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.

Safe Sandal Season Brings Awareness to Potential Dangers of Pedicures

Proper salon cleaning procedures are essential to avoid serious diseases

A pedicure can be a great way to pamper yourself, but did you ever think you could get a life-threatening infection from one? It’s possible if the salon isn’t using proper cleaning and disinfection techniques. Lurking in the depths of a foot spa basin may be bacteria, fungal strains, and other dangerous microorganisms that thrive in warm, moist environments. Any break in the skin—like insect bites, scratches, scabs or razor cuts—are gateways for those microorganisms to cause infections. Whirlpool foot spas must be cleaned and disinfected after each use, at the end of each day, and every week.

California’s Board of Barbering and Cosmetology licenses and regulates salons and the people in them that provide the services, and has established cleaning and sanitation procedures that are required by law for infection control.

Watch this quick video before your next salon visit—it shows what has to be done and why it’s critical (some graphic content):

The board also offers these pre-pedi safety tips:

  • Don’t shave or wax your legs 24 hours before a pedicure. If you have broken skin or lesions on your lower legs, don’t get a pedicure until they have healed.
  • Always verify the licenses of anyone working on you. Current licenses are required to be posted on the wall in plain sight. You can verify licenses through the board’s website and check to see if your salon or cosmetologist has been disciplined for rules violations.
  • Ask how the salon cleans and disinfects its pedicure equipment. You also have the right to see the pedicure cleaning and disinfection log. Wiping out the tub between clients isn’t enough. For example, in the case of whirlpool foot spas and air-jet basins, special disinfectant must circulate through the equipment for 10 minutes between patrons.

As for those “fish pedicures,” you won’t be finding Nemo in any California salons—the practice is illegal statewide. Among other reasons, fish can’t be properly disinfected between customers. Learn more here: www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/forms_pubs/publications/fish_peds.pdf.

To learn more about salon safety or to file a complaint, visit the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology’s website.

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!

Don’t Let Good Medicines Go Bad

There are a lot of things to check around the house as California starts heating up for summer; one of them is that your medications are being stored properly. Medications that are good for you can become ineffective or damaged when exposed to heat.

While outdoor heat can damage medications, year-round heat inside the house can cause trouble as well. Most people store medicines in a bathroom cabinet; heat and steam from showers and sinks can damage medicines, diminishing their potency, or cause them to go bad before the expiration date. 

Experts recommend consumers store medicines in a cool, dry place such as a dresser drawer or kitchen cabinet away from any hot appliances or the sink. Also avoid potential problems by not exposing medicines to the sun or leaving them in a hot vehicle. Most importantly, drugs should always stored out of the reach and sight of children—and teens. Prescription drug abuse has become an epidemic and can lead to addiction, overdose, or even death. Take 30 seconds to watch this message from the State Board of Pharmacy regarding prescription drug abuse: 

Never take any medicines after the expiration date, and don’t take medicine that has changed color, texture, or smell, even if it has not expired. If you have drugs that need to be disposed of, make sure you do it safely; National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is this Saturday, April 29. To find a drop-off location near you, go to https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html.

It’s always wise to consult a pharmacist, who can provide product-specific advice for storing  and preserving medicines. There are other reasons to talk to your pharmacist; make sure the prescription you pick up is the right medication and dosage prescribed by your doctor. Watch this message from the State Board of Pharmacy: 

For more consumer tips and information and to verify a pharmacist’s license, go to http://www.pharmacy.ca.gov.

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!

 

 

A Cannabis Cure-All for Your Pet? Proceed With Caution

shutterstock_113638297

Watching a loved one suffer is stressful. Medical cannabis users say the drug alleviates levels of pain, but could it also help your sick furry friend?

Although many pet owners are already using the drug as medicine, experts warn it’s wise to take caution.

“The problem today is that there is no scientific data that supports the benefits of using cannabis products on pets and therefore, the medical claims are not evidenced based,” said Annemarie Del Mugnaio, Executive Officer with the Veterinary Medical Board.  “Veterinarians are treating a higher number of toxicity cases where dogs have come into contact with cannabis and ingested enough to cause them to become very ill.  We really have no idea what’s in the hemp/cannabis pet products to be able to confirm their intended use or benefits and these products are not FDA approved or regulated.”

According to the DCA Veterinary Medical Board, veterinarians in California cannot prescribe medical cannabis because it’s deemed a schedule I drug and licensees are prohibited from writing a prescription or recommendation for the drug. A veterinarian may be subject to disciplinary action for violating state or federal prescribing laws.

Meanwhile, a growing number of companies are marketing cannabis products for pets despite questions over legality, and pet owners are giving cannabis edibles and topical ointments to sick pets.

Most of these pet products, which aren’t regulated, contain cannabidiol or CBD, a chemical compound found in cannabis that doesn’t get pets or humans high. They contain little or no tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the cannabis compound known for its psychoactive effects.

Medicinal cannabis for pets is being sold as pet medicine at many licensed medical marijuana dispensaries.

The DCA is tasked to regulate both medical and recreational cannabis through the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation (BMCR) and is responsible for issuing distribution, transportation, laboratory testing, and dispensary (sale) licenses beginning in 2018.

Medical cannabis is legal in 28 states, however, it remains illegal under federal law.

For updates on prescription medical cannabis for animals, or to check the license and license status of a Veterinarian, please call the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Veterinary Medical Board at (916) 515-5220, or visit their website at vmb.ca.gov.

For more information about the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, visit their website at bmcr.ca.gov.

 

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.

Optometry Board and State Legislators Make Successful Pitch for Comprehensive Eye Exams for California Children

One in four children and adolescents have a vision problem that can impede their learning.  Many  of these problems go undetected because children have not received the comprehensive eye exams they need to succeed in school and protect their vision for life.

The California State Board of Optometry is working to change that.

Photo Credit: Cesar Altamirano, DCA

Wednesday, at the State Capitol, the Board of Optometry took part in a press conference prior to the Assembly Education Committee’s hearing on AB 1110 (Burke), the measure to boost lifelong health and learning potential by connecting more California children under the age of 19 with comprehensive eye exams and vision wear. The cost would be covered through private or public health insurance plans.

Photo Credit: Cesar Altamirano, DCA

Those in attendance were; Rachel Michelin, California State Board of Optometry, Assembly member Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood), Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) and representatives from the health, education and corporate communities.

Following the press conference that afternoon, the Assembly Education Committee voted 4-1 to pass AB 1110 on to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, where the bill is expected to be taken up at the end of May.

Watch for updates to this story on TheDCAPage.

To find a licensed optometrist in your area or to check the license of your current optometrist, visit the website of the California State Board of Optometry optometry.ca.gov.