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SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook page needs a scrub?

Now that I've graduated from nursing school and am about to launch a job search, I'm worried about the image that potential employers may see on my social media accounts. Although I've since matured and moved on, in the past I sometimes partied too much.-N.M., ARIZ.

  
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You're right to be concerned. According to a Harris Poll conducted for CareerBuilder in 2016, 59% of hiring managers in the healthcare sector use social media as a screening tool. If you think it's better not to post at all, though, think again-more than 40% of potential employers may not interview a candidate for whom online information is completely lacking.

 

So what about previously posted information? As you may have guessed, the biggest reasons found online for not hiring someone are inappropriate images or information; evidence of alcohol or drug use; discriminatory comments such as those involving race, religion, or gender; and negative remarks about a former employer or coworker.

 

On the positive side, other information found through social media may improve your chances of being hired. Such information includes a background that's in sync with job qualifications, a positive image, a personality that's perceived as a match with the employer's values, and evidence of being well rounded.

 

The communication skills you display on social media can cut both ways. Good skills will give you an edge, and lack of skills can work against your chances of being hired.

 

For now, delete anything about yourself on your social media history that shows or discusses drinking alcohol, illegal actions, or any type of unprofessional conduct. If such photos are on others' history, you'll have to ask them to delete the posts. Make sure you haven't posted any diatribes or "rants" about a former employer or coworker. Finally, check your grammar, spelling, and sentence structure on recent posts. Use the edit button as needed. Finally, do another Google search of your name to make sure your cleanup is complete.

 

If anything negative from your social media history comes up at a job interview, use it as an opportunity to talk about how you've grown and changed. Best of luck with your job search!

 

Source: CareerBuilder. Number of employers using social media to screen candidates has increased 500 percent over the last decade. 2016. http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?ed=12%2F31%2.

 

WOMEN'S HEALTH

Breastfeeding benefits mom's health too

Our hospital is adopting the WHO and the UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding to become designated a Baby-Friendly hospital. Step 3 is "Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding."1 Beyond the benefits of breastfeeding for the infant, what are the health benefits for the mother?-R.B., MISS.

 

In a newly published study of around 300,000 Chinese women who'd previously borne children, those who breastfed had about a 10% lower risk of certain cardiovascular diseases-coronary heart disease and stroke-later in life.2 Of women who breastfed at all, every extra 6 months of breastfeeding was related to another 3% to 4% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.2 Although a causal relationship hasn't been established, this study suggests that breastfeeding and its duration can benefit a mother's cardiovascular health.2

 

According to previous research, compared with mothers who don't breastfeed, mothers who breastfeed have a 4% lower risk of breast cancer for each year of breastfeeding-and those with the BRCA1 gene who breastfeed for at least 1 year have a 37% lower risk of breast cancer.3 Other points supported by evidence include the following:

 

* Women who never breastfed an infant have a 32% greater risk of ovarian cancer.3

 

* Women who breastfeed have less risk for obesity and hypertension.3

 

* A longer duration of breastfeeding is associated with a lower risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus as women age.2

 

 

You and your hospital are taking important steps to improve the health of mothers and infants. For more information, visit the Baby-Friendly USA website found below.

 

REFERENCES

1. Baby-Friendly USA. The ten steps to successful breastfeeding. https://http://www.babyfriendlyusa.org/about-us/baby-friendly-hospital-initiative/the-ten-steps. [Context Link]

 

2. Peters SAE, Yang L, Guo Y, et al Breastfeeding and the risk of maternal cardiovascular disease: a prospective study of 300,000 Chinese women. J Am Heart Assoc. 2017;6(6):e006081. doi:10.1161/JAHA.117.006081. http://jaha.ahajournals.org/content/6/6/e006081. [Context Link]

 

3. Schwarz EB, Nothnagle M. The maternal health benefits of breastfeeding. Am Fam Physician. 2015;91(9):603-604. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2015/0501/p602.html. [Context Link]

 

CAREGIVER ISSUES

Help for elders with dependent children

My patient, Mr. S, 88, is a healthy caregiver who lives in his own home with his wife and son. Their other adult children live out of state. His wife is 86 and has Alzheimer disease. Over the last year, she's become more confused and argumentative. Their son "Tony," 50, has Down syndrome. He has some physical problems and recently had a fall that resulted in a forearm fracture. Tony doesn't like changes in his routine.

 

Mr. S's family is trying to find an assisted living facility that will take all three of them, but they haven't found any willing to do so yet. They're using some in-home caregivers when Mr. S has to go out. What other options do they have?-V.M., MICH.

 

As a caregiver for two adults with special needs, Mr. S needs help. As a first step, a professional in-home evaluation could be done to assess the home and check for safety issues. A home evaluation by a local Area Agency on Aging may be less expensive than other options because the fee is based on a sliding scale.

 

If the family can afford it, they could hire a private geriatric care manager to help assess the situation and plan, coordinate, and monitor care. If they decide to go this route, they should interview several professionals to find a good fit.

 

Both parents could also be evaluated by a geriatrician to help decide on the best options for them. A neurologic evaluation of Mrs. S could help to identify pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions to help manage her behavior.

 

One possibility would be adult day care for Mrs. S or Tony or both. If they decide to stay in the home for now, they could get help from the Alzheimer's Association, local senior centers, their place of worship, and Meals on Wheels. Hiring a housekeeper for a few hours every day could also provide some relief.

 

Another option would be for Tony to move to a group home for adults with Down syndrome, a sibling's home, or even foster care. If Tony outlives his parents, he might not have to undergo another transition. Once Tony's needs are met, the parents might be able to find a long-term-care facility for the two of them. It can be challenging to find a place for a couple when one of them has Alzheimer disease and the other doesn't. More options are needed for those in this situation.

 

A financial advisor or elder care attorney could help with long-term financial planning. It's important to conserve the financial resources of the family for future needs.

 

Sources: National Down Syndrome Society. Housing options. http://www.ndss.org/Resources/Transition-and-Beyond/Housing-Options/; Alzheimer's Association. Care options. http://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-care-housing.asp.