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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tis The Season

You're probably reading this because you wear scrubs. Whether you work in the areas of nursing, dentistry, or veterinary, or just wear scrubs because of their easy to care for nature and comfort, you understand scrubs.

Another thing you understand is caring for your patients. You also know that caring for everyone else often means you don't get the time and opportunity to care for yourself and even your own family the way you'd like to. We understand this too, at Sassy Scrubs.

So, we'd like to take this opportunity to wish you a joyous season of love and caring for yourself and your family. We wish you a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, joyous Kwanzaa and of course, a healthy and Happy New Year. Take care of yourself this year. And don't forget to be a little Sassy.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Fun Day at the Kissing Booth

Here at Sassy Scrubs, we’ve discovered that many of our customers find us through organic Google searches. Some ‘searchers’ are in the medical profession, some are not. Some are searching specifically for scrubs, some are not.

We’d like to introduce you to one of our customers who is in the medical profession, but needed us for something other than scrubs! He recently found us while on the hunt for ‘Lips Fabric’. That’s right; fabric with lips on it. Let’s find out why...

We’d like you to meet Dana Beatty and the caring staff at Care Pavilion. Dana was recently called upon to help build a Kissing Booth for their recreation department’s Carnival Themed event, held on Thursday, May 26th in Philadelphia, PA. Rather than paint lips on his booth, Dana sought out fabric with lips on it to add a bit of extra flair to the event. (see photo) He found Sassy Scrubs on Google, and contacted us to buy our Sassy Fabric by the Yard.

During the event, residents of Care Pavilion visited several booths. There was a Ticket Booth, a ‘Candy’ booth (where residents received personal care products) and a Kissing Booth (where residents received Hershey Kiss candies). Dana noted that the event was a great success, despite the heat of the day. And of course, the Kissing Booth was a big hit.

The Care Pavilion, a not for profit group that provides housing and care in Philadelphia for seniors with limited financial means, is a proud member of the NewCourtland Network. Located on the corner of 62nd and Walnut Streets, Care Pavilion offers nearly 400 skilled and intermediate beds. Built on a proud tradition of offering care and services to Philadelphia's seniors, Care Pavilion is at the heart of a traditional Philadelphia neighborhood that features row homes, churches, schools, playgrounds, and shops. To find out more about Care Pavilion, visit them by clicking here.

The NewCourtland Network offers a range of affordable housing options for older adults, from apartments designed for independent living, to housing for seniors transitioning out of nursing homes, to cottages for the memory-impaired and their caregivers. For more information about the NewCourtland Network, and to read about their benevolent history, visit their website by clicking here.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Privacy Laws in the Age of Smart Phones & Social Media

Okay, I have to ask: Am I the only one to find it a bit ironic that at about the same time the newest HIPAA laws were put into effect, we witnessed the birth of the age where you can post literally anything, from anywhere, to almost anyplace?

In the age of texting and Facebook posts, has personal privacy flown right out the window?

How many times have you witnessed this scene played out where you work?

- Betty, “Nurse, can you please tell me what my Step-Uncle’s condition is?”
- Nurse, “I’m sorry Betty, but due to HIPAA laws, I’m unable to tell you of your Step-Uncle’s condition unless you’re listed on his HIPAA form.
- Betty, “What do you mean?! I just read on his daughter’s Facebook page that he had complications from his gall bladder surgery! And the post-op pictures that my Grandmother took with her Droid, that were posted on her “Second Cousin’s” profile, have me concerned. And to top it all off, they won’t let me into the Recovery room so that I can see for myself!!!” Betty stomps off to find another nurse, who will tell her what’s going on....

Now, I’m certain that some people don’t mind having their medical history plastered on Facebook by a well-meaning relative or friend; but as for myself, I’d rather not have post-op photos of me appearing anywhere. Period!

On the flip-side of this issue are the benefits of using social media in patient care. Many patients have claimed that they received unprecedented and needed emotional support from friends and family due to a post on Facebook about their medical condition. Although medical care should focus on the patient, Tweets and Facebook posts have the benefit of soothing anxious loved ones as they await news from the operating or recovery room.

With the technology available to us today, packing our bags for a trip to the hospital may now very well need to include a plan and/or instructions for our doctors and family members in regards to how to handle our social media.

As a medical professional, how do you handle this issue? Have you been asked by a patient to provide information to an approved family member so that they can post said information to their favorite social media account?

