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Interprofessional Perspectives: Infectious Diseases  

Infectious diseases

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The Zika virus is a serious issue throughout the Americas. Ebola and measles were major health topics throughout 2015. Infectious diseases of all types - influenza, Lyme, ringworm, HIV/AIDS, pertussis and innumerable other contagious conditions - are an ongoing concern for healthcare professionals.

In the recent issue of INS!GHTS Magazine, four School of Health and Medical Sciences alumni and clinical partners discuss their roles in preparing for and responding to such occurrences:

Prevent and Contain
"When working with student-athletes, we worry about everything from staph infections and blood-borne pathogens to mono and the common cold. We concern ourselves with prevention and containment of any communicable disease before it ends up spreading through an entire team or locker room, or even through the school."

-Stephen Spezio, MS, ATC, CSCS
Athletic Trainer at The Pingry School and Clinical Preceptor for the SHMS Master of Science in Athletic Training program

Vigilance is Key
"Our infection prevention program provides continuous surveillance and monitoring and comprises a multidisciplinary team of experts who stay up-to-date on potential threats. Early communication that is factual and well thought-out has been a strategy to ensure our staff, patients and visitors feel safe and secure."

-Lydia Stockman, RN, MHA '11, CRA
Vice President of Operations at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Graduate of the SHMS Master of Healthcare Administration program

Addressing Side Effects
"When working with a client who has mobility impairment of an infectious etiology - for example, Lyme disease symptoms include arthritis and weakness in limbs - I create a plan of care that targets the individual's specific deficits. As infectious diseases can manifest differently, a physical therapist's ability to identify and address abnormal movement patterns can be very beneficial."

-LaTefia M. Bailey, PT, DPT '08, CCCE, ACCI
Lead Physical Therapist, Atlantic Health System, Morristown Medical Center, and Clinical Instructor for the SHMS Doctor of Physical Therapy program

Treating the Whole Person
"Patient care goes beyond treating the illness - patient education is one of the most important aspects. People infected with diseases such as syphilis, HIV, chlamydia or Lyme may be unsure of how they were exposed, or frightened of the long-term effects and social ramifications. Empowered patients are more likely to take their medications and implement precautions to prevent the spread of the disease."

-Heather A. Reinhardt, PA-C, MS '12
Clinical Director of Empire Medical and Graduate of the SHMS Master of Science in Physician Assistant program

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Categories: Health and Medicine

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