Remote Learning | Tech Tips from IT

What the heck is “remote learning” anyways? So many new terms, so many new letters (oh yeah, acronyms) like WFH, Wifi, hotspot, Ethernet cable, signal strength, MS Teams, Goggle Classroom. When did we become so dependent on our internet connection and the speed of our signal?  Right… since COVID locked everything down, including schools.

So, if I have to work from home (WFH), do I have to also teach my kids from home?  Well, I really don’t have it too bad. My oldest in high school can really manage for herself; she’s responsible. My youngest, that’s another story. ADHD also makes is extremely difficult for someone to sit at a computer for 6 hours and rarely leave the bedroom. As a parent, how can I help my kids be successful in school while learning on-line?  How can I be a real contributor at the office if I’m not “in-person”? Do I have to be “tech support” for my kids?

And, don’t experts say that “too much screen time is not good for your kids”?  But now, they are asking them to sit on 5 different zoom classes a day with a 30 min lunch over a 6 hour day.  Just checking to see if anyone else thinks that’s odd too.


Here are a few things that I have picked up that might help us ROCK this school year… well, at least make the best of it. 

  • There are really no school supply lists like before, so just make sure they have a notebook and pencils to make notes. Everything else is on-line.
  • Invest in good internet!  Email or google searching over your home internet take up only a small bit of data, but streaming audio and video uses more data and is much less forgiving when its interrupted. So, consider contacting your local internet provider (Comcast, CenturyLink, etc) to see if you can get at least 10 MB download speed and at least 5 Mb upload speed with a low “ping time” (50ms or less).  Use www.speedtest.net to check your speed.  If you are rural, you may not have many options, but you can try to get a Verizon hotspot or jetpack.  It’s a device that uses the cellphone data network, but this is often capped at 15-30Gb per month before you get throttled down to slower speeds. (so no Netflix on the hotspot).
  • Set an alarm for 2-3 mins before each class to remind your kid of the next online class.
  • Lunch – get them a good lunch. Even if they are home, they may need some help so they don’t eat only junk food.

Well, we are all “learning from home”, each and every day.  Its gonna be okay, just be patient with yourself and your teachers.  They are doing the best they can.

by CHAS Health IT dept.

Welcome Back to School!

As the temperatures outside start to cool off, we often start to see changing priorities for families. Time for school and a consistent daily schedule, time for some of our favorite sports and outdoor activities to start back up, and time to thinking about germs. Now I know everyone is already tired of talking about COVID-19 and the impact it has had on our lives but it reminds us that we are all in this together. Our decisions impact everyone around us, especially those that we love and care for.

Germs are and will continue to be part of our world but there are many everyday things we can do to protect others.

  • Wash your hands- Just because things look clean… doesn’t mean that they are. Always use soap and water (for at least 20 seconds) and when you can’t, try to use hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze- There is much talk about masks these days and as a medical provider worried about colds, flu, and COVID I recommend wearing them, especially during this time. We know from the time that we are small children that many germs come from our mouths. Covering our mouths to prevent spreading our germs to others is just one more step we can take to protect those around us. 
  • Be careful what you touch- Germs, although microscopic, can have a huge impact on our health. Germs exist in the air as well as on surfaces. Think about those things that you touch all of the time… and try to sanitize things that are touched all of the time by many people.
  • Flu vaccine- This year more than ever we need to consider what a fever will mean for those around us. The more we can do this fall to prevent illness will really help get and keep our lives on track. Consider getting your child in for their annual Well visit or even getting in when appropriate to keep them up to date with vaccinations… your Pediatricians thank you!

– Dr. Dan Moorman

Importance of ongoing learning in a healthcare setting

Since inception, CHAS Health has positioned our patients at the center of every decision we make.  And in order to provide the best possible care for our patients, it’s essential that we provide learning and development opportunities for our valued staff. The healthcare industry is an ever-changing field that requires extensive skills and training. The development of a successful program is key to employee retention, competency, and the balance of work and personal life. There are many benefits that can be derived from a successful learning and development program for everyone involved.

Why is it important?

Learning presents a special opportunity to expand the knowledge base of all employees. Learning and development can increase employee retention, job satisfaction, and productivity. It’s a vital tool when implementing new policies, equipment, and/or employees.

Due to our complex and busy schedules, we’ve received feedback that the best way to ensure that adequate time is dedicated to learning is to provide carved-out and focused time for our clinic staff. That’s why the 3rd Wednesday of the month, we are dedicating learning time to our staff and we will open clinic hours slightly later at 9am.

Our newly developed dedicated learning time supports improved patient care, service to our community, and career development.  It’s often difficult to have quality learning time during the everyday work day, especially with how tight schedules can be. With this time carved out, employees will be able to access educational resources to better careers and patients’ lives.

Please note, the third Wednesday and the last Wednesday of every month, our primary care clinics open at 9am.

Spokane Urgent Care locations open at 9am on the last Wednesday of the month only.

Too sick for school?

Flu season is officially here! Over the next few months, many parents of ill children will be faced with the decision whether or not to send their child to school. The most important thing for parents to consider when making this decision is if the child will be able to learn and participate in school activities. We also don’t want to unnecessarily expose other children to illness causing germs. However, we all want to minimize missed school and work days for both students and their parents. Below are a few guidelines that can help parents make this often tricky call.

Fever

A fever is body’s way of fighting off infection and is the most common reason parents keep their children home from school. The definition of a fever is a temperature of 100.4 or higher, though some schools and daycare centers will have their own rules. The general rule of thumb is to keep your child home until they have been fever free for 24 hours.

