About Michelle McVay

Greetings! I am an Information Officer with the California Department of Consumer Affairs and I am glad that you took a moment to check out our blog.

DCA WELCOMES A NEW DIRECTOR

Dean Grafilo has been appointed by Governor Brown to serve as director of the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), effective March 20.

This is somewhat of a homecoming for Dean as he served as a commissioner on DCA’s California State Athletic Commission prior to accepting his most recent post with the Office of California State Assembly member Rob Bonta, where he served as chief of staff since 2012.

Mr. Grafilo’s long career in state government will be a welcomed asset as he guides DCA forward.

On behalf of everyone at DCA, welcome Director Grafilo!

DCA’s Leadership Team

 

BPELSG Celebrates National Surveyors Week March 19 – 25, 2017

What do George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln have in common besides having the distinction of being Presidents of the United States?

Photo Credit: National Park Service

All three worked as land surveyors before their political careers began.  This is why Mount Rushmore National Memorial is commonly referred to as “Three surveyors and the other guy.”

Surveying was not a bad skill for a future president to possess because as the early United States continued to take form, the development of boundaries was essential to the growth and expansion of the nation.  Anyone interested in claiming rights to physical property, land specifically, depended on the skills of a surveyor.

Fast-forward to present day.  If you’ve ever used a physical map or relied on GPS for assistance in finding anything, whether traveling by land, air or sea, then you have a surveyor to thank.

The National Society of Professional Surveyors has designated the week of March 19-25, 2017 as National Surveyors Week. 

This week recognizes industry professionals and increases awareness with the public, students and future surveyors about this centuries-old profession.

The California Department of Consumer Affairs, through the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists, licenses professional land surveyors.

Surveyor specialties vary from hydrographic surveyors, who measure the depth and bottom configuration of bodies of water, to cartographic surveyors, who use photogrammetry (the science of aerial photographs) for measurements and map production.

The Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists, the National Society of Professional Surveyors, and the California land surveying community encourage industry members and partner organizations to use this week-long celebration as an opportunity to engage with their local communities, and promote the array of career opportunities available in the surveying profession.

For more information about surveying and obtaining a license as a professional land surveyor, visit the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists website at www.bpelsg.ca.gov.

 

Dream Big During National Engineers Week February 19-25, 2017

engineers-week-logo

Have you ever taken a moment to stop and think about the many ways engineering is relevant to your life?  Engineers Dream Big and their dreams become our reality.

The field of engineering has helped to shape our world on a daily basis and it affects how we live, work and play by making our lives comfortable, interesting and even fun.

National Engineers Week is February 19 – 25, 2017, and acknowledges the contributions of engineers nationwide.  Engineers Week is now referred to as EWeek and was founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) in 1951.  EWeek was developed to foster interest in the countless ways that the field of engineering helps shape our world.

national-engineers-week

The theme for 2017 is “Dream Big” and it is designed to raise awareness of the many ways the industry contributes to our daily lives to foster interest in generations of future engineers.  EWeek encourages industry members and partner organizations to engage with their local communities using suggested programs and exercises to promote the array of career opportunities in engineering and technology disciplines.  EWeek demonstrates that there are opportunities available to all, regardless of sex, ethnic or socio-economic background.

The California Department of Consumer Affairs, through the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists, licenses 20 professional engineering categories ranging from agricultural engineers who help crops grow bigger and stronger, to civil engineers who design the roads and bridges we travel on every day.

Imagination and design are factors that enable engineers to create many of the necessities that we take for granted. The industry is vast and it even influences our entertainment options by designing some of our favorite rides at amusement parks or creating the awesome special effects in television and feature films.  These are but merely a small example of the types of products and services we depend upon that engineers helped develop.

The California Department of Consumer Affairs, along with the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists is proud to recognize these professionals for their commitment to improving our lives and the engineering industry.

Learning to Box May Help Knock Out Parkinson’s Disease

Photo Credit - Rock Steady Boxing

Photo Credit – Rock Steady Boxing

Some people with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) have discovered an alternate form of therapy to improve their symptoms—boxing!  Not the Ali or Tyson type of boxing—we’re talking about fitness boxing.

