From the category archives:


When Generic Drugs Matter

by Angela Stevens on May 26, 2010

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I have often been given conflicting advice about brand versus generic medications. My great aunt, who is now in her nineties, refuses to take any type of generic medication because her pharmacist once told her they are not identical to the generic versions and it was best to stick with the original. This has cost her thousands upon thousands of dollars over the years.


Of course, I do not rely only on advice from my great aunt. There have also been numerous investigative reports that indicate that generic guidelines are not as rigorously controlled as those followed by the original patent holder. However, in all fairness, the primary differences are not in the active ingredients, but rather in the fillers and the time release mechanisms. In fact, the FDA requires that generics be the bioequivalent of the original medication, but they are not allowed to look like the original, which means the generic drugs are supposed to look different. So when do those two things really matter? To find out, I spoke with two of my doctors and my pharmacist regarding a few of my own specific questions. [continue reading…]

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COTA: Role of a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant

by Angela Stevens on April 27, 2010

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A certified occupational therapy assistant, more easily referred to as a COTA, plays an essential role in the field of occupational therapy. The COTA works directly with an occupational therapist in any number of settings including hospitals, clinics, schools, and treatment centers. Usually the COTA helps provide rehabilitation for patients who are suffering from a variety of medical problems. These problems may be physical, emotional, mental, or developmental depending on the type of facility the COTA is serving.


To become an occupational therapist assistant, you must receive and associate degree or certification from a special training program. While this is helpful and necessary, most training will occur on the job, as techniques and preferences vary depending on the occupational therapist the COTA will be working with. [continue reading…]


5 Environments for a Physical Therapist

by Angela Stevens on March 9, 2010

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I am affectionately referred to by my friends and family as “coordination deficient.” My mom has even joked that my middle name should be “Grace,” just to be ironic. I have broken a finger, several toes, a wrist, and an ankle. Between car accidents, falls, and a variety of most improbable accidents, I have sprained just about everything that can be sprained. Because of this, I have come to know and love, or loathe, depending on how they are treating me, a variety of physical therapists. I think it is interesting that there are so many places this profession can thrive. I suppose I never really thought about where I was sent for my physical therapy until the time I was sent to a nursing home. Which brings me to five of the places a physical therapist can find a home.


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What Does a Physical Therapist Assistant Do?

by Angela Stevens on February 8, 2010

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I am what some might call slightly-to-moderately accident prone. Okay, I admit it. I have had to go through numerous bouts of physical therapy for various accidents. It is not like I’m reckless, far from it actually. I am safety girl. I wear my seatbelt, look both ways when I cross the street… heck, I don’t even speed. But I swear I’m an accident magnet.

Physical therapy assistant helps works with patient's knee.

Which brings me back to physical therapy. I’ve never been to the same clinic twice, but I have noticed there are always physical therapy assistants floating around – often helping me, because I obviously need the help. At first I was a bit miffed that I wasn’t always getting the top dog physical therapist, but I eventually realized that a physical therapy assistant was pretty darn useful, too. So, what does a physical therapy assistant do? [continue reading…]


When the Customer has Changes in Prescription Coverage

by Angela Stevens on January 11, 2010

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Recently, my husband informed me that our health insurance coverage was going to be changing. We had four new options, all with benefits different from what we have had for the past several years. Some of these changes are good, but some, like our prescription medication coverage, is not so good. My husband works for a company that employs a large portion of the population where we live, and I knew these changes would be affecting all of their employees to some degree.


I was thinking about this, and how much of a headache it was going to be for me when I went to my pharmacy to get my prescriptions refilled. [continue reading…]


Understanding the Five Most Common Phobias

by Angela Stevens on December 14, 2009

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While there are literally hundreds of phobias that one may encounter while working in the field of therapy, there are some that are more common than others. A phobia is an intense, even disabling fear of something. Some of the symptoms of phobias include shortness of breath, dizziness, numbness, hot or cold flashes, sweating, nausea, trembling, and chest pain.


Fortunately, almost all people  suffering from a phobia are able to find help with cognitive-behavioral therapy. The following phobias are some of the most common that I have seen, however, the ranking is not absolute. [continue reading…]


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While working in the mental health field, I’ve met many people who suffered with some form of anxiety disorder. There are several types of anxiety disorders, and severity can range from mild to debilitating. Typically, by the time a person seeks help, the anxiety disorder is seriously affecting some portion of their life.


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