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The Sun … Friend or Foe

sunshine burstAs we start spending more time outside, it is important to understand how the sun’s rays can affect you in both a positive and negative manner.  Taking a few steps to protect your skin, the sun will be seen as a friend, not a foe.

ON THE POSITIVE SIDE

Improves Mood
Sunlight triggers the release of serotonin which is a hormone associated with boosting a person’s mood and helping them feel calm and focused.  When serotonin levels are low there is a greater risk of developing a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Vitamin D with sunBuilds Strong Bones
Exposure to the sun’s rays causes a person’s skin to create vitamin D which plays a big role in bone health.  Low vitamin D levels have been linked to rickets in children and bone-wasting diseases like osteoporosis and osteomalacia.

Prevents Some Cancers
Although excess sunlight can contribute to skin cancers, a moderate amount of sunlight has cancer preventive benefits.  In studies it has been shown that residents living where there is more sunlight are less likely to develop Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and colon, ovarian, pancreatic and prostate cancers.

Heals Skin Conditions
According to the World Health Organization, for some, sun exposure can treat several skin conditions. Doctors have recommended UV radiation exposure to treat psoriasis, eczema, jaundice and acne.

ON THE NEGATIVE SIDE

While getting the right amount of sun can benefit your health, too much sun can lead to skin cancer.

Hat, lotion sunglassesSkin Cancers
Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. Each year in the U.S. over 5.4 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are treated in more than 3.3 million people. It is also the easiest to cure, if diagnosed and treated early. When allowed to progress, however, skin cancer can result in disfigurement and even death.

Watch for Early Warning Signs
Look especially for change of any kind to the shape, color or texture of moles or skin lesions. Do not ignore a suspicious spot simply because it does not hurt. Skin cancers may be painless, but dangerous all the same. If you notice one or more of the warning signs, see a doctor right away, preferably one who specializes in diseases of the skin.

Early Warning Signs

  • A skin growth that increases in size and appears pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black, or multicolored
  • A mole, birthmark, beauty mark, or any brown spot that:
    • changes color
    • increases in size or thickness
    • changes in texture
    • is irregular in outline
    • is bigger than 6mm or 1/4″, the size of a pencil eraser
    • appears after age 21
  • A spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, crust, scab, erode, or bleed
  • An open sore that does not heal within three weeks

block sun not funPreventing Skin Cancer
Using sunscreen with a SPF 15 or higher anytime you are outside is the first step in preventing skin cancer.  But according to the Skin Cancer Foundation sunscreen alone is not enough.  Follow these other skin cancer prevention tips.

  • Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM
  • Do not burn
  • Avoid tanning and UV tanning beds
  • Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses
  • Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
  • Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
  • Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
  • See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you do a head-to-toe self-examination of your skin every month. Skin cancers are almost always curable when found and removed early. If you spot anything suspicious, see a doctor.

prescription drug

Do Drug Abusers Target Your Business?

With all the news surrounding the opiate crisis in the U.S., it won’t come as any surprise that opiates topped the list as the drug that employees used the most while at work.  While sometimes legal, these drugs are considered highly addictive and potentially lethal – with or without a valid prescription – and can be detrimental to workers safety.

70% have used drugs at the workplaceIn an article published in The Business Journals on January 18th, 2018, seven in 10 illicit drug users have used drugs while at work, including opiates, amphetamines and cocaine, according to a survey from treatment website Detox.

Opiates are the most commonly used drug, as 17.83 percent said they had consumed them while at work. Benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Valium came in second at 17.05 percent, and amphetamines and cocaine tied for third at 8.53 percent.

Impact of Drug Use at the Workplace

The Department of Labor states that the impact of employee substance abuse is a problem that extends beyond the employee using the drugs.  Co-worker job performance and attitudes are negatively affected.  This is a result of workers reporting that they have been put in danger, have been injured, had to work harder or redo work, or cover for a co-worker.

Small businesses, with inconsistent or non-existent substance abuse policies, are often the employer-of-choice for illicit drug users.  Individuals who can’t adhere to a drug-free workplace policy seek employment at firms that don’t have one.  With about half of the U.S. workforce working for small and medium sized businesses with less than 500 employees, this leads to a substantial number of unsafe and unhealthy work places.

Workplace Drug Testing

Just one mistake or accident caused by a worker under the influence of drugs or alcohol can devastate a small business financially.  That is why it is so critical that every workplace should be doing pre-employment and follow up random drug testing.

