• Checking in on your meds

    Patients are encouraged to take advantage of events hosted by pharmacies across the country. These include “brown bag” medication reviews offered by pharmacists underscore the importance of knowing exactly which medications you’re taking and how they could interact with each other. But if you miss a brown bag event near you, there’s no need to worry. You can always count on the team at MountainView Hospital to give you sound medical guidance.

    Keep a list of your medications
    If you’re taking any kind of medication regularly, whether prescribed or over the counter, it’s a smart move to write it down. Note the name of the medication, the dosage strength and how many doses you take each day. Keep this list in your wallet or purse so that it’s handy in the event you need emergency care.

    Ask for a medication review
    One of the reasons why National Check Your Meds Day got its start is that many patients are prescribed medications by different doctors. For instance, your primary care physician might prescribe an antidepressant and your cardiologist might prescribe a high blood pressure medication. This can create the potential for different drugs to interact with each other, which can cause undesirable side effects.

    Your primary care physician should know about all of the medications you’re taking, including over-the-counter drugs. Bring in your list of medications and ask your doctor to take a look for potential problems.

    Check your meds at the pharmacy
    Another way to be a proactive patient is to double-check your medications when you pick them up at the pharmacy. Note whether the pills look different. Are they a different color or shape, or do they have a different identifying number?

    If your pills look different, ask your pharmacist to verify that they are the correct medication.

    If you ever have questions about your medications, a registered nurse or physician at MountainView Hospital is always here to help. Our hospital in Las Vegas provides patient-centered care that focuses on your unique health needs and goals. Call a registered nurse today at (702) 962-5021 or explore our upcoming community health classes.

  • Celebrating National Healthcare Quality Week

    The healthcare profession carries on a time-honored tradition of compassionate care. Technicians, nurses, primary care physicians and specialists—all of the healthcare providers at MountainView Hospital genuinely care about the health and safety of our patients. During National Healthcare Quality Week, which extends from October 21-27, we invite you to reflect on what quality care means to you.

Share a story
Have you experienced the difference that quality healthcare can make? Perhaps a friendly nurse offered a shoulder to lean on during a difficult time. Or perhaps your family physician took the extra time to connect you with local resources to help you improve your health or reach a health goal.

Healthcare quality is made up of little moments like these that show patients just how much their providers truly do care about them. You can show your appreciation by sharing your story of how a provider’s compassionate care helped you during a difficult time.

Schedule a screening
Doctors and nurses are keenly aware of the importance of preventive medicine. Every day, they see the harsh realities of serious diseases that might have been prevented or detected earlier. And there are few things a dedicated provider enjoys more than knowing his or her patients are taking proactive steps to protect their health.

Another way you can share your appreciation for healthcare quality is by scheduling an annual exam and health screenings. Your primary care physician can review your health history and recommend health screenings that are appropriate for you.

Become a volunteer
If quality healthcare has made a major difference in your life, consider giving back to the community by volunteering in the hospital. Hospital volunteers are dedicated individuals who are motivated by a desire to help others. The important work that volunteers do allows doctors and nurses to spend more time delivering high-quality healthcare.

MountainView Hospital is a proud HCA affiliate. It’s an affiliation that reflects our commitment to bringing our patients superior care through state-of-the-art medical technology and exceptionally trained providers. If you have any questions about our healthcare specialties, you can call (702) 962-5021 to speak with a friendly member of our nursing staff here in Las Vegas.

  • What you can do about your cardiac arrest risk

    Cardiac arrest occurs when the electrical system of the heart malfunctions. The heart stops beating, which means the rest of the body no longer receives the blood it needs to sustain life. Immediate medical intervention is necessary, as cardiac arrest can kill within four to six minutes. The emergency care physicians at MountainView Hospital encourage our neighbors in Las Vegas to learn about their potential risk of cardiac arrest. Your doctor can help you explore ways of managing your risk.

    Making lifestyle changes to reduce your risk
    Cardiac arrest is strongly linked with coronary artery disease. Because of this, the lifestyle habits that increase the risk of coronary artery disease may also increase the risk of cardiac arrest. These include obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.

