The Waiting Room Blog Archive

Are your colleagues continuing to perform unnecessary arthroscopies?

Are your colleagues continuing to perform unnecessary arthroscopies?

Unknown knowns are ideas that we're aware of on some level but, for whatever reason, choose not to admit to ourselves.

When patients need services that don't exist

When patients need services that don't exist

It can be difficult to care for complex patients when they need services that do not exist.

Binge watching TV and its effects on sleep

Binge watching TV and its effects on sleep

Recent evidence has shown that binge watching television could lead to poor sleep.

Please stop filming me: Smartphones in the emergency department

Please stop filming me: Smartphones in the emergency department

A hospital policy to prevent video recording in the emergency department helps to prevent patients from recording clinicians without their permission.

Treating patients with a fracture: Engage an expert

Treating patients with a fracture: Engage an expert

It is essential for healthcare professionals to collaborate with other experts from all specialty areas.

The role of prescription habits in the opioid epidemic

The role of prescription habits in the opioid epidemic

Current surgical and prescribing practices may have a hand in exacerbating the nation's burgeoning opioid epidemic.

What do my dreams mean?

What do my dreams mean?

We are still not sure why we dream, but many patients are still curious about their significance.

The flu vaccine's influence on public health

The flu vaccine's influence on public health

Improving influenza vaccination rates will require a much greater commitment to preventative public health to change public perception of the importance and efficacy of flu vaccination.

Small procedures, lasting impact

Small procedures, lasting impact

The Mitrofanoff procedure is a simple yet ingenious concept that creates a passageway for the easy removal of urine in patients who self-catheterize.

A look back at the AAPA 2017 House of Delegates meeting

A look back at the AAPA 2017 House of Delegates meeting

The House of Delegates discussed the recertification process for PAs and the future of the PA profession.

Sleep disturbances after traumatic brain injury

Sleep disturbances after traumatic brain injury

A traumatic brain injury can change physical, cognitive, and emotional functioning, which can include changes in the patient's sleeping patterns.

Catathrenia: Parasomnia or breathing disorder?

Catathrenia: Parasomnia or breathing disorder?

Individuals with catathrenia experience a moaning, groaning, or high-pitched squeak during sleep.

The House's healthcare bill: Trumpcare or "Chumpcare"?

The House's healthcare bill: Trumpcare or "Chumpcare"?

Public opinion polls support the views of professional organizations, with 60% of Americans opposing the new American Health Care Act, 31% supporting it, and 9% undecided.

Tips for adjusting to the night shift

Tips for adjusting to the night shift

Working through the night and sleeping during the day can be a difficult adjustment.

Managing new technology in medicine

Managing new technology in medicine

Incorporating new technology in medical practices to manage outpatient medical records can sometimes be a challenge.

Sleep paralysis: A world between wakefulness and sleep

Sleep paralysis: A world between wakefulness and sleep

Patients who experience sleep paralysis may find themselves unable to move or speak and may have difficulty taking a deep breath.

Could "safe consumption sites" help the heroin epidemic in the US?

Could "safe consumption sites" help the heroin epidemic in the US?

"Safe consumption sites" are medically-supervised venues where heroin users can inject heroin in clean, safe, and medically-supervised facilities.

The characteristics of nightmares vs sleep terrors

The characteristics of nightmares vs sleep terrors

Many patients experience ongoing issues with nightmares or night terrors.

Identifying parasomnias in the sleep cycle

Identifying parasomnias in the sleep cycle

Parasomnias are undesirable physical or experiential events that occur during sleep as movements, emotions, perceptions, and dreams.

Incorporating physician assistants and nurse practitioners in private practice

Incorporating physician assistants and nurse practitioners in private practice

Adding another healthcare provider to the practice schedule creates additional access for the patient.

When the PA becomes the patient

When the PA becomes the patient

A physician assistant's stay in the hospital provides a new perspective of a patient's experience in the emergency department.

When a young friend overdoses

When a young friend overdoses

Experiencing the loss of a friend brings a new perspective to working in addiction medicine.

Managing headaches in patients with sleep disorders

Managing headaches in patients with sleep disorders

Some well-known sleep disorders are associated with headaches, including sleep apnea and parasomnias.

Counseling patients about annual Pap smears

Counseling patients about annual Pap smears

Counseling patients on the difference between a Pap smear and a pelvic exam will help them realize the importance of following up with a gynecologist for an annual visit.

