Ayshea Beswick-Bailey Shares Her “Jamaica Journey”

Thousands of people work at Jamaica Hospital and each has their own unique story to tell about their career path.  The following is one of them.

Ayshea Beswick-Bailey RN, MSN, PMHNP; Clinical Nurse Manager for Psych-3, began her career journey at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center 17 years ago.

Driven by a strong desire to care for others, Ayshea pursued a career in nursing “I always knew I wanted to be a nurse. As a child I enjoyed helping people and was intrigued by anything related to medicine,” she shared.

In 2003, she joined Jamaica Hospital as a Licensed Practical Nurse on 3-North. After receiving her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Lehman College, Ayshea honed her clinical expertise by working in various areas of the hospital as a Float Team RN.  Her next career stop was the E.R., where she worked for almost 10 years.  For Ayshea, working in the E.R. was one of her best experiences.  She said there is no limit to what you can learn there.

Ayshea used the knowledge and experience she gained in the E.R. to transition to the Psychiatry department. While working as a Staff Nurse, Ayshea completed the Master of Science program at Hunter College and received her degree as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

Throughout her journey at Jamaica Hospital, Ayshea has become known by many for her strong work ethic and willingness to go above and beyond. In fact, she was nominated for a G.E.M award which is given to employees who go the extra mile to help patients and colleagues.

In addition to her commitment to providing excellent care to patients, Ayshea credits her professional growth to the support of her mentors and colleagues.  “My first mentor at Jamaica hospital was Linda Hayes, the Assistant Director of Nursing Administration. She always pushed me and believed in me,” she stated. “I am also very grateful that other leaders such as Marge Lilienthal, Liz Garcia, Dr. Daniel Chen, Dr. Martha Edelman and Dr. Meri Nisimova gave me a chance.”

When asked about her overall experience of working at Jamaica Hospital, Ayshea replied, “I know this may sound cliché, but it is the truth, working at Jamaica Hospital has truly been like working with family. My colleagues have been there during the difficult and best times in my life, including my dad’s cancer diagnosis and recovery, as well as the birth of my kids, two of which I had at this hospital.”

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Jamaica Hospital Offers A Virtual Prenatal Experience For Women

Being pregnant can be very challenging, and even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the issues that a growing number of pregnant women are encountering at this time is loneliness.

Studies show that over 50% of expecting mothers admit to feeling extremely lonely and isolated because they are spending more time at home, and away from others.  These factors are believed to be contributors to a rise in prenatal depression.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center hopes to provide a solution to this problem by offering pregnant women a safe place where they feel supported. By moving its CenteringPregnancy program to a virtual space, patients of the hospital can receive prenatal care and actively engage with a community of healthcare providers and fellow moms on Zoom.

In the CenteringPregnancy program at Jamaica Hospital, patients with similar due dates are invited to participate in group sessions facilitated by doctors or midwives.  Participants meet every two or four weeks (depending on gestational age) and interact with nutritionists, lactation consultants and other healthcare providers.  A variety of topics including mental health, breastfeeding and labor preparation are discussed. Special guest speakers from organizations such as Safe Sleep and Queens Healthy Start are also invited to share information and connect moms to helpful resources.

Before their first group session, patients attend an in-person orientation where they are given a Centering prenatal kit. This consists of a scale, blood pressure monitor, fetal Doppler, books and other materials, all of which are needed to participate in the program.  Participants are trained on how to use each item to monitor their baby’s development and record vital health information.  Patients report this information to their providers in a private session before the start of every group meeting.

While engagement and group discussions are encouraged among participants, there are 1-on-1, break-away sessions during each meeting. Here, mothers can speak privately with facilitators about any concerns or questions they may have. If a patient’s needs cannot be addressed via Zoom, an appointment will be scheduled to see their doctor at the Women’s Health Center where strict COVID-19 safety protocols are followed.

Jamaica Hospital’s virtual CenteringPregnancy program has been highly successful. The program has earned recognition from leading institutions and is used to demonstrate the benefits of virtual prenatal care to other medical facilities.  

“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the pregnancy experience for a lot of women, and we are constantly thinking of ways to make it as positive as we can,” said Patricia Fox, Certified Midwife.  “Our team has established this unique, virtual platform so that we can provide our patients with a healthcare service that is convenient, safe and supportive. We understand how important these things are during these unprecedented times,” shared Thalita Viruet, Practice Manager for the Women’s Health Center.