    If you currently don’t exercise, consider talking to your doctor about starting an exercise program. If you have a pre-existing health condition, such as a heart problem, your doctor will evaluate whether it’s safe for you to exercise.

    Exercising can also help you control your weight, but if you already have obesity, you’ll also need to make significant dietary changes. Your doctor may refer you to a registered dietician if you want help planning meals and learning about nutrient intake. Focus on making small changes that add up over time.

    Talking to your doctor about overcoming addictions
    Sudden cardiac death is more common in people who:

    • Take recreational drugs
    • Drink alcohol to excess
    • Smoke tobacco

    You don’t have to fight your addiction alone. Your primary care doctor can help you understand your treatment options and refer you to treatment programs or specialists. Beating an addiction takes a lot of hard work, but you can build a network of support to help you move forward.

    Exploring your treatment options for heart conditions
    A wide range of heart conditions can lead to cardiac arrest. If you’ve been diagnosed with any heart problem, you can benefit from specialized cardiology care. Some of these heart conditions include:

    • Scarred heart muscle
    • Enlarged heart
    • Coronary artery disease
    • Blood vessel abnormalities
    • Long QT syndrome
    • Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome

    A cardiologist will thoroughly evaluate you and recommend an appropriate course of treatment.

    MountainView Hospital’s Heart Care Services provides world-class care, including specialized surgeries like open heart surgery, vascular surgery and TAVR. Our heart hospital in Las Vegas brings together the latest cutting-edge medical technology with highly trained doctors who are leaders in their field. Call 911 immediately if you need emergency care, or call a registered nurse at (702) 962-5021 for general questions only.

  • Increasing your breast cancer awareness

    In the U.S., breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. But the good news is that survival rates are better than ever, particularly when breast cancer is detected in its early stages. During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, the Breast Care Services team at MountainView Hospital encourages women to know their risk factors and talk to their doctors about getting a mammogram.

    Know your risk factors of breast cancer
    Certain factors may increase your risk of getting breast cancer. However, not all women who are at a high risk will get breast cancer, and some women with a low risk may still develop it. It’s important to know your risk factors because they help guide your doctor’s recommendations for mammograms and lifestyle changes.

    Age is one risk factor of cancer. Most women who are diagnosed with breast cancer are 50 years of age or older. Other risk factors include:

    • Inherited genetic mutations
    • Having dense breast tissue
    • Having a personal history of cancer
    • Having a family history of breast cancer
    • Previously undergoing radiation therapy to the chest
    • Starting menstruation before age 12
    • Starting menopause after age 55

    Those risk factors cannot be changed. The good news is that other risk factors can indeed be modified, such as the following.

    • Sedentary lifestyle
    • Overweight or obese after menopause
    • Alcohol consumption
    • Long-term use of hormone replacement therapy

    Talk to your doctor about mammograms
    Mammogram guidelines can differ, depending on the health organization issuing them. They are also subject to change over time. Every woman needs personalized recommendations from her own doctor, which takes into account her unique health history, lifestyle and preferences.

    In addition to having routine mammograms, you can protect your health by doing a breast self-exam each month. This helps you become better aware of how your breasts normally look and feel. You’ll be able to detect unusual changes more easily.

    MountainView Hospital is proud to offer state-of-the-art computer-aided detection, 3D digital mammography to women throughout the Las Vegas area. Our Breast Care Services team is focused on providing superior, patient-centered care that puts your needs first. For more information, call a registered nurse at (702) 962-5021.

  • How do eating disorders affect cardiovascular health?

    It’s believed that millions of Americans have an eating disorder , of which there are three primary types: Anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. Eating disorders can cause serious, long-term health consequences. They can also interfere with academic success, cause problems at work and result in relationship challenges. In severe cases, patients need to be hospitalized for life-threatening complications, including heart problems. The physicians and nurses at MountainView Hospital are genuinely caring individuals who give our patients the superior care they need and the respect they deserve. Our heart health specialists help patients overcome numerous challenges, including those related to nutrition.