The future of PA practice authority

The future of PA practice authority

The AAPA is moving forward with its push to eliminate the formal relationship between physicians and PAs.

The importance of sleep hygiene

The importance of sleep hygiene

Read these tips that could help patients improve their sleep hygiene.

Improving sleep in socioeconomically disadvantaged children

Improving sleep in socioeconomically disadvantaged children

Socioeconomically disadvantaged children have a higher rate of sleep difficulties than children from high-income households.

Is our makeup secretly hurting us?

Is our makeup secretly hurting us?

Using powder makeup containing talc may increase the risk of ovarian cancer.

Celebrating a 1-year anniversary as an FNP

Celebrating a 1-year anniversary as an FNP

An FNP reflects on the lessons he has learned in practice throughout the year.

Diagnosing carbon monoxide poisoning

Diagnosing carbon monoxide poisoning

Patients increase their chances of carbon monoxide exposure during the winter months.

The importance of dreams

The importance of dreams

Dreaming may allow us to learn and process emotional issues while we sleep.

Team-based medicine, freeway style

Team-based medicine, freeway style

Citizen responders assess and comfort patients in the aftermath of a car accident.

Lidocaine patches as an alternative pain solution

Lidocaine patches as an alternative pain solution

Lidocaine patches may be effective for patients who are in pain but are looking to avoid drugs that could be addictive.

Shortened sleep increases risk of diabetes

Shortened sleep increases risk of diabetes

Lack of sleep may be one reason for the increase in diabetes in the United States.

Voicing patient behaviors on social media

Voicing patient behaviors on social media

Commenting about patient behaviors on Facebook is becoming a common practice among clinicians.

Implementing prescription drug monitoring programs

Implementing prescription drug monitoring programs

Prescription drug monitoring programs allow prescribers to perform a statewide search to determine when a patient last had a controlled substance prescribed.

Melatonin use in children with a neurodevelopmental illness

Melatonin use in children with a neurodevelopmental illness

Melatonin has few side effects and could be a good alternative for those suffering from insomnia.

Telecommunicating with patients

Telecommunicating with patients

Patient evaluations performed through teleconferencing may lack the accuracy of a physical exam.

Using caffeine to promote alertness

Using caffeine to promote alertness

If used appropriately, caffeine can help medical personnel stay alert throughout the day.

Using activity trackers to monitor transfusion-dependent patients

Using activity trackers to monitor transfusion-dependent patients

Activity trackers may help transfusion-dependent patients estimate hemoglobin levels.

Should clinicians treat STIs before culture results are available?

Should clinicians treat STIs before culture results are available?

Treating patients at high risk of an STI before the culture results are available could lead to overtreatment.

Athletic training: a path to becoming a physician assistant

Athletic training: a path to becoming a physician assistant

Many physician assistants come to the profession after working as certified athletic trainers.

Alternative treatments for patients with lidocaine allergies

Alternative treatments for patients with lidocaine allergies

Alternative anesthetics can be used for patients who have a lidocaine allergy.

The risk of writing informal prescriptions

The risk of writing informal prescriptions

When clinicians write informal prescriptions, their supervising physicians may also suffer the consequences.

Avoiding hospital care after sustaining an injury

Avoiding hospital care after sustaining an injury

Some patients may be reluctant to seek care after sustaining an injury.

Implicit biases in the exam room

Implicit biases in the exam room

In the last few years, clinicians have overwhelmingly moved to recognize the implicit biases in their practice of medicine.

How long is long enough? Taking time off after an illness

How long is long enough? Taking time off after an illness

Different illnesses require that patients stay home from school or work for different lengths of time.

Increased mortality rates in patients with nocturia

Increased mortality rates in patients with nocturia

Patients who experience nocturia, or frequent urination during the night, may have increased mortality rates.

Making appointments for emergency department visits

Making appointments for emergency department visits

As the volume of patients in emergency departments across the country rise, more EDs are experimenting with appointment reservation systems.

Summertime blues

Summertime blues

Sunburn, mosquito bites, and fireworks all present dangerous hazards during the summer months.

Helping patients save at the pharmacy

Helping patients save at the pharmacy

Clinicians can help patients by providing information on pharmacies that offer discounts, coupons, and affordable prescriptions.

