How Healthcare Continues To Improve

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We take a lot for granted in the modern world. Though it might not always appear to be the case, the world continues to improve in almost every sphere — we’re smarter and healthier than in times past, and there’s much less crime than at other points in the past. While it’s far from a perfect world, there’s much to celebrate! And especially in the world of healthcare. Below, we take a look at some ways that it continues to improve. In the world of health, the future is bright.

Hospital Experiences

Thank your lucky stars that you didn’t get sick in days gone by. You might have been able to find a doctor to treat you, but there would be little guarantee that it’d be an enjoyable experience. Indeed, quite the opposite. That’s all beginning to change now. Now, hospitals don’t just focus on the specific illness or condition of the patient — they work to ensure that their overall experience is positive. That means an improvement in the comfort of their stay, the quality of the food, and all-around service. That’s helped make hospitals less intimidating places, which has historically been the case.

More Focused Care

Another great stride has been made in the area of personalized care. In the past, the focus was more of a “one size fits all” variety, which was too limiting — people of different backgrounds, races, genders and so on have different needs. Unless those needs were in line with the most prevalent needs, then they were overlooked. Now, doctors are able to offer more detail, personalized care. This has to lead to new services being offered to communities that were historically overlooked. For example, Cynthia Telles and Kaiser Permanente are working on improving the unique mental health needs of the Hispanic/Latino community. This shift toward more focused care has made healthcare more accessible, and, generally, better for all.

Data Overlaps

There’s also the matter of data, which is now more readily and easily shared among different healthcare practitioners, which has made it easier to spot healthcare conditions more easily.

Integrated Technology

Of all the shifts that have taken place in the healthcare industry, it’s the integration of technology that has had the biggest impact, and which will likely be the defining trend moving forward. Improvements in this area have lead to faster and more accurate diagnosis’, better communications, and better treatment. In the future, it’s possible that AI will be implemented to spot health problems before they’ve materialized, and there’ll also be robots that assist in the surgery room. Human errors account for the vast majority of medical errors — and technology is beginning to reduce those numbers.

More Mobile

The hospital as the beginning and end of medical treatment is also beginning to change, too. Now, healthcare is more mobile. Doctors take trips to patients in their homes, patients can choose to stay in their house rather than as an in-patient, and there are even consultations online. This has been a great deal of control back in the hands of the patient.

Rebuild Your Life After a Serious Injury

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Nothing can compare to the experience of narrowly escaping death. Escaping an accident can completely change your life – from the way you perceive the world around you to the ambitions and goals you set yourself.

But while such drastic change can be incredibly positive in the long run and give you a chance to remake yourself as a better person, the process of rebuilding your life can be tricky to say the least. Even the most optimistic people will need some help and guidance along the way.

Take Legal Action

No-one wants to be litigious but after a life-changing accident, you must turn to the law to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. If nothing else, you will need to pay for your treatment and recovery as well as cover any lost earnings.

Finding the right lawyer to represent you is really important. In general, you should choose someone you trust who has a lot of experience dealing with cases that are similar to yours. For example, if your accident was caused by an 18-wheeler, a semi-trucking accident attorney is the most likely to understand your case and how best to present it in court.

Reassess Your Priorities

When life trips you up, it can be a good opportunity to reassess what you want, what your goals are and how your lifestyle could be improved. For many people, the recovery process isn’t just about learning to cope with the lasting effects of an injury; it is also about figuring out a new way of living that gives you a sense of fulfillment.

There are a few practical things you may need to consider such as retrofitting your home but you should also think more holistically. What would you like to achieve with your life and how can you do that now? Take things back to basics: consider how you want to feel and what you can do to achieve that. For example, if you have lived a stressful life so far, perhaps now the pursuit of calm would be most fulfilling.

Go Slowly and Take Your Time

Rebuilding your life won’t happen overnight. You need to take your time and allow your body and mind to heal. This is particularly tough for people who have a lot of drive and determination so try to be mindful of what is happening and teach yourself to relax.