Photo Credit - Jim Grant / Nevada Appeal via AP

Photo Credit – Jim Grant / Nevada Appeal via AP

Though not a cure for Parkinson’s, non-combat fitness boxing is being recognized by many in the medical community as an alternate form of rehabilitation for the disease.  According to a case report by the American Physical Therapy Association, patients showed short-term and long-term improvements in balance, gait, activities of daily living, and quality of life after participating in a fitness boxing training program.  As a result, many people with varying stages of PD are looking to
fitness boxing as a means to improve their quality of life while living with the disease.

According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, PD is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects approximately one million Americans. The disease is characterized most notably by tremors, stiffness, softening or slurring of speech, slowing of movement, and instability.

The theory behind boxing as a form of therapy for PD began when Scott C. Newman, a former Indianapolis attorney, was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease at the age of 40. A few years after his diagnosis, Newman began intense, one-on-one, non-contact boxing workouts at the suggestion of a friend.

“After six weeks of intense boxing training, I could sign my name again. I was getting better,” Newman said during an interview in a December 2016 segment of HBO’s “The Fight Game with Jim Lampley.”

Newman says he experienced dramatic improvement in his physical health, agility, and daily functioning from his workout routine and, ultimately, his quality of life improved.

Photo Credit - Sue Cockrell Enterprise photo

Photo Credit – Sue Cockrell Enterprise photo

After experiencing his own positive results, Newman opened the first non-contact boxing gym in 2006 in his home town of Indianapolis, IN, that offered a workout program dedicated to people with PD.

Classes are separated into four levels depending on the patient’s stage of PD.  Patients share a common denominator inside of a supportive environment, which allows them to work on strength, balance and hand/eye coordination.  A combination of classic boxing moves and exercises choreographed to music is used.

Photo Credit - Luther Life Villages

Photo Credit – Luther Life Villages

To help combat the vocal challenges often faced by PD patients, fighters are encouraged to count out exercises aloud with the instructor. The louder they count the better. Cheering and yelling is also encouraged, not only to improve voice activation, but to boost morale and lessen the symptoms of depression and anxiety, two symptoms commonly associated with PD.

Nationwide, thousands of PD patients have been introduced to fitness boxing as an option to assist them with managing their disease. Medical experts acknowledge that fitness boxing may not be for everyone and before considering a new exercise regimen, it is best to check with your physician.

To check on your physician’s license status with the Medical Board of California,  click here.

 

FEBRUARY IS AMERICAN HEART MONTH

americanheartmonthsocial-cover-image-fb_midDid you know that the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States is heart disease?  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the deaths of more than 600,000 Americans—1 in 4—are attributed each year to heart disease.

In the United States, the month of February has been designated American Heart Month. Two nationwide campaign efforts lead the charge with the goal of increasing the public’s awareness about heart disease. The most well-known—The American Heart Association’s (AHA’s) National Wear Red Day—is this Friday, February 3. This campaign encourages women to make heart health a priority. The second campaign, Million Hearts, is a joint effort of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Heart Association and other private-public partners; the goal is to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes through prevention and awareness.

The term “heart disease” encompasses not just the heart, but diseases that affect the system that supports it. The most common of these is coronary artery disease, which, according to the CDC, can lead to, or be the first sign of, a heart attack.

Heart disease does not discriminate—it affects people of all ages. In fact, a person can be born with heart disease and anyone, including children, can develop the disease.

According to both the CDC and the AHA, risk factors for increasing a person’s chances of acquiring heart disease include age, family history, smoking, eating an unhealthy diet, and not getting enough exercise. In addition, the probability of getting heart disease increases with pre-existing medical conditions, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes.

Symptoms can vary depending on the type of heart disease, which is why prevention is important. Talk to your doctor about what you can do to make heart health a priority.

The Medical Board of California makes it easy for you to check the status of your doctor’s license. Visit www.mbc.ca.gov.

MEN! THE NURSING FIELD WANTS YOU!

NURSING TODAY

Thanks to the aging of our population, demand for healthcare services and the number of nurses preparing to retire from the workforce, the job outlook for careers in the field of nursing is promising.

The potential demand for more healthcare providers has created a need for an increase in recruitment and retention of registered nurses (RNs).  A high priority is focused on greater male-nurse-2recruitment of men, with an emphasis on ethnic and national diversity.

