Floyd Valley Healthcare News

Staff Participates in OB Training

June 2, 2021

Most childbirth experiences are uneventful and families get to meet their new bundle of joy without complications, however some deliveries don’t go as planned. Nearly 30 Floyd Valley Healthcare physicians and nurses spent June 1 training for obstetric emergencies. A specialized manikin was used to simulate issues that could be encountered during childbirth, providing a hands-on experience for a prompt and appropriate medical response. Mindi Miller, Nursing Manager states, “With the benefit of the manikin, trainings like these help us to provide better outcomes for both mom and baby.”

 

In addition to the simulation training, staff participated in education including a fetal monitor strip review and an emergency c-section mock drill.

 

Floyd Valley Healthcare Continues to Hold Stroke Screenings

May 25, 2021

Floyd Valley Healthcare and Northwest Iowa Diagnostics continues to provide Stroke Screenings. The next screening will be offered Thursday, May 27, 2021 from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. at Floyd Valley Healthcare. Please enter the hospital through the east entrance. Participants are offered three separate screenings at $40.00 each, or sign up for all three for $95.00.

 

  • Carotid Artery/Stroke Screening: The carotid arteries are the main arteries in the neck that supply blood to the brain. Carotid artery stenosis or narrowing, also called carotid artery disease, is a major risk factor for stroke. This test will screen the carotid arteries for plaque buildup that can cause the carotid arteries to narrow.
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening: An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a weak spot and bulge in the major artery in the abdomen, the aorta. Patients often have no symptoms and therefore the aneurysm goes undetected. Aneurysms are dangerous because they may burst. This test screens for an enlargement or aneurysm of the abdominal aortic artery.
  • Peripheral Artery Disease/Ankle Brachial Index (ABI) Screening: In peripheral artery disease (PAD), fatty deposits build up along artery walls and affect blood circulation, mainly in arteries leading to the legs and feet. PAD can be a predictor of increased risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease and death. This test will evaluate blood flow to determine if there is sufficient flow from the heart to the arms and legs.

 

These are noninvasive, painless screenings for vascular disease using the most advanced Doppler ultrasound technology. These screenings will quickly detect abnormalities in the arteries which can cause irregular blood flow and possibly more serious health concerns.

 

Every year, more than 795,000 Americans experience a stroke, and one-third of them are under the age of 65. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of adult disability.  Yet, up to 80 percent of all strokes may be preventable, with proper attention to medical and lifestyle risk factors.

 

This screen is coordinated by Floyd Valley Healthcare’s Education Department. APPOINTMENTS ARE NECESSARY! For more information, please call 546-3479 or 1-800-642-6074 ext. 3479.

 

 

Floyd Valley Healthcare Hosts Home Alone Class

May 25, 2021

Floyd Valley Healthcare is hosting the popular "Home Alone" Class on Saturday, June 19, 2021 from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. in the Community Education Room using the West Entrance. The cost for this course is $10.00, which includes a snack and materials. Payment is due one week prior to the program. Upon entering the clinic, children and adults will need to temperature screen and hand sanitize. Masks are also required by both children and adults.

 

The "Home Alone" class is for boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 12 who occasionally or frequently stay home alone. The class has new curriculum and subjects covered in class include: identifying family safety rules, preparing for school, safety considerations to and from school, safety considerations when home alone and preparing snacks.

 

Please call 546-3401 or 1-800-642-6074 ext. 3401 to pre-register or for more information. Class size is limited.

 

 

Floyd Valley Healthcare Raises Its Minimum Wage

May 24, 2021

(Le Mars, IA) Floyd Valley Healthcare in Le Mars is excited to announce that a $15 per hour minimum wage will be implemented beginning June 27th. We believe it was a necessary step in supporting the continued growth of Floyd Valley Healthcare. The importance of a great staff is important at all times, but became even more evident during the global pandemic.

 

“This is an exciting time for FVH to announce a $15 hour minimum wage increase,” states Dustin Wright, Floyd Valley Healthcare’s CEO. “Recognizing and rewarding our current team and future employees was an important goal for us to accomplish. We know this will positively impact so many of our team members and it takes an entire team to care for our communities and this increase recognizes the hard work and dedication of so many frontline caregivers and support departments at FVH.”

 

In addition to the new minimum wage, Floyd Valley offers a competitive benefits package including dental, health and vision insurance; educational opportunities; discounts and participation in the IPERS program.