Noticing the progress you make – even if it seems barely worth mentioning – is a really good way to feel like you are on track. The small things will quickly start to stack up so that when you look back on your week, month or even year, you will see how far you have come. Tell yourself the narrative of your recovery and congratulate yourself on your progress.

Rebuilding your life after a serious injury isn’t easy but it can be an opportunity for change and growth. Knowing that you are taking even small steps towards becoming the person you want to be will help you to feel more positive about the future.

Is Career Planning Possible in 2019?

The nature of work as we know it is changing almost faster than we can master our current roles. The rapid advances in technology and its impact on both the job market and the economy have made it more difficult than ever before to confidently map out career advancement.

When you don’t know which jobs will even exist in five years, how can you strategize to get ahead? Despite the obstacles though, career planning is in no way dead. Instead, young professionals need to adopt a new method of career planning. The very components that make modern career planning possible are oftentimes those that are also invaluable within the current and future job market: flexibility and adaptability.

Don’t Rely on Experience Alone

Traditionally, experience has been the foundational piece of career planning. You put the time in on lower rungs of the career ladder, and that allows you to move up. But modern professionals would be remiss to simply rely on their level of experience. In a world where things are changing rapidly, roles have to be filled by individuals who don’t have direct experience.

Research has demonstrated that one’s propensity to career adaptability is a primary indicator of one’s likelihood of success not only professionally, but also in other areas of life. To ensure you’re doing all you can to remain competitive within you field make sure you are:

Stay informed: While you may not know exactly where you want to land down the road, you should still be making an effort to stay informed and up-to-date within your industry. Read publications, watch other companies, and ultimately, don’t lose the handle you have on the direction and priorities of your industry.

Unlearn the old: A recent survey found that the primary concern of employees is that their job will be obsolete in the near future, and half believe their specific skill set will be unneeded. The key to dealing with that reality is to be willing to let go of the former methods and processes that got you where you are when they become antiquated.

Refine your skills: The career planning master is also a skill refining master. Knowing what’s coming next for your industry and unlearning the old is only the beginning. There’s value in pairing experience in your field with insight and a clear understanding of where the future of your industry as a whole lies.

Remember Your Connections

In many fields, networking is a fundamental part of getting the job you want. In a pile of cover letters, having a connection can be the only thing that gives you a competitive edge. As you consider your networking connections there’s value in seeing two, distinct sets of relationships.

The Old: The pre-existing connections you have are likely to be swept up in the changes of the marketplace right along with you. In that case, there’s value in continuing to build the relationship, even if you shift directions.

As the president of the New York Stock Exchange told Fast Company, “It doesn’t matter if someone is inside or outside of your industry, if they are interesting and influential, be willing to commit time and/or resources to meet, connect or help that individual.”

The New: What is equally important in the rapidly evolving professional climate of today is that the connections you have are also evolving so that they continue to be a helpful component of your career planning. If your connections aren’t refreshed they will fail to accurately align with your interests and priorities.

Thus, there’s value in networking in the area you’re hoping to head. When doing so the business professionals at Rutgers University recommend, “If you don’t have experience in an area, expertise with a particular type of software or other qualification, don’t try to make it sound like you do. Being truthful about, both your weaknesses and strengths will prove that you are willing, to be honest, and humble and can communicate a host of attractive characteristics to a potential employer, partner, or contact.”

Constantly Reassess

As we noted at the beginning, a key to success as we move into the future will be fostering adaptability and flexibility and leveraging them to move into new positions. There’s value in proactively making sure that your skills, experience, and connections all work together to give you the best possible chances of achieving the career goals you plan.

Additionally, it’s crucial to constantly reassess your progress and use that information to steer your career in the right direction. Are you doing what you can with the understanding that the things that have gotten you where you are, are unlikely to get you where you want to go?

If there are areas of your career development that are growing stale or lack any recent changes, brainstorm on ways to foster growth there.

Lastly, in the interest of a reassessing your competitiveness in relation to your plans, actually set goals. Make plans for the next quarter, year, and three years and reassess your progress and attitude towards those goals on a consistent basis.

