Posts Tagged ‘health and medical’
Once I left school teaching and graduate school, I embraced the philosophy of leaving work at work at the end of the day. Once I walk out the door at the end of the day, work stays there. My home time is exactly that: mine and at home. Besides, the bosses do not pay overtime, so they are not getting anything extra. One has to learn to keep a life balance and boundaries.
Via Lifehacker, this short video of a talk by Pam Selle is a must watch (link to post with the video). A little FTA: “Time is money. When you work extra hours, you’re earning less money.” In other words, unless you get overtime (and even then, be selective if you choose to go for the overtime), they are not paying you for it. So tell them you are going home. Do your work at work (don’t slack much), then leave work at work.
The video itself, from YouTube:
I found this post over at Dumb Little Man interesting and relevant. The post’s title is “How to Know When to Quit.” With the cultural imperative that gets shoved down our throats since childhood about winning and not quitting, I think this post deserves to be read and applies. That whole thing about not quitting no matter what is a load of male bovine excrement. There are going to be moments in life when you will have to quit something– a field of study, a job, a project, so on– for various reasons. You should know when to call it quits and move on to something else. The author of the post, Ali Hale, gives a list of signs to look for. I am going to list the signs, but you should go over and read the post to learn more:
- “You just wish it was over.”
- “There’s no end in sight.”
- “You’re not gaining anything new.”
- “Your priorities have radically changed.”
She also goes on to write, “there is absolutely no shame in quitting. In fact, it can take a lot of maturity and bravery to stand up and say ‘I quit’”. Exactly. Anyone can keep going, and he or she can keep crashing in the same wall, treading water, whatever metaphor you want to use. They can sound tough and resilient, but in the end, if the only real option is quitting, and they refuse to do so, they are just fools. Have the maturity and bravery to quit when it is the right time.
And then move on. Life is too short to waste it something you should have quit sooner.
One of the prominent issues with the book is that it is not terribly intuitive. It is meant to be used by trained practitioners. This probably explains why I get the occasional student complain about how difficult it is to use. It takes some time to go through it and learn how to find what you need.
The DSM IV, currently in its fourth edition, is the classification manual for mental disorders. It is used by clinicians and researchers in various fields such as biology, social work, psychology and psychiatry, counseling, etc. This manual is the result of a long journey to classify and define mental disorders and illnesses that started with a desire to gather mental health statistics. When did the effort start? According to the manual's introduction, "what might be considered the first official attempt to gather information about mental illness in the United States was the recording of the frequency of one category– 'idiocy/insanity' in the 1840 census" (xxv). Over time, the American Psychiatric Association, in collaboration with other groups, developed the vocabulary and definitions that eventually became the DSM. The DSM basically provides criteria to diagnose a mental disorder, and the clinician doing the diagnosis would follow that criteria using a specified assessment system (the multiaxial system) to reach a diagnosis.
Next are other things I wanted to write about or include in the draft:
- The manual has become a medical billing tool. Government and many insurance companies often require a specific diagnosis to approve payment for treatment. This issue does raise some questions about the use of the manual for things other than its stated purpose, and I think it is something that students should recognize. I think it may also make for a good information literacy lesson in terms of questioning a source.
- The compilers of the manual have been very inflexible in terms of making changes. In addition, there have been and continue to be controversies over the DSM. For instance, the notable inclusion of homosexuality as a disease; homosexuality was not removed until 1974, and to this day a lot of religious and political interests, which have nothing to do with science, continue to grouse over the 1974 removal of homosexuality from the DSM. In addition, the most current edition, the DSM IV TR (text revision) still includes sex-related diagnoses on the basis of sexual paraphilias (fetishes) for instance. I am sure any consenting adult who enjoys a little fetish play has a thing or two to say about that. Overall what this illustrates is that there are political and religious interests trying to bring influence to the scientific endeavor, plus keep in mind that those compiling the book have had their own interests as well. This is definitely the kind of thing that I think should be discussed with students, but I could not bring myself to write about it in the library blog, which is considered an official forum, and given certain community sensibilities, bringing up something like sexual paraphilias, even to make a point, could get me in hot water. I have to choose my battles.
- In the end, what I would want students to take away from this is that the DSM IV is a very specific reference book, to be used mostly by trained professionals, but that it is not without controversy. The book is not infallible. In fact, it has been edited and changed over time as we gain new knowledge or realize that something should not have been labeled a mental disease in the first place.
And there are my thoughts as I learned a bit about this manual.
I do this because someone has to help fight ignorance and educate others. I do it because I am a librarian, and as such it is my mission to provide accurate, reliable information to my patrons and readers. I do it because it is the right thing to do. I did not realize it, but the last time I did this was back in 2005. Time flies, and a lot has changed since then. I am glad that, in spite of my busy days, I am able to take some time to blog about this. This December 1 marks the 21st anniversary of World AIDS Day. Did you know that a total of 33 million people now live with HIV/AIDS, and more than one million of them live in the U.S. ? Here is another fact:
The badge above comes for the Nine And a Half Minutes website, created by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). I found that and other links with a little bit of searching and digging. This is not an exhaustive list. It is meant to give folks a place to start in terms of gathering information and getting educated. It is also meant to provide a small sample of what is available out there. As always, if you have questions, you can visit your local reference librarian. My professional friends and I will be happy to help out.
