Medical Education

Compassion in Health Care: Does it Really Matter?

com·?pas·?sion | \ k?m-?pa-sh?n  \

: sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it. 

If you have completed the extensive education required of you to become a board-certified nurse or physician, compassion may be a characteristic that you assume you have. Perhaps when you first began your educational journey, you did. Maybe you still do, or think you do. According to studies, it isn’t just a nice thing for a medical professional to be nice. It’s essential to patient outcomes. Here, we discuss what research has to say about this, and how cadaver training fits into this critical aspect of practice. 

In their book Compassionomics: The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence That Caring Makes a Difference,” physician-scientist team Stephen Trzeciak and Anthony Mazzarelli discuss the various reasons why patients may choose healthcare providers based on their “vibe”of kindness over their educational background. Additionally, their extensive research proves to those who have chosen to enter the field of medicine, even first-responders, that their attitude toward their patients matters a great deal. 
Not Only Meaningful, But Measurable
The role of a healthcare provider is to diagnose and treat. Quickly. The healthcare system has become quite concerned with the bottom line. Treat patients so they do not  over-use healthcare services. This approach to healthcare may be far out of alignment with exceptional caring. It may also be backfiring. A review of case studies has shown that patients who had compassionate, patient-centered care accrued approximately 50 percent lower medical expenses, and were less likely to use excessive healthcare services than patients whose doctors were somewhat impersonal. 

Impersonal could be the attribute assigned to a healthcare provider suffering from depersonalization. One one hand, seeing patients as objects rather than  human beings could be […]

October 15th, 2021|Medical Education, Wellness and Health|Comments Off on Compassion in Health Care: Does it Really Matter?|
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    How Do Healthcare Providers Build and Retain Patient Trust in The Time of Technology?

How Do Healthcare Providers Build and Retain Patient Trust in The Time of Technology?

The doctor-patient relationship is one that we don’t hear about at dinner parties or on the news. It may not be a topic that is discussed nearly often enough even in professional circles. It should be. Patients rely on their physicians to help them make important, sometimes life-saving decisions about their health. To provide the highest quality advice and treatment, patients must be honest with their physicians. In recent years, research has indicated erosion in the trust that patients have in their doctors. There may be several reasons for this that are outside of the control of the medical system. However, there are steps that healthcare providers can take to ensure they are mindfully building trust in their patients. There may be no time in our lives when this may be more important.
Expectations are Everything
According to recent research, approximately 65 percent of patients appreciate the option to interact with their healthcare providers through smartphones and other devices. This is beneficial, seeing that telemedicine may be the future of healthcare. While the majority of patients do not mind skipping their trip to the doctor’s office, they do expect the same customer service they would receive from other service providers, such as their bank or a hotel. When discussing health, this expectation of service is even more vital to optimal outcomes.

What patients want from their doctors includes:

Authenticity and transparency. If you do not have a clear answer for a patient, they want to know that. It is okay to be uncertain, as long as patients are told the truth. Patients understand their doctors are humans, too, and that they may not have all the answers.
Active listening. With the emergence of immediate reporting and digital […]

June 15th, 2020|Medical Education, Medical Training|Comments Off on How Do Healthcare Providers Build and Retain Patient Trust in The Time of Technology?|

The Ever-Changing Face of Medicine

All human achievement throughout history is marked by trial and error. The healthcare industry is not immune to this way of advancing. In this arena, “error” relates to our striving to solve what ails the global community. “Mistakes,” or trial, is often the jumping-off point to new hope. Every so often, forward progress shakes the foundation of what we once believed was impossible or, in many cases, what we had never even considered possible. In this way, trial and error are cornerstones to success. Here, we discuss a few ways that healthcare is being revolutionized at the moment.
3D Printing
3D printing is being used in a variety of ways in the healthcare industry. Current applications include research, prototyping, customization, and manufacturing. This technology is allowing surgeons to replicate patient-specific organs for procedure preparation, research, and to customize prosthetic limbs and organs to be used in transplant surgeries. Recently, a 3D printed replica of a human lung was created by a team of bioengineers at the University of Washington and Rice University. During its testing phase, this manmade lung maintained normal blood pressure and simulated breathing.
Smart Technology
Once the development of smart technologies began, there has been no going back. Innovative apps and technologies have consistently driven reform within the healthcare industry, support patient-centered care. Today, smart devices perform a variety of tasks, from reminding patients of upcoming appointments to tracking medication, heart rate, blood pressure, and several other vital aspects of a patient’s health and healthcare record. Providing updates in real-time and accessible by the primary care physician, modern technology is both HIPAA compliant and convenient.
Telemedicine is expanding our ability to provide patients with the level of care they need when they need it and in […]