A true confession  or maybe not

A true confession – or maybe not

Sleep deprivation can cause hallucinations, decreased cognitive function, and anxiety.

Advances for PAs practicing addiction medicine

Advances for PAs practicing addiction medicine

Both PAs and NPs who practice addiction medicine have seen progress made in 2016 to increase practice authority.

OSA treatment linked to depression improvement

OSA treatment linked to depression improvement

Patients presenting with depression should be evaluated for sleep disorders.

Overcrowding in the emergency department

Overcrowding in the emergency department

Emergency department clinicians are faced with a number of challenges as ED's become more crowded.

Hyperarousal and use of prescription sleep aids

Hyperarousal and use of prescription sleep aids

Hyperarousal is linked to an increased likelihood of a patient using prescription sleep aids.

Door open or door closed? Drawing inspiration from patients in recovery

Door open or door closed? Drawing inspiration from patients in recovery

Patients facing addiction aren't from another planet - they're our parents, our siblings, our neighbors, and our friends.

A bumpy transition into the role of an FNP

A bumpy transition into the role of an FNP

Sometimes, stepping into a new professional role takes longer than expected.

Increased risk of Parkinson disease in female patients with sleep apnea

Increased risk of Parkinson disease in female patients with sleep apnea

The sleep concerns of female patients are often diagnosed as depression rather than obstructive sleep apnea, leading to increased risks for certain diseases.

Insufficient sleep is a risk factor for weight gain

Insufficient sleep is a risk factor for weight gain

When patients don't get enough sleep, lipid levels in their blood may make it more difficult for them resist overeating.

What in the world is Vasalgel?

What in the world is Vasalgel?

A form of male birth control called Vasalgel, which works by injecting a polymer gel into the vas deferens, is being developed in the United States.

The bravery of people with dementia

The bravery of people with dementia

Facing dementia with strength and courage can inspire and comfort patients' families.

Lifestyle changes can reduce risk of restless legs syndrome

Lifestyle changes can reduce risk of restless legs syndrome

Patients who are sedentary, obese, or smokers have an increased risk of developing restless leg syndrome.

Conjunctivitis confusion: are we overtreating pink eye?

Conjunctivitis confusion: are we overtreating pink eye?

Identifying the type of conjunctivitis that a patient has is the key to identifying the most effective course of action.

Understanding age-related macular degeneration

Understanding age-related macular degeneration

Clinicians should be able to diagnose age-related macular degeneration and distinguish between dry and wet presentations.

As opioid prescription rates decrease, overdose deaths remain the same: Is this progress?

As opioid prescription rates decrease, overdose deaths remain the same: Is this progress?

A national push to decrease opioid prescription rates has not led to a net decrease in overdose deaths. Has progress been made?

Is obstructive sleep apnea linked to low levels of vitamin D?

Is obstructive sleep apnea linked to low levels of vitamin D?

Understanding the link between vitamin D deficiency and obstructive sleep apnea can be challenging.

What changes are in store for PA recertification?

What changes are in store for PA recertification?

As the PA profession continues to grow, the NCCPA looks to the future with new recertification guidelines.

Sleepwalkers don't feel pain during sleep

Sleepwalkers don't feel pain during sleep

Although people who sleepwalk may injure themselves, they often do not feel pain until they are awake.

Who calls the shots about a physician assistant title change?

Who calls the shots about a physician assistant title change?

The AAPA has again proposed calling physician assistants PAs despite pushback from the House of Delegates.

How food can affect your sleep

How food can affect your sleep

A new study found that dietary intake of fiber, saturated fats, and carbohydrates can influence sleep quality.

Recognizing victims of domestic violence

Recognizing victims of domestic violence

Clinicians should trust their intuition when a patient's injuries don't match up with their story.

Understanding the Mallampati score

Understanding the Mallampati score

The Mallampati score is a simple, quick test that can be a good predictor of obstructive sleep apnea.

Impaired provider programs give clinicians a safe place to recover

Impaired provider programs give clinicians a safe place to recover

For clinicians who struggle with substance abuse and other mental health problems, impaired provider programs offer a safe, supportive space where they can recover.

The importance of clinician-patient confidentiality in the emergency department

The importance of clinician-patient confidentiality in the emergency department

When patients present with concerning behavior, an explanation of patient-provider confidentiality can help clinicians provide effective treatment more quickly.

