Healthcare Management Waste Spending Reduction

By – James M. Katz, BA

Health care costs are rising, and the challenge of finding new ways to reduce them can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, there are strategies you can use to successfully cut costs in health care. Healthcare Management decisions can range from improving processes and taking advantage of technology, to restructuring services and looking for alternative funding sources, there are a range of strategies that can help you achieve significant savings in healthcare. In this article, we will explore seven essential strategies that can help you reduce costs in healthcare, and why they are important. You’ll learn how to develop a plan of action, assess and analyze costs, and identify opportunities for cost-cutting. With the right approach, you can make a real difference to your hospital, clinic, or medical practice’s bottom line.

Healthcare Management can help reduce their wasteful spending in a number of ways. Most hospitals and care providers use a volume payment style for specialists, instead health care managers can move towards a value-based care style. This approach as seen in the video linked below along with other methods can help to greatly reduce wasteful Healthcare Management spending.

How can we do a better job of removing low-value, wasteful care from the health care system?

The quick and easy answer is you stop paying for it. There’s not been a lot of will to do that, so, the question is: what else can you do? There’s really 2 things. One is, you change how you pay specialists. So, 93% of the specialists in this country are strictly volume based, and that does not foster a value-based care environment. You need to build incentive models so that about a third to up to 50% of the revenue that a specialist makes is based on incentives for value-based care, for population health management, and not based for volume. It’s a tricky thing to do, because the specialty incentive model needs to look completely different for each specialty. They have to be designed specialty specific. It’s difficult, not impossible. We’re actually hard at work doing that now.

Link to the Video

Commentary:

Business woman standing in the middle of an office.

Assessing Costs: Looking at the full range of healthcare costs

Before you can find ways to reduce costs, you need to be sure that you are looking at the full range of costs in your healthcare organization. It’s very easy to only consider direct costs, or costs related to the delivery of a medical service, such as the cost of staff salaries, drugs, supplies, and equipment. However, there are a number of indirect costs that are just as important to reducing costs in healthcare management. These costs may be less obvious than the direct costs, but are nonetheless an important part of the total cost of healthcare. Indirect costs include the cost of facilities and equipment, as well as depreciation costs. They also include the cost of administration, which includes costs such as marketing, finance, and human resources. If you are satisfied only looking at the direct costs, you could miss out on significant cost-saving opportunities. By taking a more holistic approach to assessing costs, you can better identify how to reduce costs in healthcare.

Streamlining Processes: Optimizing current processes to reduce waste

Healthcare organizations are often plagued by inefficiency and waste. For example, some processes are designed to be inefficient, meaning that they generate no real benefit for the organization, but simply consume resources. By discovering inefficiencies within your processes, you can find opportunities to reduce waste and make significant cost savings. For example, if you use paper records, you are wasting a large amount of paper. Once you have assessed your paper records, you can see where you can reduce these costs. If you have a procedure where patients are asked to sign a form, but the form is never used, then the sign-up time is wasted. Consider making the form a digital record, which can then be reused instead of being thrown away once the patient has signed it.

Exploring Technology: Taking advantage of new technology to increase efficiency

There are many opportunities to reduce costs through technology. For example, some hospitals have found success in using virtual care technologies such as video conferencing and web-based software. Virtual care can be a perfect solution for remote areas with no nearby medical facilities. Technology can also be used to improve the efficiency of routine tasks in healthcare management. For example, many organizations use EMR systems to record and manage patient records. However, these systems are often used to record information that is far from essential. With careful assessment, you can reduce the cost of using EMR systems, and increase the efficiency of the technology at the same time. Consider using paper records where possible, and transfer less essential information from the EMR to digital systems. You can also find ways to make EMR systems more efficient. For example, you could schedule daily or weekly reports to update less essential information. This can help to reduce the cost of using EMR systems, while still benefiting from the technology.

Restructuring Services: Reorganizing services to maximize efficiency

As services are implemented, it is important to assess their efficiency. For example, if your organization offers a walk-in clinic, you may assume that it is an efficient service. However, walk-in clinics often have long waiting times, which is inefficient. An efficient walk-in clinic can help to reduce costs for your organization. To find ways to reduce costs in healthcare, it is important to assess the efficiency of services. If a walk-in clinic is offered to patients, it could be an efficient service. However, if a specific surgery is offered only at a walk-in clinic, then the service is less efficient and could be restructured. It is also important to assess the efficiency of individual surgeries. For example, it may be possible to perform a less invasive procedure with the same amount of time. The more invasive the procedure is, the more time it takes, so it is important to assess the efficiency of individual services.

Securing Alternative Funding: Pursuing new sources of funding

Many health care organizations struggle to cover their costs, which can lead to a shortage of staff, restricted services, or even closure. To reduce the risk of this happening, some organizations have sought alternative funding, such as self-funding or crowdfunding. Alternative funding options can provide a new way to secure funding for your organization, or for new initiatives. For example, healthcare management team may choose to use a portion of its own funding to support innovative projects, such as a new diagnostic service. Alternatively, funding from alternative sources can help to support a new initiative, such as a new clinical trial. Alternative funding options can be a way to secure funding for your organization. Alternative funding options can be a new way to secure funding for your organization, such as crowdfunding, or a portion of your own funding.

Creating a Plan of Action: Developing a plan to implement cost-cutting strategies

It can be difficult to reduce costs when you are relatively new to the sector, or have only started your cost-cutting efforts recently. However, it is important to remain committed to the strategies that you have chosen, and to make sure that they are being implemented effectively. A key part of developing an effective plan of action is to analyze the results of your cost-cutting efforts. This can be done by documenting your progress, and making regular assessments of the efficiency of your cost-cutting strategies. Healthcare Management should also consider involving your staff in the process of cost-cutting, and making sure that they are all aware of the benefits of cost-cutting. This can help to make your organization more efficient and cost-effective, while also helping to make your staff more cost-conscious.

Conclusion: Summarizing the importance of cost-cutting in healthcare

Health care costs are rising, and many organizations are struggling to cover these costs. Fortunately, there are many cost-cutting strategies that you can use to successfully reduce costs, and make significant savings in healthcare management. It is important to remember that the best way to reduce costs is to assess the full cost of your current health care model, and then look for ways to reduce this cost. This requires a more holistic approach to cost-cutting, in which you take into account indirect costs as well as direct costs. Health care costs are rising, and many organizations are struggling to cover these costs. Fortunately, there are many cost-cutting strategies that you can use to successfully reduce costs, and make significant savings in healthcare.

Healthcare Management can be an excellent transition from the nursing field. If you are interested in becoming certified in Healthcare Management then you might want to check out our certification program here. 

References:

Wikipedia: Unnecessary Health Care

CDC: Healthcare Budgeting

Additional Resources:

Waste in the US Health Care System: Estimated Costs and Potential for Savings. Shrank WH, et al. JAMA. 2019 Oct 15;322(15):1501-1509. doi: 10.1001/jama.2019.13978. PMID: 31589283.

Access here 

Reducing Administrative Waste in the US Health Care System. Kocher RP. JAMA. 2021;325(5):427–428. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.24767

Access Here 

Eliminating waste in healthcare spending. Kalipso Chalkidou, et al BMJ 2017;356:j570

Access Here 

Excess Medical Care Spending: The Categories, Magnitude, and Opportunity Costs of Wasteful Spending in the United States. Matthew Speer, et al.  2020: American Journal of Public Health 110, 1743_1748,

Access Here 

How to Parent a Child with ADHD

Children with ADHD can be a lot to handle.  They are constantly distracted and on the move and can get into things if not properly monitored.  Parents can become quickly frustrated with these antics and lose their cool.  Parents can add fuel to the fire by responding improperly to ADHD behavior.  It is important to understand how to respond to children with ADHD as to better control the behavior and help the child cope.