To learn more about Centering at Jamaica Hospital, please call our Women’s Health Department at 718-291-3276.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Keloids

When our skin is injured our body begins the healing process and produces collagen to mend the damage; this results in a scar.

However, when our bodies continue the healing process after the initial scar is formed, excess collagen is produced causing the scar to become flesh-colored, raised and larger than the original wound. This is known as a keloid.  

Keloids are most commonly found on the shoulders, chest, cheeks and earlobes. However, they can develop on other parts of the body, and you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Scars that feel soft and doughy or hard and rubbery
  • Scars that are itchy, painful or tender to the touch
  • Scars that become darker over time

Although any type of injury to the skin can lead to keloids, some people are more likely to develop them than others. At-risk individuals include:

  • Those who are African American, Asian or Latino
  • Those who are 30 years old and younger
  • Those who have a history of keloids in their family
  • Pregnant women

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) the risk of getting a keloid can be reduced by following these measures:

  • Wearing a pressure earring after getting ears pierced. They should be worn for at least 12 (and preferably 20) hours a day for 4 to 6 months
  • Spot testing areas of the skin before getting a tattoo or body piercing and wearing a pressure garment as soon as the skin begins to thicken
  • Informing your surgeon before surgery that your skin is prone to developing keloids. There may be a technique your surgeon can use to reduce the likelihood of keloids forming after surgery
  • Following AAD recommended tips to properly care for a wound
  • Applying silicone sheets or gels to the skin as soon as it heals

Keloids are typically not harmful to a person’s health but for some individuals, they may become a cosmetic concern. The appearance of a keloid can be improved by receiving laser therapy, pressure treatments, corticosteroid shots, surgery or by freezing the scar. It is important to follow your doctor’s recommendations after these treatments to avoid the return of a keloid.

To schedule an appointment with a dermatologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Anemia

Anemia is defined as having a lack of healthy red blood cells to carry adequate amounts of oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is one of the most common blood conditions in the United States, affecting almost 6% of the population.

There are three main causes of anemia. They include:

  • A decrease in red blood cell production
  • An increase in red blood cell destruction
  • Blood loss

There are several factors that may lead to a decrease in red cell production, here a few:

  • Not having enough iron, folate or vitamin B-12 in our diets
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Bone marrow or stem cell problems

Factors that can lead to an increase in red blood cell destruction are:

  • Infections
  • Severe hypertension
  • Toxins produced by advanced liver or kidney disease
  • Genetic disorders such as sickle cell disease  or thalassemia

Blood loss can be the result of an injury; it can also occur for other reasons such as heavy menstrual periods or gastrointestinal disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease.  

Some people are more at risk than others for developing anemia. Those who have an increased risk are:

  • Women who have heavy periods
  • Women who are pregnant and are not taking prenatal vitamins that include iron and folic acid
  • Older adults
  • Individuals with a family history of anemia
  • Individuals living with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension or kidney disease
  • Individuals with a diet that lacks sufficient iron, vitamin B-12 or folate

The signs and symptoms of anemia can be mild or severe depending on the cause, they may include:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Cold hands and feet

It is recommended that you see a doctor if any of these symptoms persist.  During your appointment, your doctor may perform a physical examination and ask questions about your diet as well as family and medical history.  A physical examination may be conducted and a series of tests ordered to determine a diagnosis.

Treatment for anemia depends on the cause. A patient’s treatment plan can involve making changes to their diet, and taking supplements. Prescription medications, chemotherapy, blood transfusions or marrow transplants may be needed in other instances

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Anxiety

The American Psychological Association defines anxiety as, “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.”

Experiencing anxiety occasionally is normal; however, if this feeling occurs frequently, and gets worse over time it may be an indication of an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental health disorders. Nearly 30% of adults living in the United States are affected at some point in their lives. 

There are four main types of anxiety disorder, including:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder (social phobia)
  • Specific phobias
  • Separation anxiety disorder

It is important to note that it is possible to have one or more anxiety disorder.

The causes of anxiety disorders are not fully understood; however, there are certain risk factors believed to contribute to developing them.  General risk factors include:

  • Exposure to negative or stressful life events in early childhood or adulthood
  • A family history of anxiety disorders or other mental illnesses
  • Having certain health conditions such as heart arrhythmias or thyroid problems
  • Taking certain medications that can aggravate symptoms

For those living with any type of anxiety disorder, feelings of excessive worry, fear, apprehension or nervousness are often difficult to control and can interfere with daily activities. These feelings can also lead to physical symptoms such as:

  • An increased heart rate
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Sweating
  • Hyperventilating
  • Having difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue

If you are finding it difficult to control anxiety, and symptoms are affecting your health or ability to live a normal life, please seek help.  A mental health specialist can conduct a psychological evaluation to help determine a diagnosis. A physical exam may also be recommended to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

Treatment for anxiety disorders can include psychotherapy or medications.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Tips To Avoid Overeating While Working From Home

More people are working from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This arrangement can provide several benefits; however, there can be just as many challenges.