 

 

Phelan joins Floyd Valley Therapies Staff

April 19, 2021

 

Floyd Valley Therapies announces the addition of Justin Phelan, PT, DPT. He began his duties in March. His specialties include working with orthopedics injuries, vestibular rehabilitation, neurologic conditions, injury prevention, and those suffering with temporomandibular joint dysfunction(TMJ). Justin is also certified in Functional Dry Needling.

 

Justin brings excellent education and clinical experience to Floyd Valley Healthcare. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Northern Iowa. He went on to receive his Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from Bradley University. Justin has 4 years of hospital and outpatient work experience from the Cedar Falls / Waterloo, IA area.

 

Troy Henrich, Physical Therapy Manager, states, “Floyd Valley Therapies is excited to see Justin return to the area to care for therapy patients. In addition to growing up in Le Mars, he also spent valuable clinical time in our department through his schooling. His knowledge of the area as well as clinical experiences will be a major plus for our department.”

 

Justin enjoys cycling, hiking, golfing, gardening, working on DIY projects, and spending time with family and friends.

 

Van Meeteren Announced as Hot Shot

Carter Van Meeteren, son of Nicole Melton and Eric Van Meeteren of Hull, has been named the April 11, 2021 Hot Shot.  Carter is 6 years old and is a fun loving kid with a unique love of cars.

 

Carter was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS).  HLHS is a critical congenital birth defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart which needs surgery shortly after birth for survival.  The CDC estimates that 1 out every 3,841 babies in the US are born with HLHS each year.

 

Carter had additional complications and has received a heart transplant.  He is now working hard with physical, occupational and speech therapies at Floyd Valley Healthcare to regain his strength and work on deficits left from his condition and surgery.  He is very much looking forward to his hockey night!

 

Please join us in celebrating Carter, our April 11 Hot Shot!

 

The Sioux City Musketeers, in partnership with Floyd Valley Healthcare (FVH) began the Hot Shots program in 2018.  This program was created with the goal of honoring FVH pediatric patients who have chronic health issues. We are excited to give children an opportunity to have a fun time with their family, cheer on the team and just enjoy being a kid for a night.

 

Magnuson Announced as Hot Shot

Preston Magnuson, son of Tom and Danielle Magnuson, has been named the April 23, 2021 Hot Shot.  Preston is 7 years old and attends Franklin Elementary School in Le Mars.  He loves to learn and is a very caring young man that works hard to succeed.

 

Preston has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  ADHD is a medical condition in which a person’s brain development and activity are altered causing trouble in many facets of their daily living.

 

Children diagnosed with ADHD are three times more likely to have language issues. They can struggle with receptive language (listening and understanding what is being said), expressive language (speaking and being understood) or both.  Kids with ADHD can exhibit processing difficulties such as short-term memory weakness, problems following directions, slow processing of written and spoken language and difficulties with basic reasoning skills.  Early interventions including therapy greatly improve the outcome for these children.

 

Preston works hard and enjoys his time with speech therapist Connie Hanson. Preston learns differently than others, so they work together to find new ways of learning to help him be a successful student.

Please join us in celebrating Preston, our April 23 Hot Shot!

 

The Sioux City Musketeers, in partnership with Floyd Valley Healthcare (FVH) began the Hot Shots program in 2018. This program was created with the goal of honoring FVH pediatric patients who have chronic health issues. We are excited to give children an opportunity to have a fun time with their family, cheer on the team and just enjoy being a kid for a night.

 

Floyd Valley Healthcare Expands Vaccine Clinics

 As directed by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), Floyd Valley Healthcare has moved through all of the required tiers for vaccination. We will now open up clinics to anyone 18 years of age or older that would like to be vaccinated for COVID-19 regardless of county of residence. Appointments are required and can be made HERE. If you do not have internet access, you may call 712.546.3646. Please bring a form of ID such as a driver’s license and your insurance information as there will be an administration fee, which is covered by most insurance providers.

 

Those vaccinated will be required to remain for 15 minutes of observation after receiving the vaccine, with 30 minutes of observation being recommended for patients who have experienced a severe allergic reaction in the past, such as to oral medications, foods, bees, etc.  Due to social distancing concerns and potential adverse reactions with this new vaccine, we are discouraging all staff from one entity or facility to receive the vaccine at once, but spreading vaccinations for your staff through the various clinic times.

