Managing and coping with stress

People feel a variety of emotions throughout their everyday life—happiness, stress, sadness, etc. You might feel excited about your weekend get away with family, but remember a work deadline you have to meet before leaving and suddenly feel panicked. You realize late nights at the office need to happen to finish the project, but still need to pack, grocery shop and make food for your getaway. Stressful thoughts are now associated with both of these life events. You think, “How will I get this all done?”

If you experience stress over a long period of time, it can lead to chronic health issues. Rather than associating stress with a negative feeling, figure out where the source of the stress is coming from. Taking control of your thoughts, emotions and the way you react to situations will help manage your stress and help protect your long-term health. 

Here are some tips to help manage and control stress:

Find a relaxation technique
Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage or learn relaxation techniques. Different relaxation techniques can help calm your mind and reduce stress.

Mediation

Eat well-balanced meals
Don’t skip meals and always keep healthy, energy-boosting snacks on hand. Avoid or reduce your consumption of nicotine, caffeine and alcohol. Keeping your body hydrated will help you cope with stress better.

Get more sleep
Try to improve your quality of sleep by aiming for 7-8 hours a night. Staying on a consist schedule can help you stay well-rested and keep your emotional balance.

Exercise daily
Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week can greatly reduce the amount of stress in your life. Activity that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat is an effective way to increase energy and boost your mood.

Maintain a positive attitude
Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. It’s been shown in studies that having an optimistic attitude can affect your quality of life.

Change your emotional response
You can’t avoid stress from your everyday life, but you can control how you react to the situation. Find ways to positively respond to stressful events.

Talk with someone
Reach out to your friends, family or co-workers to let them know what you’re going through. A simple coffee break, quick conversation or phone call can help reduce stress. Knowing someone is there to talk to can help provide comfort in a stressful situation.

Serving coffee

Home Health Aide (HHA)/Personal Care Attendant (PCA)

Job Title:

  • Home Health Aide (HHA)/Personal Care Attendant (PCA)

Job Location: 

  • Brainerd, Minnesota

Job Type:

  • Part-time

Job Description:

  • Provides personal care services under the direction of the Registered Nurse or Therapist. The Home Health Aide is assigned to specific clients by the Registered Nurse or other appropriate professional and performs services for clients as necessary to maintain their personal comfort.
  • Performs simple procedures as an extension of therapy services under the direction and supervision of the therapist.
  • Performs personal care activities, including but not limited to:
    1. Bathing
    2. Shampooing
    3. Skin care/nail care
    4. Oral hygiene
    5. Shaving
    6. Dressing
  • Performs household services essential to health care at home, including but not limited to:
    1. Meal preparation/feeding
    2. Laundry
    3. Light housekeeping

Requirements:

  • Successful completion of a formal certification training program and/or a written skills test and competency evaluation.
  • Be at least eighteen (18) years of age.
  • Minimum of six (6) months work experience in a supervised setting, preferably health care facility.
  • Demonstrated ability to read, write, and follow a written Plan of Care.
  • Good interpersonal skills.
  • Current driver’s license, good driving record, and reliable transportation.

Reports to: RN Case Manager; Clinical Supervisor; Therapist

Other information:

  • Competitive salary
  • 401 (k) retirement plan

For more information on this great opportunity, contact our Little Falls office: 320.632.2260!

To apply, please complete the entire application by clicking on the link below:

Online Application

 

Add new colors to your meal time

Are you getting your recommended fruit and vegetable intake of 5 to 9 servings a day? Eating fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors is more eye appealing to a person and provides a broad range of nutrients.

Green fruits and vegetables are good for your teeth, bones and eyes, and can lower your risk of chronic disease.

  • Fruits: avocado, honeydew, lime, kiwifruit
  • Vegetables: artichokes, arugula, asparagus, broccoli, lettuce, peas, spinach, zucchini

Green veggie

White and brown fruits and vegetables are high in dietary fiber, helping to protect you from high cholesterol and may lower your risk of stroke.

  • Fruits: banana, brown pears, dates, white peaches
  • Vegetables: cauliflower, garlic, ginger, onion

Onion

Red fruits and vegetables benefit heart health, vision, immunity and many reduce the risk of cancer.

