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CPM Certified Professional Midwife study tips |

CPM study tips - Certified Professional Midwife Updated: 2024

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Exam Code: CPM Certified Professional Midwife study tips January 2024 by team

CPM Certified Professional Midwife

Exam Details:
- Number of Questions: The number of questions in the CPM (Certified Professional Midwife) exam may vary depending on the certifying organization. Typically, the exam consists of multiple-choice questions, and the exact number can range from 150 to 250 questions.

- Time: The duration of the exam can also vary depending on the organization. Generally, candidates are given a set time limit to complete the exam, which can range from 3 to 5 hours. It is advisable to refer to the specific guidelines provided by the certifying organization for accurate information regarding the exam duration.

Course Outline:
The CPM certification program is designed to assess the knowledge and skills required to practice as a professional midwife. While the specific course outline may vary depending on the certifying organization, the following syllabus are typically covered:

1. Midwifery Philosophy and Principles:
- History and philosophy of midwifery
- The role and responsibilities of a certified professional midwife
- Legal and ethical considerations in midwifery practice

2. Pregnancy and Prenatal Care:
- Anatomy and physiology of pregnancy
- Prenatal assessments and screenings
- Antenatal care and education for expectant parents

3. Intrapartum Care and Delivery:
- Stages of labor and childbirth
- Monitoring maternal and fetal well-being during labor
- Techniques for supporting natural childbirth and managing complications

4. Postpartum Care:
- Postpartum physiological changes and recovery
- Breastfeeding support and education
- Newborn care and assessments

5. Newborn Care and Neonatal Resuscitation:
- Neonatal assessment and resuscitation techniques
- Newborn screening and immunizations
- Common newborn conditions and interventions

6. Complications and Emergency Situations:
- Recognition and management of obstetric emergencies
- Complications during labor and birth
- Communication and collaboration with healthcare professionals in emergency situations

7. Professional Practice and Ethics:
- Professional standards and guidelines for midwifery practice
- Business and legal aspects of a midwifery practice
- Cultural competency and sensitivity in providing care

Exam Objectives:
The objectives of the CPM exam typically include:

1. Assessing Knowledge: Evaluate the candidate's understanding of midwifery principles, practices, and essential knowledge areas.

2. Testing Clinical Skills: Assess the candidate's ability to apply theoretical knowledge to clinical scenarios and make appropriate decisions in various aspects of midwifery care.

3. Evaluating Critical Thinking: Assess the candidate's critical thinking skills in evaluating evidence, problem-solving, and making sound clinical judgments in midwifery practice.

4. Certifying Midwifery Competencies: Provide a recognized certification for individuals who demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and competencies required to practice as a certified professional midwife.

Exam Syllabus:
The specific exam syllabus for the CPM may vary depending on the certifying organization. However, the following syllabus are typically included:

1. Midwifery Philosophy and Principles:
- History and philosophy of midwifery
- Midwifery models of care
- Legal and ethical considerations in midwifery practice

2. Anatomy and Physiology:
- Female reproductive system
- Fetal development and physiology
- Physiological changes during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum

3. Prenatal Care:
- Prenatal assessments and screenings
- Nutrition and exercise during pregnancy
- Education and counseling for expectant parents

4. Intrapartum Care:
- Stages of labor and childbirth
- Comfort measures and pain management techniques
- Monitoring maternal

and fetal well-being during labor

5. Postpartum Care:
- Postpartum physiological changes and recovery
- Breastfeeding support and education
- Newborn care and assessments

6. Newborn Care:
- Newborn assessment and examinations
- Common newborn conditions and interventions
- Neonatal resuscitation techniques

7. Complications and Emergency Situations:
- Obstetric emergencies and management
- Complications during labor and birth
- Communication and collaboration with healthcare professionals in emergency situations

