Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center
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How to Get Ready for Your Joint Replacement Procedure

Well before you head over to the hospital for your joint replacement surgery, you’ll meet with your orthopedic care team and gain medical clearance. You can expect to undergo medical exams and tests to make sure it’s safe for you to have the surgery. If so, the orthopedic team at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center will help you prepare for your brief hospital stay and at-home recovery.

Modify Your Home

Watch this featured video to gain some insights from the Director of Orthopedics and Neuroscience at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center. She discusses some simple modifications you can make to your home to facilitate your recovery. These include setting up adequate seating with solid armrests, shifting frequently used items so that they are at waist-level, and making the bathroom safer. Be sure to remove throw rugs and any clutter from the floor to reduce your risk of falling after your surgery.

Set Up Your Recovery Area

While you rest at home, it can be helpful to have a “recovery station.” This may be in your bed or on a comfortable couch in your living room. Fill your prescriptions in advance and use a pill organizer to help you keep track of your medications. Along with your medications, place items at your recovery station that may be helpful to you, such as the TV remote control, facial tissues, phone, reading materials, and beverages.

Manage Your Physical Wellness

Another way to prepare for an orthopedic surgery is to boost your physical health. Your orthopedic surgeon may ask you to quit smoking if you currently use tobacco since this can inhibit your healing. You may also be asked to lose some weight to reduce the stress on your new joint. Consider working with a physical therapist to strengthen your muscles before the operation. Additionally, it’s important to refrain from alcohol for a minimum of 48 hours before your joint replacement procedure.

When you become a patient of the Total Joint Program at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center, you’ll receive all the information you need to prepare for your joint replacement procedure. Our hospital in Thousand Oaks offers a continuum of care, from pre-operative consults to post-surgical rehabilitation. Call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (877) 888-5746 to request a referral to a specialist at our hospital.


How Does Patient Education Contribute to Public Health?

National Public Health Week is the first full week in April. This observance, which was established by the American Public Health Association (APHA), is intended to raise awareness about public health issues, science-driven policies, and preventive wellness strategies. An integral component of sound public health is patient education. As a hospital-driven to serve its neighbors in the Thousand Oaks community, Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center maintains its commitment to furthering patient education and public health.

Understanding Public Health

Primary care doctors, cardiologists, and other healthcare providers work one-on-one with each patient to provide diagnostic services and treatment recommendations. In contrast, public health focuses on the wellness of the community as a whole. In public health, the primary emphasis is on preventive health—in other words, reducing the risk of illness by encouraging healthy behaviors. In fact, one might argue that public health is patient education or community education in the sense that public health providers raise awareness, inform public policies, and guide safety standards.

Exploring Patient Education

Although community-wide initiatives are important, patient education on an individual scale is also crucial. Patient education is multifaceted; it may involve informing a patient of the risks and benefits of a particular procedure, helping the patient understand a condition or illness, and explaining lifestyle modifications that can help manage or prevent a disease. Health information empowers patients to become active participants in their own wellness.

Improving Post-Operative Outcomes

Surgical intervention is typically thought of as being therapeutic, rather than preventive. However, public health and its focus on preventive wellness still come into play for patient populations affected by surgery. Some patients recovering from surgery develop post-operative infections and other complications, and may be re-hospitalized. By working closely with surgery candidates to boost awareness of prevention strategies, healthcare teams can support better outcomes. You can learn more about this when you watch this featured video. You’ll hear from an administrator at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center. He describes how the team at his hospital strives toward better patient education, especially for patients who are anticipating surgery.

If you have general questions about health and wellness, you can speak with a registered nurse by calling (877) 888-5746. Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center is dedicated to empowering patients to take charge of their health. At our community hospital in Thousand Oaks, you’ll find exceptional cardiology care, emergency care, and much more.


Common Summer Injuries That Require a Trip to the ER

The summer months are a good time for families to enjoy the great outdoors. Sports, family outings, and even yard work are good ways to support physical fitness and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. The Emergency Room staff at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center urges Thousand Oaks-area families to have a safe and fun summer. If you or a loved one does sustain a serious injury, our Emergency Room is fully staffed on a 24/7 basis.

Concussions

Concussions are a serious medical condition. People who enjoy sports are at a particularly high risk of sustaining concussions. As you’ll learn when you watch this featured video, athletes who play team sports may first be evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon on the field of play. When an individual is brought to the ER with a concussion, he or she will likely be evaluated by a neurologist and a neuropsychologist. Concussions can cause symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, blurry vision, nausea, and balance impairment. It’s important for athletes with concussions to recover fully before engaging in sports or other activities, including reading and watching TV.