Parenting can be stressful enough, but with ADHD children it can become a difficult route if one does not know how to cope with ADHD symptoms

 

The article, “2 Things It’s Best Not to Say to Children With ADHD” by Anthony Smith takes a closer look at how to properly manage a child with ADHD.  He warns against fueling ADHD behavior and making it worst by avoiding certain actions and behaviors.  In particular, he lists the comments “Will You Behave” and “Can you stop and just focus” as two phrases to avoid.  He states,

“People who encounter kids with ADHD are frequently guilty of two phrases that ultimately add to their frustration and contribute to a negative self-perception and possibly conduct issues. If you know someone with ADHD, or you encounter such individuals on the job and aren’t sure what to say, avoiding the following two phrases will likely up your game, especially if replaced with the suggested alternatives.”

“2 Things It’s Best Not to Say to Children With ADHD”. Anthony Smith. December 30th, 2022. Psychology Today.

To learn more how to help manage children with ADHD, please read the entire article and click here

 

Commentary

Raising a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be a challenge, but with the right knowledge and tools, parents can successfully manage their child’s condition and help them reach their full potential.  ADHD Consultants can help supply guidance and information in meeting these challenges.  Counselors with specialty certifications in ADHD can also work with a child.

As a parent of a child with ADHD, you may experience a range of emotions, including frustration, guilt, and helplessness. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone in this journey. With the right strategies and support, you can help your child thrive.

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impairs a person’s ability to focus and self-regulate. It’s estimated that up to 11 percent of children between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD, making it one of the most common mental health disorders in children. While there is no single cause of ADHD, research suggests that genetics, environmental factors, and brain development may all play a role.

Identifying ADHD in Your Child

It’s important to identify ADHD early, as early intervention can be key in managing the disorder. Symptoms of ADHD vary and can range from difficulty paying attention to impulsivity and hyperactivity. Some children may be more hyperactive or impulsive, while others may have difficulty staying focused or organized.

If your child is exhibiting any of the following symptoms, they may have ADHD:

  • Difficulty paying attention or staying focused
  • Easily distracted
  • Impulsivity
  • Difficulty following instructions
  • Hyperactivity
  • Poor organizational skills

If you think your child may have ADHD, it’s important to speak with your pediatrician. They can provide a thorough medical evaluation and refer you to a mental health professional for further testing and diagnosis.

Understanding ADHD and Learning how to Parent a Child with it

Once your child is diagnosed with ADHD, it’s important to learn as much as you can about the disorder. Understanding the signs, symptoms, and treatments of ADHD can help you better manage your child’s condition and provide them with the resources they need.

The key to successful parenting of a child with ADHD is to create a positive and structured environment. This means setting clear expectations, creating routines and schedules, and providing positive reinforcement when your child meets those expectations. Additionally, it’s important to be aware of your own emotions and reactions, as your attitude and behavior can have a significant impact on your child’s mental health.

Tips for Parenting a Child with ADHD

Here are some tips for parenting a child with ADHD:

  • Establish clear rules and expectations. Set boundaries and be consistent with them.
  • Praise your child when they do something positive. Positive reinforcement can be a powerful tool for motivating good behavior.
  • Break tasks down into smaller, manageable steps. This can help your child stay focused and on task.
  • Set aside time for one-on-one activities that your child enjoys. This can help build your child’s self-esteem and allow them to practice self-regulation.
  • Limit distractions in the home. Turn off the TV and limit screen time.
  • Get organized. Create a designated space for your child’s schoolwork, toys, and other items.
  • Be patient. Parenting a child with ADHD can be challenging, but it’s important to remain patient and consistent.

Setting Limits and Creating Structure

Setting limits and creating structure is key to parenting a child with ADHD. Clear expectations and boundaries can help your child stay focused and on task. It’s also important to be consistent with these limits, as consistency can help your child develop a sense of security and predictability.

Create a routine and stick to it. Routines can help your child stay organized and on track. Have your child take part in creating the routine, as this can help them take ownership of their responsibilities. Additionally, provide rewards and consequences for good and bad behavior. Rewards can be used to motivate good behavior, while consequences should be used sparingly and only when necessary.

Developing Routines and Schedules

Having a daily routine and schedule can be helpful for a child with ADHD. Routines provide structure and can help your child stay focused and on task. Additionally, they can help your child develop time management skills, which can be invaluable both in school and in life.

When creating a routine or schedule, involve your child in the process. This can help them take ownership of their responsibilities and give them a sense of control. Additionally, it’s important to be flexible and understand that it may take some time for your child to adjust to the new routine.

Building Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence

Self-esteem and self-confidence can be a challenge for children with ADHD. It’s important to provide your child with positive reinforcement and praise when they do something positive. Additionally, try to focus on your child’s strengths and encourage them to pursue activities that they enjoy. This can help boost their self-esteem and give them a sense of accomplishment.

It’s also important to be aware of your own reactions and emotions. Children with ADHD can often feel overwhelmed by their own emotions and overwhelmed by the expectations of others. If your child is struggling, it’s important to provide them with a safe space to express their feelings and provide them with comfort and reassurance.

Understanding and Responding to Challenging Behaviors

Children with ADHD often exhibit challenging behaviors, such as impulsivity, hyperactivity, and difficulty following instructions. It’s important to be patient and understanding when confronting challenging behaviors. Talk to your child and try to understand the root cause of their behavior. Additionally, it’s important to remain consistent and provide clear expectations and consequences.

It’s also important to provide your child with positive reinforcement for good behavior. Praise them when they do something positive and reward them for meeting expectations. This can help motivate good behavior and boost their self-esteem.

How to Communicate With Your Child About ADHD

Communication is key when it comes to parenting a child with ADHD. It’s important to create an open and honest dialogue with your child about their condition. Explain their diagnosis in age-appropriate terms and help them understand their feelings and behaviors. Additionally, it’s important to be understanding and reassuring when your child is struggling.

It’s also important to provide your child with accurate information about ADHD and its treatments. This can help your child better understand their condition and feel more empowered to manage their symptoms.

Dealing with Stress and Anxiety

Parenting a child with ADHD can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s important to take time for yourself and practice self-care. Make time for activities that you enjoy and find ways to reduce stress, such as exercising or meditating. Additionally, it’s important to seek out support from family and friends.

If stress becomes too overwhelming, it’s important to speak with a mental health professional. They can provide you with the support and resources you need to better manage your stress and emotions.

Professional Resources for Parents of Children with ADHD

There are a number of resources available for parents of children with ADHD. Organizations such as CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) and the National Resource Center on ADHD provide information and support for parents. Additionally, there are a number of online resources, such as forums and support groups, that can provide you with additional information and resources.  ADHD Consultants can also supply a wealth of knowledge about managing and helping a child cope with ADHD.

Conclusion

Please review AIHCP’s ADHD Consulting Certification for mental healthcare professionals seeking a four year certification

 

Raising a child with ADHD can be challenging, but with the right knowledge and tools, parents can successfully manage their child’s condition and help them reach their full potential. By understanding ADHD and learning how to parent a child with it, parents can create a positive and structured environment and provide their child with the resources they need to succeed.

If you’re a parent of a child with ADHD, remember that you’re not alone in this journey. Seek out support, be patient, and remember to take care of yourself. With the right strategies and support, you can help your child thrive.

If on the other side, you wish to help others with ADHD, many counseling professionals seek an ADHD Consulting Certification. Please also review AIHCP’s ADHD Consulting Certification and see if it meets your professional and academic goals.  AIHCP offers a four year certification in ADHD Consulting.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals.