8. Professional Practice:
- Professional standards and guidelines for midwifery practice
- Business aspects of a midwifery practice
- Cultural competency and sensitivity in providing care
Certified Professional Midwife
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Certified Professional Midwife
Question: 36
A client in labor is administered with an anesthetic through the spinal
subarachnoid space. Which of the following actions by the nurse is the least
appropriate when managing the client?
A. The midwife maintains the client flat on bed for 8 to 12 hours.
B. Inform the client that headaches may occur.
C. Monitor the client for hypertension.
D. Administer IV fluids.
Answer: C
The midwife should monitor the client for hypotension, not hypertension
Subarachnoid or spinal block relieves uterine and perineal pain and numbs the
lower extremities, vagina and perineum. The anesthetic may cause headaches.
The client should be flat on the bed for 8 to 12 hours. Administration of IV fluids
is also appropriate.
Question: 37
A midwife is teaching a 14-year-old girl about contraceptives. The client gave
birth to a healthy baby girl three days ago. The midwife is correct when she says
that the most effective way to protect against conception is through:
A. Natural family planning.
B. Abstinence.
C. Oral contraception.
D. Surgical methods.
Answer: B
Abstinence is the most effective way to protect against conception. Natural family
planning has a failure rate of about 20%. Oral contraception has a failure rate of
about 3%. If used correctly, oral contraceptives are 99.5% effective. Surgical
methods have a failure rate between 0.1 and 0.4%.
Question: 38
A midwife is assessing four female clients with signs and symptoms involving the
reproductive system. All clients are engaging in heterosexual sexual relationships.
The midwife requires identification and treatment of sexual partners of all of the
following clients except:
A. A client diagnosed with genital herpes.
B. A client diagnosed with chlamydia.
C. A client diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis.
D. A client with hepatitis B.
Answer: C
A client diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis is not required to identify her sexual
partners for treatment. Engaging in unprotected sex increases the risk for bacterial
vaginosis for women only, and it is believed that bacterial vaginosis can be
transmitted between women. Therefore, only women who engage in sexual
relationships with other women need to identify their sexual partners for treatment
of bacterial vaginosis.
Question: 39
A midwife is assessing the fertility of couples who have been trying to conceive
for a period of time without success. Which of the following couples has primary
A. A couple engaging in unprotected sex for half a year. No previous conceptions
are reported.
B. A couple engaging in unprotected sex for one year. A previous conception is
C. A couple engaging in unprotected sex for one year. No previous conceptions
are reported.
D. A couple engaging in unprotected sex for half a year. A previous conception is
Answer: C
Infertility is engaging in unprotected sex for one year without an occurring
pregnancy. If the couple has no previous conceptions, it is called primary
infertility. If the couple reported a previous conception, it is called secondary
Question: 40
A couple is considering artificial insemination after the man fails to respond to
medications that intend to increase his sperm count. Which of the following
statements about artificial insemination is false?
A. A donors sperm can be used.
B. The sperm is instilled into the female reproductive tract one day after
C. It involves selective termination of gestational sacs.
D. The sperm is instilled into the cervix or uterus.
Answer: C
Artificial insemination does not involve selective termination of gestational sacs.
Selective termination is performed in in vitro fertilization. Artificial insemination
may be considered if the man has inadequate sperm count or if the woman has a
condition that interferes with sperm motility.
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Medical Professional study tips - BingNews Search results Medical Professional study tips - BingNews 10 Tips on Getting Into Med School

Medical schools are highly competitive. The national acceptance rate is 43%, according to data compiled by the Association of American Medical Colleges. Students often ask, "How do I get into medical school?" Use these top 10 tips from doctors and medical students to help you prepare for your pre-health profession.

1. Get Some Medical Experience on Your Résumé

Job shadow with doctors and other medical professionals. Admissions committees don't expect applicants to have real experience actually treating patients. After all, you're not a doctor yet. But they do want to know that you've spent time getting to know what your future job would be like. Job shadowing is a great way to get some medical experience but there are other non-shadowing opportunities that may be available to you.

"Med school admissions committees want students to have realistic expectations for what a career in medicine will be like. says Dr. Sarah Carlson, an associate chief of surgery at VA Boston HCS, and an assistant professor at BU School of Medicine. who has also served on a medical school admissions committee. As an undergraduate, she volunteered to file x-rays at the local hospital, then parlayed that into an opportunity to talk with the radiologist. He explained both how to read x-ray films, and why he chose his profession. "It's those types of interactions that are important to have under your belt," she says. "Quite frankly, medicine isn't for everyone, so it's best if you do some soul-searching and spend some time with the people who have the job you want. Most doctors are happy to sit down with students who are considering a career in medicine."

Former pre-med student and current medical school student Karmyn Polakowski served with Michigan Tech's EMS for a couple of years. "It was definitely the highlight of my undergraduate career," she says. "I was not only able to deploy my patient interaction and care skills, but I found the EMS family that created bonds to last a lifetime. EMS brings out special qualities in everyone and learning how to utilize everyone’s strengths is really quite eye-opening. This lesson in itself makes me confident in my ability to work well as a physician amongst a group of other healthcare workers someday soon." Polakowski is now attending Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.

Other ways to get medical experience include becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) or as a hospital scribe doing data entry. Some applicants are able to gain clinical experience by helping to care for family members.