Currently 56% of U.S. employers require workers to take pre-employment drug tests, according to Statistic Bain.  This leaves a lot of businesses vulnerable to the mistakes, accidents and injuries caused by drug impaired employees.

National Safety Council (NSC) found healthcare costs for employees who misuse or abuse prescription drugs are three times higher than for an average employee. Employers can take simple steps to protect themselves and their employees:

  • prescription drugRecognize prescription drugs impact the bottom line
  • Enact strong company drug policies
  • Expand drug panel testing to include opioids
  • Train supervisors and employees to spot the first signs of drug misuse
  • Treat substance abuse as a disease
  • Leverage employee assistance programs to help employees return to work

The annual cost of untreated substance use disorder ranges from $2,600 per employee in agriculture to more than $13,000 per employee in information and communications.

NSC offers a Free Employer Kit that provides information on how to take a more proactive role in addressing opioids in the workplace.  For more information go to Free Employer Kit.

Kimi Hathaway, President/OwnerLet Us Help

Blackbird Clinical Services is a certified drug testing service that can help any employer set up a pre-employment and random drug testing program.  Our experience and knowledge regarding these tests ensures that those abusing drugs are not able to prevent detection by using different avoidance techniques.  For more on our drug testing capabilities, please go to Drug Screening.

Just give us a call at 765-447-8700 and we’ll be happy to arrange a time we can talk about setting up a program to make your workplace safer and more productive.

Long Haul Truck

DOT Makes Changes to Driver Medical Exams

To meet new Health and Human Services drug testing guidelines the Department of Transportation (DOT) has made changes to its drug testing program regulations. These changes will impact drivers, as well as labs like Blackbird Clinical Services.

[caption id="attachment_1834" align="alignright" width="447"]Long Haul Truck Drug testing changes impact CDL drivers and labs.[/caption]

Updates to Drug Testing Rules

Effective January 1, 2018, the semi-synthetic opioids: hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone and oxymorphone, have been added to the testing panel.  The DOT also removed MDEA from the drug test panel and added MDA in its place.

The new rules also clarify that only urine samples can be collected and analyzed for DOT drug testing.

Testing for Sleep Apnea

At this time there is no new law requiring sleep apnea testing as part of the DOT physical for truck drivers. However, DOT does require that truck drivers get a medical examination in order to hold a CDL license. The medical examiner is the one who decides if the driver needs sleep apnea testing.

If diagnosed with moderate to severe sleep apnea, you are considered unsafe to drive and you will lose your CDL until you’re treated for sleep apnea and deemed safe to drive again by your medical examiner. For additional information go to Sleep Apnea Rules.

What’s Included in DOT Medical Exams

Medical examiners who provide DOT physicals must be on the National Registry for the Department of Transportation. They may be a doctor, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner.

The examiner will review your health history and ask you to list the medications you take on a regular basis. In addition they will …

  • Check your pulse and blood pressure
  • Perform a vision test
  • Observe your general appearance
  • Examine your eyes, throat, mouth, and ears
  • Listen to your heart and lungs
  • Check for spine deformities
  • Perform a neurological exam
  • Press on your abdomen to check for abnormalities
  • Perform a hernia check

Convenient, Low Cost DOT Medical Exams

[caption id="attachment_1409" align="alignleft" width="141"]Kimi Hathaway, President Kimi Hathaway, President[/caption]

Blackbird Clinical Services provides DOT medical exams.  Our doctor is on the National Registry for the Department of Transportation which is a requirement in order to perform these exams.

Scheduling a CDL exam can be done quickly and at a cost of just $75.  We will also subscribe to ODAPC’s list-serve by the effective date to ensure all screenings are compliant and meet the new regulations.

To schedule your DOT CDL medical exam just give us a call.  If you have questions please email me KHathaway@blackbirdclinicalsvs.com, or give us a call at 765-447-8700.

Flu Season is Here

Why Is This Flu Season So Much Worse Than Others?

A fierce flu season that began in November is taking its toll wherever you look.  Even those who got a flu shot this fall are not escaping this illness.  Why is that?

Flu Season is HereEach year the flu vaccine is formulated to protect against three or four strains of flu that are anticipated to be the most prevalent during the upcoming flu season.

This year’s vaccine was created to protect against the H3N2, H1N1 and B strains.  What has occurred is that the influenza A (H3N2) virus has mutated and as a result the current vaccine is only 30% effective.