 

Additional Resources

“Parenting Tips for ADHD: Do’s and Don’ts”. Eloise Porter. September 17th, 2018. Healthline. Access here

“How to Retool Your Parenting Skills When Raising a Child With ADHD”. Melissa Daly.  May 9th, 2022. WebMD. Access here

“Parenting a child, teen with ADHD”. Janice Schreier. September 13th, 2022. Mayo Clinic. Access here

“When Parent and Child Both Have ADHD”. Caroline Miller. April 12th, 2022. Child Mind Institute. Access here

Anger Management and Controlling a Temper

Losing one’s temper can be in the moment due to a bad day but it could also be a habit due to past trauma and issues.  The ability to communicate with one’s subconscious at a more clear level can help an individual cope and deal with unpleasantries throughout the day in a more calm manner.  Rapid Transformational Therapy looks to help individuals talk more with their subconscious and understand why tempers can flare and how to control those tempers better.

Losing one’s temper should never be an option even if in the right. Control of one’s temper is a life skill one can work on with anger management

 

 

Anger Management and Rapid Transformational Therapy can help an individuals identify their anger source and also find ways to better cope with the anger by releasing whatever is holding one hostage to anger.  The article, “Lose Your Temper Often? Learn How to Get that Monster in Control” by

“RTT helps you transform your negative beliefs about yourself, such as ‘I can’t cope’, into better ones that serve you, like ‘I can overcome any challenges that I face’. Programming this positive story into your mind will make huge shifts in your reaction — you will start to react more and more from a place of strength and confidence. This shift will, as a consequence, start to positively impact your relationships. RTT can help you gain the control you need to approach the same situation differently. Once you change your mindset, you will change your reality.”

“Lose Your Temper Often? Learn How to Get that Monster in Control”.

To learn more about controlling your temper and to read the full article, please click here

Commentary

The causes of a temper can be multifaceted and are likely contingent on an individual’s physiological, psychological, and environmental factors. For example, a person may have an increased propensity for outbursts due to a genetic predisposition towards emotional instability or impulsivity. Additionally, psychosocial stressors such as interpersonal conflict or economic insecurity can contribute to the development of a temper.  Cognitively, a temper may result from the individual’s appraisal of a situation as threatening or frustrating and their subsequent decision to engage in aggressive behavior as an adaptive coping strategy in order to restore their sense of control. Emotionally, anger is often caused by perceived injustice or violation of personal values and beliefs.

Anger in itself is not bad but when misused or allowed to take control of a situation then it can become dangerous to everyone involved.  It is hence important to utilize Anger Management techniques.  Controlling one’s temper is key and important to a healthier life style.  Controlling one’s temper is an integral part of self-regulation, as it involves the ability to inhibit impulsivity and channel emotional reactions in a constructive way. It requires individuals to be aware of their visceral reactions, recognize the emotions behind them, and attempt to modulate these affective states in order to maintain composure. This process necessitates a degree of cognitive control, whereby conscious thought can override automatic responses and facilitate more appropriate behavior.

Controlling one’s temper can be achieved through a variety of techniques, such as cognitive reappraisal or emotion regulation strategies. Cognitive reappraisal involves the conscious reframing of situations in order to reduce emotional arousal and diminish the likelihood of an outburst. Additionally, emotion regulation strategies involve techniques such as distraction, relaxation, and mindfulness that help to reorient attention away from anger-provoking stimuli.  Cognitive restructuring involves examining one’s beliefs about the situation that has caused their temper to flare up and assessing whether those beliefs are realistic and helpful. Mindfulness involves becoming aware of one’s emotions and thoughts without attempting to suppress or judge them; instead, an individual is encouraged to observe them from a non-judgmental stance.

Anger Management 

AIHCP offers a four year Anger Management Consulting certification for qualified professionals seeking education and background in the field

 

In trying to control a temper, Anger Management can help provide insight and skills to manage one’s temper.  While one may have a right no be angry, one never has a right to lose control.  Anger Management can help individuals control a temper and live a better life.

Anger management techniques refer to a suite of approaches for modulating emotion regulation, with the ultimate aim of mitigating maladaptive reactive behaviors. These techniques may include cognitive restructuring, somatic techniques, problem solving strategies and emotional regulation strategies. Cognitive restructuring involves identifying irrational cognitions associated with anger and replacing them with more adaptive thoughts. Somatic techniques involve using physical sensations to reduce emotional arousal such as deep breathing or relaxation exercises.

Conclusion

In conclusion, controlling our temper is an important life skill that we can all benefit from. Through practice, patience and understanding, anyone can learn to manage their anger. Taking the time to reflect on a situation before responding and learning to express emotions in a healthy way can help us develop better relationships with others, as well as ourselves. Moreover, it can make all aspects of life more enjoyable and meaningful, as we free ourselves from negative thoughts and feelings of anger. In addition, Anger management is an important skill for everyone. It takes effort and practice, but the results are well worth it. Improved relationships, better physical health, and increased mental clarity are just a few of the benefits that come from mastering this tool. Additionally, with repeated practice, anger management skills can become automatic responses to difficult situations. This means less time wasted thinking about how to respond and more time spent managing emotions in a healthy way.
Those trained in Anger Management can help individuals utilize various techniques and skills to handle stressful situations and deal with anger in a constructive way.  Please also review AIHCP’s Anger Management Consulting Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Anger Management.
Additional Resources
“Control anger before it controls you”. APA. March 3rd, 2022. APA. Access here
“11 Anger Management Strategies to Help You Calm Down”. Amy Morin.  November 30th, 2022. VeryWellMind. Access here
“How to Control Anger: 25 Tips to Help You Stay Calm”. Kimberly Holland.  January 29th, 2019. Healthline.  Access here
“How to Own Your Short Temper and Stay in Control”. Cindy Lamothe.  January 29th, 2020. Healthline. Access here

How Nursing Management Can Help Lower Serious Safety Events

By James M Katz, BA

The Role of the Chief Nurse in Ensuring Employee and Patient Safety:

As the chief nurse, it is your responsibility to ensure that serious safety events are prevented and reduced in your facility. In order to do this, you must be aware of the potential risks and hazards that exist in your facility. You must also have a system in place to identify these risks and hazards. Once you have identified the risks and hazards, you must implement strategies to mitigate them. Some strategies you may consider include:

-Educating staff on proper safety procedures: What instructions are you providing to your staff in regards to their safety?

-Conducting regular safety audits: How are you testing your staff safety readiness?

-Implementing security measures: Are you giving your staff the proper tools and policies to protect themselves as well as the patients?

-Creating a culture of safety in your facility: Are you cultivating a positive and safe working environment?

By taking these steps, you can help reduce the occurrence of serious safety events in your facility.

This article helps illustrate key points in employee and patient safety and how Nurse Management can implement strategies to proactively prevent common safety issues. Issues like; patient falls, common medication errors, lowering the chance of hospital acquired infections, and having resolutions in place to combat them. This article will not only help you identify potential safety hazards but also perhaps help you come up with policy solutions to prevent them from happening in the first place!

Lanie Ward: The most common patient safety issues that I see through my eyes as a CNO are [these] three: medication errors, hospital-acquired infections, and patient falls. There’s no question that med errors happen with the greatest frequency. Many of them cause no harm to the patient, but some do cause severe harm and even result in patient death. That’s why it’s so important that we carefully evaluate all med errors, even if there was no harm.”

Chief Nurse: How to Reduce Serious Safety Events. By Carol Davis. Healthleaders.com. October 17, 2022
Access Article Here 

A sign that says Safety First

Commentary

The Importance of Communication and Collaboration Among Staff:

It is essential for staff members to be able to communicate and collaborate effectively with one another. Good communication ensures that everyone is on the same page and can work together efficiently to achieve common goals. It also allows for the sharing of ideas and knowledge, which can lead to better decision making and improved outcomes.