2. Do Research Projects

Student holding a pippet and looking at a bottle

Demonstrate your hands-on science knowledge. "Undergraduate research experience really shines through on medical school applications. Most medical schools want students who are interested in research, and the best way to show that interest is to come in having already gotten your feet wet" says Dr. Carlson. She did pipetting and ran assays for Dr. Pushpa Murthy's lab at Michigan Technological University. It was a small part of the research, but she conveyed the overall impact. "I had to explain at my interviews that the larger scope of the research was about inositol phosphate metabolism."

Medical student Carly Joseph did long-term research in engineered biomaterials. "Sticking with it gave me time to learn how to think critically and ignited my passion for science," she says. "I started off simply learning about biomaterials from older students in the lab, then gradually worked up to doing my own experiments and eventually presenting at conferences." By choosing to make research a main priority each semester she was able to form close relationships with faculty mentors and accomplish more during undergrad than she ever imagined.

In addition to college-based research programs, you can investigate summer offerings, including those through the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates program or check out the AAMC database for summer undergrad research programs

3. Put in Time Serving Others

Dr. Carlson volunteered with the Big Brothers-Big Sisters organization. So did Joseph. Rake leaves, build an accessibility ramp, clean the beach, walk a dog. There are lots of non-clinical options for volunteering that demonstrate your willingness to pay it forward and give back.

"They have many different programs and services." Joseph, accepted into Central Michigan University's College of Medicine, was part of the Forever Friends program, matched with an elderly woman she visited a few times each month. "I 've formed a great friendship with her, and hopefully, helped alleviate some loneliness. It 's a win-win!"

"Doctors are generally pretty altruistic people, and med schools want to see that you care about your community or have some drive to contribute to the greater good," says Dr. Carlson. "Community service comes in many forms, and really anything qualifies, from trash cleanup and mentorship programs to working the concession stand at a fund-raiser for a charity—anything that requires some unpaid time for a good cause."

Ask your pre-health professions advisor about volunteering opportunities on campus or in your community, which could include helping at local food banks or blood drives, local shelters for the homeless or those dealing with domestic violence. You could tutor, deliver good companionship and Meals on Wheels, or walk the dogs at a local animal shelter. Take an alternative spring break and work with Habitat for Humanity or on developing clean water sources for Third World countries. Check with your school for a list of community and global partners it works with who can use your time and talents. The mentors you develop will come in handy when it's time to gather recommendation letters—most schools ask for at least three—and the friendships you develop will last a lifetime.

4. Choose a Major You Will Excel In

Grades aren't everything, but they're extremely important. Choose a field of study that will yield a competitive GPA (grade point average). The recommended GPA for medical school applicants is 3.7 for MDs (medical doctors), 3.5 for DOs (doctors of osteopathy), and 3.4 for NDs (Doctor of Naturopathic). While many students who are planning careers in medicine decide to major in biology, Dr. Carlson earned her bachelor's in chemistry. Many of her colleagues majored in even more unexpected fields, including engineering, English, music, and classics.

"It 's OK if you 're not on the pre-med track right away when you start college; pursue experiences that genuinely interest you and rely on guidance from your faculty mentors to navigate your path"Carly Joseph

There is no such thing as a pre-med major, says pre-health professions advisor Dr. Kemmy Taylor, who works with students preparing for medical careers at Michigan Technological University. "There is no specific major requirement for getting into medical school.. You can major in whatever degree program you want." You will still need to do well in both your cumulative and your science GPA, classes like biology, physics, chemistry, and math, that are required for medical school admission. If you are struggling in any classes, get help right away.

During her fourth year, Joseph had to take many of the medical school prerequisite classes that were not part of her engineering curriculum and build a Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) study plan into her schedule.

5. Apply to Multiple Medical Schools

Student sitting at a laptop

Improve your odds by not placing all your hopes on one school. Do individual research on each school, says Taylor; application requirements can vary from school to school and from year-to-year.

She also notes that you can reach out to admission committees with specific questions about the program and expectations. And, she says, don't be bummed if at first you don't succeed. Try again. "If you don 't get accepted into the school of your dreams, it 's OK! Schools have many applicants and can 't take everyone," says McKenzie, who was accepted into the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. "My dad, who has been a family physician for 29 years, often tells me, "An MD is an MD, it doesn't matter where you go to school."

"Don't take it personally when you get some rejections—they happen at every stage of the game. If you cast a wide net, you'll increase your likelihood of getting an acceptance."Dr.  Sarah Carlson

Other ways to get noticed among the hundreds or even thousands of medical school applications submitted each year: send supplemental materials beyond your application. For example, "if you've published a paper, consider sending a copy of the publication with a handwritten note to the director of admissions, indicating you really hope to be considered for acceptance," she says.

6. Study Early and Often for the Medical College Admission Test, or MCAT

MCAT scores range from 472-528. Accepted medical students average around 508. Recommended study time: 300-350 hours.