Because flu vaccines are formulated months in advance, they are not as effective against mutated viruses like what has occurred with the H3N2 virus this year.  For those who did get a flu shot, the vaccine they received still provides cross-protection that can reduce the likelihood of severe outcomes such as hospitalization and death.  And in some cases your symptoms may be less severe and your recovery quicker.

How Bad Is This Year’s Flu Outbreak

This season’s flu outbreak has occurred throughout the U.S. and may be among the worst in several years.  An update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not indicate an epidemic of record levels, but one that could approach the severity of the most recent moderately severe season in 2014-2015.

The most at risk populations are people over the age of 65 and very young children.  Becoming ill with the flu should always be taken seriously.  According to the CDC it causes 9 million to 35 million illnesses; 140,000 to 710,000 hospitalizations; and 12,000 to 56,000 deaths in the U.S. in a typical year.

The Center for Disease Control still recommends strongly that people who have not been vaccinated get vaccinated.  Getting a flu shot every year is still the best way to protect yourself from the flu.Sick patient with doctor

If You Get the Flu

If you become ill with flu symptoms, the CDC recommends staying home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.

Try to avoid contact with others when you are sick and cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.  Discard the tissue in the trash.  You can find more details at Taking Care of Yourself.

If your doctor prescribes them take flu antiviral drugs, like Tamiflu and Relenza.  Antiviral drugs are different than antibiotics and are prescription medicines that are not available over-the-counter.  These drugs can make the illness milder and shorten the time you are sick.  For those with high risk factors, antiviral drugs may prevent serious flu complications.Kimi Hathaway, President/Owner

Blackbird Clinical Services

Blackbird Clinical Services offers blood lab, drug testing and clinical services including life insurance, DOT and immigration physicals.  All at very affordable rates.

For more details on how we can work with you or your business to promote good health, please give us a call at 765-447-8700, or send me an email at KHathaway@blackbirdclinicalsvs.com.

Santa on a scale

How to Avoid Gaining Weight Over the Holidays

How much weight do you think you gain over the holidays?  Is it 5, 7 or 10 pounds?  Actually, the good news is that it is closer to 1 pound, although for those who are heavier to begin with, the norm is closer to 5 pounds.

Santa on a scaleOn the not so good side according to research studies, the extra weight we acquire over the holidays is seldom lost. This adds to the weight gain we experience as we grow older.

Enjoy those Holiday Gatherings
So avoiding this annual weight gain has a greater long term impact on our health than just gaining a pound or two over the holidays.  So here are a few suggestions on how to still enjoy our holiday gatherings, while avoiding those extra calories.

You Don’t Have to Clean Your Plate
Remember the law of diminishing returns.  When it comes to eating the first bite always tastes the best.  Research has shown that we receive less pleasure the more we eat of a food.  So avoid eating a full serving of that dessert or sweet potato casserole, just take a bite or two and enjoy the flavor without all the calories.

Alcohol Adds A Lot of Calories
Alcohol accomplishes two negatives: extra calories without nutrition, and a relaxing of inhibitions. Beer is 160 calories per 12 oz. can, margaritas and pina coladas contain over 260 calories per serving, and we don’t want to even think about Grandma’s eggnog.

holiday food on a tableWith the lowering of our inhibitions we also tend to eat more.  Alternate a diet soda or water between drinks and minimize the caloric intake as well as the rough morning after.

Keep Your Distance from the Hors d’Oeuvres
Those small handfuls of munchies and plates of hors d’oeuvres quickly add to the calorie count.  Make a conscious effort to position yourself away from the hors d’oeuvre table at a holiday function.

Prepare for a Party
Take the edge off your appetite by eating a small, healthy snack before the party.  Not being hungry when you arrive at the party will allow you to choose wisely and keep you from over indulging.

Kimi Hathaway, President/OwnerStay Physically Active
Over the holidays we are busier than ever so finding time to exercise can be a challenge.  We know that physical active is important in maintaining a healthy weight, so if you don’t have time to get to the gym, stay fit by walking daily. Get up 15 minutes earlier than usual and walk briskly. Repeat just before dinner.

Have a Safe and Wonderful Holiday
The entire staff at Blackbird Clinical Services would like to wish you and your family a safe and fun-filled holiday.

dreamstime_l_84610981

So What’s Your Reason for Not Getting a Flu Shot?

Every year only about half of all Americans get the flu shot.  In the U.S. alone, 36,000 people die and over 200,000 end up in the hospital as a result of this virus each year. If you’ve ever had the flu, you know just how sick you can be.

Getting an annual flu shot is important, not only for your own health, but for the health of those around you, especially young children and seniors.