 

The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine is not currently recommended in:

  • Individuals under 18
  • Individuals with a known history of a severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to any component of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, see Full EUA Prescribing Information at HERE.
  • Individuals with a severe allergic reaction (anaphylactic, etc.) to any prior vaccine or other SC/IM/IV injection. However, if individuals experienced a less severe reaction vaccine is recommended.

 

SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7. Confirmed in Plymouth County

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has confirmed seven cases of the COVID-19 variant, SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7. in Plymouth County.  IDPH will not share any additional identifiable information about the individuals affected, as this is confidential protected patient information.

 

IDPH and local public health have already initiated contact with these cases to understand their exposures to gather more details about illness, travel history, and potential exposures and initiate the health monitoring process. The process will include notifying anyone with whom these individuals have been in close contact. The individuals will be advised to isolate in accordance with IDPH and CDC guidance.

 

The positive cases were identified by the State Hygienic Lab (SHL). SHL has been participating in the CDC’s SARS-CoV-2 Strain Surveillance Program by sending COVID-19 test samples to be sequenced for the B.1.1.7 variant since early December. SHL recently began doing their own internal sequencing of 45 specimens per week to look specifically for the variant. It was through routine analysis of genetic sequence data assisted in identifying the new variant strain in Iowa.

 

The virus variant is often referred to as the U.K. variant because it was first detected in the United Kingdom. Based on epidemiologic and modeling data, researchers believe that the B.1.1.7 strain can be spread more easily than the original strain of SARS-CoV-2. Researchers believe current COVID-19 vaccines will likely protect against B.1.1.7, and additional studies are ongoing.  Floyd Valley Healthcare still is offering vaccination clinics. Eligibility and appointment information can be found here. Governor Reynolds announced at today’s press conference that she anticipates opening vaccine eligibility to all as of April 5th.

 

The emergence of new variants underscores that it remains critical for Iowans to continue the mitigation efforts that we know work to slow the spread of COVID-19.  We need Iowans to remain vigilant in the fight against COVID-19 and continue to:

 

  • Wear a mask or face covering
  • Practice social distancing with those outside your household
  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water
  • Stay home if you feel sick
  • Get tested if you are exposed to, or have symptoms of COVID-19
  • Consider getting a COVID-19 vaccine when it’s available to you

 

Floyd Valley Healthcare Announces Expansion Project

Today the Le Mars City Council adopted a resolution to approve setting a public hearing on April 6th for public comments on a 13,123 square foot, $10.3 million dollar addition. The Specialty Clinic and Therapy Expansion Project is proposed for the north parking area. While currently in the final phases of schematic design, the overall project timelines have not been finalized. We should expect to see some progress and physical work to begin in late summer with completion in spring of 2023.

 

The Floyd Valley Board of Trustees unanimously approved the project at their March 9th monthly meeting.  “As Board of Trustees Chair, I am excited to see and support the continued growth at Floyd Valley Healthcare,” states Ralph Klemme, Board Chair.  “As the only hospital in Plymouth County, it is very important that we provide a quality healthcare experience for all of our communities.  We know we have the best staff in the world, proving that time and again during this pandemic.  Making sure we provide the infrastructure and equipment they need to best serve our communities is one of our top priorities. Keeping healthcare at home not only benefits the patient and the hospital, but also fuels the growth of our local economy.”

 

The first floor of the proposed project has been designed for the visiting specialty clinics and include a separate entrance, exam rooms and waiting space. Twenty additional exam rooms will be constructed which allows for greater efficiencies and space for continued specialty clinic growth and recruitment.

 

The second floor will be entirely dedicated to Floyd Valley Therapies.  Along with a complete remodel of current department, Speech Therapy will be relocated to the current therapy department space, allowing all of our therapy services to come together.  The second floor addition will allow for a multipurpose track, new exam rooms and additional space for therapy and exercise equipment.

 

The project will also include the demolition of the former Senior Center to provide additional parking to account for the loss of space with the new addition.

 

“This is a very exciting time for Floyd Valley Healthcare,” states Dustin Wright, Floyd Valley Healthcare CEO.  “Keeping care close to home has always been a top priority for our organization and specialty practices play a large role in that promise. We have several specialists providing care in our organization that are growing and we need more space to accommodate current and future growth. The additional twenty exam rooms will be a more efficient space for providers and more comfortable for our patients and families. The second floor will be entirely dedicated to Floyd Valley Therapies growth along with a complete remodel of the current department. Speech Therapy will move bringing all of our therapy services together in one space. In addition a new track, exam rooms and additional space for therapy and exercise equipment will compose the new second floor. We are excited to get this project started and invest in healthcare services for our communities.”