Take a course and buy books and study on your own. Find the method that works for you. Take practice tests many times and don't let your practice scores spook you, says McKenzie. "I used the Kaplan book series, and studied by reading, highlighting, and taking notes. The real MCAT was not as hard as the Kaplan test, in my opinion." The pre-health professions advisor can help you find the resources you need.

You can also join a pre-health professions club or association at your school, including Alpha Epsilon Delta, the national honor society for health pre-professionals. Members help each other get ready for tests, along with hosting speakers and events to help gain knowledge and experience.

7. Learn Another Language

"I speak Spanish almost every day at work," says Dr. Carlson. "It 's what I use the most from my premed education." Joseph spent a semester in Chile. "Focusing on language, culture, and people challenged me in a me in ways that technical classes couldn't and was critical in my preparation for medical school. If you 're thinking about studying abroad, do it. Communication and understanding different cultures are crucial skills for anyone entering the medical field, and medical schools look for applicants who make the effort to broaden their horizons culturally."

Medical volunteer programs abroad are another option to gain both life and health-care related experiences. Students are placed in hospitals and clinics in both rural and urban settings where staff is inadequate. Work, with professional guidance, can include giving vaccinations and other tasks interacting directly with patients, as well as helping to make facilities cleaner and more accessible. Programs are normally for people aged 18 and older

8. Don't Skimp on Extracurricular Activities

Students playing trumpets with a choir behind.

Show that you're interested in other things besides schoolwork. Dr. Carlson says having outside interests makes you stand out (she plays violin in an orchestra). "It's OK to indicate some of these personal interests on your med school applications—they give the interviewers something to relate to you with," she says. "I interviewed one applicant who only got a C in biochemistry, but he wrote lots of letters to the admissions committee highlighting his other strengths. We accepted him, and he turned out to be a star."

"Medical schools like to see commitment in their applicants, be it to sports, work, or extracurricular activities," says McKenzie. "It 's easier to not join clubs and just do homework and relax, but devoting time now to extracurricular commitments is worth it in the long run. These experiences also give you good opportunities to get to know people who can write the letters of recommendation."

Joseph says to choose activities based on what works best for you. Aim for quality rather than quantity.

"There 's a lot of pressure to have as many leadership roles as possible and be involved in tons of student organizations. For me though, having a few deep and lasting experiences was the way to go. I chose to invest my time in research, improving my Spanish, and volunteering," she says.

9. Be Polite and Be Yourself at Medical School Interviews

Research the schools you're interested in and look at mission statements, so you know something about the institution that you can share at the interview. Practice answering interview questions. When you arrive, be courteous to everyone you meet at the interview, including the receptionist.

"Schools are interested in learning what kind of student and person you are," says McKenzie. Schools invest in students and are looking for a good fit.

If you need help with effective body language, knowing how to dress professionally or for other tips, check out your school's Career Services office, which may offer mock interview opportunities and other techniques to help you present your best self.

10. Be Ready to Explain Why You Want to be a Doctor

Standing student in business attire writing in a notebook

Avoid generic answers like "I want to help people." There's no one right answer. Be specific. Tell your story.

McKenzie's dream centers on helping people close to home, in an underserved area that suffers from chronic physician shortages. "I have always wanted to return to the Houghton-Hancock area, where I grew up, and to serve my rural community."

For Joseph, the dream centers on combining a passion for science with helping others in a direct way.

Dr. Carlson 's dream started when she was five years old and her sister was born with cystic fibrosis. She reminds applicants to go beyond that initial inspiration during application interviews and explain how you've prepared for a grueling process that is not for everyone. "After medical school comes residency, and then—for some—fellowship, academic track positions, publications, and navigating an ever-evolving health care system," says Dr. Carlson.

Bonus Tips for Getting into Medical School

Dr. Carlson has two more important suggestions to help you successfully apply to medical school:

Ask a Mentor or Advisor to Pick Up the Phone and Make a Call for You

"This is an unwritten rule that everyone does and nobody ever told me until I was several years into my training," says Dr. Carlson. "If you want to go to a particular school, find a way to have one of your mentors or advisors reach out to the admissions committee on your behalf."

For example, if you wanted to go to the University of Michigan ask your advisor or another mentor to call the director of admissions or any other person they know and advocate for you. Email can also be effective, she says. "It's a bonus if your mentor/advisor actually has a personal contact at the medical school you're interested in. "There is a culture of 'I can vouch for this person' that goes very far in the medical world. A phone call won't get you in if your application is terrible, but if you're on the cusp of acceptance and someone makes a call on your behalf, it can give you the push you need to be accepted."

Don't Be Afraid to Self-Promote (In a Humble Way).