What do you do when confronted with a friend or distant relative seeking information for a patient that you clearly know is protected by HIPAA laws? Do you stick to your guns – suggesting that Betty, herself, go and ask “Step-Uncle” how he’s doing? (Assuming ‘Step-Uncle’ will let Betty into his room.) Or, do you give in – knowing that Betty probably knows more about “Step-Uncle’s” condition than you do, thanks to “Second-Cousin’s” posts?

I can assure you, that as a patient, I would be furious if my nurse gave information out to my distant relative – well meaning or not. And I’d probably be a little perturbed if my Grandmother took post-op pictures of me - and mad at my daughter for letting my Second Cousin steal Grandma’s phone and post my photos to his profile! Wait, who was supposed to be at the hospital with me again...?

All kidding aside, do you see where this is going? Is there a way for us to protect ourselves from social media overload when it comes to our healthcare privacy? As a medical professional, how do you protect your patient’s privacy? As a patient, what do you do to ensure your privacy? Do you have a “Social Media Healthcare Plan”? Is there such a thing?

Do you think that a patient’s care plan should now include a Social Media plan?

If you’ve ever experienced a run-in with a patient’s relative or a friend like “Betty”, we’d love it if you shared your comments and stories with us. Tell us what you think of the challenges as a healthcare professional in today’s “Social Media World”!

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fire Up the Grill!

Fire Up the Grill!

There is nothing quite like the aroma of food cooking on the grill to let you know that summer has begun. And the taste of grilled food.... mmmmmm. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. The thrill of cooking over an open flame has been appealing since early man discovered fire. Modern-day grilling has been a summer tradition since the early 1950’s, when the Weber grill was made popular by George Stephen, the man who introduced quality grilling to the 'burbs’.

Do you want to be a summertime hero? Become a master griller! From fresh veggies to prime cuts of meat, and everything in between, here are some tips to great grilling:

  • First, be sure you have the right tools on hand before you start grilling.
    Essentials include:
    o Fuel, as well as a fire extinguisher
    o Long-handled tongs, spatula and a basting brush
    o Pot holders and trivets
    o Clean plates for cooked meats. Always keep raw meats and their juices, including plates that held raw meats, away from your cooked foods.
    o Paper towels for unexpected (or expected) messes
    o Aluminum foil, which can be used on the grill for an easy clean-up, as a grease drip pan or as a heat reflector while grilling.
    o And what Grill-Master’s tool kit is complete without the perfect apron?
    At Sassy Scrubs, you can have your apron custom made for your Chef by choosing from hundreds of prints.

  • Before firing up your grill, use cooking spray on the grilling rack to help prevent your foods from sticking. This can make your clean up quicker too.
  • Using charcoal grills. When preparing a charcoal fire, a chimney starter is very effective. Fill the bottom of the chimney with newspaper and fill the top with charcoal. Remove the grate from the top of the grill and set the starter in the grill. Light the newspaper in a couple of spots and convection will suck the flame up into the chimney, igniting the charcoal. In 20 to 30 minutes the coals will be glowing and covered in ash. Turn the coals out into the grill, replace the grate and you’re all set to go! (Note: Have someplace ready to safely set your hot chimney starter down – like on a ceramic tile or a sturdy trivet)
  • Don’t have a chimney starter? Here are a couple of cost-effective alternatives:
    1. Load charcoal up in a tin can, with both ends open, creating a short tube (ie a large coffee tin). Placing newspaper at the bottom of your stack of charcoal, in a circular pattern, will help ignite the charcoal. If you have your charcoal raised up and off from a flat bottom, like on the lower grill that charcoal normally sits on, this will form a natural draft and channel the hot air to the charcoal above it. Leave plenty of room between the charcoal in the tin and the bottom of the grill; this will allow more air to pass through, creating a bigger draft, and your charcoal coals will burn faster. Once your coals are glowing and covered in ash, turn the coals out onto the bottom of your grill.
    2. Fill an empty Pringle’s can, non-metal juice container or a cardboard milk carton with charcoal and place it on the bottom of the grill, open side up. Take some dryer lint and form it into a snake shaped rope and wind it down into the top of the charcoal briquettes. Light the dryer lint and the top of the carton. The wax lining slows the burn speed, allowing the coals to heat to the desired temperature. As the carton disintegrates, the coals will spread across the bottom of the grill.