 

“The Floyd Valley Foundation is equally excited to be a part of funding this project.  An allocation of $1.4 million in estate gifts received over the past two years will be used to help fund this important expansion.   Major gifts allow the Foundation to be an essential part of the continued growth of patient services and overall healthcare offered in our communities. We are grateful for these gifts and the many donors who continue to recognize their importance,” adds Amy Harnack, Foundation Manager.

 

Daylight Savings Time

The dreaded time change. It happens twice a year whether we are ready or not. Most of us do not like the change, but can it be harmful for our health? The answer is, maybe. Both the time changes can disrupt sleep habits, creating a disconnect between your body’s circadian rhythm and the actual time. But the spring change tends to be more disruptive, especially for those that are not morning people to begin with.

 

  •  According to sleep education, here are some tips to adjust your internal clock.
  • Go to sleep 15 minutes earlier (spring) or later (fall) each night leading up to the time change.
  • Consider evening melatonin use.
  • Morning sunlight exposure or bright light therapy can increase alertness after time change.
  • Avoid alcohol before bedtime.
  • Stop drinking caffeine after the early afternoon.

 

If you struggle with sleep, it may be time to make an appointment with your healthcare provider.  There may be some small changes that can be made to provide a better night sleep.  If you need to have further testing, Floyd Valley Healthcare does conduct both onsite and home sleep studies.  This can help your healthcare team better understand what may be hindering your sleep and get you back to a restful night of sleep!

 

Get Your Rear in Gear

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.  Floyd Valley Healthcare urges you to get your rear in gear!  During the pandemic, many people have pushed aside their annual healthcare appointments.  If you are 50 (or earlier with family history), a colonoscopy shouldn’t be on the bottom of your list.

 

As with most cancers, finding colorectal cancer in its earliest stages can drastically improve your outcome.  Colorectal cancer may not cause symptoms right away and may spread before you exhibit signs, so your best defense is a screening colonoscopy.

 

Risk factors of colorectal cancer include:

  • A personal or family history of precancerous colon polyps or colon cancer
  • Reaching age 50 or older, or age 45 or older if African-American
  • Being overweight
  • Smoking
  • Ulcerative colitis, Crohn's colitis or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

 

Take the time to take care of yourself.  If you have not had an annual physical in the last year, schedule an appointment today and be sure to discuss your age-appropriate screenings with your healthcare provider.  Floyd Valley Clinics is ready to see you and our local general surgeons are available for those that need help with diagnostic screenings

 

Adams Announced as March Hot Shot

Kamden Adams, son of Martin and Jamee Adams has been named the March 28, 2020 Hot Shot. Kamden is 6 years old and has a very active imagination. He also likes to make friends and help those in need, including caring for his younger sister.

 

Kamden is a medically complex kiddo that has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), anxiety and insomnia.

 

ADHD and ASD are neurodevelopmental disorders that impact similar brain functions. They are distinct conditions but share some symptoms.  Children with ADHD or ASD often have attention problems and may feel lost or confused in normal social situations, such as school.  As their anxiety starts to rise in uncomfortable situations, they feel fear and panic and resort quickly to their fight, flight or freeze responses.  Many also suffer from chronic worrying.  The constant activity drive from ADHD, features such as repetitive behaviors with ASD in addition to chronic worrying can often lead to sleep issues, including insomnia.  In return, ADHD, ASD and anxiety behaviors are worse with sleep deprivation, making this a very hard situation for the patient and their loved ones to manage.

 

Kamden’s family no longer lives in the Le Mars area but have chosen to drive from Danbury to continue services at FVH. They enjoy the primary care and medication management with pediatrician Dr. Jolene Meis and speech therapy sessions with Jess Martinez as they work to help Kamden.

 

Please join us in celebrating Kamden, our March Hot Shot!

 

The Sioux City Musketeers, in partnership with Floyd Valley Healthcare (FVH) began the Hot Shots program in 2018. This program was created with the goal of honoring FVH pediatric patients who have chronic health issues. We are excited to give children an opportunity to have a fun time with their family, cheer on the team and just enjoy being a kid for a night.