"It's OK to highlight the accomplishments you're proud of; put these in your required personal statement or find a way to work them into conversation during interviews. The key is to do it humbly but confidently: 'I was fortunate enough to win a teaching award from my time as a chemistry lab TA, and that's something I'm really proud of.' It's OK to be proud of your own achievements! Selectively highlighting a few make your application stand out from the rest."

Do you have the personal skills it takes for a career in medicine?

Medical students must be dedicated and focused. "A significant amount of personal sacrifice comes along with the training, and if you don't have a great motivation, you won't find the sacrifice worth the reward," says Dr. Carlson. If you can answer yes to these questions, or you're willing to find the resources to work to develop any of these vital skills you could improve, you increase your chances of being able to accomplish what it takes to be accepted into medical school.

Are you compassionate, mature, and emotionally intelligent?

Compassionate people are kind. They are aware of suffering in the self and other living things, and they want to help alleviate suffering. Mature people are able to accept responsibility. They are considerate of others, patient, and supportive of others, among other qualities. Emotionally intelligent people are aware of their emotions. They can harness and apply their emotions to problem-solving and other tasks and manage emotions—like being able to cheer up yourself, or other people, or to infuse calm into a situation.

Are you hard-working?

Hard-working people are conscientious about correctly performing duties and tasks on time. They are willing to put in the hours necessary to achieve goals.

Are you a high achiever?

High-achieving people are motivated to set and complete ambitious goals. They have a passion to excel in the field they choose to work in and are not daunted by obstacles.

Are you socially conscious?

Socially conscious people strive to stay informed and aware about the world around them, including how people interact with the economy, education, and both physical and social environments.

Do you have excellent quantitative and qualitative skills?

People with quantitative skills can perform analyses and other concrete and measurable tasks. Two examples of quantitative skills are data interpretation and math. People with qualitative skills are able to perform broad skills. Resilience and creativity are two examples of qualitative skills.

Pre-Health Professions at Michigan Tech

Michigan Tech's placement rate into medical school is 60 to 70 percent (well above the national average) and is nearly 100 percent for physical therapy school. Choose a pre-health profession and prepare for your future today.

Tue, 07 Aug 2018 02:27:00 -0500 en text/html
Clinical Experience Tips

Whether your goal is medical school or dental school, clinical experience during your undergraduate career is a must. Here are some common ways to gain it at SUNY Cortland.


Most hospitals house a Volunteer Department that students can contact to gain experience with patients. It may only be in patient transport or calling patients to review their hospital experience, but any contact with patients is beneficial.

Additionally, nursing homes and hospice centers need volunteers for a variety of tasks. Many volunteer opportunities also exist at important healthcare organizations such as rape/suicide crisis centers, HIV/AIDS resource clinics or Planned Parenthood.

One of the most common locations for our students to volunteer is the Cortland Medical Center. For more information, contact Jarrod Kolodziejczyk, the hospital’s director of volunteer services.

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

SUNY Cortland boasts a close-knit, award-winning Emergency Medical Services (EMS) student group that provides quality emergency care service 24 hours per day, seven days per week on campus.

The function of the squad has grown into a first response unit, as well as an organization which educates the campus community. The College also financially supports students in taking training courses such as the EMT basic course, which allows students to administer basic life saving techniques on a patient.

Learn more about EMS on its campus group page.

Observe in a Dental Office/Clinic

Pre-dental students can find volunteer opportunities to work locally at community health clinics, local schools or even globally to promote oral care in underserved populations.

A full list of opportunities and community health centers can be found on the American Dental Association website.

Shadow a Medical Doctor

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) offers many tips on setting up a shadowing experience with a doctor, including how to find one, how to ask them and even what you should wear.

Members of SUNY Cortland’s Pre-Medical Advisory Committee can offer their expertise if you are interested in a shadowing experience.

Study Abroad

SUNY Cortland students can participate in a special study abroad trip to Cuernavaca, Mexico during winter break designed to expose pre-health professionals to healthcare in a developing country.

Students develop Spanish language skills to be effective healthcare providers, observe medicine in a variety of clinical settings and gain cross-cultural experiences that will add to their cultural competence.

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

A CNA works under the direction of a nurse, assisting in basic tasks such as obtaining vital signs and weight/height measurements as well as bathing and dressing people who cannot do these tasks alone. Generally, a CNA is required to complete a 75-hour training course and pass an assessment exam.


Phlebotomists are the technicians that draw blood for laboratory analysis. They need to know everything about blood collection, including handling of needles, tubes, bags and related equipment, as well as the regulations associated with blood collection. A phlebotomy technician course is required, along with passing a national certification exam. Phlebotomy gives students a flexible, paid position to gain patient contact hours. 