  • Fruits: cherries, pomegranates, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon
  • Vegetables: beets, red peppers, radishes, red onions, red potatoes, rhubarb, tomatoes

cherries

Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables promote health vision and immunity, and reduce certain cancers.

  • Fruits: cantaloupe, mango, orange, papaya, pineapple, grapefruit
  • Vegetables: butternut squash, carrot, sweet corn, yellow pepper, yellow potato

Pinneaple

Purple and blue fruits and vegetables have antioxidants and anti-aging benefits, helping with memory and decreases the risk of cancer.

  • Fruits: blackberries, blueberries, dried plums, concord grapes
  • Vegetables: black olives, eggplant, purple asparagus

Eggplant

Try adding one new color of fruit or vegetable to your plate each week. To learn more about colorful fruits and vegetables, click here.

How much noise is too much noise?

Your favorite song comes on the radio, so you crank up the volume to blast the music and sing out loud at the top of your lungs. Are you aware of the damage this can cause your ears?

In general, everyone is exposed to sounds in their everyday environment at a safe level, but if the noises are too loud, they can be harmful. If someone is around a noise that is too loud, even for a brief amount of time, they can damage sensitive structures in their inner ear and cause noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).

What is NIHL?
NIHL is damage to the inner ear caused by loud noises for a brief moment or over a great length of time. It can be temporary or permanent and can affect one or both ears.

Who is affected by NIHL?
People of all ages can develop NIHL, including children, teenagers, adults and elderly people.

What causes NIHL?
A variety of loud noises can cause NIHL, whether it’s a onetime sound or consistent over a long period of time. There are many noises that can cause NIHL such as:

  • Working in an industrial setting using loud machines
  • Target shooting
  • Listening to music at a high volume through earbuds or head phones

Ear buds

  • Playing in a band
  • Loud bursts of sound, such as gun shorts or explosions

There is good news though—NIHL is the only kind of hearing loss that can be prevented. You can protect your hearing for life if you understand the hazards of noise and practice safe hearing.

Here are a few ways to prevent NIHL:

  • Wear protective devices in your ears such as earplugs when around loud activity.

Ear plug

  • Remove yourself from the loud noises if possible.
  • Be alert to hazardous noises in the environment.
  • Have your hearing tested if you think you think you might have hearing loss.

For more information on NIHL, click here.

Home Health Aide (HHA)

Job Title:

  • Home Health Aide (HHA)

Job Location: 

  • Swanville, Minnesota
  • Little Falls, Minnesota

Job Type:

  • Part-time with potential to full-time

Job Description:

  • Provides personal care services under the direction of the Registered Nurse or Therapist. The Home Health Aide is assigned to specific clients by the Registered Nurse or other appropriate professional and performs services for clients as necessary to maintain their personal comfort.
  • Performs simple procedures as an extension of therapy services under the direction and supervision of the therapist.
  • Performs personal care activities, including but not limited to:
    1. Bathing
    2. Shampooing
    3. Skin care/nail care
    4. Oral hygiene
    5. Shaving
    6. Dressing
  • Performs household services essential to health care at home, including but not limited to:
    1. Meal preparation/feeding
    2. Laundry
    3. Light housekeeping

Requirements:

  • Successful completion of a formal certification training program and/or a written skills test and competency evaluation.
  • Be at least eighteen (18) years of age.
  • Minimum of six (6) months work experience in a supervised setting, preferably health care facility.
  • Demonstrated ability to read, write, and follow a written Plan of Care.
  • Good interpersonal skills.
  • Current driver’s license, good driving record, and reliable transportation.

Reports to: RN Case Manager; Clinical Supervisor; Therapist

Other information:

  • Competitive salary
  • Comprehensive benefits package
  • 401 (k) retirement plan

For more information on this great opportunity, contact our Little Falls office: 320.632.2260!

To apply, please complete the entire application by clicking on the link below:

Online Application

 

Eating healthy foods on a budget

Often people think that eating healthy costs too much money and it’s cheaper to buy packed food or quickly go through a drive-thru window at a fast food restaurant. While it may be more convenient to eat these quick fix meals, your body might not receive the nutrients it needs.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. There are a lot of different ways to make healthier meals while staying within your budget.