Furthermore, collaboration among staff members helps to build team morale and cohesion. When staff members are able to work together towards a common goal, it builds trust and respect for one another. This, in turn, leads to a more positive work environment where employees are more engaged and productive.

Good communication and collaboration are essential for any organization or business that wants to be successful. By fostering a culture of open communication and teamwork, businesses can create an environment where employees can thrive and reach their full potential.

Strategies for Reducing Falls and Other Common Safety Events:

Falls are one of the most common safety events in healthcare. They can lead to serious injury, and even death. However, there are strategies that healthcare managers can use to reduce the incidence of falls.

One strategy is to identify patients who are at risk for falling. This includes patients who are elderly, have a history of falling, or have certain medical conditions that make them more likely to fall. Once at-risk patients have been identified, steps can be taken to make sure they are being closely monitored.

Another strategy is to create a “fall prevention team”. This team should consist of nurses, doctors, and any other staff members who regularly interact with patients. The team should meet on a regular basis to discuss fall prevention strategies and share any new information about at-risk patients.

The Benefits of Using Data to Identify Trends and Target Interventions:

Nursing data is a powerful tool that can be used to identify trends and target healthcare interventions. By analyzing nursing data, healthcare professionals can develop more effective management strategies that improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.

Nursing data can be used to track changes in patients’ health over time, identify potential risk factors for certain conditions, and evaluate the effectiveness of various treatments. By understanding these trends, healthcare providers can tailor their interventions to more effectively address the needs of their patients.

In addition, nursing data can help assess the impact of external factors on patients’ health. For example, by tracking emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and readmissions, nurses can identify patterns that may be indicative of problems with access to care or poor quality of care. By using this information to target specific interventions, nurses can help improve the overall quality of healthcare delivery.

Conclusion: the Chief Nurse’s Role in Improving Patient Safety:

In conclusion, the chief nurse’s role in improving patient safety is essential. The chief nurse is responsible for ensuring that nurses are competent and safe, and for setting the tone for a culture of safety in the organization. The chief nurse can make a difference in patient safety by promoting a culture of safety, by leading by example, and by advocating for patients’ rights.

If you are a chief nurse or part of the nursing management staff and would like to further your knowledge and become a certified Nurse Management professional then perhaps you would like to visit our Nurse Management Certification Program? You can access our program and the required online courses here – Nurse Management CE Courses 

Additional Resources:

Control of hospital acquired infections and antimicrobial resistance in Europe: the way to go. Friedrich, A.W.  Wien Med Wochenschr 169 (Suppl 1), 25–30 (2019).
Access Here

Reducing hospital-acquired infections and improving the rational use of antibiotics in a developing country: an effectiveness study. Murni IK, Duke T, Kinney S, et al. Archives of Disease in Childhood 2015;100:454-459.
Access Here 

Can Rounding Reduce Patient Falls in Acute Care? An Integrative Literature Review Hicks, Darlene. Medsurg Nursing; Pitman Vol. 24, Iss. 1,  (Jan/Feb 2015): 51-55.
Access Here

Patient safety culture as perceived by operating room professionals: a mixed-methods study. Aouicha, W., Tlili, M.A., Sahli, J. et al. BMC Health Serv Res 22, 799 (2022).
Access Here 

 

 

Substance Abuse Care Found to be very Effective via Telehealth

By: Dominick L. Flarey, Ph.D, RN-BC, ANP-BC, FACHE
Board Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner
Board Certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse
Executive Director The American Institute of Health Care Professionals, Inc.

 

Substance abuse care has traditionally been delivered in person, but a new study has found that telehealth can be just as effective. The study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, followed a group of patients who were receiving care for substance abuse via telehealth. The researchers found that the patients who received care via telehealth were just as likely to stay in treatment and abstain from substance use as those who received in-person care.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many doctors to get creative with their treatment methods, including the use of telehealth to treat patients with opioid addiction. This is because traditional in-person treatments are not possible during the pandemic. Telehealth allows doctors to provide care to patients remotely, which is crucial for ensuring that patients with opioid addiction continue to receive the treatment they need.

In this US NEWS Article, author Cara Murez, presents the findings from a new study released by the Yale School of Public Health. This study consisted of survey research of more than 1,100 physicians who treated opioid-use disorder patients via telehealth.

“Researchers found that 6 out of every 7 physicians were in favor of making this temporary telehealth flexibility a permanent part of their practice. More than 75% said they would like to continue using telehealth after the COVID pandemic if regulations permitted.”

Most Docs Want Telehealth for Opiod Abuse Treatment to Stick Around. Cara Murez. US NEWS. October 17, 2022.

Access Article

Commentary

Care of patients with opiod addictions research shows telehealth is a viable option for their treatment. In a study done by the University of Colorado, it was found that patients who used telehealth for their care had better outcomes than those who did not. The study found that patients who used telehealth were more likely to remain in treatment and less likely to relapse. This is an important finding as it shows that telehealth can be an effective tool in the treatment of opiod addiction.

The flexibility of telehealth would allow more individuals to access life-saving treatment for opioid addiction. This would increase the number of people who are able to receive treatment and improve the chances of success for those who are struggling with addiction. By expanding the availability of treatment, we can make a significant impact on the opioid epidemic and save lives.

The number of people that die from opiod addiction is staggering. In the United States alone, the number of people dying from opiod addiction has quadrupled in the last fifteen years. This is a national tragedy that requires a concerted effort to address.

Factors leading to Opiod Abuse

There are many factors that contribute to the high number of deaths from opiod addiction. One is the widespread availability of opiates, both legal and illegal. Another factor is the lack of access to treatment for those suffering from addiction.

The lack of access to treatment for opioid addiction is a major problem facing our society today. There are many reasons for this problem, but the most important one is the stigma surrounding addiction. Too often, people view addicts as weak or morally corrupt, and this makes it difficult for them to get the help they need. Additionally, many insurance companies do not cover addiction treatment, which makes it even more difficult for addicts to get the help they need.

Benefits of Telehealth Counseling

There are numerous benefits of telehealth patient care, including improved access to care, increased convenience, and improved clinical outcomes. Telehealth can also help to reduce healthcare costs by reducing travel time and expenses for patients and providers alike. In addition, telehealth services can improve continuity of care by providing patients with easier access to their providers and medical records.

Patient counseling by telehealth is the process of providing counseling and support to patients via telephone or video conferencing. This type of counseling can be beneficial for patients who live in remote areas or who have difficulty accessing traditional counseling services. Telehealth counseling can also be helpful for patients who prefer to receive counseling in the privacy of their own homes.

Patients often feel that telehealth counseling is more private and confidential than in-person counseling. This may be due to the increased sense of anonymity that telehealth provides. Patients may also feel more comfortable discussing sensitive topics in the privacy of their own homes. Telehealth can also provide a sense of flexibility and convenience that is not always possible with in-person counseling.

Telehealth and Medication Prescribing

The use of telehealth to prescribe medications for opioid abuse is becoming increasingly popular. There are many advantages to using telehealth to prescribe medications, including the ability to reach a larger number of patients, the ability to provide more individualized care, and the ability to reduce the risk of medication errors.

Health care providers can prescribe medications and send them directly to pharmacies using telehealth technology. This process allows patients to receive their medications more quickly and conveniently. In addition, it helps to ensure that patients take their medications as prescribed and reduces the risk of medication errors.

Emergency Visits by Telehealth

There is growing evidence that emergency sessions for opioid abuse patients can be done effectively by telehealth. A recent study found that patients who participated in emergency telehealth sessions had a significant reduction in craving scores and were more likely to stay in treatment.

Emergency sessions for opioid abuse patients can be done by telehealth as needed in order to provide the patient with the necessary care and support they need. This is a significant advantage for patients and providers and can be life-saving. Providers can quickly call community rescue services if  their assessment of the patient finds the patient to be in any type of danger physically or emotionally.