March 15th, 2020|Medical Education|Comments Off on The Ever-Changing Face of Medicine|
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    Expectations for Paramedics are High. We Can Help You Meet Them.

Expectations for Paramedics are High. We Can Help You Meet Them.

Years ago, a day in the life of a paramedic may have involved basic patient or casualty transport. Since that time, expectations have gone from providing minimal interventions on scene or during transport to providing comprehensive emergency care. The care that today’s paramedic is expected to provide, without hesitation, spans the realm of trauma and medical procedures.

Paramedics must now develop competency in multiple invasive procedures. Examples include airway management via endotracheal intubation, tube thoracostomy, needle thoracentesis, surgical cricothyroidotomy, and several other emergency procedures. To be confident in making vital medical decisions on the fly, the paramedic must be competent in the performance of each. Strong working knowledge of human anatomy is the baseline for this competency. Studies indicate that the best way to gain skills is through real-life exposure and demonstration of procedures followed by the actual performance of these skills in a controlled environment.

“In a controlled environment” is key here. Not every paramedic is immediately competent in the various skills they will be required to demonstrate. Due to the nature of medicine, on the job training is simply not acceptable. With the demands on paramedics and first responders at an all-time high, the demand for suitable training modalities has intensified. Working on mannequin models doesn’t cut it. Like other vital medical personnel, paramedics need exposure to human tissue. A cadaver lab provides them with the perfect opportunity.

For many paramedics, the first clinical exposure they get to the human body is in a cadaver lab. Comprehensive training courses for first responders build familiarity with surface landmarks, internal structures, and other human characteristics that are vital to the successful performance of emergency procedures such as:

Airway management
Central access
Saphenous access
Suturing and ligation
Tourniquets and pressure dressings
Wound management
Improvised splinting
And […]

December 15th, 2019|Medical Education, Medical Training|Comments Off on Expectations for Paramedics are High. We Can Help You Meet Them.|

Patient Engagement Improves Overall Satisfaction

Medicine sustains a nearly-constant state of evolution. Every year, new devices and techniques are tested. New products and technologies are presented to the medical community for clinical trials and FDA approval. With the consistent advances in the clinical side of care, providers may overlook the opportunities they have to also improve overall patient satisfaction. Here, we discuss a few ways in which technology is improving patient engagement and how that engagement benefits each patient’s experience with their provider.

More medical offices, clinics, and hospitals are equipping spaces with technology that patients are familiar with. These technologies may be used to educate patients or, sometimes, to provide an entertaining distraction from discomfort and stress. Some of the strategies that are making a big impact on patient engagement at this time include the following.
Entertainment Systems
One of the biggest challenges that nursing and support staff face is helping patients deal with physical discomfort. A patient that is in pain is also dealing with stress, fear, and anxiety. Altogether, unmanaged pain and emotional distress will degrade the patient’s sense of well-being. It may sound simplistic that entertainment systems that interact with the patient could make a difference in state of mind. However, devices such as televisions, mobile devices, and tablets have demonstrated efficacy in distracting patients from their immediate situation. Not only does this distraction ease the load of nursing staff, but it can also enable patients to rest better and heal more quickly.
Doctor Accessibility
Patients feel more satisfied when they know they have access to their doctor. The higher doctor-patient interaction is, the better care the patient feels they receive. Utilizing the same software and technology on which entertainment systems are based, doctors can communicate more readily with their […]

August 15th, 2019|Medical Education, Medical Training|Comments Off on Patient Engagement Improves Overall Satisfaction|

Managing Pain in the Face of an Opioid Crisis

The medical community has long appreciated the value of opioid medications. The poppy plant was first used medicinally in 3400 BC and continued to spread from ancient Mesopotamia and Sumer to the rest of the world. Known for powerful analgesic properties, opioid medication also became synonymous with addition. This is not new. German physician Dr. Eduard Levinstein was the first to describe the downside to the popular opiate Morphine. That was in 1877.