Here are a few tips on how to make healthier food choices and stay within your budget:

Create a weekly meal plan
One of your children has a baseball game Tuesday night and the other one has swimming lessons. Where does dinner fit into the schedule? Creating a weekly meal plan is one way to schedule out your family meals. Take a look at your overall week and what you have going on. For nights you have activities, make a meal that can be made in a short amount of time, or plan to have leftovers.
Make a grocery list
After planning out your meals for the week, make a list of all the ingredients you need for the meals. Look in your kitchen to see if you already have some of the ingredients. Making a meal based upon the ingredients you already have in the house can help save on the grocery bill. Try buying all your groceries in one trip. This can help cut down on mid-week trips to the store so you don’t buy more items than you need.

Grocery bag
Shop smart at the store
Check out the local grocery store advertisements to see what is on sale and which store has the best deals. When buying fresh produce, try to buy items that are “in season.” You can find what produce is in season by clicking here. Produce can be cheaper at their peak flavor. For longer lasting items, canned fruit and frozen vegetables may be less expensive and can have the same nutrients. For canned items, choose 100% fruit juice. Look for “low sodium” or “no salt added” on canned or frozen vegetable labels.
Read the food label
Before purchasing an item, take a glance at the back of the can to review the nutrition facts. Things to look for are: serving size, calories, sodium, protein and Vitamins. Each person’s nutrition needs are different and you can find out more about food labels by clicking here.

Canned foods
Cook with your family
Make cooking dinner a family fun event. Assign each person a different job to help with prepping the meal. Keep the ingredients simple using real whole foods. This will keep the process simple and easy for everyone involved.
For more helpful materials on eating healthy on a budget, visit www.choosemyplate.gov. This website is filled with daily food plans, nutrition education, recipes and other great information about eating healthy foods.

Registered Nurse (RN) Case Manager

Job Title:

  • Registered Nurse (RN) Case Manager

Job Location: 

  • Willmar, Minnesota

Job Type:

  • Full-time

Job Description:

  • Provides case management for a team of clients using nursing theory and process and in accordance with the state Nurse Practice Act. Performs client assessments based on agency standards of practice to ensure effective and appropriate home care services. Manages/supervises a team of RNs, LPNs, Home Health Aides, and Personal Care Aides to provide effective and quality home care services.

Requirements:

  • Graduate of an accredited school of professional nursing.
  • Current license as a Registered Nurse in the state(s) of practice. Baccalaureate degree preferred.
  • Minimum of two (2) years of nursing experience. Home care experience preferred.
  • Previous supervisory experience in a health care setting.
  • Effective written and oral communication skills and good interpersonal skills.
  • Organizational and time management skills.
  • Knowledge of home health regulatory and reimbursement requirements.
  • Current driver’s license, safe driving record, and reliable transportation.

Reports to:

  • Director of Nursing; Director of Clinical Services; Branch Manager

Other information:

  • Competitive salary
  • Comprehensive benefit package
  • Paid vacation
  • 401 (k) retirement plan

For more information on this great opportunity, contact our Willmar office: 320.231.9757!

To apply, please complete the entire application by clicking on the link below:

Online Application

Benefits of regular physical activity

Having a regular exercise routine can help improve different aspects of your life. Did you know that just 30 minutes of low- to moderate-physical activity five days a week can enhance your overall well begin? People of all ages can benefit from being physically active on a regular basis. Read about the different ways incorporating physical activity into your life can help your overall well being.

Picture1

Five ways exercise can help improve your life:

Exercise prevents and manages health conditions and diseases

  • Begin active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease. It also prevents or manages other health issues such as stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, arthritis and others.

Exercise improves mood and attitude 

  • Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that can leave you feeling happier and more relaxed.

Exercise promotes better sleep

  • Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Make sure to leave enough time between falling asleep and exercising, otherwise you might have too much energy to fall asleep.

Exercise reduces stress

  • Working up a sweat can help manage physical and mental stress. It also increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress.

Exercise helps independent living in a home

  • Regular exercise can help elderly people remain independent by improving their functional ability and preventing falls and fractures. It can also strengthen their muscles, increase appetite and promote overall well-being of health.

Before starting a new physical activity or exercise program, make sure to talk with your physician. They can help create a plan that will work best for you.