Continuum of Care

A full continuum of care is possible for opioid and other types of substance abusers with telehealth. This means that individuals can receive services and support at every stage of their addiction, from initial treatment and detoxification to long-term recovery and maintenance. Telehealth can provide access to a variety of care providers, including counselors, psychiatrists, and physicians, who can work together to create an individualized care plan.

In conclusion,it is evident that telehealth has many benefits in the treatment of substance abuse disorders. It is convenient, accessible, and anonymous. Telehealth also allows for a more individualized approach to treatment. It is important to continue to research and develop telehealth services in order to provide the best possible care for those suffering from substance abuse disorders.

Career Opportunities

There are many career opportunities today in the specialty practice of substance abuse and addictive disorders. If you are a health care professional and are interested in learning about this practice specialty; the American Institute of Health Care Professionals, Inc. offers a full program of continuing education and certification in Substance Abuse Counseling leading to Certification as a Substance Abuse Practitioner. You may preview information on this program: access here.

Additional Resources

Understanding the Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Substance Use Disorder Treatment Facility Operations and Patient Success: Evidence From Mississippi. Devon Meadowdcroft, et.al. Sage Journals. Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment. May 13, 2022. Access here.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 and the Impact on Substance Use Disorder Treatments. Osnat C.Melamed, et.al. Psychiatric Clinics of North America. Vol. 45, Issue # 1: March 2022. Access here.

Using telehealth to improve buprenorphine access during and after COVID-19: A rapid response initiative in Rhode Island. Seth A. Clark, et.al. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. Vol. 124: May 2021. Access here.

Telehealth Capability Among Substance Use Disorder Treatment Facilities in Counties With High Versus Low COVID-19 Social Distancing. Jonathan Cantor, et.al. Journal of Addiction Medicine. December 2020. Access here.

Meditation and Yoga: They both have Benefits

Dominick L. Flarey, Ph.D, RN-BC, ANP-BC
Board Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner
Board Certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse

 

The benefits of meditation and yoga are vast and varied. They can help to improve mental and physical well-being, increase focus and concentration, reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep quality, and boost immunity. Additionally, meditation and yoga can help to increase self-awareness, foster a greater sense of self-compassion and acceptance, and promote more positive thinking patterns.

There are many similarities between meditation and yoga, which is why they are often practiced together. Both involve the use of breath control, focus, and mindfulness. In both practices, the goal is to quiet the mind and achieve a state of relaxation. Additionally, both meditation and yoga can be used as tools for self-improvement and personal growth.

In this article, Yoga and meditation: What are the real health benefits? author Kat Bayly presents us with some interesting information on both modalities and outlines the benefits of both practices. She also shows how both practices can be combined and often are to enhance the experiences. This interesting read will enhance your understanding of using both modalities as complimentary practices to one another to gain better health outcomes in your meditation and yoga practices.

“While meditation primarily works on your mind and thought patterns, yoga moves your body and can help improve your fitness. This isn’t to say that yoga doesn’t work with your mind and improve your mental health. Research has found that yoga can have a positive effect on your mental health too and meditation can also benefit you physically.”

 

 

Yoga and meditation: what are the real health benefits? Bayly, Kat. LiveScience. October 8, 2022. Access article here

Commentary

Benefits of Meditation

There are many health benefits associated with meditation. Some of these benefits include reducing stress, improving cardiovascular health, and reducing pain. Meditation has also been shown to improve cognitive function and increase brain activity. Meditation has been shown to provide a number of benefits for the body. These benefits include reducing stress, improving sleep quality, and reducing pain perception. Meditation has also been shown to improve cardiovascular health by reducing blood pressure and improving heart rate variability. Additionally, meditation has been shown to boost the immune system and improve cognitive function.

Meditation has been shown to be beneficial for the mind in a number of ways. First, it can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. This is because meditation helps to promote a state of relaxation and calmness. In addition, meditation can also help to improve concentration and focus. This is due to the fact that it helps to quiet the mind and allows one to focus on a single thought or object. Finally, meditation has also been shown to help improve sleep quality.

Meditation has been shown to be beneficial for spiritual well-being. In a study of over 3,500 adults, researchers found that those who meditated had higher levels of self-actualization and self-transcendence than those who did not meditate. Meditation has also been found to increase feelings of connectedness and positivity, and to decrease anxiety and depression. In addition to the benefits mentioned above, meditation can also help to improve focus, concentration, and memory.

Benefits of Yoga

The benefits of yoga on the body are numerous. From improving flexibility and joint range of motion to reducing stress levels, there is something for everyone. One of the most beneficial aspects of yoga is its ability to improve posture and alleviate pain. By lengthening and stretching the muscles, yoga can help to realign the spine and reduce tension in the shoulders and neck. In addition, the deep breathing associated with yoga helps to oxygenate the blood and promote healing.

The benefits of yoga on the mind are numerous and well-documented. Yoga can help to improve mental clarity and focus, while also reducing stress and anxiety levels. Additionally, yoga has been shown to improve sleep quality and promote a sense of well-being. There is also evidence to suggest that yoga can help to reduce symptoms of depression.

The benefits of yoga on the spiritual are many and varied. For some, yoga provides a way to connect with their higher power or to develop a deeper understanding of their own spirituality. For others, yoga may be a way to reduce stress, anxiety, and negative emotions. Additionally, yoga can help to improve focus and concentration, and promote a sense of peace and well being. Ultimately, the benefits of yoga on the spiritual are unique to each individual and will depend on their own personal journey. Many have claimed profound spiritual experiences during yoga sessions.

Types of Meditation and Yoga

There are many different types of meditation, but some of the most common include mindfulness meditation, Transcendental Meditation, and Zen meditation. Mindfulness meditation is a type of meditation that involves focusing on your breath and being aware of your thoughts and sensations without judgement. Transcendental Meditation is a type of meditation that involves repeating a mantra or sound to help you focus and reach a state of deep relaxation. Zen meditation is a type of meditation that involves sitting in silence and focusing on your breath.

There are many different types of yoga, but some of the most common are Hatha, Vinyasa, and Ashtanga yoga. Hatha yoga is a more gentle form of yoga, while Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga are more physically challenging.

In conclusion, both meditation and yoga have benefits and can be practiced by anyone. Meditation can help to clear the mind and focus on the present, while yoga can help to improve flexibility and strength. They are both beneficial in their own ways and can be enjoyed by all.

Meditation Education

Are you a health care professional, or an  ordained or licensed clergy who is interested in teaching meditation to others? If so, please review the Meditation Instructor Education and Certification program offered by the American Institute of Health Care Professionals, Inc. The program is by distance education in online classroom with faculty mentoring as needed. There is open enrollment and you may begin your program at any time. Our CE courses have board approvals. To begin, you may preview our program by accessing here.

    Additional Resources

1. Meditation for CMT is a No Brainer. Lugo, Estela. Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation. September 22, 2020. Access here.

2. 12 science-Based Benefits of Meditation. Thorpe, Matthew, et.al. Healthline. October 27, 2020. Access here.

3. A Systemic Review of Yoga Interventions for Helping Health Professionals and Students. Ciezar-Andersen, Sylwia, et.al. Complimentary Therapies in Medicine. Vol. 58; May 2021. Access here.

4. Yoga an effective strategy for self-management of stress-related problems and wellbeing during COVID19 lockdown: A cross-sectional study. Sahni, Pooja, et.al. PLOS ONE. February 10, 2021. Access here

Anger and Violence in Society

Anger is a complex emotion that is characterized by feelings of frustration, annoyance, and hostility. It is often triggered by a perceived threat or injustice. When someone feels angry, they may experience physiological changes such as an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. This can lead to aggressive behaviors such as yelling or violence.
Anger is a normal and healthy emotion. However, it can become problematic if it is expressed in unhealthy ways or if it is constantly present.  Please also review AIHCP’s Anger Management Consulting Certification.