If you practice medicine today, you know that we are in a dire situation when it comes to the use of opioids to treat pain. Patients suffering from chronic pain rely on their physicians for relief. They trust that their physicians know or are trying to discover ways to manage pain; to help them regain an adequate quality of life. The use of opioids is controversial not only for doctors but also for their patients, who may be apprehensive to take a drug for fear of addiction. To that end, pain management continues to be a challenge within the medical community.

At Med Ed Labs, we are committed to the progress of various areas of medicine. Pain management, in the face of the current opioid crisis, is an area of importance. Fortunately, it is an area in which progress is being made. We are proud to be involved in this transition from drug therapies to those that are drug-free. In particular, we offer training in cutting-edge modalities such as non-pharmacologic neuromodulation via spinal cord stimulation (SCS).

Neuromodulation is a nonpharmacologic therapy that suppresses the activity of the nervous system for the treatment of pain. The technique in general, and spinal cord stimulation, in particular, has become an efficient and widely used alternative for physicians […]

June 15th, 2019|Medical Education, Wellness and Health|Comments Off on Managing Pain in the Face of an Opioid Crisis|

Medical Education is Not a Once-and-Done Objective

To enter the medical field, a physician must complete years of education. The initial years of training are a lot – and they are only the beginning. The need for continued medical training has only increased through years of innovation. Surgeons and other medical personnel are continually presented with new products, techniques, and devices with which to improve patient outcomes. It takes time and effort to vet medical advances and then more time and effort to become familiar with the usage of modernized medicine.

Most states require healthcare providers to meet a certain number of hours of continuing medical education. Choosing relevant courses enables the provider to stay up-to-date on the protocols about which patients may inquire. Continued education also ensures that a provider is competitive and able to meet the varying needs of their patient-base.
What’s to Gain Through Continuing Education Courses
Cutting Edge Developments
As medicine continues to evolve, surgeons and other physicians need to at least be familiar with the latest developments that affect their patients. Techniques and devices are what shape medicine today, and bio skills courses present the opportunity for a healthcare provider to converse with savvy patients about the latest trends. The CME courses offered by Med Ed Labs involve hands-on cadaver training as well as demonstration and training on robotic surgical devices and more.
Skill Refinement
Ultimately, patients want to know that their healthcare providers have the necessary level of skill to successful guard their long-term health and wellness. With the constant changes that are taking place in medicine today, practitioners must reach the high end of the spectrum regarding knowledge, communication, and performance.
Professional Advancement
The primary objective of refining skills and staying at the forefront of medical technology is to provide the highest […]

July 15th, 2018|Medical Education|Comments Off on Medical Education is Not a Once-and-Done Objective|

Advances in Aesthetic Medicine mean there is Always Something to Learn

With every advancement in science, we gain better ways to accomplish goals. The field of aesthetic medicine has evolved at a rapid pace thanks to the development of numerous technologies and new techniques. As the new and improved elbows-out antiquated processes, we notice a shift in trends. Some of what has been sitting at the horizon throughout 2016 is expected to remain on trend for the coming year. These aspects of aesthetic care include . . .

Customized Programs for Rejuvenation

Each skin type is unique, and now every professional from the esthetician to the dermatologist has the right tools to address concerns ranging from chronic acne to the signs of aging for each individual patient. Skin care has come so far that some physicians have learned how to test the DNA for processes like the breakdown of collagen, or the type of antioxidants a person’s skin needs most.

