Rushville Republican


May 24, 2012

Busy year for Rush County Health Department Nursing Division

RUSHVILLE — 2011 was a busy year for the Nursing Division of the Rush County Health Department. There were several changes in public health making it a challenging year. Home care, immunizations, communicable disease

surveillance including TB, education, and senior screening were all part of the Nursing DivisionÕs programs.

Home Care continued to be an important part of our services. This service allowed many Rush County residents to stay in their own homes safely.

Medication set up and monitoring, assessment of general condition, assistance with personal care, and giving emotional support were included in the care provided when needed. This care was given under physiciansÕ orders and operated on a sliding fee scale. Two registered nurses and two part time home health aides provided this care to various individuals throughout Rush County. Forty-two residents received nine hundred twenty seven visits by the registered nurses and nine hundred eighty five visits by the home health aides.

The immunization program continued in 2011 with changes in the last six months. Budget constraints from both the federal and state levels affected the numbers greatly.

An announcement was made in the middle of the year that vaccines would be provided only to those on Medicaid, no insurance, or to those with insurance that did not pay for vaccines. All others had to go to their private physicians to receive immunizations. Although this rule did not ultimately take effect until January 1, 2012, many people no longer came to the health department. The Rush County Health Department continued to offer diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, haemophilus influenza B, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, prevnar, meningococcal, HPV, and influenza to children eighteen years and younger.

Four hundred two individuals visits were made to receive vaccine at the local health department. A total of eight hundred sixty vaccines were administered.

During the Health DepartmentÕs influenza clinics, two hundred ninety six persons received the vaccine. In 2011, many pharmacies, groceries, and local businesses also had flu vaccine available making our numbers lower. The Nursing Division was able to provide the service to two local businesses as well as the Hoosier Youth Academy.

Communicable disease surveillance continued to be through INEDSS, Indiana National Electronic Disease Surveillance System. This system proved to allow more accurate and timely reporting.

In 2011, Mantoux testing for tuberculosis continued for employment, follow up, and various other reasons. One active case of tuberculosis was found and treated successfully. During the follow up of this case, one latent case was discovered and treated. Medication for these were provided free of charge from the Indiana State Board of Health.

Senior Screening was held monthly through-out the county. Screenings for blood sugar, hemoglobin, blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and education were provided to fifty seven individuals. Referrals to private physicians were made when appropriate.

Fifty eight visits were made to the Rush County jail for medication set up and various other duties for inmates. This helped insure the correct administration of medication as ordered by the jail physician.

Rush County Health Department continued to work with partners to address the health needs of those in Rush County. Through the Partners for a Health Rush County, a first time Health Summit was held. It was well attended and four main groups emerged to address specific problems of Rush County. This partnership will be very helpful in the future as accreditation of health departments becomes more imminent.

Many office conferences and phone calls were received for health promotion and education. There were three hundred fifteen chargeable office visits for allergy or office injections as well as blood pressure checks. Forty field visits were made in behalf of patients.

A total of two thousand nine hundred seventy nine and one quarter hours were worked by the registered nurses. They traveled five thousand two miles during this time. The home health aides traveled five thousand two hundred seventy six miles and made nine hundred eighty five visits.

The public health needs of Rush County continued to be addressed and met by the staff of the Rush County Health Department through various programs and services. The goal of the nursing division is to continue to

be able to address these needs and provide services to the citizens of Rush County.


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