Upper respiratory Infections

Most children will have several different cold viruses each winter. A child with typical cold symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, and cough can usually participate in school without any restrictions. Coughs may linger for several weeks after the other symptoms have resolved. It is important to go over the importance of coughing or sneezing into an elbow or a tissue and proper hand washing techniques with your sick child to limit the spread of these germs.

It may be necessary to keep a child home if they have more severe symptoms, such as extreme fatigue, loss of appetite, or anything else that will keep them from learning and participating at school. If a child has influenza (the “flu”), they should be kept home from school until their symptoms have resolved. The flu is similar to a cold but is accompanied by high fevers and body aches. We recommend an annual influenza vaccine to help lower the risk of this illness.

If your child has an ear, sinus, or strep throat infection it is recommended that they stay home from school until at least 24 hours after antibiotic treatment has been started. Conjunctivitis (also known as “pink eye”) can be caused by allergies or a virus, but when it’s caused by bacteria it is very contagious and needs antibiotic treatment before the child returns to school.

Vomiting and Diarrhea

Children with vomiting and diarrhea should also be kept home until their symptoms have resolved. If there are no other symptoms, older children with mild diarrhea that are able to use the toilet and wash their hands on their own may go to school if they don’t have any other symptoms.

Skin

Most childhood rashes are caused by viruses and most are not cause for concern. Certain rashes, such as chicken pox are more severe and highly contagious. If a rash is accompanied by a fever, the child should not attend school. If you are unsure what is causing a child’s rash, it’s a good idea for them be seen by their healthcare provider to find out what the rash is and any precautions that should be taken.

Lice is another common reason for children to miss school. In the past, many schools had a “no nits” policy. Experts now agree that these absences are unnecessary and children can return to school as soon as they have had one lice treatment.
Illnesses are a normal part childhood. We can’t keep our children home for every sniffle and sneeze, but we do want to minimize the spread of germs and make sure that our children go to school ready to learn. If you have any questions about whether or not to send your child to school, talk to your child’s healthcare provider.

Autumn Barbero, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Healthy Choices for Kids.

Do you know why there’s so much talk these days about obesity in children?

Children who are overweight when they are young have a much harder time losing weight when they are older than adults who were not overweight as kids. If you make improvements in your child’s diet and increase the amount of physical activity he gets now, you will have a much better chance of keeping him healthy as an adult.

Here are a few ideas to make changes in your family’s diet:

  •   Drink water!  (no juice, no soda)
  •   Eat at home!  (don’t eat out more than once or twice a week)
  •   Keep cut up fruits or vegetables around so your kids will snack on them instead of chips
  •   Eat together! Keep the TV off!
  •   Make sure you have 20-30 minutes to eat together (eating too fast makes it easy to over- do it)
  •   Eat 3 meals a day! (skipping leads to overeating )
  •   Keep junk food out of your house!
  •   Make salads with vegetables, not eggs, meat or cheese
  •   Toss your salad to use less dressing
  •   Treat yourselves sometimes!

Here’s some suggestions to increase physical activity in your family:

bike-helmet-child

  •   Ride a bike
  •   Go for a walk after dinner
  •   Dance
  •   Swim
  •   Play sports
  •   Walk when you talk on the phone
  •   Take a martial arts class
  •   Limit TV and video games to 1-2 hours per day

 

Good luck and enjoy the rest of your summer.

Wildfires and Children’s Lungs

With recent wildfires in the area you may be wondering what this means for your children. The smoke from wildfires contains a mixture of gasses as well as fine particles of burnt material. These can irritate your eyes, nasal passage, as well as your lungs.

Children’s airways are still developing and are much smaller than adults, and therefore are at a higher risk to be affected by poor air quality. Children breathe in more air per pound of body weight and they also tend to be more active which also leads them to breath in more air.

via Krem

via Krem

When the air quality is poor it is important to avoid going outside. If this is not possible, limit the amount of activity that is done outside. Anytime your child runs and plays, they begin to breathe faster, leading to more exposure of the dirty air to their sensitive developing airways.

Keep windows and doors shut. Make sure to run the air conditioner on the recirculate setting to prevent the dirty air from coming inside. A simple mask is not helpful. The small particulates that are present in the smoke are small enough to be allowed through a paper mask. It is also important to keep track of the air quality index where you live. You can check this out at www.spokanecleanair.org to find out the current air quality.

Symptoms of exposure to wildfire smoke can include runny nose, burning eyes, cough, shortness of breath, and nausea. If your child has asthma make sure to have their rescue inhaler available at all times since the smoke can trigger an asthma exacerbation. If any of these symptoms persist or don’t improve after going inside and resting, please seek medical care.

by Ashlee Mickelson, Physician

Back to School Time!

Well its back to school time and that means getting your kids ready for the next school year. Im also sure as a parent you are thinking about the well being of your child over this next year and  ways to keep them healthy and active. One way to do this is to encourage physical activity and playing school sports or extra curricular sports activites. Please remember that schools need a Sports form filled out yearly so they can ensure that your child is healthy enough to participate. We can do this at their yearly physical or we can see them for a sports physical to get them playing right away.The difference in the two checkups is we have more time to discuss other health concerns or even old medical concerns at a Well Child Checkup. Please schedule either checkup today if your child needs one.
Its also time to start thinking about Immunizations for the year as well. Influenza season is coming and we will be looking to get everyone immunized over the next several months. Please consider this immunization and call us to discuss if your child is up to date on all of their immunizations. Recent changes to vaccines and new guidelines are making it very important for your Medical provider to closely review the immunization records to ensure that you and your child are fully protected from vaccine preventable diseases. Please let us know how we can help you.

Dan Moorman, M.D.

Dramamine