The ability to control one’s anger is a critical life skill. Anger is a natural emotion, but it can become problematic when it is not managed in a healthy way. Some people have difficulty controlling their anger, which can lead to problems at home, work, and in social situations. There are a number of strategies that can be used to control anger. These include relaxation techniques, cognitive restructuring, and problem-solving.  Please also review AIHCP’s Anger Management Consulting Courses

Anger management refers to the process of recognizing and regulating one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. It is a skillset that can be learned and practiced in order to better manage aggressive impulses, handle conflict constructively, and maintain healthier relationships.
There are a number of different approaches to anger management, but all share the common goal of helping individuals identify and cope with the triggers and symptoms of anger in a more productive way.

When one does not manage one’s anger, a variety of issues can arise in life.  Hence it is critical to employ anger management strategies.  Anger however is seen in a variety of issues where it is not healthy or productive but dangerous to everyone.

Domestic violence is a large problem due to uncontrolled anger. Please also review AIHCP’s Anger Management Consulting Program

 

Illicit anger can cause havoc in the home life.  Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.  Many families deal with domestic violence.  It may not just by physical in nature but may also be mental.  While men usually resort to physical abuse, many women can also be perpetrators through emotional abuse.

There is no one answer to addressing the issue of domestic violence. However, various experts agree that there are some key steps that can be taken in order to effectively address and prevent domestic violence.  Some of the key steps that can be taken to address domestic violence include: increasing public awareness and education about the issue, strengthening legal protections and penalties for perpetrators of domestic violence, and increasing access to support services for survivors of domestic violence.  If you are in immediate danger, call 911. If you cannot talk on the phone, try to text or use social media to reach out for help. Once you are safe, you can call a national hotline like the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

Dangerous anger is not just left at home but it can also follow one to the work place.  Displaced anger can travel back and forth between home and work and manifest in either environments.

Workplace anger is a type of emotion that is characterized by feeling mad or frustrated while at work. This type of emotion can be caused by a variety of things, such as feeling like you are not being appreciated or feeling like you are not being compensated fairly. Workplace anger can also be caused by feeling like your work is not fulfilling or challenging enough. Whatever the cause, workplace anger can lead to negative outcomes, such as decreased productivity, decreased job satisfaction, and even quitting your job.  In addition work place anger can lead to more violence with shootings via disgruntled individuals.

There are a few things you can do to stop workplace anger. First, try to identify the source of your anger. Is it your boss? A co-worker? Once you know who or what is causing your anger, you can try to address the issue directly. If that’s not possible or if the issue is not resolved, you can try to distance yourself from the person or situation that’s causing your anger. Finally, you can try to reframe your thinking about the situation.

In addition, anger and unresolved issues find its place in schools.  School shootings over unresolved anger or bullying can erupt quickly.  School violence is a serious problem in today’s society. It includes any form of violence, whether it is physical, verbal, or emotional, that takes place within the school setting. School violence can have a negative impact on the students, the staff, and the overall climate of the school. It is important for schools to take measures to prevent and address school violence.
Violence and anger in schools are a national crisis. Please also review AIHCP’s Anger Management Consulting

 

There are a number of ways to address the problem of school violence. One approach is to increase security measures such as metal detectors and security guards. Another approach is to provide more support services for students who may be at risk for violence. This might include counseling, conflict resolution training, and after-school programs.
Still another approach is to address the underlying causes of school violence. This might involve working with families and communities to reduce poverty and improve mental health services.  Teachers, administrators, and students all have a role to play in stopping school violence. By working together, we can make our schools safe places for learning
Lack of proper anger management and utilization of skills associated with it lead to these three types of violence.  It is important to see the issues that can erupt from the inability at a young age to control rage and anger.  The family and its interactions with society in public sphere all become affected by the inability to control the emotion of anger.  Again anger itself is not the villain but improper control of it.  When not controlled properly or managed, it leaks into every social aspect of society.
Please also review AIHCP’s Anger Management Consulting Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Anger Management.
Additional Resources
Anger Management by WebMD contributors
Workplace Violence from the US Department of Labor

Christian Society and Errors of Communism

Christian Ideal of Society

Ever since the Fall of humanity through Adam, a temporal realm came into existence.  This temporal realm created a vacuum for a temporal society.  Humanity came together to form a bond and collectively came together to form the first societies.   Christianity looks for a balance within this temporal society of the collective and individual good driven through charity and justice; Moral laws that bind humanity together in love but also fairness.  When this becomes imbalanced through hate, greed and theft, a rift appears in society and violence erupts.  Christian Counseling can help individuals to be better grateful for what they possess and how to better share the benefits.

Christian Society is based on justice and charity. Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification

Christianity does not promise a perfect material world in this temporal realm.  There is no utopia on earth but only in the next world.  Hence Christianity and its social ideals look for the best possible scenario within society that promotes freedom, liberty, and dignity to the human person through charity and justice.   The social virtue of justice driven by charity is the key to peace and prosperity.   When justice is denied, then violence emerges.

Understanding the importance of justice to the social order, Christianity believes that the state exists to serve the individual.  It exists to permit the individual in all his or her excellence to bear fruit for the common good.  The state exists to nurture the talents of society, protecting rights and promoting a common unity that it enhances through individual excellence.  The state furthermore, promotes a liberty among the people to express themselves to God unhindered.  It does not look to place one altar over another, but stands as a safeguard protecting the beliefs of all involved.

While a Christian state most excellently captures the moral laws of God, one has seen in past centuries, a corruption due to a misguided zeal to maintain a pure society.   This has led to religious persecution and a denial of the individual to develop within his or her own will.  While the state should look to protect the common good from individuals who pursue corruption, it is important to carefully balance the need of the many versus the need of the few.  Hence the question, when does one’s personal views become so public as to disrupt the public foundation of the society?  How should such diverse views be censored or debated?  How can the person’s inherent rights still be protected?  The best recent example of this would be gay marriage as an individual expression that is counter to the traditional norm of societal marriage between a man and woman.

So, the first purpose of this blog was to clearly point out the important ideals of a Christian society, while albeit within a pluralistic society, certain key foundations should exist that balance the individual and the collective through charity and justice.   The state protects the integrity of the whole but also protects the expression of the individual.

Capitalism

The social philosophers, Hobbes and Locke, pointed out that the moment individuals came together to form society, they entered into the social contract.  With that social contract, individuals became dependent upon each other, working together, sharing common needs and goals.  Within that contract, individuals gave up many individual rights to permit the function of society.   This meant individuals while using their talents for a wage and living, also contributed and shared with the overall community.

Capitalism rewards hard work and preserves personal property but like all systems if misused can become a system of corruption and greed.

 

Each individual, according to biblical principles, would earn according to his or her work.   With work, came personal property and excess funds for others.  Some would earn more than others based upon talent.  Naturally, this would lead to economic imbalances.  Some in society would excel more than others and hence become more prominent within the society.   As the industrial age emerged in Europe, the imbalance between the have’s and have not’s grew considerably.   Vast amounts of wealth and power were consolidated within the hands of steel barons.

Without Christian principles of charity and justice at play, many so called Christians sought wealth above justice and fairness.  Without the constraint of the virtue of justice, the imbalance became even greater.  The worker became victim to unjust wages, horrible working conditions, and long exhausting hours.  There was little care for the worker as a person with dignity nor the worker’s family.  While the worker became a mere cog in the wheel, the barons became excessively wealthy and with the excessive wealth, became politically more powerful.  This led to oppression.

