Author: MWNursing

Winter Weather Safety Tips

Sounds like there will be plenty of shoveling and snow blowing during the winter months. Use caution when working outdoors. Heart attacks increase during the winter months due to what the weather does to your body internally. Heart attacks are more common in winter because cold temperatures can constrict heart vessels, When your heart vessels constrict, there’s reduced blood flow to the organ, which increases the risk of a heart attack. But it’s not just heart vessels: Cold weather causes all blood vessels to tighten in order to preserve core body temperature. That forces your blood pressure to rise, putting even more strain on your heart.

Another danger is hypothermia. This is when the body temperature falls to 95 degrees or lower. It happens when your body can’t produce enough energy to maintain a high enough temperature. This can lead to heart failure and death. As we age, our body’s ability to maintain a normal internal body temperature decreases. Because elderly people seem to be relatively insensitive to moderately cold conditions, they can suffer from hypothermia without even knowing it. Add in the high winds and that makes the situation even more dangerous. Wind removes that layer of heated air from around your body causing your body to work even harder to stay warm.

So stay indoors as much as possible during these conditions. When you do go out, layer your clothing. Be sure to wear warm footwear, gloves & a hat since you can lose a lot of heat through your feet, hands, and head. Also, ears are especially susceptible to frostbite. Clear the driveway in increments rather than all at once.

Author: MWNursing

Carroll Area Nursing Service Named as a Top Agency in the 2018 ABILITY HomeCare Elite

Carroll Area Nursing Service is proud to announce that it has been named a Top Agency of the 2018 HomeCare Elite, a recognition of the top-performing home health agencies in the United States. For 13 years, HomeCare Elite has annually identified the top 25 percent of Medicare-certified agencies and highlighted the top 100 and top 500 agencies overall.

The ranking is developed by ABILITY® Network, a leading information technology company helping providers and payers simplify the administrative and clinical complexities of healthcare. It is sponsored by DecisionHealth, publisher of Home Health Line and the Complete Home Health ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Coding Manual.

“I would like to congratulate the team at Carroll Area Nursing Service and thank them for their commitment to providing consistently high-quality care,” said Christine Lang, senior director for ABILITY Network. “During a time of increasing demands on home health professionals’ time and attention, these caregivers and leaders have demonstrated that they have prioritized their patients and created a solid foundation for serving their communities and partnering with other healthcare providers.”

“Congratulations to Carroll Area Nursing Service from all of the staff at DecisionHealth,” said Marci Geipe, product manager for Decision Health. “Your leadership and staff have placed a premium on the patient care your agency provides as showcased by your quality outcome scores. The entire community benefits from the compassion that your staff shows toward your patients, leading to cost savings for the entire healthcare system.”

HomeCare Elite agencies are determined by an analysis of performance measures in quality outcomes, best practices implementation, patient experience (HHCAHPS), quality improvement and consistency, and financial health. In order to be considered, an agency must be Medicare-certified and have data for at least three outcomes in Home Health Compare. Out of 8,898 agencies considered, 2,223 are recognized on the 2018 HomeCare Elite winners list overall.

The entire list of 2018 HomeCare Elite agencies can be downloaded by visiting the ABILITY Network website at

About Carroll Area Nursing Service
Mickey Bierl, RN, established Carroll Area Nursing Service in September 1993 with one goal in mind, to provide quality personalized home care to clients of all ages. Mickey opened the office at 603 N. Court St. in Carroll with seven employees. Today, Carroll Area Nursing Service has grown to include five offices serving 12 counties and approximately 50 employees. Carroll Area Nursing Service remains a privately owned family business with Kim Lambert, Mickey’s daughter, as the administrator. As a medium-sized family run business, Carroll Area Nursing Service has the unique advantage of being large enough to have a caring and compassionate staff with hundreds of years of combined experience, yet small enough to care for our clients as an individual, not just a number. Because of this, clients say, “The staff may have entered our home as a stranger but they left as a friend.”