Common Myths About the Flu

So why doesn’t everyone get a flu shot each year?  There seems to be no shortage of misinformation when it comes to dealing with the flu. Here are some facts about the most common myths about the flu.

Myth:  You can catch the flu from the vaccine.
The vaccine is made from an inactivated virus that can’t transmit infection. So people who get sick after receiving a flu vaccination were going to get sick anyway. It takes a week or two to get protection from the vaccine. But people assume that because they got sick after getting the vaccine, the shot caused their illness.

Myth:  Healthy people don’t need to be vaccinated.
The flu vaccine is for anyone who does not want to be sick with the flu or inadvertently spread the virus to others. For those who care for the very young and seniors getting a flu shot is important to help protect these more vulnerable groups.  CDC recommends annual immunization for all people aged 6 months and older.

Myth:  You don’t need to get a flu shot every year.
Since the body’s immune response to a flu vaccine declines over time and because influenza viruses are always changing, getting vaccinated each year is important to make sure you have immunity to the strains most likely to cause an illness.

Myth:  I exercise and eat healthy, so I don’t need to get vaccinated.
The flu can spread when a sick person coughs, sneezes or talks, and can also be transmitted on surfaces that are touched by both sick and healthy people. Even healthy people can be infected with the flu virus without showing any symptoms.

Myth:  It’s not safe to get a flu shot while I’m pregnant.
Since pregnant women experience changes to their body that may affect their immune system, lungs and heart, they are especially susceptible to getting the flu.  It is highly recommended that a pregnant woman talk with her OB/GYN about getting a flu shot to protect herself and her newborn baby from flu for up to six months.

Myth:  I’m afraid of needles and flu vaccines are only available in a shot.
There are options other than the standard shot.  The intradermal flu shot is injected into the skin instead of the muscle and uses a much smaller needle than the regular flu shot. The nasal spray flu vaccine is administered in the nose.

MYTH:  All flu vaccines contain the preservative mercury.
The majority of single-dose vials and pre-filled syringes of flu shot and the nasal spray flu vaccine do not contain mercury because they are intended to be used only once.

Kimi Hathaway, President/OwnerStill Have Questions?

We are happy to answer any questions pertaining to flu shots.  Please give us a call at 765-447-8700, or send me an email at KHathaway@blackbirdclinicalsvs.com.

Blackbird Clinical Services Offers Low Cost Flu Shots
It is easy and fast to get your flu shot at Blackbird Clinical Service’s office located off S.R. 26 at 2 Executive Dr., Suite D, Lafayette, IN.  You can call for an appointment or just stop in.  Cost for the Quadravalent vaccination is just $27.  Sorry, but we don’t accept insurance for these shots.

Cold or Flu?

Cold or Flu? What do I do?

Cold or Flu?It’s that time of year again, when the kids are back in school and adults are inside more and in closer proximity to their co-workers, all of which expose our family members to an array of viruses.  So when you hear that first sniffle and sneeze, or raspy cough, how do you know if your family member is coming down with a cold or the flu?

What is the difference between a cold and the flu?

The flu and common cold are both respiratory illnesses caused by different viruses.  Because the two illnesses have similar symptoms, it can be hard to tell between them based on symptoms alone.  Colds are generally milder than the flu and generally do not result in serious health problems.  The flu can have very serious associated complications.

Flu symptoms can include fever and chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.  Individuals with colds are likely to have runny or stuffy noses and many of the same symptoms of flu, but generally milder.  It is important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

Cold or Flu chartFlu Complications

Young children, adults 65 and older, pregnant women and persons with certain chronic medical conditions are at a higher risk of serious flu complications possibly requiring hospitalization.  Complications can include sinus and ear infections, and more serious illnesses like pneumonia, especially with those with chronic lung disease or other respiratory conditions.

Steps to Fight the Flu

  1. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends that everyone 6 months of age or older get a flu vaccine by the end of October.
  2. Young children, pregnant women, those over 65 years of age, and anyone with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease, are at a higher risk for serious flu complications and should be vaccinated.
  3. Healthcare workers and others who care for high risk patients and infants should be vaccinated to prevent them from spreading the flu to these vulnerable populations.   See more recommendations at  Caring for Someone Sick.
  4. If you become ill with flu symptoms, the CDC recommends staying home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone. Try to avoid contact with others when you are sick and cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.  Discard the tissue in the trash.  You can find more details at  Taking Care of Yourself.
  5. Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them. Antiviral drugs are different than antibiotics and are prescription medicines that are not available over-the-counter.  These drugs can make the illness milder and shorten the time you are sick.  For those with high risk factors, antiviral drugs may prevent serious flu complications.

