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Friday, December 6, 2013

Silent Nights at PinnacleHealth

At this time of year another popular song comes to mind too- Silent Night. Much like most women would want for a little more me time, most would like a little more quiet too.  Patients in hospitals agree too! In fact studies show that reduced noise levels help patients sleep better. That means they heal and recover more quickly.

At PinnacleHealth we work to ensure silent nights all year long through our Shhh program—Silent Hospitals Help Healing.  Shhh is a program that has educated employees on the ways we can decrease noise so patients can enjoy a quieter environment in our hospitals. It also means that employees can concentrate better and experience less stress.  Our efforts include:

  • Setting cell phones and pagers to the lowest ring setting or to vibrate. 
  • Speaking more quietly and in appropriate areas. 
  • Closing patient doors when possible and safe. 
  • Wearing soft-soled shoes. 

With our efforts, patients at PinnacleHealth will find the restful nights they need to enjoy a healthy and happy new year.

Let it go! Let it go! Let it go!

Blog contributed by Dr. Metropoulos.

The holidays are a time of socializing, enjoying festive food and drink , and helping a certain bearded fellow meet the expectations of wide eyed children.   While all of these aspects make the holidays enjoyable, it can be stressful when added onto an already busy life, such as the kind most women lead today.  So if asking Santa for less stress hasn’t worked in years past, why not take a different approach this year?

Much like the holiday song, Let It Snow, this season try making Let It Go, your mantra.  Having a positive thought to focus on can help center and calm you in the midst of the holiday chaos.  When you realize our being pushed to your limits, stop, take a few deep breaths and just repeat, Let it go, Let it go, Let it go.

Managing stress can also be aided by having realistic expectations.  Many women, myself included, try to be superheroes, especially at the holidays.  We try to buy all the presents, bake all the goodies, cook all the meals and decorate the house, all in hopes of providing a “perfect” holiday for those we love.  While the intent of these actions comes from a good place, it can cause us to suffer and in the end that can negatively affect our loved ones, those who we started doing all these stressful things for.   Ask yourself, will the holiday be ruined if I don’t make that extra pie? Will my loved ones suffer if I don’t have put all the decorations up this year? Focus on the important traditions and give yourself permission to let the rest go.

Family squabbles can add stress as well.  A snide remark about someone’s weight or a question about when you are going to get married or have a baby, can raise anyone’s ire.  Having a clear focus on the occasion and realizing that the goal of the holidays is to enjoy yourself, should lead you to let it go.  Let go of the remarks, the animosities and any bad feelings and just seek the good in the season.  

In the end, holidays are about enjoying yourself, enjoying time with family and friends and making new memories. Learning to manage stress will enable you to have a happy and healthy holiday season and new year to come.

So repeat after me, Let it go, Let it go, Let it go.

All I Want For Christmas is a Little More Sleep!

Blog contributed by Greg Barnes, BS, PinnacleHealth Sleep Center Supervisor 

This time of year many women sacrifice sleep while trying to balance holiday tasks with the rest of the busy American lifestyle. Shopping, decorating, cooking and other holiday activities are just a few of the demands this time of year. Be careful though, a lack of sleep can increase stress and reduce your ability to enjoy the season.

Here are a 8 tips for a more restful holiday season:

  1. Sleep schedule: Try to maintain a sleep schedule, go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Keep your schedule even on your days off and holidays.
  2. Watch what you eat: The holidays bring lots of opportunities to overindulge and eat foods that you might not usually eat. A light meal before a party might help keep you from overindulging! Heartburn indigestion can make it difficult to sleep. Don’t go eat right before bed, it can be tough to sleep with a full belly.
  3. Caffeine and alcohol: Both can be a detriment to quality sleep. Did you know that caffeine effects can last for up to 12 hours? Contrary to popular belief, alcohol also negatively effects sleep for most people.
  4. Your sleep environment: Make certain your bedroom is ideal for sleeping. Cool, dark and quiet usually works best.
  5. Naps: Daytime naps that are too long can interfere with nighttime sleep; keep naps to 30 minutes or less.
  6. Physical activity: Daily physical activity can promote better sleep. Give yourself plenty of time to wind down before bedtime.
  7. Manage stress: When you have too much to think about, your sleep is likely to suffer. So get organized, set priorities and delegate tasks.
  8. Try to anticipate and budget the extra time needed to carry out your holiday 'to-do' list. Start early and do a little each day to save time and reduce stress. Delaying until the last possible minute not only leads to sleep loss, it brings heavier traffic, aggressive crowds in stores and the stress of spending lots of money at once.

If you or a loved one still struggle to get restful sleep, you may have an underlying condition.  Many sleep disorders can be treated.

For more information or to set up an appointment call the PinnacleHealth Sleep Center at 920-4325 or visit us on the web at

Thursday, December 5, 2013

No place like home for the holidays—but Community General Osteopathic Hospital is close!

Women tend to be the ones that make home so homey over the holiday season so we know they pay special attention to the feel and amenities available when they or a loved one is hospitalized. While there is no place like home for the holidays, we can offer the next closest thing in our larger, private patient rooms.

In September, PinnacleHealth opened 2 new floors at Community General Osteopathic. Our culture and philosophy centers every decision on what is best and most helpful for the patient. Joan Silver, Vice President of Organizational Quality and Performance Improvement explains,  “ These rooms have been designed specifically for the patients that will be occupying them.  These are all private rooms with the same type of amenities found in some of the finest hotels.”  Ina addition to the comforts of home, each room has the latest point-of-care technology to improve care coordination, safety and efficiency.

We added specific amenities to make a patient’s stay as comfortable as possible- these include
  •  Private patient rooms with a pullout sofa bed and additional space to accommodate family and friends
  •  Furniture customized for joint-replacement and spine patients
  • Natural lighting for comfort and healing
  • Spacious bathrooms designed for safety
  • Flat-screen cable TVs  
  • Patient rooms that are designed for convenient and proper storage of equipment necessary for patient care.

While everyone hopes to be home for the holidays, if you find yourself in need of a hospital this holiday season, rest assured your comfort will central to your stay at PinnacleHealth.