Governor Appoints New Chief for Professional Fiduciaries Bureau

The Department of Consumer Affairs is pleased to announce the appointment today of Rebecca May as Chief of the Professional Fiduciaries Bureau by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.  Read the Governor’s press release here.

Having Dense Breasts: What Does It Mean?

When women get their mammogram results, they may be notified that they have “dense breast tissue.” Starting in April 2013, California law requires that patients be informed if they have dense breasts, and if they do, they may want to consult with their doctor about additional screening options.

Density is apparent only in mammograms and has nothing to do with firmness. Breasts appear dense if there is a great deal of fibrous or glandular tissue, and less fatty tissue. According to the American Cancer Society, about 40 percent of women in the U.S. over age 40 have dense breasts.

Having dense breasts increases your risk of getting breast cancer—the second-leading cause of cancer death in women, with lung cancer as the number one-leading cause. A February 2017 University of California, San Francisco, study showed that women with dense breast tissue are at a greater risk for breast cancer compared to women with a family history of the disease, their own history of benign lesions, or a first full-term pregnancy over age 30. However, it’s still not understood why there is a link. But what is clear is that dense breast tissue makes it more difficult to see tumors in mammograms.

If you do receive notice that you have dense breasts, be sure to discuss with your doctor about what follow-up tests (e.g., an MRI, ultrasound, or 3D mammography) may be necessary. To check the license of a doctor, visit the Medical Board of California website at www.mbc.ca.gov.

 

 

Public Service Employees Are the Unsung Heroes of Government

Public Service Recognition Week May 7-13, 2017

The first week of May marks Public Service Recognition Week which honors the men and women who serve our country as local, county, state and federal government employees.

These folks are the unsung heroes of government whose rank and file perform the daily tasks that keep government services rolling for all Americans. Many of these folks work behind-the-scenes and out of the limelight, but their dedication to their jobs benefits everyone.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines public service as “governmental employment” and civil service which it defines as “the branch of a government that takes care of the business of running the government and its programs.”

At the California Department of Consumer Affairs, our civil servants help to keep Californians safe as our 39 boards, bureaus, committees and commissions license and regulate many professions. Some of these professions are pharmacists, dentists, engineers, accountants, cosmetologists, contractors, physicians, psychologists, security guards, real estate agents, architects and court reporters, to name a few. For a full list of Department of Consumer Affairs licensing boards, bureaus, committees and commissions, click HERE.

The department also has staff that provides services to the boards, bureaus, committees and commissions. The various offices include the dedicated employees in Division of Investigation, Division of Legislative and Regulatory Review, Equal Employment Opportunity, Executive, Information Security, Internal Audits, Legal Affairs, Administrative Services, Professional Examination Services, Information Services, Communications, Strategic Planning and Development and Training Solutions.

We tip our hats to all civil servants and thank you for your service. Good government could not operate without you!

Public Service Recognition Week is organized annually by the Public Employees Roundtable and its member organizations to honor public service and connect citizens with their government. This week all across the country, mayors, governors, agency leaders, communities and public service organizations participate by issuing proclamations; hosting award ceremonies and special tribute events; and delivering messages about the value of public service.

DCA, BRN & BVNPT Salute Nurses! National Nurses Week – May 6-12, 2017

National Nurses Week is one of the nation’s principal health care calendar events, giving recognition to all those in the nursing profession and sharing nursing education with the public.

Supported by the American Nurses Association (ANA), this week-long celebration of the nursing community occurs during the same week every year, commencing on National Nurses Day, May 6 and culminating on May 12, the birth-date of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale.

Nurses do more than put bandages on cuts and bruises.

The ANA defines the profession of nursing as “the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, facilitation of healing, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations.”

The California Department of Consumer Affairs, through the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) and the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians (BVNPT), licenses professional nurses.

Both boards encourage industry members and partner organizations to use this week long celebration as an opportunity to engage with their surrounding communities to promote the array of career opportunities available to everyone, regardless of sex, ethnic or socio-economic background.