Certainly, the day when seniority meant you were essentially a shoo-in for the corner office is gone. Today rapid changes in technology are impacting virtually every industry under the sun, and the jobs that make up those industries are evolving at rapid rates.

However, the key for young professionals seeking success is not to allow themselves to be drug along by the rapid advances, but to proactively participate in them. The new age of job creation and retention has provided new opportunities. Because there’s often a need for people who don’t have direct experience, the individuals who land the jobs are often those who worked hard on what may have traditionally seemed like secondary things like relationships, soft skills, and flexibility. The good news is that those things are there for the taking.

What Are The Odds of That?

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The Powerball is currently at $369 million. The highest ever price pot was $1.586 billion. An eye-watering amount of money, with an equally jaw-dropping long shot chance of winning. The odds of winning the Powerball or Mega Millions stands at 1 in 292,000,000 to 295,000,000 million. But even the smallest of chances is still a possibility? Here are some odds that might surprise you.

There is a statistic that has tracked the odds of getting injured by a toilet. The chances that you are non-fatally injured in or around the bathroom is 1 in 10,000. That is around the chance of winning an Oscar, 1 in 11,500 or the probability of finding a pearl in an oyster, 1 in 12,000. All these are more likely than winning the lottery, so perhaps it’s time to spend the lottery money on some acting classes?

Another great trivia is the chance of getting hit by lightning. Although this is only 1 in 700,000 per year, it gets more interesting if you calculate the probability over a lifetime, 1 in 3,000. That seems a lot more likely! Best start reading up on methods to avoid being hit! And what about the fear of flying? Odds of dying in an airplane crash is 1 in 205,552. Flying is arguably less safe than taking a bath. Drowning in the bathtub odds are 1 in 840,000. But thinking that a bathtub is 4 times safer than an airplane is quite odd.

And you might have thought that shark attacks and quicksand would have been a bigger issue growing up. The chances you are attacked by a shark is 1 in 3,748,067. Not sure though if that statistic is for all people or just those who swim in the ocean. For quicksand the mortality number is 0, i.e. people don’t really die from quicksand. You have a better chance of giving birth to twins, 1 in 250. Or winning the McDonald’s Monopoly game, 1 in 451,822,158. Those are long odds, especially considering that the odds of dying from a bee, hornet or wasp sting are 1 in 6,100,000. Note that it’s harder to win the McDonald’s Monopoly game than it is to win the Powerball or Mega Millions.

The odds of being involved in a car accident in the US is 1 in 163. Considering our musings around winning the lottery, this seems much more likely to give you a pay-out, granted you are not the one responsible for the accident. So, when you find yourself needing to get some legal advice on an automotive accident, get some additional details.

If you work out the chances of being in a drunken car crash over a lifetime, that number will dramatically increase, namely 2 in 3. So, the message is: always get a designated driver or Uber!

And if you ever win a significant sum of money, make sure to get receipts for everything! Be aware, the odds of being audited by the IRS is 1 in 160, which gets higher the more income you have.

Credit Scores: A Plain-English FAQ

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Your credit score is a three-digit figure that has the power to control a huge number of areas of your life – yet the realities of credit scoring remain obscured by myth, confusion, and lack of transparency. This is concerning given the power that credit scoring has, and can mean that a vital component of the overall management of your personal finances is deeply misunderstood.

In an effort to shed some light on the realities of credit scoring, below, we’ve put together a list of the most common questions people tend to ask about the practice, along with the answers you need to know. So, without further ado…

What is a credit score?

A credit score is a three-digit number that is used as a reference point for your personal financial management. Credit scoring is popular with banks and other financial institutions as it allows for a quick, at-a-glance assessment of the way you manage your finances, and has become the primary method by which applications for credit are assessed.

Who decides a credit score?

You may be surprised to learn that you do not have a definitive “credit score”; the number can vary between companies, though they will usually be fairly closely aligned. The companies that compile your credit scores are known as credit bureaus, the best-known of which are Equifax and Experian.

Credit bureaus effectively act as a third party between you and the companies you hold a financial history with. If you apply to a new lender, the lender will “ask” a bureau for your credit score, and then interpret that score based on their own criteria.