Hence capitalism while adhering to the natural right of property and earning, like all temporal systems can become corrupted without Christian or even basic moral virtue.   Unhindered Capitalism can become a poison to society.  When monopolies occur and when individuals become more powerful than the masses, an imbalance can occur that can lead to social unrest.  Pope Leo XIII, in his encyclical “Rerum Novarum” or “New Things” looked deeply at the issues of unmonitored capitalism and how it could be a corruptive agent against society.

During the late 19th Century, Leo saw the corruption within factories and the mistreatment of the worker.  He identified the need of balance within the state to protect the individual worker from the collective demands of the industry.  Again, he looked to balance the needs of the many and the need of the few, or in some cases, one, who owned the factory.  He reminded everyone that justice demands that the worker utilize his talents and time to benefit the employer, but the employer in turn, must compensate the worker fairly.  Of course, the employer will  have more wealth than the worker.  This is the nature of capitalism.  Some have more than others based upon talents or ambition or authority, but all receive a just amount for their particular talent and place.  An equal dignity is given to everyone in the process of their role and application of it.

When capitalism is devoid of state regulation and moral virtue, but instead driven by atheistic materialism and greed, then capitalism can become an economic system that can be enslave the worker.

Communism

Communism was an adverse reaction to the abuses of capitalism.  Karl Marx, the founder of Socialist Doctrine, expounded in his Communist Manifesto, the need for a new social system.  The idea of communism preached a utopia for the disenfranchised.  It became quickly attractive to the poor and poverty stricken and it pointed out the many abuses of capitalism.  Marx offered a social utopia where everyone shared their talents and no one had more or less but all equally benefited.

Marx taught that society was evolving towards a a classless world where everyone was equal.  Authority, power, and wealth would have no meaning in this new world.  Since ages ago, the master and slave, lord and serf, and now baron and worker were all phases of domination of one class over the other but merely adapting to new titles.  Through conflict and revolution, Marx believed a new society would give birth to a communal society void of private property.  Instead of the state existing to serve the person, the person would exist to serve the state, but through this service, all would retain equality.

Of course, within this philosophy was a materialist belief that this world can be perfect.  Communism was atheistic in belief and denied God.  It saw religion as an “opiate of the people”. Marx saw the church, its moral laws and structures as ways of control, no better than the steel barons.   The belief in a world that was not materialist or temporal was way to keep individuals occupied, while others accumulated power and wealth.

Communism promises equality for all but in reality leads to human slavery to the state.

 

Using the abuses of the state, industries and church as a rallying cry, he utilized envy and resentment as a tool to instill in the workers a revolution.  King, Tsar, Pope, or employer became seen as oppressor.  With a purely materialistic mindset, this philosophy would spread across Europe and the world, infecting millions into the communist cause.   With its implementation in Russia in bloody revolution in 1917, communism would find its home base and spread its errors throughout the world.

Within communism, personal property was stripped of individuals.  The individual became property of the state and creating a perfect utopia.  Personal choice, personal belief or any religious ideas that were contrary to the envisioned goal of the state became counter productive and eliminated.  This led to massive persecutions of anyone who did not fit the proposed social outline.  Ultimately, the failed experiment of communism could not sustain itself.

The basic tenets of human nature look at work and reward.  If one works harder or has greater ideas, then they reap the award, but when this type of innovation is not rewarded, but equally distributed, then the drive for personal gain is prevented.   In Russia alone, many were forced to a new servitude on state farms where those who worked harder were given the same as those who did not.

Soon, a new slavery emerged, where the illusion of communism became evident.   A top the communist party, sat the new barons and kings, under the guise of directors for the common good.  This exposure was illustrated in Orwell’s “Animal Farm” where the animals on the farm are made to believe their hard toil is for the common good, while the communist pigs engorge themselves upon the work of the other animals.

In essence, Communism strips the human being of all personal dignity under the false direction of a greater common good that ultimately falls upon itself because it refuses to reward creativity and hard work.  Coupled with its materialist and atheistic tenets, it leads to a system more oppressive than unregulated capitalism.  This is exactly what Pope Leo XIII had warned.  He warned everyone of the pitfall of both systems but the overtly more dangerous outcomes of a communist regime.  His words proved to be prophetic under the rules of Lenin and Stalin and subsequent communist leaders throughout the world.

Christian Response

After the words of Leo, came the words of Pope Pius XI in his encyclical “Divini Redemptoris” on Atheistic Communism in 1937..   In it, Pius reiterated the errors of communism made by his predecessor regarding communism.  He pointed out that the right to private property and accumulation of wealth is within the dignity of the human person and that the state exists to help the individual progress.   He listed the numerous errors that are also found in a materialistic society that promises only material things in a fallen world.   Pius reminded everyone that no utopia promised by the communists can exist in a fallen world.  He pointed out instead that humanity can only attempt to make the most just society on earth by emulating Christ, moral virtue but especially charity and justice.

Pope Leo XIII explained the balance of a Christian society between Communism and Capitalism and both their own inherent errors

 

Pius called for a regulated capitalism where a balance existed between the needs of the many and the needs of the individual.  He reminded workers and employers of the reciprocal justice that they owed each other.  He called for those within Christian ministry to preach the Gospel to the workers and re-Christianize the world.  He called for ministers equipped to battle the lies of the communists and to preach what true justice demands.

Pius reminded the State itself, its grave importance in maintaining a harmony between the individual and the collective.  He supported regulations that promoted fair and just working wages, conditions and hours.   Through charity and justice, he felt the world could present a more Christian society that granted a more sound balance and economic system.

Despite the pleads, a more secular world was deceived by communism.  After the Second World War, Stalin masterfully played the West and divided the world between free capitalistic societies and enslaved communist societies.  Russia continued to spread its errors through the aftermath of World War II leading to the decades long Cold War which on numerous occasions brought the world to the verge of nuclear annihilation.

Communism would spread to Latin America, South East Asia and China.  To this day, China remains an oppressor to freedom, with the re-emergence of Russia, not as a communist state, but nonetheless a authoritarian state with communist DNA still flowing through its leader, Putin.

Christians must respond as Pius and Leo pointed out with social action that promotes justice and charity in society at all of its levels.  Society within Christian teaching is first and foremost at its cellular level within the family.  The family is the key to society.  A family that follows Christ and His laws is able to give to society a gift of charity and justice. Springing forth from the family, these virtues can boost the work place and secular venues in a shared vision of mutual gain.

Also of great importance is prayer.  Prayer for a better society that reflects the Natural Law and laws of Christ is something that a Christian should remember everyday.  In Catholicism, Our Lady of Fatima in 1917 warned the world of communism and the errors Russia would spread.  She pleaded with the world to find repentance with God and to prayer the Rosary.

There is no perfect society in this fallen world, but we can try to make it as best as we can despite our own inherent weaknesses and sin.  It is through a society based on Natural Law and Christ that can give humanity its best chance.  This society will look to balance the needs of the one and collective but also look to serve the individual instead of repressing the him or her.  This society must base itself on charity and justice.  Without these two social virtues, no system or society can thrive.

Christian Counseling Perspectives

As Christian Counselors it is important to remind the distraught or financially strained that God has a plan.  One cannot be tempted in business to take illegal shortcuts or use other human beings as a means to an end.  Individuals who are suffering financially should look for guidance in the poverty of Christ as a way of simplicity.  Christ Himself worked an honest day work as a carpenter with His father St. Joseph to serve as an example of what it means to work and share one’s talents.  In Christ, there was no envy of others who made more money, but always charity and respect with justice to all.

Communism looks to stoke jealousy in the poor and to lead them to a far more dangerous path that strips one of property and earnings, while unregulated capitalism uses the human person as a means to an end.   Christian Counselors need to guide the disenfranchised down the middle road and to always work hard, be fair and keep faith in Christ in all financial troubles.