Fractures

Broken bones are quite common. If you or a loved one experiences sudden pain, swelling, disfigurement, and problems placing weight on the body part, it’s likely time for a trip to the ER. The doctor may order an x-ray to confirm the diagnosis. In severe cases, fractures require surgery. Otherwise, the doctor may apply a cast or splint to immobilize the body part while it heals.

Sprains

Your joints rely on ligaments to connect the ends of bones together. A sprain refers to an injury to these tough bands of tissue. Knee, wrist, ankle, and other sprains are commonly indicated by joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and discoloration. Sprains respond well to rest and conservative treatment; however, it’s still a good idea to go to the ER to make sure the body part isn’t broken. An ER doctor can provide pain management services, splinting if needed, and home care instructions.

The Emergency Room at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center features East Ventura County’s only Level II Trauma Center. Our Emergency Room team works around the clock to provide immediate response to critically injured patients. If you have a medical emergency in the Thousand Oaks area, please call 911 now. Otherwise, contact our community hospital at (877) 888-5746.


Stress Awareness Month: How Does Stress Impact Your Health?

During National Stress Awareness Month this April, take a few minutes to consider your usual response to your stressors. Does the thought of speaking publicly make your mouth suddenly feel dry? Do you have a tendency to self-medicate your anxiety with chocolate? Poor stress management is not uncommon and it can lead to serious physical health problems, including heart trouble. The cardiology specialists at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center encourage residents throughout the Thousand Oaks area to be kind to the body and mind by practicing healthy stress management techniques.

Lifestyle Choices

Chronic stress can have indirect and direct effects on your physical health. Indirectly, stress can contribute to an overall unhealthy lifestyle. If you’re under serious stress, you may be more likely to make poor nutritional choices and avoid exercising, for instance. On the extreme end of the spectrum, some individuals try to cope with stress with alcohol, cigarettes, or dangerous recreational drugs. Stressing out about job loss or family problems can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, which in turn, places an additional burden on the body.

Immune System

Research suggests that chronic stress may adversely affect your body’s ability to fight off infections. You may be more likely to develop respiratory infections, for instance while cramming for final exams or rushing to finish a major project for work. This may be the result of reduced levels of T-cells and gamma interferon in response to stress.

Heart Health

The indirect effects of stress can contribute to heart problems. However, it is thought that stress may also affect the heart directly. More research is needed in this area, but some clinicians think that stress may increase the risk of high blood pressure. There’s even a real condition known as “broken heart syndrome” or stress-induced cardiomyopathy. Broken heart syndrome is characterized by sudden, intense chest pain that may feel like a heart attack. It occurs in response to the surge of stress hormones following a traumatic event like the death of a loved one.

There are many external factors that can contribute to poor health. If you are diagnosed with heart problems, the cardiology team at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center can offer advanced treatment solutions. Get in touch with our heart hospital in Thousand Oaks by calling (877) 888-5746; a registered nurse can refer you to our cardiology department.


Understanding the Symptoms and Risks of Mild Brain Injuries

Mild brain injuries—which can include concussions—are injuries in which part of the brain’s neurons, the axons, sustain microscopic damage that can have a widespread impact on physical capabilities, cognitive function, and emotional stability. The brain is the command center of the body, so even damage that seems isolated and limited can have a number of effects on a patient. With mild brain injuries, patients often underestimate the extent of their injuries, because the term mild is a misnomer when it comes to the immediate and lasting symptoms of the injury. Mild brain injuries are so-named, because they are caused by blunt trauma or rapid forces of acceleration or deceleration to the head rather than more severe physical trauma. Below, you can see why these injuries should still be taken seriously despite their name.

Immediate Brain Injury Symptoms

Right after a brain injury, a person may look totally fine, but he or she could have symptoms like nausea, short-term memory issues, loss of awareness of surroundings, dizziness, or a headache. When these symptoms are present, it is important to seek immediate medical care to get a CT scan or MRI that will reveal the exact site of the injury as well as its severity.

Long-Term Injury Effects

It may take several weeks or even months to recover from a brain injury, and ongoing symptoms can be tough to cope with. For a significant period following the initial trauma, a patient may have a persistent headache, fatigue, mood swings, anxiety or depression, tinnitus, poor concentration, sensitivity to light and sound, and lightheadedness.

Living with a Mild Brain Injury

Ongoing neurological care and rehabilitation will be beneficial following a mild brain injury. Throughout the recovery process, there may be both good days and bad, so it is important to identify when it is time to sit out from regular activities and get some extra rest.

If you suspect that you have suffered a brain injury, the ER at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center can provide rapid and reliable care with the most advanced diagnostic and treatment technologies. To explore more about our ER or get a physician referral with a neurologist in our network, call (877) 888-5746 and speak with one of our registered nurses.


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