So you can have a credit score with a credit bureau you’ve never interacted with?

Yes. Credit bureaus are not financial institutions in and of themselves, and you don’t register an account with them or apply for their products. Their role is to act independently, assessing your financial affairs and then providing a quick summary of that assessment – as your credit score – when you apply to a new lender.

What information do credit bureaus hold?

  • Your personal details, such as your name, phone number, and address
  • Any existing debts you have
  • Your existing financial products, such as bank accounts, loans, and credit cards
  • Information on your utility bills, such as whether they are well-managed or in default
  • Your current and past income
  • A history of defaults against your account; for example, if you have missed payments on your credit card in the past, the credit bureau will know this
  • Details of any financial relationships you have with companies, such as your cell phone contract
  • Details of any personal relationships you have that may influence your finances, such as someone you share a home with

How is a credit score created?

The exact methodology is something of a trade secret, but credit scores are essentially formulated by assessing your income, your existing debts, and your history of financial management (such as whether you have any defaults on your file) to produce a number that is designed to be reflective of your creditworthiness.

What is a good credit score?

With credit scores, the higher the number is, the better; your score would need to be over 670 is considered to be ‘good’. The current US average credit score is 687.

What is the impact of a bad credit score?

If your credit score is ‘fair’ or lower, then you may find that you struggle to obtain financial products such as loans and credit cards. However, there are exceptions to this, and some specialist companies will offer lending to those with lower credit scores, and you shouldn’t have too many problems finding bad credit loans near you with a little searching. Similar options are available for credit cards and, to a lesser extent, mortgages, though this may depend on the amount you have available for a deposit.

Outside of the financial implications of a bad credit score, you may also find that a bad credit score influences your ability to find jobs or even rent an apartment. The use of credit scoring to assess these kinds of applications is rather dubious but is nevertheless a reality for the moment.

Can bad credit scores be improved?

Yes, to an extent.

You can improve a bad credit score via a number of different methods, but it is important to note that these methods cannot fix a bad credit score – they can just improve it from its base starting point. If your credit score is being impacted by signs of previous financial issues – such as defaults or late payments – then there is relatively little you can do to ‘fix’ the score in the short term.

So these signs stay there forever?

Thankfully not; after six years, all defaults and similar issues will be automatically removed from your credit file and will no longer be considered when calculating your score.

There are also some suggestions that defaults tend to lose their power over time, though this is unconfirmed, and may be more hearsay than anything. However, many people have found it to be true, so it’s worth knowing: a default that has been sustained in the past 12 months may impact your score more dramatically than a default sustained five years ago would.

Can I challenge my credit score?

If there is information on your credit score that is incorrect then yes, you can challenge this with the credit bureau who has recorded the inaccuracy.

However, you cannot challenge information that is correct; nor can you ask for defaults that have been fairly applied to be removed. Credit scoring is used by companies as a way of protecting themselves when lending; as a result, there is a huge onus on credit bureaus to provide a genuine representation of your financial management, so there’s no way to persuade a bureau to remove less-than-ideal information from your file.

In conclusion

By paying close attention to your credit score, protecting it, and – if necessary – improving it, you can be confident that a crucial element of your personal finances is well under control.

How to Manage Millennials: 8 Ways to Do It Right

A recruiter must never be tired to read and research about the millennials; the majority of your employees are a part of Generation Y. While some view them in a negative light, they can be pretty productive and over-achieving when handled right.

Millennials believe they are above their jobs. After working from 8-9 hours a day, they will focus on their hobbies and leisure once they step out your office. Allowing your Millennial employees to have a work-life balance will refuel their energy and recharge their productivity battery.

Millennials love to have multiple goals. They spend a lot of money on traveling to focus on themselves then spread that energy to the people around them.

Start by providing a flexible work environment. This means that you trust them enough to manage their time properly and deliver on their tasks with flying colors.

Infographic by Guthrie-Jensen.

Career Evaluation: What Are You Chasing?

Stop for a moment.

Whether you love, hate or just accept your job – what does it represent?

