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A New Contribution to Cardiothoracic Surgical Education

There is nothing more satisfying for a clinician than when a patient understands their ailment, comprehends the nature of the pathology involved, and is clear on the treatment/procedure they are about to undergo. This "satisfaction" is a joyous emotion reflecting successful communication -- it is what parents feel when their children first begin to read, and what educators aspire to when their students master the material at hand.

It is a privilege to share our most recent contribution to the cardiothoracic surgery community, the TSRA Primer of Cardiothoracic Surgery...

 

Heat Sensitivity and Multiple Sclerosis: Resources to help cool off MS symptoms

The summer months have arrived and the weather is warming up. While many sun-deprived residents of the Pacific Northwest are enjoying more sunshine, many people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience a temporary worsening of their symptoms when the weather gets warmer.

Air conditioners, fans, and cooling products like vests and neck wraps can help keep the body cool and prevent or reverse the symptoms. But what if you can’t afford it, or think your income is too high to get financial assistance?

Multiple Sclerosis Center welcomes new pet therapy pup

We are very excited to welcome the newest volunteers for the Leo Project to the Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center: Peggy and her chocolate lab Gracie! Peggy and Gracie will be at the MS Center on Mondays from 9:00-11:00 a.m. Just like Kathy and Ocho, Peggy and Gracie will be here for two hours at a time and will be circulating around the lobby, the Wellness studio, and the physical therapy gym.

Peggy and Gracie are old friends with Swedish. They also visit people in inpatient rehabilitation and the Swedish Behavioral Health Program at the Cherry Hill Campus.

 

Through the Leo Project, we hope to...

What to tell kids when a loved one is ill or in the hospital

When a loved one in the family is in the hospital or dealing with a chronic illness it can be hard to know what to say to the youngest family members.  It’s natural to want to “protect” them by not telling them or talking to them, but chances are the kids already know that something is going on.  An honest conversation can help to ease any misunderstanding they may have. 

Here are some important areas to cover when navigating a discussion about the illness or hospitalization of a loved one:

  • Honesty – Use words and descriptions that are appropriate for their age. If they are older they may ask specific details about the illness.  It’s good to call the diagnosis by name.  They may come back at a later date with other questions or even ask the same questions more than once. 
  • "Can I catch it?" – Children often have the fear that they can “catch” illnesses. They need to know, if in fact it isn’t a contagious disease, that they can not catch the illness from their loved one by being near them, hugging them and visiting with them.  This is particularly important if it is a brother or sister who is ill.
  • "Did I cause this?" – Many ....

What is aphasia?

Stroke patients often suffer from communication challenges called aphasia.  Aphasia is complex and there are many potential communication challenges including, but not limited to:

  • Trouble speaking – this may be displayed as hesitancy or stuttering, use of words that seem out of context, or the inability to speak at all (mute)
  • Trouble finding words – inability to put thoughts into words
  • Problems understanding what others say
  • Problems with reading, writing, or math
  • Inability to process long words and infrequently used words

This is often frustrating for the patient and their care partners.  It is important to remember that aphasia is related to the ability to communicate and does not reflect a change in intelligence.

There are several great resources for patients living with aphasia and their care partners:

Thrive Through Cancer Presents Chemo-Con at Swedish Cancer Institute

Thrive Through Cancer is a non-profit organization that helps young adults with cancer and their caregivers find hope and thrive. Through support groups, social events and community forums, Thrive Through Cancer aims to engage young adult community members by providing support and resources during their fight against cancer.

On June 20, 2013 Thrive Through Cancer will host a social event for young adults, their families, friends and caregivers at the Swedish Cancer Institute: Chemo-Con!

Come meet Rose Egge, founder of Thrive Through Cancer, and join us for two educational and interactive workshops focused on issues commonly experienced by young adults affected by cancer.

  • Join Registered Dietician Julie Herbst for a conversation about healthy eating, maximizing nutritional intake and managing symptoms with foods. Recipe and sampling provided.
  • Jacci Thompson-Dodd, MA, MSSS will host a discussion about intimacy and cancer, and can help answer any questions you may have. 

You will also have the opportunity to learn more about community partners, resources and services available in areas near you from the following organizations:

The Leo Project: Announcing the Swedish MS Center's new pet therapy program

The Multiple Sclerosis Center at Swedish is pleased to present the Leo Project, the first outpatient pet therapy program in the Puget Sound region. The Leo Project brings trained dogs and volunteers to the MS Center once per week.

Ocho and her owner Kathy will be coming to the Swedish MS Center every Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. beginning this week! They’ll be available for visits in the Hedreen Wellness Studio (just inside the MS Center) for part of their time, and circulating through the lobby and physical therapy gym.

Our goal for the Leo Project is to ...

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