It is a great time for men to consider a career in nursing!

OPPORTUNITIES AND BENEFITS

Male nurses are not a new phenomenon.  Historically, nursing had significant male representation until the 1800s.  During the Civil War, a shift began when men were engaged in other pursuits and women stepped into those positions.  By the 1900s, nursing schools were admitting only women, and the Army and Navy Nurse Corps were limited to women.  Men were not allowed to serve in nursing positions in those organizations until after the Korean War.  Currently, women make up the majority of nurses (2011 American Community Survey).  However, since the 1970s, the number of men in the profession has continuously grown as more men discover the richness of career opportunities available in the nursing profession.

“Show me the money!” – Rod Tidwell, Jerry Maguire (1996)

According to recent surveys, RNs have very low unemployment rates because of high demand for skilled nursing care, and annual salaries range from $60,700 to $162,900.

NURSING OCCUPATIONS AND WHAT THEY DO

  • Registered Nurse – Assess patient health problems and needs, develop and implement nursing care plans, maintain medical records, and administer holistic healthcare.  Average pay is $60,000-plus.
  • Nurse Anesthetists – Administer anesthesia and monitor patients’ recovery from anesthesia.  Specialized graduate education is required.  Average pay is $150,000-plus.
  • Nurse-Midwife – Diagnose and coordinate all aspects of the birthing process and provide gynecological care.  Specialized graduate education is required.  Average pay is $80,000-plus.
  • Nurse Practitioner – Diagnose and treat illnesses and may order, perform, or interpret diagnostic tests.  May prescribe medications and work as a healthcare consultant.  Specialized graduate education is required.  Average pay is $80,000-plus.

LIKE WHAT YOU’VE READ SO FAR?

There are many routes to travel to arrive at a nursing career.  Whether you’re still in high school, a college student, or weighing a career change, consider a career in nursing that will allow you to make a positive difference in the lives of others while also achieving your personal and financial goals.men-in-nursing-pic

The California Board of Registered Nursing has helpful resources available to you to assist in your research of a career in nursing.  The brochure “Consider A Rewarding  Career In Nursing!” is available online at the Board of Registered Nursing’s Web site, www.rn.ca.gov.

 

 

 

 

Can You Smile Your Way to Happiness?

Have you ever been told to “turn that frown upside down?”

It just so happens that doing so is good advice.shutterstock_154095902

Emotions may originate in the brain, but the muscles in the face either reinforce or transform those feelings.  Studies have revealed that through the enhancement of positive emotions – or the suppression of negative ones – with facial expressions, peoples moods begin to align with the emotion their face is communicating.

What kind of smile is the most beneficial?  Apparently, it doesn’t matter.  Smiles are generally divided into two categories. Standard smiles (otherwise known as posed), which use the muscles surrounding the mouth.  While genuine or Duchenne smiles, engage the muscles surrounding both the mouth and eyes (think crow’s feet).  Our brain does not differentiate between real and fake smiles.

Psychological scientists Tara Kraft and Sarah Pressman, of the University of Kansas, conducted a study to test the effects of smiling.

During their study, participants were told to hold chopsticks in between their teeth (a pen or pencil will work, too).  The researchers discovered that by holding the chopsticks between the teeth, it forced the study participants’ faces to mimic the same expression as a standard smile and produced the same effect.

Smiling Affects How Your Brain and Body Function

According to researchers, when we smile, even faking or forcing a smile, our stress is reduced and our mood is improved.

Smiling elevates your mood and creates a sense of well-being thanks to the release of the body’s “happy chemicals” serotonin and endorphins.

shutterstock_329221124These chemicals have been found to relax the body and lower heart rate and blood pressure.  As an added benefit, endorphins act as a natural pain reliever and serotonin serves as an anti-depressant and mood lifter.

Lastly, smiling sends a signal to the rest of your body that things are okay and it’s safe to let down your guard.

 Smiling Affects Other’s Perception of You

Smiling doesn’t just benefit you on the inside; it also works to your advantage from the outside.  A study from Penn State University found that people who smile appear to be more likeable, attractive, courteous and even competent.

Additionally, studies have shown that lifting those facial muscles into a smile is also contagious.  If you smile and they smile, everyone in the room becomes a little happier.