Since work consumes such a large part of our lives it should serve a purpose.

Finding the perfect job isn’t going to make you “happy” for long. That’s not saying you can’t stay in one profession for a while and enjoy it, but chances are on bad days your mind wanders to other options.

A career is never meant to define you.

When casually asked, “what do you do?” it results in three reactions: proud, ashamed or blah.

The better question to ask yourself is: what are you chasing?

For me it’s lifestyle. As a father and entrepreneur I want my work to provide the opportunity to control how I spend my time. Sure, I’d like to make more money (who doesn’t), but if the tradeoff is I’m rich, but can never see my family it’s not worth it.

Consider your life stage. Don’t default simply to age.

There are people in their 20’s married with kids and others in their 40’s single.

Values don’t change much over time, but priorities do. Added responsibility like being a parent will do that to you.

Feeling stressed isn’t fun, but tension also promotes growth. Changes whether expected or unexpected will challenge you. Take time to relax, but too much of it can hurt you.

When it comes to evaluating where you are in your career, remember to stop comparing yourself to others and look at it in “chunks.” Each experience prepares you for the next so no matter where you are take what you learned in the past and utilize it to propel you into the future.

Chasing is healthy in moderation.

Ambition leads to drive and motivation.

But what’s most important is to define your career path based on your standards alone.

Those who are focused are trying to win the race, not consumed with beating others.

Millennials Are Investing Physically

According to this article, Millennials are spending an insane amount to stay in shape.

Traditional gyms and fitness centers aren’t up in membership; instead there is a demand for more community-based, functional and wellness centered classes.

The definition of staying is shape has changed too. Reducing stress, being more productive at work and mental health are the main benefits.

Speciality classes are more expensive than working out by yourself at the gym, but it’s also more engaging, fun and keeps you accountable for progress.

There’s always been a huge push for professional development in your career, but investing in your body may outweigh anything you can learn from a book/online.

Take for instance young moms. Their ability to bounce back to pre-pregnancy form is exceptional. Groups like Stroller Strides, SoulCycle and CrossFit become even more attractive for lifestyle goals.

With more information comes better efficiency. Millennials are realizing taking care of your body early is the best prevention from illness/injury. Being proactive is a mindset that prepares you best for the future and Millennials are embracing it.

Like anything else trends come and go, so this fitness craze can change over time, but for now businesses should be aware of it and adapt to health, wellness and athleisure as a way of life.

What We Really Do In January

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January is a bit of a let down if we’re honest. There is so much hype surrounding December and even November, with the holidays and New Years. And when we reach that time where we cross over to a New Year, there are so many people saying New Year, New Me. Setting resolutions and promises to change and do new, positive things. Unfortunately, those well-meant promises aren’t easily kept. Changing habits or even making new ones takes a lot of willpower. But just because you don’t immediately accomplish every little thing within those first few weeks of the year doesn’t mean that you have failed and should stop trying. What we really do in January doesn’t mean that you won’t accomplish what you set out to do.

Money

Following the holiday’s everyone is scrambling trying to sort out their finances. So many people use their savings to pay for Christmas, and so when it comes to the New Year, their funds are low. Rather than trying to push those minimal finances to stretch to pay for all those new activities you wanted to get involved with, wait a month and give your savings account a chance to gain a little of what it has lost. Besides, most places put up their prices in January purely because so many people sign up this month. So when you get to the end of the month and realize that you haven’t started going to the gym, or haven’t had the money to start eating clean yet, don’t worry.

Normality

Throughout the holiday’s normality goes out of the window. Following Thanksgiving, the build-up to Christmas is a blur of shopping and visiting. Christmas day is all about eating rubbish from the moment you wake up, afternoon naps, and late bedtimes. Then you have the lead up to New Year’s Eve where no one really knows what day it is. So January is a shock to the system as you try and get back to normal. So when you look back at the month, if all you have achieved is getting your sleep pattern right and are eating at the proper times, then consider it an accomplishment.

