Browse Category: Services

Jessica Fisher

PCRMC Diabetes Outpatient Clinic Helps Individuals Manage Their Diabetes

People who have been diagnosed with diabetes often feel overwhelmed or powerless at times. They do not know where to get the knowledge and skills needed to help manage their chronic illness.

Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) services offered at Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) help ease learning and empower individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetes.

“We teach participants how to manage their diabetes and not let diabetes overwhelm or control them,” says Jessica Fisher, RN, diabetic nurse educator at PCRMC.

Unlike some other diseases, medicine alone cannot be used to treat diabetes. Nutrition, exercise, monitoring blood sugar levels and support are ways that DSMES help participants better manage their diabetes and develop healthy lifestyle changes. “Our service complements treatments by providing resources to aid in successful management of diabetes,” Fisher says.

Understanding the causes and symptoms of diabetes increases people’s awareness of the disease. The information and support provided by PCRMC’s diabetes nurse educators encourages participants to determine what lifestyle changes they need to make in order to improve their health and well-being.

PCRMC’s Diabetes Outpatient Clinic provides both group and individual sessions and is designed to meet the participants’ needs. This service is not about doing everything for the participants but rather providing the tools necessary to actively engage and motivate healthy behavioral changes.

Once a primary care provider referral is received, an appointment is made and participants meet with diabetes nurse educators to learn about the services provided by DSMES, identify barriers impacting their disease and identify the goals for diabetes education they want to accomplish.

One option available is a 10-hour diabetes education curriculum divided into four classes, each focusing on a different aspect of diabetes self-management such as basic diabetes information, nutrition and meal planning, monitoring blood sugar and recognizing patterns, sick-day management, short- and long-term complications, screenings and current medications involved in the treatment of diabetes.

Establishing realistic goals while participating in DSMES is key to the successful management of diabetes. Diabetes nurse educators help participants create achievable goals and then evaluate the impact their goals have on their life with diabetes.

Additional services available for DSMES are meter teaching, insulin administration and management, survival skills to manage low blood sugar, glucagon administration and management, and medical nutritional therapy. PCRMC diabetes nurse educators can help with whatever individuals need to meet their challenges.

While participants may have met their goals, care does not stop there. PCRMC diabetes nurse educators continue to follow up with patients at three months, six months and annually. “We care for these individuals just as they were our own family members,” Fisher says.

PCRMC offers a free diabetes support group for diabetes patients, their family members, caregivers and anyone interested in finding out more about diabetes. The support group meets the first Saturday of the month, except for January, July and September, from 10 a.m. to noon in PCRMC Private Dining Room 2.

The PCRMC Diabetes Outpatient Clinic offers services in Rolla and Waynesville. For more information, call 573-458-7314. Services provided at the PCRMC Diabetes Outpatient Clinic require a referral from a primary care provider, internal or family care provider. 

CNMs

PCRMC Certified Nurse Midwives Celebrate Accomplishments

Phelps County Regional Medical Center’s (PCRMC) midwifery program offers care for women throughout every stage of life. PCRMC Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) Heather Wildebrandt and Karen Ulrich are proud to celebrate their two-year anniversary. One of the most notable accomplishments Wildebrandt and Ulrich would like to recognize is expanding birthing options within the community.

PCRMC’s midwifery program officially launched in February 2016 and has helped families welcome more than 200 babies. Some families have even welcomed or will soon welcome a second child through the program.

Midwifery-led care throughout pregnancy and birth differs slightly from traditional, physician-led care. Certified nurse midwives are educators who join with patients and their families to work toward mutually identified goals. Midwifery care involves high touch, low intervention, continual education and constant support.

Wildebrandt and Ulrich feel that they have been well accepted into the local birthing community and feel supported by their OB/GYN physician colleagues. “We have an excellent collegial relationship,” Wildebrandt says. “As the program continues to mature, we hope to further develop those relationships and bridge the gap between physician-led and midwifery-led prenatal care to provide a seamless patient experience.”

Both Wildebrandt and Ulrich are proud of the impact their services have had; some of the added services include provider bedside support, massage and aromatherapy during labor.

