Immunizations Are Important

One of the most important things you can do to protect your health is to receive recommended immunizations and flu shots-on time. Vaccines have been proven as one of the most effective tools to help people live longer and have healthier lives. They work by preventing infectious diseases, some of which have the potential to cause long-lasting or permanent health problems, or even death.

Diseases become rare due to vaccinations

At Swift County Benson Hospital, the staff is regularly vaccinated with the appropriate medicine, but there have been cases where patients were admitted and their disease could have been prevented (or the severity decreased) with a single shot.  Some diseases (like polio and diphtheria) are rare because we have been vaccinating against them.

Immunize until the disease is eliminated

What if we stopped vaccinating? Diseases that are almost unknown would come back. Unless we can “stop the leak” (eliminate the disease), it is important to keep immunizing. Even if there are only a few cases of disease, if we take away the protection given by vaccination, more people will be infected and spread disease to others. Soon we will undo the progress we have made.  The extensive use of vaccines has proven a major public health success against infectious diseases. By the end of the 20th century, benefits were so dramatic in reducing the suffering, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cited vaccination as the number one public health achievement of the century.

U.S. Flu Facts

*An estimated 10-20% of the population contracts the flu each year.
*Approximately 114,000 excess hospitalizations per year are for flu-related complications.
*Up to 40 million patients require outpatient medical visits for influenza-like illness.
*Approximately 36,000 annual deaths in the U.S. are attributed to influenza complications.
*The highest rates of complications, hospitalizations and deaths occur primarily in patients older than 65.
*Increased rates of complications, hospitalizations and deaths also are observed in young children.
*More than 90% of influenza-related deaths occur in persons 65 or older.

Sources of immunization information:

The National Immunization Program (NIP)
The National Network for Immunization Information (NNii)
The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC)

The CDC Contact Center at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) English and Español
Questions about vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases frequently asked by people calling the TTY Service Hotline at 1-888-232-6348.

Make sure your vaccinations are up to date and you have had this year’s flu shot.  It may save your life.

Do You Have Some Time? Volunteer!

April is a month that brings many things to mind; spring, warmer weather, tulips, Earth Day, and so much more. However, one thing that the month of April signifies that isn’t mentioned too often is that it celebrates National Healthcare Volunteer Recognition Week, which will take place April 10 – 16, 2011.


Since 1974, National Healthcare Volunteer Week helps to create awareness about volunteerism, but it’s also an opportunity to thank current volunteers.  We celebrate the compassion and dedication our volunteers give each day they spend at Swift County Benson Hospital.

Volunteers play a big role at Swift County Benson Hospital by participating with the residents in many programs. Volunteers are essential for the programs.  Sometimes the simple things, like reading to a resident or a social visit, uplift the spirits the most.

During National Volunteer Week, we honor the ordinary people who give of themselves to accomplish extraordinary things, and we encourage more volunteering. Remember nothing is more golden than the heart of a volunteer-the genuine giving of spirit to help someone else.  If you are interesting in volunteering your time, please call Swift County Benson Hospital at 320-843-4232.

The New IV/Chemo Therapy Rooms at SCBH are AWESOME!

IV/Chemo The results are in…Ione Laycock, RN, therapy nurse, David Johnson, therapy patient, and Deann Johnson, David’s wife and caregiver, all agree the IV and Chemo Therapy program and the new therapy rooms at SCBH are AWESOME.

“Most of the larger hospitals, like Mayo or the University of Minnesota, refer patients who live in this area to SCBH for IV or Chemo therapy treatments. I coordinate these treatments with them and stay in touch with the referring doctors. That’s how I met the Johnsons,” said Ione Laycock.

“When my doctor at Mayo told me he was prescribing IV therapy, I asked him if I could have it in Benson. He checked with SCBH and said there would be no problem coordinating my care with Benson. This saves me time. I’m not away from my business like I would be if I had to drive to Mayo and allows me the flexibility tommer, 2009 schedule treatments around my work plans. That’s important to me,” said Clontarf resident, David Johnson.

“Ione and the scheduling people are exceptional. They are so friendly and make everything convenient for us. I schedule the treatments, and we know if I schedule David for an 8 a.m. treatment, everything will be ready for us at 8 a.m.,” Deann Johnson said. “The rooms are private and comfortable. I watch TV, relax or talk to Ione if I have questions,” added David, “Ione coordinates my care with the Mayo Clinic. She calls them if she has questions. One time there was a discrepancy in my therapy plan, and she called my Mayo doctor to discuss it. He was impressed that she did that.”

“We have two new rooms for IV and Chemo therapy. They are situated off a hallway, so people walking by can’t look in and see who is in the room. Each room has two chairs, so we can accommodate four patients at a time,” Ione said.

Generally, most IV or Chemo Therapy sessions last from 30 minutes to six hours depending on the prescription. “Part of my job is to help patients find resources for their specific condition. Sometimes they need to talk with their pastor, a counselor, or family members. Sometimes I order them specific materials about their condition, sometimes they need home health or some other kind of support. And sometimes they need hugs. It’s all part of my job,” quipped Ione. Deann added, “SCBH is a wonderful healthcare facility for Benson. We are indeed fortunate to have this hospital and service available in our community.”

New SimLab Hits the road to bring training to SCBH RNs

SimLab The SCBH RNs were some of the first to host Children’s Hospital’s $2.5 million mobile training lab called SimLab L1. SimLab L1 is a high-tech mobile training facility which uses the latest in simulation technology to educate and train healthcare and emergency response professionals. It began as a vision by the Children’s Hospital healthcare leaders to deliver the realism and effectiveness of simulation training directly to the doorstep of healthcare professionals.

Inside the large van, top of the line equipment and tools set the stage for training, mimicking a real emergency care facility. Simulation manikins breathe, cough, talk, act, and feel very much like real patients. Simulation training experts record each training session and debrief the scenario with the participants.

Besides high-tech training, bringing training directly to Benson can realize a cost savings. Traditionally, we sent a limited number of employees to major metropolitan areas to receive this level of training. With SimLab L1, we were able to train almost all of our RNs in the new procedures. Plus, the cost of travel, overtime, and staffing problems is virtually eliminated by using SimLab L1 to deliver training. SimLab L1 definitely fills a need in rural healthcare training.

Cardiologists Visiting SCBH Come From a “Top 100 Cardiovascular Hospital”

The Central Minnesota Heart Center at St. Cloud Hospital is a comprehensive cardiac care center dedicated to the discovery, management and control of cardiac disease. The Heart Center is committed to providing excellent patient care, attracting high-caliber staff and developing state-of-the-art facilities. The Heart Center was one of the first “heart hospitals” in the state.

top100cardioThe Heart Center has become a national leader in the treatment and prevention of cardiac disease. It is ranked as one of the nation’s “100 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals” by Thomson Reuters and has earned this prestigious designation eight times in the award program’s 10 years.

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