Set Up

For many people, that first week of January is a ‘set up’ week. Where you call al the places, sign up to all the things, and buy in all the stuff you need to do the things. You come up with ideas and plan how to get them off the ground – if you want to read more on that, you can click here. And then it gets to the end of the month, and you realize you haven’t done much of anything. And that is because you are living through point number two with a budget of number one. Again, see this month as a stepping stone; you have accomplished part of what you have set out to do while getting back into a normal routine and trying not to overspend. That’s an accomplishment.

Why College Students Don’t Get Enough Sleep + Ways To Improve Sleep Habits

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The National Sleep Foundation recommends that college-aged students get between 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Yet, one in three college students report having trouble sleeping as well as not getting the recommended amount of sleep each night. Although it may be stressful balancing schoolwork, social lives and jobs, the amount of sleep we get each night should not suffer because of this.

Below are some common issues that many college students face that can disrupt our sleep patterns, along with ways to improve these conditions.

Anxiety

Mental health has become a critical issue on college campuses. In fact, a study revealed that anxiety is the leading mental health issue college students face. The National College Health Assessment Survey reported that 15.8 percent of college students have been diagnosed with or treated for anxiety. The same survey found that 21.9 percent of students claimed that anxiety had negatively affected their academic performance whether it was through getting a lower grade on an exam or project, receiving an incomplete, or dropping a course. A college student must balance many things all at once including midterms, friendships, relationships, and careers. For many young adults, this is the first time dealing with significant levels of stress and can be extremely overwhelming, bringing on anxiety.

Anxiety can cause sleep problems or make existing sleep problems worse. However, getting a good night’s rest, especially as a college student, needs to be a priority. In order to reduce your anxiety and get the sleep your body needs try meditating. Focus on your breathing and visualize a serene environment.

Busy Mind

Mental over activity is becoming a major issue for people, especially college students. We’ve all had those nights where it’s impossible to get our brains to slow down long enough for us to fall asleep. For busy college students these nights can happen more frequently. When you’re juggling so many different things at once, it can often feel like there is not enough time in the day to get everything done. This leads to many students working on schoolwork or participating in extracurricular activities up until bedtime. While this may not seem like a big deal, it’s actually a huge issue because sleep isn’t as simple as turning a switch off/on. Our bodies need time to unwind and dim our minds in order to prepare for sleep.

If you’re having trouble slowing your mind down at night, allow at least one hour before bed to wind down. This will not only help create closure for the day, but it also allows your brain to begin the process of shutting off. Developing a pre-bedtime ritual is a great way to help you and your mind wind down. Try reading, journaling, or even sketching and don’t forget to avoid electronics during your wind-down time.

Discomfort

College dorm rooms come with their own set of sleep destroyers. One of the many reasons that college students have trouble sleeping in their dorm rooms is that their beds often have many other uses besides sleeping — including studying, doing school assignments, watching TV, and even hanging out with friends. Remember that although dorm rooms may be small, your bed is not your living room. You want to associate your bed with sleep so that when you see it your body craves sleep. Try to study at your desk or in the library and hang out with your friends in common areas. Another issue in your dorm room that may be causing problems with your sleep patterns is your university-issued mattress. Most of these mattresses have been used for years and may be too hard or lumpy. A poor quality mattress can cause discomfort and even body pains that can be distracting and prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.

While you may not be able to go out and buy a new mattress for your dorm room, a mattress pad, comfortable bedding, and good sleepwear may help make it more comfortable. A soft and supportive pillow will also help add some much needed comfort to your bed.

Noise

Living in close quarters can make for a lot of noise. Whether it’s your roommate watching their favorite TV show at a high volume or your neighbors talking loudly in the hallway, noise can be extremely distracting when it comes time for bed. Unfortunately, while most resident halls have designated “quiet hours”, not all residents respect them. If your roommate and neighbors are continuously loud, especially during quiet hours, ask them to quiet down. It may even be helpful to discuss each other’s schedules and set guidelines to make sure everyone can sleep, study, and enjoy their time in the dorms peacefully. If that doesn’t work, try earplugs or white noise to help cover-up noises. Fans and sleep sounds are both great ways to cancel out noise.