According to the 2012 Bloomberg’s Rankings, the U.S. is the 33rd healthiest nation out of 145 with populations of one million or greater. Surprisingly, Canada and all of the European countries listed ranked higher. Total health-scores were based on infant mortality and life expectancy rates, age factors and causes of death. Then lifestyle, medical and environmental risk factors were subtracted from that score to achieve a ranking. The top 5: Singapore, Italy, Australia, Switzerland and Japan all share high standards of hygiene and environmental consciousness; heart-healthy diets and portion control measures; along with more physically active lifestyles.
Taking a page from the world’s book, many American cities are encouraging their residents to become more active and eat healthier by supporting the growth of farm-to-table restaurants, organic markets and community gardens. Major metropolises are adopting bike-sharing programs, expanding their green spaces, and constructing more walking paths to promote greater physical activity. Each year, the American Fitness Index lists the 50 most fit places to live and here are a few of the top 10:
- # 1 Minneapolis, MN: Top honor goes to this northern metropolitan area for its clean air, plentiful farmers’ markets, golf courses, fitness centers and playgrounds. Smoking is banned in public places and residents have a low incidence of cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses.
- # 2 Washington, DC: The nation’s capital has plenty of trails, even closing some roads on weekends to accommodate joggers and cyclists. Washingtonians eat more fruits and vegetables and smoke less than other Americans, resulting in low rates of diabetes and heart disease.
- #8 Seattle, WA: Although the city has fewer parkland than most, Seattle residents tend to be above average when it comes to physical fitness. More of them bike or walk to work, eat healthier and schools have a higher PE requirement than elsewhere in the country.
- #9 Virginia Beach, VA: With access to excellent healthcare and 89% of its residents covered by insurance, it is no wonder that the city has some of the lowest rates of angina and cardiovascular disease. Add to that a multitude of sports venues and you can’t help but be healthy and active.
Want to learn more about how you can make one of these healthy and fit environments your new home? Call the Centra Team at 800 535 0076. We have great opportunities for CHTs, OTs, COTAs, PTs, PTAs, NPs, RNs, Nurse Managers, Rehab Managers and SLPs.
- Category: General Information
Can’t Live Without Them? Learn to Live With Them!
Has your smartphone/tablet become an integral fixture in your professional and personal life? Do you use devices as patient education aids, clinical information references, or data collection and therapy scheduling tools? Most likely your digital usage doesn’t end when your work shift does either. You use devices to connect socially, help children with homework, and even as entertainment. But those long hours peering into varying sized screens are not without consequences. The American Optometric Association estimates that some 100 million American workers, healthcare pros included, suffer from Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Spending two or more hours per day on digital technologies can result in eyestrain, blurred vision, redness, headaches, and dry eyes. In addition, these can result in reduced productivity at work and at home.
Giving up your smartphone/computer/tablet is likely out of the question, so what can you do to combat CVS? Since March is both “Save Your Vision Month” and “Workplace Eye Wellness Month”, The Vision Council has put out a 16 page guide to digital eye health. Here are a few of their tips:
- Use the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes take a 20 second break and look at something 20 feet away.
- Position screens correctly: Larger screens should be set at arms’ length and eye level or just below. Viewing angles should not exceed 35 degrees. Smaller screens should be held no closer than you hold a newspaper or magazine.
- Enlarge those fonts: Enlarging the text sufficiently can greatly reduce eyestrain especially with handheld devices.
- Reduce glare: Adjusting screen brightness, dimming surrounding lightsources, periodic dusting/cleaning the screen and changing the backgroundfrom white to gray can all reduce glare and prevent eyestrain.
- Invest in yourself: Modify your workspace by purchasing an ergonomic deskchair that supports your spine and keeps you seated upright. Wear eyeglasses? Buy computer eyewear specifically designed to reduce glare and increase contrast.
We encourage you to be wise in your digital device usage and follow these tips. At Centra we use advanced technologies ourselves to showcase realtime employment positions and alert technology that is based on your personal criteria. If you are looking for new and exciting opportunities call us at 800 535 0076, go to our Facebook page or use our mobile app and we will put technology to work for you!
- Category: Career Advice
Singing the Interview Blues???
So you researched, prepared and rehearsed for that perfect job. You gave clear, concise answers to all the questions, smiled just at the right moments and left after firmly shaking hands with your potential employer. You get in your car, drive home, still excited by the prospect of a new job. After a few hours or a few days you are suddenly hit by an enormous sense of fatigue. Sound familiar? No, it is not a figment of your imagination... and yes, you are not alone in your misery. Anecdotal evidence abounds that this phenomenon is more widespread than we suspect.
The truth is that post-interview fatigue can manifest both emotionally and physically. It has a variety of root causes, sometimes even multiple causes. So we gathered a few helpful hints to reduce or even eliminate any letdowns when auditioning for your next employment position.