    Anorexia nervosa and cardiovascular health
    Patients with anorexia severely restrict their calorie intake. Their bodies are deprived of the nutrients required for good health and even for regular, everyday functioning. As a result, normal bodily processes are inhibited or slowed down to use as little energy as possible.

    This can lead to many health consequences, including cardiovascular complications such as very low blood pressure and a slow heart rate. Eventually, patients can develop heart failure. Heart failure occurs when the heart isn’t able to pump enough blood.

    Binge eating disorder and cardiovascular health
    Patients with binge eating disorder experience recurrent episodes of binge eating, which they feel unable to control. They eat despite a lack of hunger, often to the point of discomfort. Since people with binge eating disorder are often overweight or obese, they have a higher risk of these cardiovascular problems:

    • High blood pressure
    • Abnormal cholesterol levels
    • Heart disease

    Bulimia nervosa and cardiovascular health
    Bulimia is characterized by a damaging cycle of eating a great deal of food within a short period of time, followed by efforts to purge those calories from the body. The purging may involve self-induced vomiting, excessive exercise or fasting.

    Bulimia can result in several life-threatening health complications, including electrolyte imbalances induced by purging behaviors. Electrolyte imbalances can lead to irregular heartbeats. It’s also possible for heart failure to occur.

    Heart Center of Las Vegas at MountainView Hospital features compassionate specialists who want you to know that no matter what your challenges are, we can find personalized solutions that help. From emergency care to interventional cardiology to cardiac rehabilitation—you’ll find it all here at our state-of-the-art hospital. You can request a referral to a specialist by calling a nurse at (702) 962-5021.

  • Which types of exercise are best for your joints?

    Contrary to popular belief, patients with stiff, painful joints can exercise safely. A doctor-approved exercise plan can even improve arthritis symptoms by supporting flexibility and strengthening the muscles around the joint. Not all exercises are well-suited to damaged joints, however. An orthopedic specialist or physical therapist at MountainView Hospital can help you transition into a safe and enjoyable workout routine.

    Strength training exercises
    When performed consistently over time, strength training has the potential to reduce the pain of an arthritic joint .

    Your doctor or physical therapist may recommend starting with isometric exercises if the joint is relatively immobile. Isometric exercises involve muscle contraction without joint movement. Two examples are planks and isometric quads.

    Once you’ve regained some mobility in the joint, your doctor may suggest that you start using resistance bands, free weights or weight machines. When you lift weight, it’s particularly important to use the right form to avoid placing excessive stress on the joints. Consider enlisting the assistance of a personal trainer.

    Aquatic exercises
    Aerobic exercises build endurance and improve cardiovascular health. Physical therapists often recommend aquatic workouts for people with arthritic joints. The buoyancy of the water virtually eliminates stress on the joints from body weight, and the resistance of the water builds strength along with endurance.

    Swimming laps is a popular choice for patients with joint problems. You could also sign up for a water aerobics class.

    Walking routines
    A walk a day can help keep orthopedic surgery away—or help you recover from it. You should have well-fitted, cushioning athletic sneakers. You might prefer to walk in the company of a friend or pet.

    Start your walking routine by heading out for 10 minutes at a time on a relatively flat course. Aim for a pace that makes you breathe a little heavier, but allows you to still speak. Gradually walk faster and longer, and look for a route with a few gently sloping hills.

    Total Joint Program at MountainView Hospital provides a continuum of care for our neighbors in Las Vegas. Our orthopedic and rehabilitation specialists work closely together for your benefit because we’re committed to helping you achieve the best possible outcome. Call a registered nurse at our hospital any time at (702) 962-5021.

  • Signs that your teen is in an abusive relationship

    Teens need healthy relationships for their socio-emotional development. Those who are affected by abusive relationships may suffer from lasting effects including depression and anxiety, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts and antisocial behaviors. Teens don’t always know how to recognize when they’re being abused or taken advantage of. If you’re concerned about your child, consider visiting the hospital to discuss your concerns with a physician. At MountainView Hospital, we’re always here to help, because we believe strong families build strong communities.

