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inter-generational family on bench using mobile phones

The Family That Texts Together Stays Together

Technology in Couple and Family Relationships

I can remember the first time I ever used the Internet. I was just starting high school and my parents had gotten a computer with something called “Prodigy”, an online service allowing dial-up connection to the Internet. I can still hear the sound of the modem waiting for the screen to come up; the anticipation of when the connection would be made; and being amazed I could write a report without looking up something in the musty, nearly-complete set of Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia in the dank and webby basement. No disrespect to Funk & Wagnalls, but there was something more magical about being able to have information with the satisfying click of a keyboard.

Fast forward 30 years: I have built a career on investigating how that little click of a mouse and the buzz of a modem coming to life has impacted nearly everything we do in our relationships. The speed with which we have adopted our technologies is unlike any other advances in modern life including the Industrial Revolution. The world has exponentially adopted Internet technologies at an astonishing rate. For example, Asia has the highest number of Internet users with close to 3 billion. Closer to home, nearly 94% of the North American population is connected (Internet World Stats, 2023).

woman with her arm around an older woman's shoulder

Hospice and Palliative Care

As I was preparing to graduate with my Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) with a concentration in Mental Health and Substance Abuse, I did not anticipate that my first post graduate position would be in Hospice and Palliative Care. My in-field experience leading me to this point was focused on children and families in the foster care system as well as working with severe and persistent mental illness in adults under the Community Mental Health umbrella. Working in gerontology was not a field in undergrad or graduate school that I would have ever considered. For 8 years I was employed as a Medical Social Worker. I provided treatment and support to patients and their families under the home care umbrella and in the inpatient Hospice Home for end-of-life care. I soon realized this field chose me and I will be forever grateful that it did. The personal stories and experiences I had the privilege of hearing from this population was such a memorable learning experience for me in so many aspects of my life. It is not every day you can sit down with a WWII veteran and hear of their experience in the war and how they fought at the tender age of 18 for this country in unimaginable circumstances. This would be only one out of thousands of stories people shared with me at the end of their life. 

Dr. Strayer with her arm on her dog Dooli

What is Animal Assisted Therapy?

Hello!  Let me introduce myself, then share the purpose of this article.  I am Dr. Christina Strayer. I am the Instructor for the Telehealth Certification Institute’s Animal Assisted Therapy-Interventionist credential.   As a person who has witnessed over and over the power of our connection with animals through the human animal bond, I fell in love with the AAT field in the 1990’s as I researched ways, while attending Radford University, to reach out to at-risk-youth and help them develop empathy, increase self-esteem and find purpose.  I found the early work of Boris Levinson in his book, Pet Oriented Psychotherapy, and was fascinated by his case studies of how his pet dog, Jingles, prompted his clients to feel safe and explore their treatment goals in a fun, effective way. He had one young client that was diagnosed with selective mutism that began to talk to Jingles for the first time in session!  I was sold!  

What exactly is AAT?.....

Stressed Male Clinician on a phone call trying to Prevent Malpractice Lawsuits and Board Complaints

How to Prevent Malpractice Lawsuits and Board Complaints

What You Always Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask

Perhaps nothing provokes more anxiety than the prospect or reality of facing a malpractice lawsuit or a licensing board complaint.  As an attorney with almost 40 years of experience in representing health care and behavioral health care providers, I would love to offer you a foolproof way to prevent such events.  Unfortunately, that is magical thinking.  But there are many steps you can take to minimize your risk of exposure and to maximize your chance of a successful outcome if you are served with a lawsuit or a board complaint.  Before providing you with a risk management toolkit, some background information and advice is essential.

Maximize your Insurance.

Telehealth Expands Access to Healthcare in Native Communities

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, telehealth became a necessity for many communities across the United States as a means of mitigating the risk of virus transmission and accessing healthcare in a timely manner. Telehealth has expanded access to healthcare in many communities across the country which previously lacked access to such healthcare, including Native communities. On April 8, 2020, the Indian Health Service (IHS) announced an expansion of telehealth across all facilities.

The APRN Compact Rethinks Healthcare Portability for Nurses

The healthcare industry is taking a simple and effective step in protecting its nurse workforce: listening to and allying with their needs. Groups like the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) have put pieces in place to enhance the work-life balance of advanced practice registered nurses (APRN). The APRN compact, influenced by a big legislative push from the NCSBN, is restructuring how patients are treated across the U.S. The compact has opened a new channel for multi-state practice for nurses licensed in a state that has signed the agreement.

What is Telehealth?

The terms telehealth and telemedicine are often used interchangeably by the public, even though they describe distinct processes. In the most generic sense, telehealth and telemedicine involve conducting health care services remotely. The difference between the two terms arises when one examines the medical portion of telemedicine. The nuance isn’t just a lexicological typo, it ties a specific clinical component to the provided services. 

Telehealth, on the other hand, is more inclusive. Non-clinical activities related to education, staff training, healthcare administration, professional conferences, or patient-provider clinical services all fall under the telehealth label. Three of the main telehealth modalities are live patient-provider video sessions, the store-and-forward technique—which collects clinical data and sends it to a separate location for evaluation—and off-site patient monitoring that studies clinical data as it elapses in real-time.

History of Telehealth Services

The telehealth revolution found its footing in a 1925 science fiction premise, which questioned the possibility of remote-based medical procedures. Matt Novak of Smithsonian Magazine pointed to entrepreneur and author, Hugo Gernsback, who imagined a world where doctors could interact with patients using radio waves—an insight that has helped clinicians grow their virtual presence and deliver patient-centered care over the internet. 

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