  • Using marinades. Marinating quickly tenderizes meat and enhances flavor.
    o Use about one cup of marinade for every pound of meat.
    o Be sure to trim all meat before marinating.
    o Marinate in a sealed plastic bag if possible; turning frequently to coat meat evenly.
    o Only marinate meat in the refrigerator. Never marinate meat at room temperature!
    o The use of marinades that include wine, lemon juice or vinegar, reduce marinating times. Any marinade that contains acid, alcohol or salt should not be used for very long, because it will chemically "cook" or denature the food in it. Marinate food in these marinades for less than 4 hours. Marinades that contain citrus juices, especially lemon or lime juice, should be used for only two hours or less. Marinades that contain no salt, acid or alcohol can be marinated overnight or, in some cases, longer.
    o Broil pork or poultry before marinating and grilling to reduce cook time on the grill

  • Using barbecue sauces. Most traditional barbeque sauces contain sugar or tomato sauce, which can burn very quickly. Add these types of sauces and the end of your cooking time to help reduce the chances of burning the meat.
  • Grilling vegetables or fish can prove challenging. Using aluminum foil helps to hold in natural oils and liquids, as well as protecting your food from charring. Aluminum foil pouches are a great way to keep tender foods moist while grilling.
  • Use long-handled tongs to turn your food. Never use a fork! Poking holes in meat actually allows the natural juices to escape, causing your meat to lose flavor and become tough.
  • For easy cleanup, heat the grill until the temperature is hot enough to kill bacteria. Then scrub the hot grill with a wire brush or crumpled aluminum foil.

Happy Grilling!
Jody E

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Oh, Where a Simple Google Search Can Take You!

I love search engines!! Who's With Me?

"Google it!" How often have we heard that 2-word phrase spoken over the last 11 years?

When I need that obscure tidbit of information, it's Google or Bing to the rescue! From "How to make fresh roasted garlic spread" and "How to finish off a boondoggle project" to "Buying Tortilla Chip Print Nurses Scrubs", search engines have revolutionized the way in which we find exactly what we want - and quickly. As a mom, a definite benefit is that Google can make me look like a genius to my kids in 60 seconds flat! Gotta love that.

As the IT Manager for an e-commerce company, for ME, finding ways to make a search for the "perfect" nursing scrubs both simple and beneficial for YOU, is a balance between hours of finely tuned research and good 'ole fashioned "shoppers intuition".

Part of the fun of having thousands of fabrics to fit most every personality and special interest, is in naming those fabrics! Sassy Scrubs' President, Karen Bradley, spends hours painstakingly creating the perfect name for each of our Sassy Fabrics. Fabric names are vital in making your Google, Bing, or Yahoo search pay off for YOU!

The name of our fabrics not only need to be explanatory and exciting, but relevant. If you type in "Hot Lips Fabric", you don't want to see search results for Loretta Swit - aka Hot Lips Houlihan from the hit TV Show M*A*S*H - you want to see pictures and links so that you can buy fabric with lips printed on it.

When it comes to how to 'search the web wisely', the advice I give to my customers, friends and family is simple - "Be brave, be bold, be specific". It almost always pays off in quick and accurate results that save you time, and hopefully, money!

One Sassy Scrubs customer recently discovered just how worthwhile a well planned Google search can be. The North Bend Community Based Outpatient Clinic successfully and easily found their new Patriotic Scrubs using Google as their search engine. Now, don't these look like happy Google Search customers?!

Here is a little more information about this fun group of ladies:
  • The North Bend Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) is located on the beautiful coast of Oregon, and is part of the VA Roseburg Healthcare System’s catchment area that serves approximately 27,000 Veterans in Oregon and Northern California. We are a Patient Aligned Center Team (PACT) and proudly serve Veterans in and around the North Bend, Oregon community. Our CBOC here in coastal Oregon offers primary care, Telemedicine services, physical therapy, mental health services which include substance abuse counseling, psychiatric care and social services. In addition, we provide assistance and support to homeless Veterans. Our mission is to challenge ourselves daily to provide exceptional care for our Veteran population. Our North Bend care team is a dedicated group of professionals offering commitment, compassion and quality services to our Veteran population. We love our Veterans!

Wishing you all Happy and Successful Googling!

Jody Earle
Sassy Scrubs IT & Marketing Manger

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Billion Acts of Green - Earth Day 2011

For over 40 years, April 22 has marked the celebration of Earth Day.

This year, Earth Day's theme is "A Billion Acts of Green" - A people powered campaign to generate a billion acts of environmental service and advocacy.