 

Floyd Valley Auxiliary Sponsors

Healthcare Scholarships for Area Students

The Floyd Valley Auxiliary will be awarding two “tuition only” $1,000.00 scholarships to area students this spring. To be eligible, the applicant must be a resident of the Floyd Valley Healthcare service area, accepted at an accredited school and pursuing a health-related career (including pre-med, nursing, technologist, therapist and medical records professionals).

 

Interested students may obtain the necessary application form with complete qualifying information from their high school guidance counselor, pick up at gift shop, or print copy off a copy clicking HERE. Applications and support information must be returned to Diane Dreckman, by April 2, 2021; instructions are on the form.

 

"The Auxiliary Board has designated these two scholarships to be awarded to residents in the Floyd Valley Healthcare service area. Applicants may either be a high school graduate or an adult returning to school. We are excited to be able to provide these scholarships to students pursuing healthcare degrees.” stated  Auxiliary Scholarship Co-Chairs Diane Dreckman and Vicki Dixon .

 

Depression and Heart Disease

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease and depression are interwoven, and a new study is helping unravel that connection by linking depression with poorer scores on seven important measures of heart health.

 

The research included more than 4,000 people taking part in a national survey who had been screened for depression using a basic questionnaire. Participants were evaluated for weight, smoking, diet, physical activity, blood sugar, cholesterol and high blood pressure – measures known as the American Heart Association's Life Simple 7.

 

It's a two-way street, studies suggest. People with depression are more likely to develop heart disease. And people with heart disease can experience depression. In fact, research suggests 15% to 30% of people with cardiovascular disease have depression – a rate two to three times higher than the general population.

That is why, at Floyd Valley Healthcare, Cardiac Rehab and Senior Life Solutions work together for our patients providing maximum benefit for their heart and mental health care. Learn more by calling 712.546.3700.

 

Konz Returns to Floyd Valley Therapies Staff

Floyd Valley Therapies announces the addition of Christin Konz, OTD, OTR/L.  She began her duties on last fall.  Her specialties include working with pediatric patients and with the LSVT Big Therapy program for Parkinson’s patients.

 

Christin brings excellent education and clinical experience to Floyd Valley Healthcare. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. She went on to receive her Doctorate of Occupational Therapy degree from Creighton University in Omaha, NE. Christin has received clinical internship experience with Immanuel Rehabilitation Center in Omaha, Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO and Young Adult Transition Services Program also in Omaha. She returns to Floyd Valley Therapies after working at Orange City Area Health System.

 

Alison Vlieger, Occupational Therapy Manager states, “Floyd Valley Therapies is excited to announce that Christin has rejoined our team. Her interests in working with the pediatric patients is a great fit for our practice as we continue to see growth in this area. She is also trained in working with Parkinson’s patients, which will continue the expansion we have seen in that population as well.”

 

Christin and her family enjoy spending time at Lake Shetek.

 

Vincent Announced as February Hot Shot

Vincent, son of Jay and Heather, is the February 26th Hot Shot. Vincent is an adventurous, bright and charming 9 year old that attends school in Le Mars. By his 4th birthday, Vincent was diagnosed with ADHD and speech delays.  Vincent has been receiving speech therapy since 2015 at Floyd Valley Healthcare and his mother states, “Mrs. Connie Hanson has shown understanding, acceptance and is always willing to figure things out to help Vincent be as successful as he can be.” She adds, “His communication skills have progressed drastically.”

 

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a medical condition in which a person’s brain development and activity are altered causing trouble focusing/concentrating, hyperactivity and/or impulsiveness.  Children diagnosed with ADHD are three times more likely to also have language problems.  They can struggle with receptive language (listening and understanding what is being said), expressive language (speaking and being understood) or both. Kids with ADHD can exhibit auditory processing difficulties such as short-term memory weakness, problems following directions, slow processing of written and spoken language and difficulties listening in distracting environments.  Children with ADHD are also at a higher risk for articulation disorders, which affect their ability to produce letter sounds appropriate for their age.  Early interventions with therapy greatly improve the outcome for these children.

 

The Sioux City Musketeers, in partnership with Floyd Valley Healthcare (FVH) began the Hot Shots program in 2018. This program was created with the goal of honoring FVH pediatric patients who have chronic health issues. We are excited to give children an opportunity to have a fun time with their family, cheer on the team and just enjoy being a kid for a night.