One of the most common issues experienced by some is the easy access to their kitchens and refrigerators. Having convenient and constant access to food often leads to overeating and unhealthy weight gain.

Here are a few things one can do to avoid this dilemma:

  • Work furthest away from the kitchen as possible
  • Develop an eating schedule and plan the times you are going to eat
  • Portion out meals and snacks
  • Avoid snacking  out of boredom
  • Avoid stress eating but instead, practice healthy relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing
  • Drink plenty of water (When you are dehydrated, hunger can sometimes be mistaken for thirst)
  • Stock your kitchen with healthy food
  • Avoid doing other activities when eating ( Being distracted can lead to overeating)
  • Stay physically active

Practicing these tips can help provide balance and structure to your daily work-at-home routine. If you continue to struggle with overeating, speak with a dietitian or doctor who can help you with improving eating habits and maintaining a healthy weight.

To make an appointment with a dietitian at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Anorexia

Anorexia nervosa-often used interchangeably with anorexia, is an eating disorder and psychological condition characterized by having a distorted body image (believing one is much heavier than they are), and the intense fear of gaining weight or becoming obese.  

The exact cause for anorexia nervosa is unknown; however, there are several environmental, biological and psychological factors believed to contribute to its development.

Individuals with anorexia nervosa aim to maintain a low body weight that is abnormal for their height and age. This is typically achieved by practicing unhealthy weight loss habits such as:

  • Exercising excessively
  • Severely restricting the amount of food consumed
  • Vomiting after eating
  • Misusing, diuretics, laxatives or diet aides

The symptoms of anorexia nervosa can be physical, emotional or behavioral, and may vary from person to person.

Physical symptoms can include:

  • Extreme weight loss
  • Severe loss of muscle mass
  • Fatigue
  • Thinning hair or hair that breaks easily
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Infertility
  • Lanugo- soft, downy hair that covers the body

Emotional and behavioral symptoms may include:

  • An unhealthy preoccupation with food
  • Excessive concern about  being overweight
  • Adopting eating rituals such as chewing food and spitting it out
  • Lying about food intake
  • Avoiding eating in public
  • Repeated weighing or measuring of the body
  • Social withdrawal

Most individuals with anorexia nervosa hesitate to seek help because their desire to stay thin often outweighs their concerns for being healthy. However, anorexia nervosa can be life-threatening, so it is important that they receive the immediate care of physicians and mental health experts to help with overcoming this condition.

The diagnosis of anorexia nervosa generally includes physical exams, lab tests and psychological evaluations.  Treatment is often administered by a team of healthcare professionals who are experienced in dealing with eating disorders such as a primary care doctor, dietitian and psychologist.  A care plan may include medication, psychotherapy and nutrition education.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is a fairly common disorder, estimated to affect 75% of the world’s population. It is caused by a lack of an enzyme produced in the small intestine called lactase. This enzyme helps the body to break down the sugar (lactose) found in milk and milk products so that it can be properly absorbed into the blood.

There are three types of lactose intolerance:

Primary lactose intolerance – this is the most common form of the condition. In this type of intolerance, the body starts off life with the full ability to digest lactose found in milk but as the body ages, this capability diminishes.

Secondary lactose intolerance – this occurs when the body’s ability to digest lactose is altered either due to surgery or as a side effect of an illness (Celiac disease, bacterial overgrowth, and Crohn’s Disease).

Congenital lactose intolerance – is the condition where babies are born with a diminished capacity to digest lactose.

The symptoms of lactose intolerance can be very uncomfortable. They include:
• Gas
• Bloating
• Diarrhea
• Abdominal cramps
• Nausea

Diagnosing lactose intolerance can be performed a few different ways. There is a Lactose intolerance test that involves drinking a liquid with a high level of lactose in it. After two hours blood samples are taken to see if there is an increase in the level of sugar in the blood. If there isn’t a significant change, this indicates that the body didn’t digest the lactose sufficiently. A hydrogen breath test can be performed ro monitor the level of hydrogen produced if lactose is digested properly. The more hydrogen produced indicates the less digestion that took place. The third test is a stool acidity test which is primarily used in patients who are unable to undergo the first two tests and it measures the amount of acid in the stool.