    Signs of physical abuse
    Kids get bumps and bruises now and then, and a physical injury doesn’t automatically mean that your teen is in an abusive relationship. Do keep an eye out for injuries that your teen can’t explain , or that your teen seems to have trouble explaining. A pattern of frequent physical injuries may be a red flag.

    Additionally, watch out for signs that your teen may be trying to conceal injuries. If your teen wears oversized sunglasses indoors, he or she might be trying to hide a black eye. Wearing long-sleeved shirts during hot weather may be an attempt to conceal arm bruises.

    Patterns in communication
    Abusive relationships tend to have an element of control. If your teen is being abused, he or she may feel compelled to call or text the partner frequently. Their partner may demand information about where your teen is, who he or she is with and what he or she is doing.

    Changes in social activities
    Another aspect of a controlling relationship is social isolation. Your teen may no longer spend time with friends, or he or she might have fewer friends than before. Your child might decide to quit extracurricular activities and feel compelled to spend as much time as possible with the partner.

    Changes in emotional state
    Abusive relationships don’t usually begin that way. Your teen likely showed signs of experiencing an initial rush of happiness and excitement when the relationship began. Over time, he or she might frequently look sad, worried or anxious.

    Adolescents who need emergency care for traumatic injuries should call 911 immediately. A compassionate doctor at MountainView Hospital is here for you or your loved one if you need help and don’t know where to turn to. Families in Las Vegas can reach a registered nurse at our hospital by calling (702) 962-5021.

  • 4 things your cardiologist wants you to know about your heart

    Your heart is a strong, muscular organ. But if you don’t take good care of it, it can weaken and become susceptible to all sorts of serious health problems, like heart failure . MountainView Hospital is a widely acclaimed heart hospital with a mission of helping families in Las Vegas work toward better heart health. Watch the accompanying video to hear one of our cardiologists explain what he wants his patients to know about the importance of prevention.

    Heart problems can occur at any age
    Cardiology issues can affect anyone—from infants to seniors. One of the top things cardiologists want their patients to know is that, although heart problems are often preventable, it’s important to start early in life. For instance, even if your blood pressure is within normal levels, you can be mindful about your sodium intake to reduce your risk of high blood pressure later in life.

    It’s easy to get proactive about your heart health
    Dealing with health issues can seem intimidating, but your doctor is always there to help make it easier for you. Doctors welcome patients who take a proactive approach to their own healthcare, like asking questions and scheduling annual physicals.

    Take the initiative to ask your doctor if you should have any screening tests, such as the following:

    • Cholesterol check
    • Blood pressure check
    • Blood glucose test
    • Calcium score

    You should also know your body mass index. Knowing your numbers will help you and your doctor plan for a healthier future .

    Medication management is important
    If you already do have heart disease, know that your prescribed medications can only help you if you take them according to the dosage instructions. Let your doctor know about any challenges you have with medication management.

    Your doctor should know about any over-the-counter medicines, herbal supplements and homeopathic remedies you use, as some of them may interact with prescription drugs.

    Small changes really can make a big difference
    It can be hard to overhaul multiple aspects of your lifestyle, but small changes do add up. Protect your heart by living consciously and making daily decisions that matter.

    Reduce the amount of sugar you add to coffee, go meatless one day per week or ride your bicycle to work. The little changes can make all the difference over time.

    Please call 911 without delay if you think you could be having a heart attack or any other life-threatening medical emergency. The emergency care team at MountainView Hospital is here 24/7, every day of the year to save the lives of our neighbors throughout Las Vegas. If you have a general question about our heart hospital services, call a registered nurse at (702) 962-5021.

  • Who is allowed to donate blood?