There are several ways for you to become involved this year:

In the early 1960's, most Americans were oblivious to the concept of "concern for the environment". One of the early watershed moments for the modern environmental movement came with the release of Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring. Public awareness was raised after this New York Times bestseller sold over half a million copies. The 'official' Earth Day movement started, however, in 1969, after Gaylord Nelson (Earth Day founder and then US Senator from Wisconsin) witnessed the horrible repercussions of the massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Rallying together 85 people from across the country, they organized the first series of coast-to-coast demonstrations on April 22, 1970. On that day, an estimated 20 million people joined together to protest the degradation of the environment.

Much has changed in the past forty years; substances we once thought benign are now considered toxic and climate change has come to the forefront of all environmental concerns. There have also been advances in curtailing pollution such as increased rates of recycling and the trading of pollution credits to control acid rain. But we still have a long way to go.

Currently, the average person produces around 1,460 pounds of garbage each year. Additionally, the World Health Organization reported that developed nations generate, on average, over twenty-five pounds of medical waste per person each year. That is a lot of waste, considering the US has a population of over three million people!

Now on to the hard part: how do we reduce this huge amount of waste?

Reducing waste in general seems far easier than reducing medical waste. Hospitals dispose of miles of IV tubing and nasal cannulas, tons of contaminated sharps, and all kinds of toxic and radioactive material. With all of the public health concerns, is there any good way to reduce or recycle these materials without increasing exposure to infectious disease?

Sassy Scrubs would love to hear your ideas for reducing medical waste. Do you work in a medical setting and already practice ways to reduce waste, or have ideas on how waste can be reduced? Share your ideas, and maybe in another forty years we can boast reduced amounts of medical waste and a healthier environment.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Your Social and Ecological Footprint in Our World

I recently wondered to myself, “What kind of a charitable impact do companies who make Nursing Scrubs have in this world?” What made me so nosy is that we do a fair amount of charitable works here at Sassy Scrubs, and I wanted to see what other scrub companies were doing to help their communities and the world abroad.

That question sent me on an interesting search. Over the next few days, I spent a considerable amount of time poking around on the websites of other Scrub companies. What I found was puzzling, and somewhat disconcerting. Sadly, I found that not only was there no information about the charitable works of other scrub manufacturers or uniform retailers, but there was barely any information available about their companies, period. These discoveries made me sincerely think about the responsibility each and every one of us has to contribute - as a business or as an individual - in some way to make our world a better place.

As a Company, Sassy Scrubs currently champions several social and medical movements; such as Breast Cancer Awareness, Autism Awareness, and the American Cancer Society. We support our injured military members through the frequent donations of scrubs and other needed items to the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project. We help to keep orphans in China warm through our own Blankets for Babies Project, where we send baby and kid sized blankets and quilts directly to orphans in need. Most recently, we’ve launched an orphan vocational assistance & training program through our Orphan Hope Market, giving orphaned and abandoned children hope for their futures.

On the ecological front, we donate our fabric scraps to local organizations, who in turn make colorful and needed quilts and blankets for Veterans, shelter animals, displaced children, hospice residents, and newborns. We recycle our office paper, cardboard, plastic and cans. Paper which cannot be recycled due to containing propriety or sensitive information is shredded for use at our local Humane Society as bedding. In this age of advanced technology, we trust our customers to appreciate that we have chosen not to produce a print catalog, saving tons of paper waste, ink, dyes and chemicals, from polluting our world. We make a very marked and conscious effort to keep our footprint in our local landfills as small as possible, while at the same time, keeping our commitment to our community as large as possible.

Here at Sassy Scrubs, we think these issues are important enough to address with you, our customers. We have often wondered why other scrubs companies don’t talk to their customers about these subjects. Is it because they don’t care? Or do they presume to think their customers don’t care about these very important issues? Well, we think you do care.

We hope you’ll think about your own impact on our world when you next order new scrubs. We want you to knowthat we’ll be responsible - just like we know you are - in helping to take care of our world. We care about taking care of our planet, just like we care about taking care of you, our customer, with the best custom scrubs, made just for you. It’s part of who we are here at Sassy Scrubs. And we just wanted to let you know.

We hope you’ll think about your own impact on our world when you next order new scrubs. We want you to know that we’ll be responsible - just like we know you are - in helping to take care of our world. We care about taking care of our planet, just like we care about taking care of you, our customer, with the best custom scrubs, made just for you. It’s part of who we are here at Sassy Scrubs. And we just wanted to let you know.

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