 

Keeping FVH Clean

Floyd Valley Healthcare recently purchased a double and a single Skytron Ultraviolet C (UVC) unit to help in sanitization for not only for COVID-19, but also other superbugs including MRSA and C. difficile.  These systems are used throughout the facility including inpatient rooms, the Emergency Department, Respiratory Care Clinic, Surgery Center, Floyd Valley Clinics and Specialty Clinics as well as other high-traffic public areas.  While FVH is known for its cleanliness and low infection rate, this adds another layer of safety for our patients and staff.

 

How does it work? The UVC alters the DNA of an organism and makes it so that, while the virus is still alive, it can’t replicate, so it dies. The light is dangerous to living organisms. Because of the dangers to living organisms, no human can be in the room while the UVC process is underway, and multiple safety precautions have been put in place.

 

A warning notice is posted. Next, a special and sensitive motion detector is hung on the door that shuts the machine down if the slightest motion occurs, like simply grabbing the doorknob. The UVC robots themselves have onboard infrared sensors that detect human body heat within the room and will not allow activation if heat is detected. Once the room is all clear, the system can be activated.

 

Sensors at the top of each robot send out a pulse to map the room and determine its dimensions. Once determined, the machine can calculate the time it will take to sanitize the area with UVC. Typical patient rooms at FVH can take anywhere from 8-15 minutes, while larger suites can take up to 40 minutes.

 

Healthy Sleep

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and arrival of the cold and flu season, a healthy immune system is more important than ever. Your body will need all the help it can get to stay healthy this winter, and one of the easiest and most effective ways to arm the body against illness is to achieve healthy sleep. Sleep plays an important role in boosting the immune system and helping it to run as efficiently as possible.

 

The immune system is your built-in defense against harmful germs that can make you sick. While sleeping, the immune system can combat foreign antigens like viruses, effectively directing the immune mediators – the cytokines – to counterattack. When you are well-rested, your immune system is able to fight off colds and flu much more effectively than if you are sleep deprived. Without enough sleep, your body has a hard time performing at its best to fight back against illnesses.

 

A number of recent studies have shown that people with existing sleep disorders, people who consistently get less than the recommended amount of nightly sleep, and people who experience fragmented sleep (poor or disrupted sleep quality) report higher rates of respiratory illnesses, head colds and seasonal illnesses. Studies have also shown that people who are sleep deprived are less protected from flu vaccines than those who are getting adequate sleep, further emphasizing sleep as an essential component of your health and well-being.

 

To help avoid illness this season by achieving better sleep, sleep experts from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) suggest the following healthy sleep tips:

 

Set a bedtime that allows enough sleep. Set a bedtime that allows you to get enough sleep to wake up feeling refreshed and alert. While individual sleep needs may vary, the AASM recommends adults sleep seven or more hours per night on a regular basis. Identify an appropriate bedtime for your schedule using the AASM bedtime calculator.

 

Maintain a consistent sleep schedule. It’s important to keep a consistent sleep schedule, even if your routine has changed due to the pandemic. If you tend to stay up later, make sure you still allow enough time in bed to get a full seven or more hours of sleep on a regular basis.

 

Avoid binging on entertainment activities before bed, especially those involving screens or electronics. Too much exposure to blue light at night can disrupt the timing of the sleep cycle. Additionally, prioritizing entertainment instead of sleep can cause feelings of guilt or frustration, which might make it harder to fall asleep.

 

Don’t consume caffeine after lunch and avoid alcohol near bedtime, as both can disrupt sleep and cause frequent nightly awakenings.

 

Practice nightly rituals that help you relax before bed, such as taking a warm bath, drinking tea, journaling or meditating.

 

Create a comfortable bedroom environment. Make your bedroom quiet, dark and a little bit cool — it should remind you of a cave. Use an eye mask or try a white noise machine to block noise or distractions if you have difficulty sleeping.

 

As we are in the midst of winter, the key to keep the common cold at bay might just be getting the recommended amount of nightly sleep. For more information on the importance of healthy sleep, talk to your healthcare provider or visit SleepEducation.org.

 

New COVID Testing Option in Le Mars

Beginning Wednesday, December 9th, Floyd Valley Healthcare will be offering the Binax Now COVID Antigen Testing for Plymouth County. Testing will occur weekdays from 1-1:30 p.m. and 2-2:30 p.m. at the North Entrance of Floyd Valley Healthcare. Appointments can be made by calling 712.546.3618 (no walk-ins will be permitted). Same-day results will be available.