    Every day of the year, patients around the country rely on the selflessness of blood donors . Patients who have suffered blood loss due to traumatic injuries or surgeries, and those undergoing treatments like chemotherapy need donated blood in order to survive. During National Blood Donor Month this January, consider giving back to your community by giving the gift of life. MountainView Hospital extends our sincere gratitude to all of the blood donors near us in Las Vegas.

    The general blood donor requirements
    All potential blood donors must be at least 17 years old, except in certain states in which 16-year-olds may donate with parental consent. Blood donors must weigh at least 110 pounds, although donors ages 18 and younger must meet additional weight requirements.

    You must also be in good overall health. This means that if you have a chronic medical condition, it’s being well-managed. You should also be feeling well on the day that you give blood.

    The health history-related requirements
    When you arrive at the hospital or other blood donation site, you’ll be asked to complete an extensive questionnaire about your health history. If you meet the eligibility requirements and you wish to donate again in the future, you might not need to complete the entire questionnaire every time, if you can save your information.

    You’ll answer questions about your:

    • Medical conditions
    • Medications
    • Vaccination record
    • Medical treatments
    • Sexually transmitted diseases
    • Travel outside the U.S.
    • Lifestyle and life events

    International travel is significant because it can shed some light on any diseases you may have been exposed to. For instance, if you lived in Germany during the mid-1980s, you’ll be disqualified from donating blood for your lifetime because of possible exposure to mad cow disease.

    The ways to help if you aren’t eligible to donate blood
    Donated blood is desperately needed by hospitals across the U.S., and unfortunately, many people who want to give blood aren’t able to do so. You can still help your community, however. Before you leave the blood drive, ask whether your deferral is temporary and if so, when you will be eligible to donate.

    If you’ve been permanently deferred, you can help by encouraging your family and friends to donate blood, volunteering at a blood drive or making a financial contribution.

    MountainView Hospital is your family’s partner in health. Our medical center in Las Vegas is known for our unwavering commitment to high-quality care, and for our compassionate, patient-focused healthcare providers. If you’d like to request a physician referral, you can contact a registered nurse at (702) 962-5021.

  • Should integrated medicine be a part of your healthcare routine?

    As the term suggests, integrated or integrative medicine is an approach that combines evidence-based mainstream medicine with complementary and alternative therapies . This approach acknowledges although definitive scientific proof may be lacking for complementary and alternative practices, there is enough evidence to suggest they may be helpful and safe. Watch the accompanying video to learn more about integrated medicine. It features an interview with an internal medicine specialist at MountainView Hospital.

    Integrated medicine for preventive health
    Preventive health is the focus on reducing the risk of medical problems, including chronic diseases like heart disease and everyday ailments like respiratory infections. Many physicians already do recommend an integrated approach to sustaining health.

    As you watch the featured video, take note of what this doctor says about nutrition, physical activity and stress. He explains the importance and the challenges of maintaining a balance in life, such as by not eating too much or too little, and not exercising too much or too little. The right balance of lifestyle choices will help support your health for your lifetime—and your physician can help you weigh those choices.

    Integrated medicine for pain management
    Every person deserves to enjoy a pain-free life, but millions suffer from chronic pain . Chronic pain can take a toll on quality of life, mental health, productivity and even family relationships. Long-term pain reliever use isn’t generally recommended, either, because of side effects and the potential for dependence.

    Doctors who embrace integrated medicine may recommend a combination of drug treatments and non-drug therapies. These non-drug therapies, some of which are listed below, may help patients reduce their medication dosages.

    • Massage therapy
    • Acupuncture/acupressure
    • Chiropractic
    • Mindfulness
    • Biofeedback
    • Meditation

    These complementary techniques, when combined with mainstream medicine, can bring relief to patients suffering from a variety of health problems. These include cancer, fibromyalgia and arthritis.

    The doctors and nurses at MountainView Hospital are committed to facilitating optimal health outcomes, because we live and work in the same Las Vegas community as our patients. From stroke care and emergency care to robotic surgery and bariatric weight loss, our commitment to quality and compassion is evident in all that we do. A registered nurse is available 24/7 to take your non-emergency-related phone call at (702) 962-5021.