Kimi Hathaway, President/OwnerBlackbird Clinical Services Offers Low Cost Flu Shots
It is easy and fast to get your flu shot at Blackbird Clinical Service’s office located off S.R. 26 at 2 Executive Dr., Suite D, Lafayette,  IN.  You can call for an appointment or just stop in.  Cost for the Quadravalent* vaccination is just $27.  Sorry, but we don’t accept insurance for these shots.

To Receive More Details
We are happy to answer any questions pertaining to flu shots.  Please give us a call at 765-447-8700, or send me an email at KHathaway@blackbirdclinicalsvs.com.

Certified Lab Services

 

 

*The Quadravalent vaccine protects against the A H1N1 virus, A H3N2 virus and two B viruses.  This vaccine provides broader protection against circulating flu viruses.

 

Back to School Health Tips

Back to School Health Tips

Back to School Health TipsWhile school is a place to acquire knowledge, it is also a place where our children acquire an array of germs which cause illness, discomfort and missed school days. 

Going back to school can also entail sports physicals, immunizations, and being exposed to more allergens. 

Getting Started on the Right Foot

Many schools require certain vaccinations before children can enroll. Talk to your doctor to find out which ones are recommended, and consider getting the flu vaccine. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older.

Here are the required immunizations as listed by the Tippecanoe County Health Board.

Immunizations chartSports Physicals

Sports Participation Physicals

Most schools require students participating in school sponsored programs to have a sports physical prior to a new competitive season.  The exam helps determine whether it’s safe for your child to participate in a certain sport. Sports physicals include both a medical history and physical exam.

The medical history will review family medical history, previous illnesses, injuries, hospitalizations and surgeries; allergies; and medications that are being taken.

The medical exam will record a student’s height and weight; blood pressure and pulse; test vision; check the heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose and throat; and evaluate posture, joints, strength and flexibility.

Teach Good Hygiene Habits

Most children are not as conscious of personal hygiene as they should be, which can increase their risk of falling ill and result in valuable time spent away from the classroom.  Because children are in close proximity to other children throughout the school day, germs can be spread easily.

Young girl with flowers is sneezing, allergiesTo help your kids avoid getting sick, teach them to wash their hands after using the restroom and before going to lunch or eating a snack. It may be smart to provide your children with on-the-go hand sanitizer to use when washing their hands isn’t convenient.  Before giving your child hand sanitizer, please be sure to instruct them on how to safely use it.  Never give hand sanitizer to very small children who are prone to putting their hands in their mouths as it does often contain alcohol.

You should also tell them not to share food or drinks with other kids.  When eating their lunch instruct them to not place their food directly on the cafeteria table.  Show them how to eat out of their lunch container or place a napkin on the table before setting food down.

Dealing with Allergies

Allergies for many kick up in the Fall.  With ragweed and other grasses/weeds more prevalent, our children can exhibit more allergy symptoms including sneezing, runny noses, congestion and itchy eyes. All of which can slow you down, make it hard to concentrate, and generally make you miserable.

Antihistamines are often recommended along with topical nasal corticosteroids to alleviate the symptoms.  Be aware that most schools will require parents to take any medications to the school nurse to be administered by them during the school day.

School NurseYour School Nurse is Your Ally

School nurses play an important role in keeping our children safe and healthy.  In their role they provide health services that increase school attendance and prevent and control the spread of communicable disease.  They also manage students with chronic conditions such as diabetes and seizures; identify and treat accidents and injuries; and counsel students about physical and emotional issues.

Working with your school’s nurse to address chronic conditions and other medical situations can insure your child is getting appropriate care when not at home.

Kimi Hathaway, President/OwnerA Local Resource

Blackbird Clinical Services is a local resource that can direct you to those in the community who can answer your questions or provide services.  Blackbird Clinical offers sports participation physicals at the lowest cost in town.

Have Questions? Give Us a Call.

Feel free to contact Blackbird Clinical Services by either EMAIL or phone at at 765-447-8700.  We are always happy to answer your questions.

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Alcohol in the Workplace

Alcohol in the Workplace …. The Forgotten Drug

Alcohol Free WorkplaceWith so much attention being paid to the impact of illegal drugs such as opioids, heroin and prescription pills, we can lose site that the most common drug of abuse in America, although legal, is alcohol.