 

This test is only available for those that are symptomatic and are:

 

  • preschool/K-12 students and staff (This test will not be used as an early release back to school)
  • children receiving care in and staff working in childcare homes and childcare centers with fever or respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing) without alternative diagnosis
  • essential services personnel, first responder, or critical infrastructure worker with fever or respiratory illness (e.g. fire, EMS, law enforcement)
  • Plymouth County Correctional Facility Inmates

 

Influenza, COVID-19 or Allergies, what’s the Difference?

Influenza, COVID-19 and allergies all share some symptoms, which can make it difficult to know what’s causing discomfort. All three can present in the same ways, and while they share many similarities, they’re definitely not the same.

 

It’s helpful to know what symptoms Influenza, COVID-19 and allergies share, and what sets them apart.

 

Influenza, COVID-19 and allergies can all cause:

  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Runny Nose
  • Headaches

 

Both influenza and COVID-19 can:

  • Cause fever or chills, cough, congestion or runny nose, body aches, headaches, fatigue, and sometimes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Be mild or severe, but rarely fatal
  • Result in pneumonia
  • Be spread from person to person through coughing, sneezing or talking, and both can be spread before symptoms appear.

 

The CDC also says that it’s possible to test positive for flu – as well as other respiratory infections – and COVID-19 at the same time.

 

Some additional symptoms of COVID-19 that you may not experience with influenza or allergies include:

  • Difficulty breathing – although allergies may cause shortness of breath
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Various types of skin rashes which are more likely to occur in children

 

Additionally, allergies can cause watery or itchy eyes and sneezing, symptoms that are not common to either influenza or COVID-19.While all three illnesses share some similar symptoms, the differences lie in the cause, transmission and treatments.

 

Cause

  • The flu can be caused by a number of different strains of influenza viruses.
  • COVID-19 is caused by one virus, the novel 2019 coronavirus.
  • Allergies occur when the body reacts to foreign substances – pollen, dust, mold, insect stings, and pet dander, among many other substances – that doesn’t cause a reaction in most people.

 

Transmission

  • The flu and COVID-19 can both be spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks
  • COVID-19 might also be spread through the air when tiny droplets hang in the air even after the infected person leaves the room.
  • Allergies can be genetic or something a person is born with. Adults usually don’t lose their allergies, but some children outgrow them. They cannot be passed from person to person like influenza or COVID-19.

 

Treatment

  • Antiviral medications, such as Tamiflu, can address some flu symptoms and possibly shorten its duration.
  • Research continues on effective treatments for COVID-19 to see if they can address the symptoms. Current treatments are reserved for hospitalized patients.
  • The simplest treatment for allergies is to avoid known allergens, but if that’s not possible, there are also medications that may help. See your doctor for more information.

 

Vaccine

  • A flu shot can prevent some of the more dangerous types of flu, or reduce the severity if it’s contracted.
  • Work continues on a COVID-19 vaccine – some of them in clinical trials – but there is none available at this time.
  • Allergy shots – also known as immunotherapy – can reduce allergy attacks, but there is no allergy vaccine.

 

Prevention

The flu and COVID-19 may be prevented by frequent, thorough hand washing, coughing into your elbow, staying home when sick and limiting contact with infected people. Allergies cannot be prevented, but avoiding allergens and taking medication as prescribed can help.

 

 

If You are Experiencing Shortness of Breath

Spanish Version

 

Coping with Anxiety or Panic Attacks During COVID-19

Spanish Version

 

COVID-19 Resources for Businesses

 

What to do if You are Sick with Coronavirus.

 

How to Isolate at Home with Coronavirus Symptoms.

 

Guidelines for Families of Patients in Home Isolation due to Coronavirus Symptoms.

 

HELP Requested to Sew Gowns for Healthcare Providers, Instructions Here.

 

Healthcare Protective Caps Needed, Instructions to Sew Here.

 

Virtual Clinic Visits

You now have the option to see your family medicine provider virtually. You will need a computer with a web camera and speakers .

 

  • Call your provider directly to schedule, or call 712.546.8111.
  • Let the PSC know you would like to schedule a Virtual Visit.
  • Your appointment link will be sent to your email. Fifteen minutes prior to your appointment time, please click on your visit link. There will be some questions you will need to answer prior to your appointment.
  • Once finished, you will be placed in the virtual waiting room and your provider will be alerted that you are waiting.
  • As soon as the provider can join you, they will open their session with you and your visit will begin.
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