Laredo Medical Center hosts health fair to promote preventative health care

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In conjunction with Healthy Aging Month, Laredo Medical Center invited residents of all ages to their Healthy Connection Fair on Tuesday to promote preventive measures and a general good idea of ​​the services available in Laredo.

The inaugural event was also an opportunity for hospital staff, nursing students and residents to come together and work together in the spirit of stronger healthcare.

“Whether you’re 25, 50, or older, the goal of this event is to raise awareness of the positive aspects of aging,” said Jorge Leal, FACHE and CEO of LMC. “The fair will feature exhibits from many of our healthcare providers to help you take charge of your physical and mental health, as well as learn about healthy eating, falls prevention and more. All of these factors contribute to successful aging.

Leal added that the purpose of the fair was to initiate and encourage residents to see a doctor for initial checkups and to monitor their own levels. These routine checks should be increased as one gets older, and the fair can be a starting point to start down this path. After the inaugural fair is over, residents can most likely expect similar or more booths to be set up next year, including booths for blood collection, stroke prevention, heart care, sleep aid, blood pressure and more.

“That’s the whole point of this fair, to bring everyone together as we continue to age, and not go through critical times because there’s so much that can be done by going to talk to a doctor or a clinician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant,” Leal said. “And by having that conversation with your doctor, there’s so much you can prevent at the same time.”

The fair was held in the LMC’s main lobby, where attendees were greeted by nursing students and booths specializing in different aspects of healthcare. In one booth, sleep and sleeping pills could be discussed, while in the next, beatings were the main topic.

As Laredo’s biggest health issues, hypertension and diabetes are both concerns for residents, and LMC Stroke Coordinator Chantel Molina organized the Stroke Booth to educate residents about the causes and symptoms of a stroke.

She described the BE FAST campaign, which is as follows:

  • B- Balance.
  • E — Eyes.
  • F-Face.
  • A — Weapons.
  • S — Speech.
  • T — Time.

Molina said doctors recommend and urge anyone who experiences or recognizes stroke symptoms to rush to the hospital. Waiting too long can exacerbate any disability or their mortality rate. A treatment window is 24 hours, and LMC has a drug that breaks down the clot blocking the area of ​​the brain, but the window for this drug is 4-5 hours.

“CVA is not very discriminating,” Molina said. “Paediatrics can have strokes, we see adults from the age of 30-40, and a lot of them, it’s not just tiny numbers. Again, this does not discriminate, strokes can be seen throughout your life.

In August alone, LMC treated 59 strokes. Molina said this was a relatively higher number than previous figures recorded. She explained that heatstroke was not the same as CML-treated stroke, which comes from brain clots due in part to family health issues, diabetes and COVID-19, with smoking being a contributing factor. major risk.

“A lot of it is very preventative,” Molina said. “Don’t get me wrong, there are people who do everything. They take their meds, they control their blood pressure, their diabetes and they still have the stroke. Most of the time it’s that they haven’t taken care of themselves.

Blood pressure checks were also available, with attendees and nursing students from Laredo College and TAMIU striking up conversations with those in their booths. The setting provided an opportunity for residents to meet new nursing talent and for students to bond with Laredo patients.

Calixto Cerna, a fourth-semester nursing student at TAMIU, praised the university’s support of nursing student careers and its emphasis on ethical practice. He said he felt he had been adequately prepared when interacting with patients and emphasized avoiding simple interactions without building a rapport with said patients.

“It’s more patient-centered care where we want to treat them based on how the patient themselves present and experience the disease,” he added, saying he brings his experience in a hospital setting. to be the mainstay of support that patients seek in their caregivers.

Between coursework at school and rotations at the hospital, Cerna said students need to learn more in-depth in a hospital setting while bonding with hospital staff.

Cerna, whose mother was a nurse, said her encouragement and the flexibility of a nursing specialization led her to take up nursing as a career. With a willingness to help others and the flexibility to jump into the ICU or any specialty, he ultimately wants to teach nursing after a long and worthwhile career in the hospital.

As a first-semester LC nursing student, Lindsey Reyes said her class is currently learning the basics of nursing and called the hookup fair an eye-opening experience when it comes to meeting patients, staff hospital and other nursing students. This benefits her communication with the community and is one aspect of a tough program that rewards those who put in their best, she said.

As a former city worker with the Laredo Health Department, Reyes emphasized the importance of community outreach to promote healthy living and health checkups in schools and rural areas with residents who may not have the ability to get to the hospital.

As a medically underserved community, settlement residents face the added hurdle of not always having reliable transportation to health care facilities. Reyes said reaching out to the community is a vital area of ​​health care and was a major part of his seven-year position at the health department.

Leal said that to meet the medically underserved designation, more recruitment efforts have been made to try to attract more providers to the community. He added that with more personnel brought into Laredo, it could shorten the federal designation.

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