Over the last two weeks, I’ve been continuing my work with the Asthma program and CIDP.
With the Asthma program, I have been working in the clinics, especially the pediatric one, to educate children and their parents about how to manage their care. I’ve been working with my co-workers to educate patients on the use of inhalers, medication regimens and how Asthma works within their body so that they understand the purpose of taking their medications daily. We have to educate patients every time they come into the clinic. It’s incredibly important to ensure that they understand how to properly take their medication so that they don’t have an Asthma attack. Someone put it this way: when we were all kids, our parents had to typically remind us all the time to brush our teeth, to wash our face, etc. After a couple of years, we finally had it down and it’s been second nature to us ever since. No one has to remind us how to do these important things ever. So, that’s the point of continually educating patients on Asthma care. They need to be competent in it and it should be come second nature to them.
I have also written several draft letters for mass school mailings from the Asthma program to inform parents of planned Asthma workshops, screenings for students and smoking cessation workshops that will be held at the school for families, school staff and community members. This is another step of outreach to patients with Asthma that will help the program to contribute to the reduction of the current rates of absenteeism in schools and the consequences that arise for children with Asthma.
I have also been working on a spin-off project with the Diabetes registry. This registry tracks patients diagnosed with diabetes and their test results. It tracks the patients’ diabetes as controlled or uncontrolled and passes along the information to their provider. It is an assessment to see how the hospital is doing on managed care for diabetes. There is also a registry for Asthma. I have been working to assign patients with Diabetes, who are new to the registry, to a care team in order to track the patient’s managed care.
In addition, I have been screening the We Are New York videos to patients in waiting rooms and clinics in order to gain a good number of reviews to submit to the project. I will be submitting an aggregation report on the reviews.
I have also been attending more CIDP meetings. Last week we had a meeting on common chronic diseases and the process of care for patients with those diseases. Some of the diseases included were COPD, Cellulitis, Diabetes, Chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis, etc.
This was very imformative because it helped me to understand how these conditions can become so unmanaged and why a majority of patients develop a theory of inevitability: “It’s going to get worse. It’s out of my control. I am just going to end up in the Emergency Room again. How can I ease the pain (with drugs, alcohol, etc)?” There are two theories that a lot of patients with chronic illnesses have: fatalism (that fate will inevitably lead a patient to reach another bad point in their illness) and stoicism (knowing it will get worse but, waiting until it gets too bad).
But, I think the biggest highlight of the last two weeks was a kids bike ride I participated in that is sponsored by the hospital to promote healthy lifestyles. The bike ride took place on Friday and in conjunction with the New York Cycle Club, North Brooklyn Health Network and Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center and Recycle a Bicycle. We rode from Queens over the 59th street bridge to Lincoln Center in Midtown. At Lincoln Center, we introduced the kids to a world-reknown flautist and a bassist from the New York Philharmonic. The kids were really excited and enthusiastic along the 15 mile bike ride and upon reaching Lincoln Center. They were singing “Just keep pedaling, just keep pedaling” along the route. It was really a great experience.
The program works with Recycle a Bicycle to provide kids who ride with bikes. Woodhull promotes healthy living by distributing weekly exercise cards for children to keep track of the amount of exercise they are getting and the New York Cycle Club brings in riders to ride with the kids and protect the bike horde as we storm the streets of Manhattan and the rest of New York. In the summertime, the Kids Ride Club as it’s called, runs a ride every Friday and on Sundays during the school year. Kids who participate 3 times get a bike jersey and those who continue to participate up to 6 times get matching bike shorts. It’s a great way to promote healthy lifestyles among young kids and to get them confident about exercising. Studies show that if you are confident in exercise as a child, whether it’s because you loved playing soccer on a team as a kid or you enjoyed playing basketball in the city park, you are more likely later on in life to continue those healthy habits because you don’t associate them with negative feelings of self-consciousness and weakness.