The impact of alcohol in the workplace for both employers and other employees, like all drug abuse, can have a significant impact on workplace safety, productivity, absenteeism and medical costs.

The Effects of Alcohol in the Workplace

alcohol hurts your job skillsAlcohol is a depressant drug that slows the messages to and from the brain and body.  Alcohol can affect problem solving skills, judgment, concentration, reaction times and coordination.   All of these can have negative consequences on ‘fitness for work’ as well as individual health and well-being.

  • Preventing accidents that result in injury and or death particularly in occupations involving operating heavy machinery or driving vehicles.
  • Workplace relationships with co-workers and customers. The effects of alcohol can impact behavior including acting unprofessionally towards clients, customers and other employees; co-workers may be resentful for covering for others affected by alcohol or the ‘hangover’ effects of alcohol.
  • Lower workplace productivity due to short-term absenteeism and a lower quality and quantity of work due to poor decision making and disruption to operations.  Also the lost productivity of co-workers covering for alcohol-affected employees.
  • Workplace related costs incurred due to long-term alcohol-related job performance include loss of productivity, damaged equipment, employer insurance liabilities, and the related costs of replacement and training new employees.

Detecting Alcohol Abuse is Everyone’s Responsibility

Monitoring work-related alcohol use and its effects on safety, health, and behavior in the workplace is everyone’s responsibility.  All employers and employees have safety and health responsibilities and obligations in relation to the workplace.Alcohol in the Workplace

  • Employers have a legal obligation to respond to alcohol use and related-harm in the workplace through ‘duty of care’ provisions under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
  • Employees have an obligation to take reasonable care of their own safety and health and not endanger the safety and health of others at the workplace.

Alcohol in the Workplace Policy

If you haven’t already, every employer should have in place a Drug and Alcohol policy that is tailored to your business.  It should spell out why the company established the policy; what precisely is expected of employees; and the consequences for policy violations.

Alcohol Testing

Any drug testing program must be fair, accurate, and legally defensible.  When testing someone who is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol at work, it is important to have that individual tested immediately.

There are different types of tests available for alcohol detection that can be administered at the workplace, on the job site, or at a clinic.  It is recommended that these tests be performed by a certified professional.  This ensures all procedures are followed and the risk of being challenged on the result is minimized.Kimi Hathaway, President/Owner

Have Questions on Addressing Alcohol in the Workplace?

Feel free to contact Blackbird Clinical Services by either EMAIL or phone at at 765-447-8700.  We are always happy to answer your questions.

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Tips for a Healthy Vacation

Staying Healthy on Your Next Vacation

Making Travel Plans
Familiarize Yourself with Your Destination

Learn something about your destination.  Traveling to a familiar spot?  Then you probably know the routine and can prepare properly.  If you are going somewhere new, especially if it is out of the country, there are a number of things you’ll need to do.

Travel Health Notices

Check for Travel Health Notices from the Center for Disease Control for your destination at Travel Notices. This will make you aware of any weather or health concerns before you leave.  On almost any trip you’ll want to bring these common items along:

  • Insect repellent containing DEET (30%-50%) or picaridin (up to 15%)Tips for a Healthy Vacation
  • Sunscreen (preferably SPF 15 or greater) that has both UVA and UVB protection
  • Antibacterial hand wipes or alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol
  • Lubricating eye drops
  • Vitamin C taken regularly will improve your immune system and help you ward off illness

For the complete list of items the Center for Disease Control recommends you include on your next trip go to Travel Health Kit.  And don’t forget your health insurance cards.

Upon Arrival and During Your Trip

Travel Health KitOnce you’ve reached your destination pay attention to your health and take these minimal precautions.

  • Use sunscreen and insect repellent as directed.
  • Be careful about food and water.
  • Stay hydrated, get 9 to 13 cups of fluids per day
  • Try not to take risks with your health and safety.
  • Limit alcohol intake, and do not drink alcohol and drive.
  • Wear a seat belt.
  • Wear protective gear when doing adventure activities.
  • Respect your host country and its people by following local laws and customs

Fun and Relaxing, Most of the Time

Going on vacation should always be fun and even relaxing.  We all need some time to recharge our batteries, enjoy some extra time with our families, and get away from our daily routines.  With a little planning, an unforeseen illness or injury won’t ruin your vacation.

A Little Help to Get Ready

Let Blackbird Clinical Services help you get ready for your next vacation.  We’ll be happy to provide any lab services required by your doctor, prior to heading cross country or out of the country.  Just give us a call at (765) 447-8700.