So, the next time you’re feeling stressed or gloomy, take a tip from the researchers and grab a pen or a pencil and muster up a smile.

November is American Diabetes Month

Did you know that 1 in 11 Americans today has diabetes?  Despite its prevalence, diabetes is an invisible disease.  It affects men and women, people young and old, and people of all races, shapes and sizes.  Often there are no outward signs of the disease from the 29 million Americans who fight this chronic illness every day.  That’s why there is a critical need to foster awareness and education while breaking down stereotypes, myths and misunderstandings about this growing public health crisis that affects so many of us.

november-is-american-diabetes-month

This is exactly why the American Diabetes Association marks each November as American Diabetes Month: to bring extra attention to the disease and the tens of millions of people affected by it.

Diabetes is more than the medications and devices used to manage it.  For many, diabetes dictates how they organize their day, what they eat at every meal, how they choose to be physically active and how they spend their money.  People with diabetes can have health care costs that are 2.3 times higher than someone without diabetes, as type 1 and type 2 require very specific forms of treatment.

ada2Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and there is no known way to prevent it.  Approximately 5 percent of people with diabetes have type 1, which means their body does not produce any insulin.  Insulin is critical in order for the body to transport glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream into cells for energy.  People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin every day to live.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of cases in the United States, and is caused when the body does not produce or use insulin properly.  Risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes include being overweight, having a family history of diabetes and having diabetes while pregnant (gestational ada1diabetes).  Some people with type 2 diabetes can control their blood glucose (sugar) with healthy eating and being active; others may require oral medications or insulin, especially as the disease progresses.  Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, as well as older adults.  

Some women develop gestational diabetes, high blood glucose (sugar) levels during pregnancy, which requires treatment to protect the health of the mother and the baby. Gestational diabetes affects approximately 9.2 percent of pregnant women.

This November, the American Diabetes Association will showcase real-life stories of friends, families and neighbors managing the day-to-day triumphs and challenges of diabetes.  Through the use of social media, everyone is invited and encouraged to use  #ThisIsDiabetes to share their personal stories and to begin a dialogue about what it means to live with diabetes.2-november-is-american-diabetes-month

The California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) along with the Board of Registered Nursing, Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians, Physician Assistant Board, Medical Board of California, Board of Podiatric Medicine, Board of Optometry and the Board of Pharmacy are proud to help promote the 2016 awareness campaign efforts of the American Diabetes Association.

DCA will run a social media campaign in support of the national awareness effort via Facebook, Twitter and its blog, The DCA Page.

To learn more and view #ThisIsDiabetes stories, check out diabetes.org.

Board of Podiatric Medicine Appoints New Executive Officer

podiatric_medicine_logo_finalThe California Board of Podiatric Medicine (BPM) announces the appointment of Brian Naslund as its new Executive Officer, effective October 26, 2016.

Read the news release here.

Drop! Cover! Hold on! During the Great California Shakeout

shakeout_global_joinus_728x90California is known as “earthquake country” and for good reason.

There is an infamous 800 mile long crack otherwise known as the San Andreas Fault that travels along the state from the Salton Sea in the south, to Cape Mendocino in the north.

Although earthquakes occur daily in California, many go unnoticed.  While some areas of California are more likely to have earthquakes than others, all of California is at greater risk compared to the rest of the country.

Shake Out Scenario:  

You could be anywhere when an earthquake strikes: at home, at work, at school, or even on vacation.

It is not a matter of if the “big one” will occur, but when.

The Great California ShakeOut is happening this Thursday, October 20th at 10:20am.

Essentially a statewide earthquake drill, the ShakeOut serves as an annual reminder for all Californians to practice how to prepare and be safe during big earthquakes by remembering to “Drop, Cover and Hold On!

drop_cover_hold_on_eng_blue_orangeThe ShakeOut was organized to encourage you, your community, your school, or your organization to practice, review and update emergency preparedness plans and supplies (see last month’s National Preparedness Month post), and to secure your space in order to reduce damage and injuries during an earthquake.

As residents of California, what we do now will determine our quality of life after our next big earthquake.

Are you prepared to survive and recover quickly?

For more earthquake preparedness information resources, please visit http://www.earthquakecountry.org/.