In this role, you follow Emergency Room clinicians around during clinical encounters and document medical history and physical exams in the electronic medical record. Scribing allows you to observe the patient-doctor interaction, learn medical terms and documentation skills and develop an understanding of challenges in healthcare.

Hospitals usually work with scribe companies that train and match students with area hospitals. Scribe America is a company that places students locally. Many require a yearlong commitment, which means that you will work part-time during the semester.

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 14:32:00 -0500 en text/html
6 Tips to Ace a Medical School Interview No result found, try new keyword!Your well-prepared application, excellent MCAT scores, academic record and research commitment have resulted in invitations to medical school ... Here are six tips to help you ace your interview. Fri, 31 Jul 2020 08:01:00 -0500 Local psychologist shares prevention tips with insights into higher teen depression, suicide rates

MultiCare clinical psychologist Kimberly Chupurdia knows the stories behind the 2023 data indicating higher rates of depression among teens – and for some – suicidal thoughts.

She regularly sees teenagers, among other patients, at the Rockwood Quail Run Clinic on the South Hill. She believes two reasons factor into the rise in teens’ anxiety and depression: lingering effects from COVID shutdowns and an uptick in social media use.

Some teens have had difficulties transitioning back to school and other social structures, even months beyond pandemic closures, Chupurdia said. While many schools returned to in-person classes by January 2022, there are teens still struggling, she said.

“Just the last couple of years, we’ve seen quite a rise in teens having significant mental health issues, as well as suicidal thoughts, feelings, behaviors,” said Chupurdia, who also is a behavioral health specialist.

“Some of these kids really felt like COVID was a traumatic experience, and they’re not dealing as well with the transition back into real life,” she said. “They aren’t doing as well with social interactions and integrating into the school systems. There’s a lot more anxiety. They still talk about it like it happened yesterday.”

A Washington state report released in July reported similar concerns.

It found 21% of 10th graders in Washington had considered suicide when they took a survey in 2021. About 16% actually planned a suicide, and 8% attempted suicide.

The report also detailed that 14% of 10th graders were bullied within the past month, that 39% felt sad or hopeless for two or more weeks in a row in the past year and that only 51% reported they had a trusted adult to consult with when sad or hopeless.

Signs and ways to help

Children between the ages of 12 and 15 who spend more than three hours a day on social media may be at a heightened risk for mental health problems, a 2019 study found.

Chupurdia urges no more than two hours a day for teens to view social media. Cyberbullying occurs, she said, but there are other online hazards.

“If you get on Instagram and you see your friend is out having fun with other people and posted a picture of that, to a kid who is a little anxious socially, that’s going to make them feel bad, ‘Why wasn’t I included? Why are they having fun without me? They must hate me,’ ” Chupurdia said. “They spin it in a way that is really unhealthy.

“No teenager should have unlimited access to social media; they are still children.”

The state of Washington has joined dozens of other states to sue Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, accusing the social media giant of fueling a nationwide youth mental health crisis by engineering products to be addictive for children.

Chupurdia offered some signs adults can look for regarding teen depression, including behavior changes such as unusual eating and sleeping patterns, withdrawal from others, impulsiveness, acting out more or arguing. It might be more impulsiveness without thinking through consequences or ongoing feelings of sadness and loss of interest in usual hobbies and activities.

“Prevention is primarily noticing that something is off and having somebody who is a professional – either medical professional or mental health professional – evaluate them,” Chupurdia said.

“When you see your kid not being your kid, I don’t think it’s ever a bad idea to overreact and get them checked out. It might mean going to see your regular provider to make sure.”

In Washington state, youths ages 13 and older can get behavioral health services without prior consent from a parent, guardian or family member. Medication can never be forced, Chupurdia said, and antidepressants aren’t always necessary.

Intensive group treatment is for serious depression and ongoing struggles with suicidal thoughts, she said.

“Hospitalization might be necessary if a teenager has a pretty specific plan.”

The most common therapy is one-on-one with a licensed professional to help the youths build coping skills. If teenagers are struggling with sleep, medication might aid with nightly rest, Chupurdia added.

“Getting a good night’s sleep is pretty key to managing depression.”

Parents should be aware of teenagers’ time spent on cellphones – and set limits ahead of regular bedtimes, Chupurdia said.

“The phone should go away an hour before bed so that they can unwind,” she said. “They should have a bedtime and not be allowed to stay up half the night on their phones.

“For someone who is feeling suicidal, I might even suggest a vacation from the phone and social media in general, for a couple of weeks, just to get rid of that saturation and to focus on genuine in-real-life relationships.”

She said teens refer to IRL, for “in-real-life” friends, versus online friends. Some adolescents have befriended others solely online, such as in playing video games, without ever developing in-person relationships with them.

