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Heatlh Q&A

Posted October 24, 2012 in Advice Column

Q: How can I choose the best hospice provider?

A: With so many options when it comes to hospice, and so many providers claiming to be the best, it can be hard to know how to make the right choice.

Start by finding out what others have to say, including trusted friends and family. Which hospice providers do your friends and family recommend?

In addition, learn what other trusted organizations have to say about the hospice providers you’re considering. What kind of third-party recognition has the provider received? Earlier this year, HCI Hospice Care Services was one of only four organizations or businesses in the state to receive the Better Business Bureau’s 2012 Integrity Award. The award recognizes organizations which demonstrate integrity through their business practices and how they exemplify their organizational values.

The BBB Integrity Award was the first of two significant recognitions HCI Hospice Care Services received this year. Last month, HCI Hospice Care Services was selected as one of Iowa’s Top Workplaces, as announced in The Des Moines Register. The Top Workplaces are determined based solely on employee feedback. Hundreds of companies and organizations participated in the process, but only those organizations whose employees were truly passionate about their workplace made the list. That says a lot about employees’dedication to HCI Hospice Care Services and that they believe in the organization’s commitment to do the right thing – for both its employees and the families the organization serves.

Information provided by Terry Terrones, RN, MSN, CHPN, HCI Care Services of South-Central Iowa, 103 East Van Buren St., Centerville, (641) 856-5502,

Q: What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

A: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a compression of the median nerve as it enters the hand beneath a ligament (transaerse carpal ligament) in the palmer surface of the wrist along with several tendons that flex the fingers. There are several symptoms that are quite common.

Often the carpal tunnel sufferer will have tingling or pins and needles sensation in the hand. It is more prevalent in the thumb, index and middle fingers. This is common at night or when waking up in the morning. People often describe the sensation as their hand being asleep. If the compression on the medial nerve progresses, simple things like holding a phone to your ear, opening the car door or driving may cause the numbness, tingling and pain to intensify. Weakness of grip is a common symptom if the nerve damage worsens.

The gold standard for diagnosing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is electro diagnostic testing. A doctor and some specially-trained physical therapists administer an electric stimulation to the median nerve to determine if there is damage to the nerve. Those tests are called nerve conduction velocity study and electromyography.

In the early stages, carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated with exercises, splints, and anti-inflammatory medications. Physical therapy is often recommended. If conservative treatment fails, surgery to relieve the pressure may be necessary.

Information provided by Ray Tresemer, P.T., Tresemer Physical Therapy Inc., 612 E. Franklin St., Centerville, 641-856-2515.

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