There are several types of foods that people who are lactose intolerant should avoid:
• Milk
• Ice Cream
• Yogurt
• Butter

Additionally, some other types of food that may contain dairy are: bread, cake, custard, chocolate, candy, instant soups and some sauces.

One of the ways to avoid the symptoms of lactose intolerance is to remove dairy and dairy containing products from the diet. There is lactase containing supplements that can be taken that may help with the digestion of lactose and also taking probiotics may be beneficial.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Understanding Over- The- Counter Sleep Aids

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.   Experiencing either of these issues may happen on occasion or can become chronic -occurring more than three times a week, for at least three months. 

Whether problems getting adequate sleep occurs occasionally or is a nightly struggle, it can lead to complications such as fatigue or problems concentrating which prompts many to seek relief.  

There are a number of ways to get relief from the effects of insomnia, one of which includes taking over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aids.

Over-the-counter sleep aids are widely available but should be used as a temporary solution (no longer than two weeks). Sleep experts advise against regular use because most OTC sleep aids rely on antihistamines to promote drowsiness. Others may also combine the pain reliever Acetaminophen or alcohol along with antihistamine as their primary active ingredients.

Long-term use of sleep aids containing these ingredients can lead to:

  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Feeling off balance
  • Constipation or urinary retention
  • Blurred vision
  • Dependency

It is important to keep in mind that OTC sleep aids are often not recommended for people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, severe liver disease, sleep apnea or close-angle glaucoma.

Sleep aids may be used to provide temporary relief for insomnia; however, they should not be used as a replacement for creating healthy sleeping habits or seeking proper treatment.

Healthy sleep habits include:

  • Avoiding excessive blue light from electronics or cellphones before going to sleep
  • Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day if possible
  • Keeping naps short ( 30 minutes or less)
  • Avoiding caffeine or nicotine
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Exercising regularly

If you are suffering from the effects of insomnia, speak with your doctor before taking a sleep aid.  Your doctor can inform you of possible drug interactions or medications that can affect underlying health conditions.  They may also recommend making an appointment with a sleep specialist who can properly diagnose your condition and offer treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or prescribed sleep-inducing medications. To schedule an appointment with a sleep specialist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-7001

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Ruptured Eardrum

The tympanic membrane or eardrum is a very important part of our ear.  This thin layer of tissue which divides the outer ear canal and middle ear helps to transmit sound vibrations. It also helps to protect the middle ear from foreign objects such as water or bacteria.

A rupture or tear of the eardrum can lead to serious complications such as hearing loss or infections of the middle ear.

There are a number of things that can cause our eardrums to rupture. They include:

  • Ear infections -When the middle ear is infected, this can result in fluid accumulating behind the eardrum.  Pressure from this buildup can cause the tympanic membrane to break.
  • Barotrauma- This occurs when there is a change in pressure. If the pressure inside the ear is drastically different from that outside the ear, this can lead to perforation. An example of this is when an airplane changes altitude causing air pressure in the cabin to rise or fall.
  • Direct trauma to the ear or side of the head- These injuries can be sustained from an ear slap or falling on the ear.
  • Acoustic trauma – A sudden, loud noise or blast such as an explosion can produce sound waves that are powerful enough to cause injury.
  • Foreign objects- Inserting objects such as a cotton swab or hairpin into the ear canal can puncture the eardrum.

Pain is the most common symptom of an eardrum rupture; however, you may also experience:

  • Ringing or buzzing in the ear
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Drainage of pus or fluid from the ear
  • Hearing loss

It is important that you see a doctor if any of these symptoms occur.   An Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor can determine if you have a ruptured eardrum by using an otoscope to conduct an inspection.  Additional testing can include, audiology exams, a tuning fork evaluation or tympanometry which measures the response of the eardrum to slight changes in air pressure.

According to Jamaica Hospital ENT specialist Dr. Sandra Ho, a ruptured eardrum can usually heal on its own. Depending on the reason for the perforation, painkillers and/or antibiotics may help during the healing process. However, if it does not heal in a few weeks, your ENT may recommend an eardrum patch. This procedure involves a doctor placing a medicated paper patch over the hole.  In some cases, surgery may be required to repair the perforated eardrum. This procedure is known as a tympanoplasty which involves taking tissue from another part of the body and grafting it onto the hole in the eardrum.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Sandra Ho or other ENT specialists at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-7110

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.