Complementing Advance Directives
End-of-life issues are often avoided but they are vitally important. "Finding Your Way: A Guide for End-of-Life Medical Decisions," a 13-page booklet issued by the nonprofit Sacramento Healthcare Decisions, is designed as a tool for patient and family counseling. By emphasizing the importance of family communication, the booklet complements advance directives. Call 800/494-2001, or visit the website www.sachealthdecisions.org for ordering information.
Health Professions Press is offering the Validation Training Program, a complete curriculum for caregivers who work with disoriented older adults. The program includes manuals, videocassettes, and acetate overheads based on theoretical work published by Naomi Feil in The Validation Breakthrough: Simple Techniques for Communicating with "Alzheimer's-Type Dementia." Call 888/337-8808; www.healthpropress.com.
NAON Core Competencies
The National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses has introduced Orthopaedic Nursing Core Competencies: Adult Acute Care, which contains templates for more than 20 competencies and a compendium of learning resources. The publication may be used as is or incorporated into an existing competency program. Contact NAON Productions at 856/256-2310, or visit the website www.naon.inurse.com.
The Federal Trade Commission has issued a Consumer Alert, "Virtual `Treatments' Can Be Real-World Deceptions," which identifies some of the questionable health claims consumers may see on the Internet. Copies are available free by calling 877/FTC-HELP. This Alert and more than 150 other consumer publications are available from the FTC at www.ftc.gov; click on Consumer Protection.
Because of the fear and stigma of mental illness, many people do not seek out services or express a need for help. To raise awareness and educate the public, the Center for Mental Health Services of SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Metal Health Services Administration, an agency of the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services) has developed a poster and brochures about mental health. This free informational package may be obtained by calling 800/789-2647.
SAMHSA also offers an updated National Directory of Drug Abuse and Alcoholism Treatment Programs Information, which contains data on thousands of local treatment facilities in a format designed for ready reference. Call 800/729-6686 to obtain a free copy; or access the publication electronically at www.samhsa.gov.
Take Time to Care
Women are considered the most active health care decision makers; they use medicines more frequently than men and often supervise medicine use by family members. To educate women on the safe use of medicine, the Food and Drug Administration has launched the Time to Care Campaign in cooperation with the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. "My Medicines," available in several languages, is designed to help women use medicines wisely. Free copies of the brochure in English and Spanish may be ordered by calling 888/8-PUEBLO. Log onto the FDA's Office of Women's Health website at www.fda.gov/womens/tttc/html for details.
Since the 1970s, 79 prescription medications have switched to over-the-counter status. This trend, and the growing use of herbal supplements, has led to an increasing danger of drug-drug interactions. To educate the public, the American Pharmaceutical Association and McNeil Consumer Healthcare have formed the Partnership for Self-Care, which offers a free brochure, "What You Should Know About Over-the-Counter Medicines and Drug Interactions." The brochure is designed to serve as a record of medicines taken. Consumers are urged to bring this record with them on visits to their health care provider and pharmacy, and to ask questions of their pharmacist. …