- Fuel Up: Feed your body nutrient rich foods such as eggs, salmon, bran cereal, beans, leafy greens, walnuts and citrus fruits, pre-and post-interview to curb blood sugar spikes and boost energy. Avoid greasy, heavy meals and stick to lighter fare, especially if traveling. Mom was right when she made you eat a good breakfast before school!
- Hydrate: A Tufts University study revealed a correlation between dehydration and cognitive thinking and mood. A loss of just 1% body water can muddle your thought process and bring on body fatigue. While water is the best hydrator, drinking a cup of coffee can help you stay alert and focused before any early morning meeting. Don’t drink java after 4 pm or you’ll be up all night!
- Get Some Shut-eye: A good night’s sleep before a big day is essential. Research suggests that 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is what most people require for peak performance. Can’t sleep? Try soothing aromatherapy oil baths, sleepytime teas, meditation and deep-breathing techniques, or fall asleep to quiet music.
- Change Focus: One of the best tricks for avoiding fatigue is shifting from purely mental to physical activities. Exercise, be it an intense workout or a simple walk in the park, raises mood-enhancing serotonin levels and distracts from replaying the events of the day. Engaging in any activity you enjoy, not directly connected to the interview process, works to restore the body’s balance.
- Let It Go: View each interview as a way to share your skills and experiences, make new connections, - not as a chore. These are opportunities to get your brand out there and build confidence - remember, “practice makes perfect”! Achieve closure by sending follow-up thank you e-mails and/or writing your post-interview thoughts and analysis in a journal for future use.
Avoid interview fatigue altogether...contact Centra. Our team of expert consultants will lead you through the process start to finish, ensuring a smooth and successful outcome. Call us at 800 535 0076!
- Category: Career Advice
Best of the Best!
Your chosen profession is just that ...a personal choice. However, it is always comforting to have your decision validated by an objective source. U.S. News and World Report recently revealed its 2013 top 100 best jobs. It should come as no surprise that health related careers are in the top third of that list. Occupations were selected based on hiring demands for each, as identified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Rankings then considered seven measures using BLS stats: number of projected job openings; job growth percentage; median salary; current employment rate; future job prospects; everyday stress level; and work-life balance.
Using these criteria, here is how health professions stack up:
- #2 Registered Nurse: With a broad range of specializations and workenvironments, current and long-term growth potential is high. Add to that increased demand as the greying of America continues for the foreseeable future.
- #8 Physical Therapist: An aging population also increases demand forrehabilitative professionals. Students who network during required internships will have a leg up on the competition.
- #11 Occupational Therapist: Helping clients stay independent and performing theirdaily tasks, keeps this profession high on the list. Choosing a specialty early is important, but the bulk of job growth is expected in elder care.
- #15 Physical Therapist Assistant: Job growth for PTAs is expected to surpass that of the therapists they assist. As with PTs, internships are often the key to future employment opportunities.
- #28 Speech Language Pathologist: In the last few years, median salaries for SLPshave increased significantly. As with the careers mentioned above, rate of growth will be highest for those working with seniors.
Are you an RN, PT, OT, PTA, or SLP looking to take advantage of projected job growth and new opportunities in your field? Centra can help! Call our team at 800 535 0076 and see what we can do for you.
- Category: General Information
Take the Test, Stem the Tide.
An American Diabetes Association (ADA) study found that total diabetes costs grew to a staggering $245 billion last year, a 41% increase since the 2007 study. This figure included roughly $69 billion in indirect costs, such as reduced productivity and absenteeism. That translates to 1 out of every 5 dollars spent on caring for the almost 26 million children and adults diagnosed as diabetics. Factor in the 79 million who are pre-diabetic, and we are facing a financial and health epidemic of epic proportions that must be addressed! Although nearly one in three Americans is in danger of developing Type 2 diabetes, most are ill-informed about the risks and associated consequences: heart disease, blindness, stroke, kidney disease and in extreme cases, death.
The ADA’s 25th Annual Alert! Day on March 26th seeks to inform the public about prevention and management of the disease. They are asking everyone to take the Diabetes Risk Test, and as an added incentive, Boar’s Head, a corporate sponsor of the event, will donate $5 to ADA for every test taken from March 26-April 9, 2013. Although everyone is encouraged to take the test, for certain groups this test could literally change their lives! Anyone overweight, sedentary, elderly or with a family history of the disease is at higher risk. Certain segments of the population, namely African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, are also more susceptible to acquiring this pervasive disease.
We encourage you to spread the word to family, friends, colleagues and patients. An informed public is the best way to prevent new cases and stem the financial burden to our system. Centra supports the efforts of the ADA to decrease the incidence of diabetes in our culture. If you are an NP, RN, OT or PT interested in helping those already diagnosed, contact one of our outstanding consultants at 800 535 0076 today!
- Category: Patient Care