You can start learning more by visiting the U.S. Government's site: AIDS.GOV:
This site is an information portal with a lot of information and resources from how to find a testing site to educational materials. From the site, "provides access to Federal HIV/AIDS information through a variety of new media channels, and supports the use of new media tools by Federal and community partners to improve domestic HIV programs serving minority and other communities most at-risk for, or living with, HIV." They also have a blog, which you might consider looking over and adding to your feed reader here.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also has an AIDS/HIV Awareness page here. It includes a nice overview of the history of World AIDS Day here, with facts and resources. For example, did you know that "the World Health Organization established World AIDS Day in 1988."
If you have a spiritual bent, the Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church has a page of "Worship Resources for World AIDS Day." It is a small collection of poems, prayers, and inspirational stories. They also have a resource page. I am putting this as an example that there are some religious groups who actually care.
Here you can find UNAIDS (The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS). You can find links to various publications, art, blogs, and resources. You can find statements about World AIDS Day from various UN officials here. Some are videos, others are text.
And here is the site of the World AIDS Campaign.
Over here is the site for the Light For Rights Campaign. From the site, "Light For Rights events are happening in cities and towns all over the world and will bring thousands of people together on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2009, to honor those we have lost to AIDS and to highlight the fundamental rights we all share. "
If you want to learn more about the legal angle and rights, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has a World AIDS Day page discussing their advocacy work to prevent discrimination against those with HIV and AIDS as well as other resources.
And I just found this website for the National Latino AIDS Awareness Day. The NLAAD actually takes place on October 15th (I did not know this. Just learned it now). However, I am adding it to this list because it provides much needed information and perspective for the Latino community. You can find a variety of resources here as well. The video they feature on the front page is worth watching.
In the state, I could not find as much. The press release that UT San Antonio is hosting some events came up. You can read about it here. "Activities will include a poetry slam, free HIV testing, awareness expo, candlelight vigil, music and a photo booth where students will get the chance to personalize a statement on how they will "face" HIV/AIDS." This should be the type of thing that more campuses here in Texas, and in the United States should be doing (and yes, I am looking at my own campus, which shines by its absence).
And after some very deep digging, I managed to find the site for Tyler AIDS Services. This "is a full-service HIV/AIDS facility serving Tyler/Longview and many of the 32 North East Texas communities. " I am glad to see there is a local resource. I always try to include local things on posts like these when I find them.
(Crossposted to The Itinerant Librarian and from The Gypsy Librarian).
Here we go again. This time around, the inspiration for me to do this is that a couple of my colleagues are suggesting that the library make an actual research guide on the topic of "health care management" using the LibGuides system we have in place. I personally have been thinking about making some kind of post on the topic for the library blog, but I think by now the topic is a bit big for just a blog post. In the case of the blog post, I was thinking of providing some general resources and some advice on how to evaluate the resources. Because I think it is easy to find information on the issue. It is also very easy to find a lot of misinformation based on FUD tactics, so people need to not only be informed, but they need to be able to evaluate the claims they find. So, what it may be worth, here is the latest stuff I have found.
- From the American Academy of Actuaries (these are the folks whose job it is to calculate risks and then assess value. For instance, when it comes to insurance, these are the folks who decide who gets rejected, like that baby that was too fat in recent news. If you want a less snarky definition of what is an actuary, you can look here). The report basically suggests costs necessary for starting up a public health option or a health coops option. Links to news release and to the full study. Title of the report is "Federal Health Care Reform 2009: Start-up Capital Costs for Health Care Co-ops and a Public Plan."
- The Commonwealth Fund, a think tank with an interest in health care issues, has released results of their survey of health care leaders asking them about health care (link to news release; you can get a link to the full survey report at the site).Those surveyed are discussing Medicare and how it can be expanded. One of the reasons to look at Medicare is because it is a U.S. Government program. Yes, it is run by the government, so when certain people gripe about not wanting the government to run their health care insurance, I ask them if they want to give up their Medicare. You can insert the silence and sound of crickets now.
- (Update note: 11/5/09): Just found this. This is the take of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the lobbyists for small businesses, on "The Top 15 Reasons Small Business Oppose H.R. 3962." Before folks buy too deeply into this, may I suggest they go do some reading over at FactCheck?
- (Update note: 11/9/09): From the Employment Benefit Research Institute, an issue brief on "Sources of Health Insurance and Characteristics of the Insured: Analysis of the 2009 Current Population Survey" (link to executive summary. You can also get the full document on that link). Worth a look.
In addition, I saved this video on my feed reader's clippings folder. Naturally, this is not something I would give to my students as part of their research, though I would probably still urge them to watch it as an example of how the message is being transmitted. I think we need to be sharing it more because the message is an important