About ABILITY Network
ABILITY Network, an Inovalon Company (NASDAQ:INOV), is a leading cloud-based, SaaS information technology company helping providers and payers simplify the administrative and clinical complexities of healthcare through innovative applications and data analytics. The combination of myABILITY and the Inovalon ONE™ Platform creates a vertically integrated cloud-based platform empowering the achievement of real-time value-based care from payers, manufacturers and diagnostics, all the way to the patient’s point of care. For more information, visit or write to For more information about HomeCare Elite, call 888.572.4009, write to or visit

About H3.Group
In March 2017, Simplify Compliance LLC announced the merger of DecisionHealth, LLC with existing brands HCPro and HealthLeaders Media, to form the H3.Group! H3.Group, with its three pillars of thought leadership, expertise, and application, provides critical insight, analysis, tools and training to healthcare organizations nationwide empowering today’s healthcare professionals with solution-focused information and intelligence to guide their organizations’ efforts in achieving compliance, financial performance, leadership, and organizational excellence. The creation of the H3.Group comes as healthcare faces an unprecedented period of transition that brings uncertainty and opportunity. As policies and regulations are revisited and payment models changed, the need for clarity, actionable guidance and expert training for all provider settings and functional areas will increase dramatically.

About DecisionHealth
For over 30 years, DecisionHealth, an H3.Group brand, has served as the industry’s leading source for news, analysis and instructional guidance with brand names such as Home Health Line and Part B News. Our unique blend of award-winning on-staff journalists and unmatched access to health care executives, providers and their administrative staffs results in business management advice and operationally focused editorial that has captured the attention of nearly 100,000 home health care professionals and specialty physician practices.

Author: MWNursing

Wound VAC Training

Nurses at Carroll Area Nursing Service received Wound VAC recertification recently.

Janet L. our certified training nurse held the class. Our nurses are highly trained in Wound VAC treatment and other wound cares. Carroll Area Nursing Service takes great pride in client care and offering the most advanced form of care.













Author: MWNursing

Cell Phone Hygiene

Today’s world is filled with people of all ages using cell phones.  The average American checks their cell phone 47 times per day, and every time you touch your cell phone you are transferring bacteria from your hands to your phone.  Most people don’t give a second thought to using their cell phone everywhere including the restroom, which is one of the worst places to use it.  Every time a toilet flushes it spreads germs everywhere.  Even if you wash your hands before leaving the bathroom, once you leave and touch your phone again it’s like you didn’t wash your hands after using the restroom.

Studies have found that phones have 10x more bacteria on them than an average toilet seat and 18x more harmful bacteria than the bathroom door handle.  E coli, MRSA, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus can be a few of the more serious germs lurking on your phone.  Although having these microbes on your phone won’t necessarily make you sick, you don’t want them entering your system.  Sharing your phone with others also increases your risk significantly.

The oils and bacteria on your phone can also cause skin outbreaks.  When you press the phone up against your skin you are allowing bacteria to get into your pores.

Cellphones won’t be going away anytime soon so how can we protect ourselves?  Good handwashing throughout the day and especially after using the restroom is a key starting point.   Not taking your cell phone into the bathroom with you is another.  Limit sharing your phone and letting others handle it while showing off your pictures.  When it comes to cleaning your phone, that microfiber cloth that probably came with your phone is a good starting place.  If your phone didn’t come with one or you have no idea what happened to it, you can pick one up at any drug store.  The dry cloth will remove fingerprints, oils and other smudges from your screen without scratching the surface like a paper towel can.  Wipe your phone down vigorously until the screen is clear of any reside.  Microfiber cloths will remove a substantial amount of bacteria from your phone but they won’t disinfect your phone.

Apple and other manufacturers warn against using any kind of cleaner that is not the microfiber cloth, so disinfecting your device can be tricky.  Health and electronics experts advise wiping down your mobile device with a moist microfiber cloth for basic sanitation and upkeep. Key word being “moist”.  NEVER spray liquid directly onto electronic devices.  Keep any moisture coming in contact with your phone to a minimum.

To clean his own mobile devices, Mr. Meister at the Geek Squad said he uses a 1:1 ratio of 70 percent isopropyl alcohol and distilled water, which together cost less than $4 at most grocery and drugstores. “You want distilled water and purer alcohol so there are fewer chemicals or minerals left behind when the solution evaporates,” he said.