The California Department of Consumer Affairs along with BRN and BVNPT, salute nurses in California, across the nation and beyond.

For more information about nursing careers, visit the Board of Registered Nursing www.rn.ca.gov and the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians www.bvnpt.ca.gov.

Consider a Career in Nursing

shutterstock_229035907

Considering a career in nursing is a smart move for high school or college students or those thinking of a career change.  According to a 2015 survey conducted by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing and The Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers, 50% of the registered nurse (RN) workforce is age 50 or older and many will be retiring in the next 10 years. This, coupled with an increase in the health care needs of an aging baby boom population, means RNs will be in high demand during the next decade.  In fact, by 2024, the California Employment Development Department projects there will be 105,000 RN job openings in the state.

Nurses are the backbone of the medical community and they play an important role in health care. Every day, they make a positive difference in the lives of others.

RNs care for patients, keep records, administer medication, consult with other healthcare providers, monitor patients and educate individuals and family. They also have to stay up-to-date on new technology and tools. Nurses provide care to patients and families and support to doctors and other healthcare professionals involved in the care of their patient.

RNs can work in hospitals, clinics, schools, medical offices, nursing care facilities and correctional facilities. They also serve in the military. RNs may work with children in pediatrics, with newborns in neonatal care, with seniors in geriatrics and with women giving birth in the delivery room. They can also work in orthopedics, pain management, post-anesthesia care and a number of other health care fields.

A nursing career offers a flexible work schedule and an average income ranging from $60,700 to $162,900. While in the past nurses have mostly been women, more and more men are choosing  careers as registered nurses.

There are many paths you can take to become an RN. The California Board of Registered Nursing, the agency that licenses and regulates registered nurses, has resources available to help you explore and plan your nursing career.   For information on how to become a registered nurse, visit the board’s website here.

The board has also created a brochure to encourage and help you as you consider this important career. You can view it here.

For more information on the Board of Registered Nursing, visit www.rn.ca.gov.

DCA Daughters and Sons Discover the Working World

The California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) welcomed 18 young people for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day on Thursday, April 27, 2017.

The kids got the opportunity to see where their parents spend their days working and learned how the department operates by visiting various offices for a behind-the-scenes look.

The day’s highlights included a stop in the mail room where they learned to sort mail, a visit to the Executive Office and a chat with Director Dean R. Grafilo, and a trip to the Office of Public Affairs where they helped create social media messages for the department.

One of the kids said, “We got to experience everything that DCA is responsible for – from distributing mail to enforcing rules.”

Some children were interested to see where their parents worked and enjoyed meeting their parents’ bosses. Others were impressed with the fact that the DCA building was the original Arco Arena and was once home to the Sacramento Kings basketball team.

Delilah, 17, called her visit “informational” and said it helped her to explore different career options.

Mark, 12, deemed the day “good” and said he learned a lot especially about how many professions the department licenses.

Kamari, 13, said he learned “lots of real world stuff that is essential to actual life.”

Who knows, some of these daughters and sons could one day become DCA staffers!

Got Drugs? Clear Them Out Safely!

Do prescription bottles fall out of your medicine cabinet every time you open the door? Do you even remember what some of them are for? Here’s a safe way to clear that clutter: drop them off on April 29 from 10 am to 2 pm during National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

The event provides a free, safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of unused, unwanted, and expired prescription drugs that might be hanging around in your medicine cabinet.

It’s important to get these drugs out of the house: In a recent survey, the majority of prescription drug abusers said they get their drugs from unsuspecting friends and family. Leaving medications around can be tempting for curious teens and anyone who enters your home.

The most heavily abused medications are prescription opioid painkillers, which many people are prescribed for pain—but they’re hard to get. Abuse of opioids can be devastating and can result in overdose and death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said opioids accounted for 20,808 drug overdoses—78 a day—in 2014.