Wildebrandt and Ulrich are eagerly anticipating additional changes in the near future that will continue to support uninterrupted birth, such as the addition of prenatal exercise classes and the ability to listen for intermittent fetal heart rate during labor. By continuing to support uninterrupted birth, Wildebrandt and Ulrich expect to continue positively influencing the local birth outcomes.

“We enjoy working with families to achieve the birth experience they hope for,” Ulrich says.

“When patients are proud of themselves and their birth experience, I know I’ve had a part in that and that’s when I am the proudest,” Wildebrandt says.

For more information about midwifery or the PCRMC Women’s Health Center and Maternity Services, please call (573) 426-2229 (BABY) or visit www.pcrmc.com

IMG_7837

PCRMC’s Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program Benefits Patients in Many Ways

Jodie Donati, a lifelong resident of the St. James/Rosati area, has lived the vast majority of her life without any heart or lung problems. With the exception of an incident when she experienced shortness of breath early last year, Donati, now 88 years old, has led a healthy life.

However, that changed in June of 2017, when she started having symptoms of what she thought was simply indigestion. When her left arm began hurting, Donati’s daughter rushed her to the Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) Emergency Department.

It turns out Donati was diagnosed with coronary artery disease (CAD), which occurs when plaque builds up in the heart’s arteries. When this happens, the plaque narrows the arteries and reduces blood flow to the heart muscle.

“I had three arteries that were blocked, but I didn’t feel anything until the fourth was blocked,” Donati recalled.

PCRMC Cardiologist Timothy Martin, MD, FACC, CCDS, cared for Donati during her hospital stay. She received her preliminary care at PCRMC, but surgery to remove the plaque in her arteries took place in Springfield. To help clear the blockage, Donati had a small expandable tube known as a stent placed into the blocked arteries.

After her surgery, in the fall of 2017, Donati began rehabilitation with PCRMC’s Cardiac and Pulmonary (Cardiopulmonary) Rehabilitation program. Through this service, patients who have had heart or lung problems receive a combination of supervised exercise and education.

An individualized plan is created for each patient to help recondition his or her heart and lungs, regain strength, prevent the condition from worsening, reduce the risk of future heart or lung issues and improve the patient’s quality of life.

Located on the first floor of the PCRMC Medical Office Building, the PCRMC Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation gymnasium offers exercise equipment for patients to improve their heart and lung capacity.

Donati tries to exercise at PCRMC about twice a week, usually about 15 minutes on one of the gym’s treadmills. She also performs arm exercises and sometimes uses the stationary bicycle to help build up her strength.

“This is exercise I wouldn’t do at home,” Donati said. “This is the best thing I’ve done for myself.”

After her surgery, there was a time when Donati was walking with a cane, but she no longer has to use one.

PCRMC’s Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation care team consists of highly trained and skilled professionals who work with patients to monitor their exercise. “They caution you not to do too much for too long and watch to make sure you don’t overdo it,” Donati said.

Donati said she enjoys working with PCRMC respiratory therapist Helen Thomure as well as Becky White and Melanie Stulce, both RNs with the PCRMC Cardiac Rehabilitation unit.

Another aspect that Donati enjoys is the social atmosphere of the gym. “You get to meet people and talk to them while you’re exercising,” she said.

In addition to exercise, Donati has learned how to keep her heart and lungs healthy. “We had a dietitian come in and we got to ask questions, which was nice,” she said.

In addition to nutritional counseling, PCRMC’s Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation program also offers tips for stress management, smoking cessation and other lifestyle changes designed to prevent or reverse the development of cardiac and pulmonary diseases.

“I would definitely recommend this to other people who have had heart or lung problems,” Donati said.

Patients with certain heart and lung issues, such as those who have suffered heart attacks or have congestive heart failure, persistent asthma or Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), can qualify for the services provided by PCRMC’s Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation program. Most private insurance companies provide coverage for these rehabilitation services, too.

For more information about PCRMC’s Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation services, please call 573-458-3110.

first baby 2018

PCRMC Welcomes First Baby of 2018

A New Year’s Day arrival received a special welcome from the Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) Obstetrics Department nurses and staff.