Quantity of sleep continues to decline in Americans

Quantity of sleep continues to decline in Americans

A growing number of adults in the United States are not getting the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night.

Wanted: Collaboration between the AAPA's gun control advocates and gun-savvy PAs

Wanted: Collaboration between the AAPA's gun control advocates and gun-savvy PAs

In the wake of mass shootings, the issue of gun control continues to divide the AAPA House of Delegates regarding the organization's policies.

Holiday healing in the emergency department

Holiday healing in the emergency department

The patient flow may slow down during the holidays, but some people come to the emergency department for more than just physical reasons.

The other signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea

The other signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea

Look for symptoms like headaches, daytime sleepiness, and forgetfulness when diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea.

The importance of proper names

The importance of proper names

Using the correct names for parts of the reproductive system can lead to better knowledge and care of the body.

When life imitates art: Gaslighting in the bedroom

When life imitates art: Gaslighting in the bedroom

In sleep studies, a partner's report of the patient's symptoms can be invaluable, but what if they're lying?

When "you'll be fine," isn't fine

When "you'll be fine," isn't fine

Clinicians should communicate thoroughly with patients to ensure their injuries will heal properly based on their lifestyle.

Motivational interviewing: helping the ambivalent patient make a change

Motivational interviewing: helping the ambivalent patient make a change

For patients who are reluctant to make changes, try motivational interviewing to help them set goals.

When suicide becomes personal

When suicide becomes personal

Experiencing the grief of losing someone to suicide can bring a new perspective on the importance of suicide prevention resources.

Debunking the dangers of pitocin

Debunking the dangers of pitocin

While many pregnant patients have reservations about pitocin, it has many benefits for labor when administered correctly.

A new method for closing skin tears in elderly patients

A new method for closing skin tears in elderly patients

Using a combination of sutures and Steri-Strips can help close skin tears in elderly patients with fragile skin.

Unexplained weight gain? Consider sleep-related eating disorders

Unexplained weight gain? Consider sleep-related eating disorders

For patients who are gaining weight seemingly without cause, consider sleep-related eating disorders for a diagnosis.

Tarrytown, my Tarrytown: a trip to the New York State Society of PAs conference

Tarrytown, my Tarrytown: a trip to the New York State Society of PAs conference

The NYSSPA conference in Tarrytown, N.Y. offered several panels addressing racial health disparities in a quaint location.

For labor and delivery, what's in a title?

For labor and delivery, what's in a title?

Patients can be preoccupied with titles even when they do not correspond to more experience.

Are immunization schedules negotiable?

Are immunization schedules negotiable?

Providers should consider both medical ethics and scientific evidence when parents want to delay the vaccine schedule for their child.

How to prepare for the AANP exam

How to prepare for the AANP exam

A recent FNP graduate breaks down how he prepared to take (and pass) the AANP exam.

Early pregnancy loss deserves empathy and sensitivity

Early pregnancy loss deserves empathy and sensitivity

After a couple experiences a miscarriage, their grief needs to be treated with sensitivity rather than dismissal.

Reduce the risk of catching a cold by sleeping

Reduce the risk of catching a cold by sleeping

Getting more than 7 hours of sleep each night may reduce the risk of contracting the rhinovirus.

After an accident, when do you need a new car seat?

After an accident, when do you need a new car seat?

Car seats must be replaced after moderate and severe car crashes, but often they do not need to be replaced after minor crashes.

No excuses: clinicians should never disrespect patients

No excuses: clinicians should never disrespect patients

Medical practitioners should always treat patients with respect, no matter how stressed or annoyed they are

After the switch: adjusting to a new job

After the switch: adjusting to a new job

After working at the same place for a long time, adjusting to a new job can be difficult.

Weight loss is important in improving daytime sleepiness

Weight loss is important in improving daytime sleepiness

If a patient is experiencing fatigue, consider exercise and weight loss to help decrease their symptoms.

I welcome our galactic nursing overlord: A nurse responds to The View

I welcome our galactic nursing overlord: A nurse responds to The View

Nurses who have united over comments on The View should use this momentum as a catalyst for change.

Skin checks in the emergency department

Skin checks in the emergency department

Performing skin checks during other procedures can identify abnormalities that would otherwise be overlooked.

Conquering the beast of NP boards

Conquering the beast of NP boards

Planning ahead can help reduce the anxiety that comes along with final exams and boards.

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