Fill a spray bottle with the diluted alcohol, lightly moisten a lint-free, preferably microfiber, cloth (no paper towels) and gently wipe down the screen and case. Never spray directly onto the device. To clean corners and around ports, use lint-free foam rather than cotton Q-tips.

If you are looking for a more convenient way to disinfect your phone, Bausch and Lomb as well as other manufacturers make individual cleaning wipes that state they are for electronics such as cameras, laptops, cellphones and eyeglasses.  Just be sure that wipes you purchase contain a disinfecting agent.

Author: MWNursing

Bus Rollover Accident Training

Manning was the site for a county-wide emergency simulation of a bus rollover accident on July 19th. Carroll Area Nursing Service had four nurses participate in this exercise – Ann Langel, RN, Janet Ladehoff, RN, Beth Harms, RN, BSN, and Marie Pudenz, RN, BSN.

The drill had approximately 20 kids simulating injuries and required a number of agencies to work together.

The county puts on at least three training sessions a year allowing area agencies to practice working together so they will be better prepared in the event of a disaster. With all the hours our staff spends on the road daily and logging over 300,000 thousands of miles a year, our nurses felt this drill held extra significance for them.

A big thank you to all the volunteers who took the time to participate in this drill to help CANS staff as well as Carroll County Emergency Medical Services, Carroll County Public Health, Manning Regional Healthcare Center, St. Anthony Regional Hospital, Manning Police Dept., and Manning, Manilla and Templeton Fire Departments be better prepared in the event of an actual emergency situation.

Author: MWNursing

14 Ways to Sneak More Fruits and Veggies Into Your Diet

Fruits and veggies are low in calories, high in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber. Experts suggest that we eat 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Eating 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis is difficult for many people and studies show the average Iowan eats only 1 – 1.5 servings a day.  So most of us need to up our game and consume more fruit and veggies.  Now before you say, “But I don’t really like vegetables” or “fruit and vegetables are boring”, or “I can’t get my kids to eat anything green”, check out some ideas below on how to incorporate more into your diet, oftentimes without anyone being the wiser.

  • Make a frittata over the weekend.  Mix eggs with veggies for healthy, hearty breakfast and make extra to make for a quick breakfast during the week.
  • Mix steamed and pureed or finely grated cauliflower to scrambled eggs.
  • Add pumpkin puree to pancake or waffle mix.  Or blueberries or raspberries.
  • When a craving for comfort food hits and it calls for mac and cheese, add some tomatoes, peas or broccoli for a new twist and sneaking in a serving of veggies.
  • Mashed potatoes are also a great comfort food.  Try mixing a 1 to 1 mix of sweet potatoes and regular mashed.  Sweet potatoes adds extra nutritional value to your mashed potatoes since they are high in fiber and a number of vitamins and minerals.
  • Shredded zucchini or summer squash can be added to virtually any casserole without changing the taste or texture.
  • Skip the bread or tortilla and wrap your sandwich in lettuce leaves.
  • Gourmet grilled cheese are popular right now.  Try adding spinach or arugula, tomato, and avocado.  At our house we like to add sliced tomato and cooked bacon slices to our grilled cheese or ham and pineapple.
  • Try adding carrot puree or chopped mushrooms to ground beef recipes from hamburgers to meatloaf.
  • Basic tomato sauce in a recipe counts as one veggie but try adding pureed carrots or winter squash, peppers, onions or greens to increase that from 1 to 2 or more.
  • It’s the season where gardens will be producing lots of zucchini so take advantage and make some zucchini bread for a sweet treat.  If you are making brownies, make ones with grated zucchini for a moist delicious treat.
  • A cool, refreshing snack is great on hot summer days.  Mix fresh fruit, ice cubes and low-fat yogurt in a blender for fruit-smoothie snack.
  • Making a fruit and yogurt parfait using a handful of low-fat granola with low-fat yogurt and sliced bananas and/or strawberries is a quick, nutritious, on-the-go breakfast and especially yummy during warm summer months.
  • Top a piece of whole-grain toast with peanut butter and sliced bananas.