Abusers are not the only ones at risk. Seniors may mistakenly take discontinued medications they have in their medicine cabinets and young children could be accidentally poisoned by swallowing medications not properly stored out of their reach.

The Department of Consumer Affairs’ California State Board of Pharmacy encourages the public to participate in Drug Take-Back Days; to get ready for the event, consumers are asked to remove pills from bottles and put them into a plastic bag and seal it. Liquids should be kept in the original bottle. Items that will be accepted during Drug Take-Back Day include prescription and non-prescription medications, controlled substances, and veterinary medications. Items that will not be accepted include sharps or lancets, medical waste, illicit drugs, marijuana products, aerosols, or hydrogen peroxide.

During last year’s Drug Take-Back event, Americans turned in 447 tons of unused prescription drugs—the largest amount since the event began in 2010. At the 2016 Drug Take-Back, Californians turned in 32 tons of medications, which put the state in the No. 2 slot for most drugs collected. This shows that Californians are taking the issue very seriously.

To find a collection site, go to the U.S. Department of Justice website or call 1-800-882-9539.

CELEBRATE EARTH DAY – APRIL 22, 2017

Earth Day 2017

April 22, 2017 will mark the 48th year of Earth Day.  The first Earth Day was observed on April 22, 1970, and what began as a grassroots effort has today blossomed into a global event celebrated every year on April 22 by millions of people worldwide.

To honor the planet and to raise public awareness about the environment, events are planned throughout the months of April and May in communities throughout the state. If you’re interested in participating and celebrating this great planet of ours, the California Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery has compiled a list of planned statewide Earth Day festivities.  Events range from family-friendly activities to community service projects.  For more information on these events and to learn more about reducing our carbon footprint, visit their website at www.calrecycle.ca.gov.

To do our part, the California Department of Consumer Affairs will host its fourth annual Earth, Safety and Wellness Day event on May 11, 2017.  This year’s event will focus on how to protect and preserve the environment, the property re-use program, as well as provide information on safety and wellness.  Non-profit organizations and certified small business vendors will also be on site.  

This event is open to anyone who wishes to attend. Come join us in learning how to protect and preserve our environment for generations to come!

 

 

The Disconnection Effect: Social Media and Young People

By design, social media connects young people to one another on a regular, even minute-by-minute basis. They see pictures and videos of others vacationing, having fancy meals, getting together for parties. What do these social media-driven images leave them feeling like? Oftentimes, disconnected and lonely.

A recent study by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine focused on how U.S. young adults’ extensive social media use (more than two hours a day) can lead to feelings of isolation. The study assessed time and frequency of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Vine. What they found was that the more young people were checking out others’ posts, the higher was their perception of social isolation.

Replacing face-to-face relationships with social media can also affect overall well-being. Research published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health looked into Facebook activity and its effects on physical and mental health, life satisfaction, and body mass index. The study reported that “the negative associations of Facebook use were comparable to or greater in magnitude than the positive impact of offline interactions, which suggests a possible trade-off between offline and online relationships.”

If you’re finding yourself increasingly lonely and even depressed, take important steps to improve your mental health. Cut down on social media use and consider seeking the advice of a professional. To check the license of a professional psychologist, visit the Board of Psychology website at www.psychology.ca.gov.

 

Taking Control of Pests This Month

Paying tribute to the pest control industry, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) founded National Pest Management Month. The April event seeks to raise public awareness about pest control and the risks associated with household pests, and provide information to homeowners on avoiding infestations.

This month-long event comes on the heels of massive rainstorms—which translate into a heavy pest season. With all the rain we’ve had this year, pests such as fleas, termites, carpenter ants, and cockroaches will be out in full force. Assistance from a pest control professional will be key in helping protect yourself and your family against possible health and structural threats.

To find out more about National Pest Management Month and to get tips on protecting your home, visit the NPMA’s website at www.pestworld.org. To check the license of a pest control professional, visit the Structural Pest Control Board’s website at www.pestboard.ca.gov.