Mathis Zephryn Hooper was the first baby born at the hospital in Rolla, Missouri, in 2018, arriving at 10:58 a.m. Monday, January 1. He weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces, and was 21 inches long. Mathis was welcomed by his mother, Andromeda Hooper, of St. James. This is Andromeda’s first child.

Andromeda’s due date was December 29, 2017, but Mathis decided to wait until the new year to be born. “A lot of my family told me they thought he would be a New Year’s Day baby, but I didn’t believe them,” Andromeda said.

As part of a long-standing tradition at PCRMC, the first baby of the new year receives gifts and baby items to commemorate the event. Several local businesses donated these items.

This year, Mathis and his family received a welcome basket filled with baby items, including diapers and wipes from Big Lots; a book and a toy from Rolla Books & Toys; a baby ring from Kent Jewelry; a baby ring and water bottle from Taylor’s Jewelry; a piggy bank and shaker cup from First State Community Bank; a cooler bag, cup and other items from Phelps County Bank; a $20 gift card from Cupcakes & Cravings; a Pack ’n Play from Walmart; and $100 worth of baby items from the PCRMC Marketing Department.

On average, more than 800 babies are born at PCRMC each year.

robotics

PCRMC Begins Offering Robotic-Assisted Surgeries

 

This fall, surgeons at Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) began using da Vinci robotics to assist with certain surgeries. In November, Dana Voight, MD, general surgeon at PCRMC, successfully performed three surgeries using the da Vinci Si surgical system.

This system is a new tool at PCRMC that utilizes advanced robotic, computer and optical technologies to assist surgeons with their operations. The technology does not act on its own, and the robotic system’s movements are controlled by surgeons, said Shawn Hodges, administrative director of ancillary services at PCRMC.

“We’ve started with common surgeries, such as gallbladders and hernias,” said Dr. Voight, who was the first surgeon at PCRMC to use robotics in a surgery. However, other physicians and surgeons are starting to use the technology, too. By February or March of 2018, robotic-assisted surgeries are expected to be available in the following PCRMC service lines: general surgery, urology and obstetrics/gynecology.

“General surgery is experiencing a shift to advanced minimally invasive techniques utilizing robotic technology,” said Jennifer Bechtel, director of surgical services at PCRMC. “Robotic surgery is the current standard of care in performing surgical prostate cancer treatments, and much of the gynecological surgical platform and urological procedures are also being performed via robotics.”

PCRMC surgeons have been performing laparoscopic surgeries, which are minimally invasive, for many years. Laparoscopy involves using several small incisions (also known as ports) to perform a surgical procedure rather than making a large incision.

Robotic surgery is a laparoscopic procedure, only with an added layer of technology. “Robotics augments what we already do,” Dr. Voight said.

One of the features of the da Vinci Si surgical system is its high-definition 3D vision capability. This allows the surgeon access to special instruments and computer software to operate with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control.

According to information from Intuitive Surgical, maker of the da Vinci robotics system, “the 3D-HD image is highly magnified, so your surgeon has a close-up view of the area he or she is operating on.”

Unlike laparoscopic surgeries, the da Vinci instruments have mechanical wrists that bend and rotate to mimic the movements of the human wrist. This lets surgeons make small, precise movements inside patients’ bodies.

“It’s like having an articulating wrist inside that can rotate 360 degrees,” Dr. Voight said.

The robotic system includes a patient cart that has the robot with arms. The physician can control the robot’s arms from a separate surgeon’s console.

Studies of the da Vinci surgical system have shown many benefits compared to open surgery. Some of these include a shorter hospital stay, fewer complications, less blood loss and less need for narcotic pain medicine after the operation.

“There’s potential for less pain and for a faster recovery time,” Dr. Voight said.

Currently, there are robotic programs available at hospitals and medical centers in Springfield, St. Louis, Jefferson City and Columbia. While many of the surgeries that can be performed with the help of robotics already occur at PCRMC, there may be some, such as gynecological procedures, that patients will not have to travel far for anymore.

Robotic surgeries are not for everybody. Patients should talk to their physician to decide if da Vinci surgery is right for them. Only a physician can determine whether an operation using da Vinci robotics is appropriate for a patient’s situation.