Fat-Adding Procedures

Cosmetic surgeons are using fat for several face and body procedures today. An example of the value of autologous fat grafting is the results of the modern-day facelift. Rather than tightening skin and tissue over the skull, skilled practitioners are recreating youthful contouring by complementing the lift with volume restoration. Fat grafting restores plumpness to the cheeks and other areas that would otherwise look flat or hollow after facelift surgery.

Another example of fat grafting is the ever-popular Brazilian Butt Lift procedure. This surgery has all but replaced buttocks implants, appealing to patients who want an all-natural way to accentuate this part of the body. Like autologous fat transfer to the face, the Brazilian Butt Lift involves a liposuction procedure on a part of the body such as the abdomen, the processing of fat cells, and the subsequent […]

January 15th, 2017|Medical Education|Comments Off on Advances in Aesthetic Medicine mean there is Always Something to Learn|

Ankle Replacement Surgery: How Modern Medicine is Making Strides

The arthritic condition, in any joint, results in uncomfortable swelling and stiffness. Because the ankle is such a small joint, and because it is also a weight-bearing joint, the symptoms of arthritis are often exaggerated compared to other areas of the body. When we walk, the ankle joint absorbs our entire body-weight.
What Is It Like Living With Ankle Arthritis
If arthritis is present, every step could be excruciatingly painful. Now, innovations in ankle replacement are giving new hope for pain free mobility in patients with arthritic ankles.

What Causes Arthritis in the Ankle
According to experts, the arthritic condition in the ankle joint often occurs as a consequence of an injury. Degenerative joint disease, mechanical instability, rheumatoid arthritis, and other conditions could also instigate this problem. Whatever causes the chronic degeneration and inflammation in joint cartilage, once this structure is lost, it cannot regenerate.

Treating Arthritic Ankles
Typically, the front-line treatment for ankle arthritis is some type of bracing. This often coincides with modifications to routine activities and treatments for pain and inflammation, such as cortisone injections. In the past, if more conservative care was unsuccessful, the surgical solution to arthritis in the ankle was to fuse the joint.
Ankle Infusion Surgery
Ankle fusion joins the bones in this structure to improve stability and put an end to pain. However, this surgery also affects the patient’s gate, or mechanical function of walking, due to the lack of movement in that joint. What physicians are now working on is a total ankle replacement.

If you’re in the field of orthopedics, you are probably saying “this is not new!” Right. Ankle replacement surgery has been around for some time. The problem is that the standard procedure that has been taught has failed to provide […]

September 15th, 2016|Medical Education|Comments Off on Ankle Replacement Surgery: How Modern Medicine is Making Strides|

3 Medical Devices That Were Approved By The FDA in 2015

Throughout the year, the FDA has approved many new medical devices. Keep reading to learn about three devices that have recently been approved.
Melody Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve – P140017
This device is an artificial heart valve. It is made from the jugular vein of a cow and sewn into a metal frame. It can be inserted into the heart while it is still beating and without performing open-heart surgery.

This device is use in patients who are born with heart defects. Normally, patients with heart defects must undergo many surgeries throughout their lifetime. Using the Melody TPV can delay the need for surgery and in some cases, it can result in the patient needing fewer surgeries overall.
KAMRA Inlay – P120023
This is a dark, ring-shaped device that is implanted into the cornea. It can be used to improve near vision for patients whose eyes have trouble focusing. The device works by blocking unfocused light.

This device is usually used for patients who are between 45 and 60 years old. It can help patients who have trouble focusing clearly on small print or nearby objects, but who do not have a problem with distance vision.
ORBERA™ Intragastric Balloon System – P140008
This is a weight loss device. It is a balloon that occupies space inside the stomach. It is placed inside the body using a minimally invasive procedure. It is inserted through the mouth. Once it is inside the stomach it is filled with salt water. This device is meant to be removed after 6 months.

It is used on obese patients who haven’t been able to lose weight through diet and exercise. It helped patients to lose an average of about 10.2% of their body weight.

These are just a few of the […]

September 15th, 2015|Medical Education|Comments Off on 3 Medical Devices That Were Approved By The FDA in 2015|