“That’s a problem regardless of suicide, but it certainly would be a risk factor, not having those in-real-life friends.”

Suicide risk goes up dramatically when there is also substance use, such as alcohol or marijuana, she added.

One challenge is that teenagers’ brains are still developing, so impulsive and experimental behaviors can happen, she said.

“It’s a fine line, but if you notice an increase in impulsive behaviors, I’d call that a risk factor.”

Parents might try to encourage a teen to do more social activities, she added, such as school sports, clubs or outside activities with peers.


Many primary care providers can evaluate a teen for mental health concerns and refer to a therapist. It’s becoming more common for providers to use a patient health questionnaire, or PHQ-9, with nine questions about depression and its severity. It asks how often someone has found little pleasure in doing things normally enjoyed, or the frequency of feeling down, depressed or hopeless.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 988.

Excelsior Wellness partners with Spokane County for a free service, at or (844) 814-8336, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. It’s available to teens or young adults in Adams, Ferry, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane and Stevens counties.

The Trevor Project operates a 24/7 national suicide prevention hotline for LGBTQ youth, reachable by calling 1 (866) 488-7386, texting ‘START’ 678-678 or messaging online at

Thu, 04 Jan 2024 22:41:00 -0600 en text/html
22 ways to relieve a nighttime cough

There are several ways to relieve a nighttime cough, such as using a humidifier or herbal preparations. If an underlying condition causes coughing, treating this may also help.

A troublesome cough during the day may seem more intense at night, and some coughs worsen when a person lies down. However, various strategies can help a person get a better night’s sleep with a cough.

It is important to note that not every remedy will be suitable for every type of cough. It is best for a person to contact their doctor for a diagnosis and treatment advice.

Read on to discover ways to reduce or ease nighttime coughing, including addressing conditions that can cause a cough. These include managing the environment, using medications, lifestyle changes, and natural remedies.

Here are some tips that focus on managing the air people breathe, both in the bedroom and during the day.

1. Try to quit smoking

Exposure to tobacco smoke is the most common environmental cause of chronic cough.

If a person smokes, quitting smoking can help lower the risk of a cough, as well as help manage conditions that may cause a nighttime cough, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and asthma.

Coughing may Improve after 8 weeks of quitting smoking.

A doctor can advise on effective ways to quit smoking and how to use aids such as nicotine patches, gum, and medication.

Discover 11 tips to give up smoking.

2. Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke

According to the American Cancer Society, people who do not smoke but spend time in smoky areas are also at risk of a cough, asthma, various lung diseases, and cancers.

Asking others not to smoke and avoiding smoky areas may help reduce irritation and inflammation.

How does secondhand smoke affect people with asthma?

3. Try a humidifier

Dry air can irritate the throat and sinuses and worsen a cough. Air conditioning and cooling fans in the summer and heating systems in the winter can make the environment dry.

Using a humidifier at night can add moisture to the air while a person sleeps. This may help soothe the throat and prevent coughing. It is best to use distilled or demineralized water, as tap water can leave particles when it evaporates.

However, too much moisture can contribute to mold growth. Mold can be an allergen and cause more coughing.

A humidity level of about 40–50% is suitable for a bedroom, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

4. Manage allergens

Allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to a generally harmless substance. Indoor allergens include mold, pet dander, and dust. They can lead to sneezing, stuffiness, and coughing.

Some ways to decrease allergy-related coughing in the bedroom include:

  • using an asthma and allergy-friendly vacuum cleaner regularly
  • putting an allergy cover on the mattress
  • showering before bed to remove outdoor allergens
  • keeping pets out of the bedroom

5. Reduce dust

Dust in the bedroom can worsen symptoms at night.

Some tips for reducing dust and dust mites include:

  • avoiding wall-to-wall carpets, soft furniture, and other items that collect dust
  • washing bedding in hot water weekly
  • ventilating the space
  • preventing damp, as mold increases dust

6. Keep windows closed

Depending on where a person lives, keeping the windows closed may help reduce allergic reactions and coughing at night.

Keeping the windows closed may help eliminate dust, air pollution, and pollen from sleeping areas.

7. Use an air filter

Air filters and air purifiers can help remove particles from the air, which may help reduce coughing.

Research from 2020 looked at the effect of using air filters in the bedroom for 6 weeks on people with allergic rhinitis.

Results suggested that an air purifier fitted with a HEPA filter can significantly lower both the concentration of particles in the air and the need for medication in people with this condition.

8. Raise the head of the bed

Coughing may worsen at night because a person is lying flat. Mucus can pool in the back of the throat and cause coughing.

