health. There are numerous indications that gaming may one day be part of speech therapy, occupational therapy, or physical therapy. [continue reading…]


Autism and Occupational Therapy

by Howard Gerber on July 21, 2011

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Autism, or autism spectrum disorders, is used to describe a variety of developmental disorders and is usually diagnosed around the age of three. Because there are so many different conditions this broad term is used to describe, it may be difficult for patients of the “same” condition (or their parents) to understand why the occupational therapy regimes may differ so widely. It is important that occupational therapy be tailored to each individual patient, rather than a single regime be applied to all patients indiscriminately because each patient faces his or her own unique challenges. [continue reading…]


July is UV Safety Month

by Howard Gerber on July 19, 2011

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July is UV Safety Month, an appropriate time as most of the nation is focused on getting outside to enjoy the sun. With new guidelines about sunscreen issued from the FDA it is more important than ever that everyone work together to make sure the public is well informed about the necessity of sun protection and exactly how to best protect themselves and their family.


Make a sunscreen display to show customers the new recommendations by the FDA. A chart format or a Q&A format are good choices because they can easily be skimmed and will force you to break the information into more manageable pieces that consumers will be more likely to understand. This is also an excellent place to move your sunscreen selection to for the month of July. Next to the display of sunscreens, provide easy to understand definitions about the claims the sunscreens make such as waterproof, water resistant, broad spectrum, and what SPF actually means. Brochures that clients can take with them with the new information could also be included with each purchase.


Nurses and doctors can devote some of their bulletin board space this month to UV Safety with a focus on their specialty. Pediatric offices can display what children and infants need, dermatology offices can discuss the warning signs of too much UV exposure, and ophthalmologists’ offices can show the dangers UV radiation poses to eyesight and how to best protect your eyes.


Although most schools close for the summer, they don’t always close completely. Summer programs, summer school, and summer training or extracurricular activities may still be in full force. Take time at the beginning of the month to show students exactly how much sunscreen should be applied and how often it should be reapplied. Physically taking the time to show them what an ounce of sunscreen looks like will be much more beneficial to students than simply discussing the new guidelines.


Many physical and occupational therapists recommend aquatic exercises to supplement therapy session, some even provide aquatic services. If you recommend patients to swim or to complete exercises in the water be sure you talk to them this month about the importance of properly using sunscreen. The FDA has said sunscreens will not be able to claim to be waterproof in the future. Make sure your patients know they need to reapply sunscreen every 40 to 80 minutes (depending on the type they use) if they are in the water or sweating.

How do you plan to make your patients more aware of the dangers of UV radiation? Do you recommend specific sunscreens or products that limit UV exposure? What do you think of the new FDA guidelines for sunscreens?

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The Role of a Hospice Nurse

by Howard Gerber on June 28, 2011

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Becoming a hospice nurse is truly a special calling. Unlike most fields of nursing, there is virtually no chance that a patient admitted to hospice care will ever recover. This means the nurse is typically providing palliative care only. This can be very stressful for some caregivers, while others find it to be quite rewarding. A hospice nurse does not simply give care to the patient, however. They also will often be called upon to have a more active role with the patient’s family as well. [continue reading…]

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