Personal Care Attendant

Job Title:

  • Personal Care Attendant (PCA)

Job Location: 

  • Pierz, Minnesota

Job Type:

  • Part-time

Job Description:

  • Provides personal care services under the direction of the Registered Nurse or Therapist. The PCA is assigned to specific clients by the Registered Nurse or other appropriate professional and performs services for clients as necessary to maintain their personal comfort.

Requirements:

  • Successful completion of a formal certification training program and/or a written skills test and competency evaluation.
  • Be at least eighteen (18) years of age.
  • Minimum of six (6) months work experience in a supervised setting, preferably health care facility.
  • Demonstrated ability to read, write, and follow a written Plan of Care.
  • Good interpersonal skills.
  • Current driver’s license, good driving record, and reliable transportation.

Reports to: RN Case Manager; Clinical Supervisor; Therapist

Other information:

  • Competitive salary
  • 401 (k) retirement plan

For more information on this great opportunity, contact our Little Falls office: 320.632.2260!

To apply, please complete the entire application by clicking on the link below:

Online Application

 

Nursing scholarship award winners

For the past three years we’ve presented a $1,000 scholarship to a high school senior who is pursuing a degree in nursing in each of our 5 office locations: Benson, Litchfield, Little Falls, Redwood Falls and Willmar.

In order to be considered for the scholarship, each student had to fill out an application, write an essay and meet the following criteria:

  • Pursue a degree in nursing.
  • Graduate from high school with at least a 3.0 GPA.
  • Be passionate about caring for others in the healthcare field.

We received many outstanding applications and it wasn’t an easy decision to decide on the winners. We presented a $1,000 scholarship to the following high school students.

Melanie Reese, Benson High School

Melanie will be attending St. Scholastic in Duluth, Minnesota in the fall of 2015 to pursue a degree in nursing with a minor in Spanish. She was involved in a variety of academic and extra-curricular activities throughout her years such as girl’s tennis, BPA, volunteering at the food shelf, blood drives and at her church. Also, she received many academic achievement awards. She wants to become a registered nurse because she enjoys science, helping people and wants a career that involves a variety of tasks.

Benson_Melanie Resse_2015

Madeline Maahs, Litchfield High School

Madeline will be attending Minnesota State University of Mankato in Mankato, Minnesota in the fall of 2015 to pursue a degree in nursing. She spent many hours volunteering for blood drives, church activities, Special Olympics and more. She’s been involved in extra-curricular activities such as taking statics for volleyball, wrestling and basketball, being involved with marching band, color guard and many other clubs. Her desire to become a nurse stems from job shadowing at the Hutchinson hospital and helping children all throughout life.

Litchfield_Madeline Maahs_2015

Jenna Primus, Little Falls High School

Jenna will be attending University of Minnesota Twin Cities in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the fall of 2015 to pursue a degree in nursing. Her academic determination earned her a spot in the freshman guarantee program, guaranteeing admission into the school of nursing. She spent time volunteering for a day of caring, school blood drive and was involved with soccer, basketball, softball, student council and many other extra-curricular activities. She chose nursing as a career so she can spend her life in the service of others.

Little Falls_Jenna Primus_2015

Kayla Huhnerkoch, Redwood Falls High School

Kayla will be attending North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota in the fall of 2015 to pursue a degree in nursing. She was heavily involved in extra-curricular activities such as NHS, band, rotary, FCA, cross country, basketball and track. Her time volunteering for kids against hunger, meals on wheels and the Salvation Army showed her how important it is to give back to the community. She believes that being a nurse is about helping a person heal in both a physical and physiological aspect.

Redwood Falls_Kayla Huhnerkock_2015

Marin Fischer, Willmar High School

Marin will be attending University of Minnesota Twin Cities in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the fall of 2015 to pursue a degree in nursing. Her volunteer experience with the food shelf, humane society, Rice Care Center and the Special Olympics has made an impact on her view of the world. She was involved in extra-curricular activities including swimming, band, choir, yearbook and national honor society. Her ambition to be a life-long learner and the constant change in developing and breaking things in medicine made her decide to pursue a degree in nursing.

Willmar_Marin Fischer_2015

Congratulations to graduating seniors of 2015. We wish you the best.

“Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.” – Minor Myers