If you would like to learn more about AIHCP’s  Christian Counseling Certification, then please review the program and see it if matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification.

Other Resources

Divini Redemptoris. Pius XII. Papal Encyclicals Online. 1937.   Access here

Animal Farm. George Orwell. Book Analysis.  Access here

Communist Manifesto. Karl Marx.  1848.  Access here

Rerum Novarum.Pope Leo XIII.  Vatican Content.  1891.  Access here

 

 

Christian Counseling Certification Blog on Divorce and Marriage Ministry

Marriage is the foundation stone of society.  Through the social contract, couples come together and bring forth future generations within the bounds of society.  Strong family units produce strong individuals in the society who can benefit society with their unique talents. Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification

God elevated this union beyond the natural order to a supernatural contract and oath to each other.  He sanctified it in the Garden of Eden and elevated it through the words of Christ that the union can never be broken unless fear of adultery.  Scripture proclaims, a man shall leave his mother and take on another and both will become one and in the epistles, Paul teaches that the love between husband and wife is like that of Christ and the Church.  Christian Counseling can help others deal with divorce better.

Christian marriage is a spiritual vow that transcends the natural contract of marriage.

 

With such strong words from Christ, scripture, and Paul, the foundations for Christian marriage were laid.  Within Catholic and Orthodox circles, it was a sacrament, while in Protestant circles it was in the very least a sacred obligation.   Society has attempted to weaken this natural and supernatural building rock of society.  Divorce, same sex marriage, and polygamy all look to weaken the institution and society itself.  The attempt to separate the supernatural element instilled by God to a merely natural contract is on display.

With the readiness of divorce, infidelity plays no small penalty for the secular mind.  Divorce rips apart family units and leaves many children left without strong guidance to help create a better society.  The attack on the family has already begun and continues to rage.

In the midst of such chaos, the Christian Counselor is left with many divorced Christians and individuals seeking solace and wholeness.  Not only do these individuals suffer from the initial loss of a spouse, but they also suffer from a variety of secondary losses, including children, pets, possessions, income and new integration into new life styles.

Divorce sometimes is a reality to the Christian, albeit an unwanted one.  Many Christians may feel marked and ashamed with such titles within their own community and family structure.  They may feel as if they failed in some way.  Other Christians may remarry and feel as if black sheep for taking upon another spouse.  In Catholic and Orthodox churches, remarriage without annulment is forbidden.   This leads to a whole new type of ministry.  Hence, the divorced and those who decide to remarry within Christianity represent a large group of the displaced within the faith.  While in Protestantism, remarriage is permissible for due reason of adultery, it still creates issues with blended homes and still the over all loss of the original marriage.

Within Catholicism and Orthodoxy, the words of Christ echo strongly that no-one may ever remarry.  The exception clause within Matthew is not regarded as a license to remarry.  Only in Matthew is it mentioned and it never again is mentioned in the Epistles.  Many biblical scholars look at the interpretation, translation and the fact it was targeted to only the Jewish community to mean something different.  This leaves the Catholic and Orthodox church with many remarried couples that can become a pastoral concern.

Christian Counselors need to understand their plight.  Pope Francis recently wrote at length the pastoral concerns of these “black sheep”.   While many may marry as if they are dating, there are some who have unjustly been dealt.  Pope Francis pointed this out in his encyclical on the “Joy of Love” where he looks at the emergency pastoral issue within the Catholic Church.  He asked some very critical questions regarding the fate of these couples.  While remaining faithful to Christ’s words, he still pondered about those who remarry due to abuse, or those who were left with nothing after a spouse totally rejected them.  He also looked at the annulments that were not properly administered due to finance or local corruption within the tribunal.

Francis pointed out that many couples who remarried have moved on to a second relationship and now have grandchildren from this union.  They have remained faithful, albeit, outside the grace of the sacrament.   Pastorally, how does one deal with such families?  Each situation requires careful and deliberate reflection between confessor and couple with the highest regards for the Eucharist.

It is important to note for those not familiar with Catholic doctrine that an annulment is based on theology that centers around a vow.  A vow is a free choice with knowledge and understanding of the commitment.  When a vow is exchanged between a man and woman it is seen as binding when conditions certain conditions are met.  If certain conditions or secrets or distress are later discovered, then a marriage can be seen as never existing.  One example includes being forced to marry someone and not possessing complete autonomy in the decision.  Another example is a secret regarding the individual.  Maybe the individual was cheating before the vow and had no intention of remaining faithful.  Maybe the person lied about being baptized.  Maybe the person hid a past life of murder, abuse and other criminal activity.  Maybe the person lied about ability to have children or desire to have children.  The primary point is the issue is an “a priori” problem that was unknown before the vow.   Fortunately, many more annulments are issued more than once before within the Church.  Investigations can discover these things.

However, after the fact offenses or failures of a spouse do not fall under the guise of an annulment.   Infidelity that is not planned or a simple mistake does not invalidate a vow.  This does not mean one cannot civilly divorce, but within the interpretation of the Gospels, one cannot remarry afterwards, or they would as Christ points out, find themselves in adultery.  Many divorce for simpler reasons such as family or finance.  The generation of divorce is a replacement generation not a fix it generation.

Within Protestant theology, one may remarry over grave reasons, but this has even led to individuals thinking if they commit a grave offense, then they can become freed from a contract.  Many Protestant circles even with their exception clause have become more liberal in permitting divorce within their congregations.

These issues have led to more divorce within Christianity and has created a large pastoral issue for both Catholic and Protestant circles.  While the world mirrors a secular version of marriage, it is up to Christian communities to commit to the values of Christ regarding marriage.  It is up to Christian communities to promote the permanence of the Christian vow.

Prayer is essential for any couple. Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification

 

Prior to marriage, Christian Counselors, pastors and family can help young couples discover the importance of marriage and the serious nature of the vow.  Pre-Cana is also an excellent way to learn about family issues from other couples, as well as teach young couples the unglamorous aspects of marriage.  Learning to prayer together and attend liturgy and service together is an important step in engagement.  The young couple needs to investigate and learn about each other.  They need to realize that marriage is also a spiritual vocation that is not about just this world, but helping each other to reach the next world.  It is a joint vocational marriage to hold each accountable to Christ.

Prayer and God must remain in the family for it to succeed.  The modern war on the family has attempted to strip Christ from marriage.  It important then that Christians re-introduce Christ to marriage and share the beauty of Christian marriage to the world.

Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Christian Counseling.

Additional Resources

Christian Views on Divorce  Wikipedia

Eight Things You Have To Know About The Church’s Teaching On Divorce” By Leila Miller

Practical and Biblical Christian Marriage Advice” by Mark Fairchild

Marriage as Sacrament” By Paul Leithart

Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist Program Blog on Essential Oils

Essential oils play a large role in alternative and medicine.  They can help heal and also prevent a variety of health issues.  It is however important to always remember to consult with your primary physician before utilizing any health product.  Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialists can also help guide one down the safe and most beneficial path.  Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist Program

There are numerous essential oils with health benefits. Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist Program

 

The article, “What Are Essential Oils? A Complete Guide on Aromatherapy and Its Potential Health Benefits” by Lauren Bedosky looks at what essential oils are and their benefits.  She states,

“Essential oils are everywhere. These potent, fragrant plant extracts have made their way into lotions, household cleaners, massage treatments, and even integrative complementary therapy to help manage cancer symptoms.  Their purported benefits are also wide ranging, from improving sleep and decreasing anxiety, to lowering pain and easing headaches, to taming a queasy stomach and fostering deeper relaxation.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist Program and see if it meets your academic needs.  Nurses and other qualified professionals can earn a four year certification by completing the required online and independent study courses