Sleeping with the head elevated can reduce the symptoms of postnasal drip and GERD. Both can cause coughing at night.

A person can prop up the head of their bed using:

  • an adjustable bed
  • additional pillows
  • blocks under the legs of the bed
  • a back wedge

There are many herbal and natural remedies for a cough. It is best to first contact a doctor, as there is not enough scientific research to confirm that many natural remedies are effective and safe, and they may interact with other therapies.

Some treatments may also be unsuitable for children.

Learn about 12 natural cough remedies.

9. Drink lemon with honey

Drinking lemon with honey before bed may help soothe the throat and reduce irritation. According to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, it has a similar effect to cough medications.

Honey is not suitable for children under 12 months.

10. Ivy leaf

Some cough mixtures contain natural expectorants, such as the extract of ivy leaf (Hedera helix).

A 2020 study involving 118 people concluded that using ivy leaf cough syrup for 7 days improved symptoms of acute bronchitis and various cough-associated sleep disorders.

Ivy leaf appears to loosen and thin mucus in the same way as acetylcysteine, another treatment for managing mucus, but with fewer side effects.

11. Thyme and primrose

A 2016 review found that a medication containing primrose, thyme, and thymol effectively reduced cough in people with respiratory tract infections.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is an herb with antispasmodic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and antioxidant properties. The active ingredient in thyme is thymol.

Primrose (Primula officinalis) has similar properties and is also an expectorant, helping the body expel mucus.

12. Essential oils

Essential oils may help reduce cough and other symptoms of bronchitis, bronchiolitis, and other upper respiratory tract infections.

Plants with oils that have shown promise in reducing cough include:

People can add a few drops of eucalyptus or peppermint to water and use for inhalation.

Although research suggests essential oils may have some health benefits, it is important to remember that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not monitor or regulate the purity or quality of these oils. A person should talk with a healthcare professional before using essential oils and research the quality of a particular brand’s products. It is also important to always do a patch test before trying a new essential oil.

13. Gargle warm salt water before bed

There is some evidence that a saltwater gargle may help prevent or manage infections by flushing out unwanted particles and pathogens from the throat.

A 2021 report concluded that gargling saltwater may help manage COVID-19, but more research is necessary.

Learn more about saltwater gargles.

14. Use a saline nasal spray

A doctor may recommend a saline or steroid nasal spray to irrigate the nasal passages and the upper airway. A saline spray contains a specially prepared solution of salt and water.

Research from 2017 looked at data from 45 people with a dust mite allergy who used typical saline nasal-pharyngeal irrigation for 30 days. At the end of the study period, they reported better relief from their cough with typical saline compared with nasal corticosteroids.

According to a 2015 review, there is not enough evidence to prove that irrigating with a saline solution is effective. However, some trials have shown it can reduce nasal secretions, Improve nasal breathing, and lower the need for medications.

15. Neti Kriya

Neti Kriya is a yoga-based treatment and one of the six cleansing techniques, or Shatkarmas, of Hatha yoga.

The practice of Jala Neti uses a neti pot for inserting lukewarm salt water into the nose.

In NetiKriya, a person takes the water into one side of the nose and then blows it back out through the other side of the nose.

The FDA suggests the following technique for using a neti pot:

  1. Leaning over a sink, tilt the head sideways so that the forehead and chin are level.
  2. Insert the spout into the upper nostril while breathing through the mouth.
  3. Allow the water to drain down through the lower nostril.
  4. Clear the nostrils and repeat on the other side.

It is an ancient practice that may help manage rhinosinusitis, a common cause of a cough.

The use of neti pots may not be safe for everyone, and people should check first with a doctor before using one. A person should always use purified water, as there is a risk of infection with tap water.

NetiKriya is not suitable for those susceptible to ear infections.

Cough medications are available over the counter (OTC) or as a prescription.

Some formulations are especially for nighttime coughs and contain ingredients that help a person sleep.

16. Cough suppressants

Cough suppressants block the cough reflex. They are available as OTC or prescription drugs.

Some prescription cough suppressants contain codeine and are unsuitable for people ages 17 years and under.

17. Expectorants

Expectorants include products such as guaifenesin (Mucinex). They thin the mucus in the lungs, making it easier to cough up. This may shorten how long a cough lasts.

They can help treat upper respiratory tract infections and chronic respiratory diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

18. Steroid nasal spray

Steroid sprays such as fluticasone propionate contain corticosteroid medications. These help reduce inflammation, and doctors sometimes prescribe them for people with nonallergic rhinitis.

However, corticosteroid use can have adverse effects, including a possible worsening of asthma symptoms. It is essential to follow a doctor’s instructions when using a steroid spray.

19. Vaccinations

Following a doctor’s recommendations about vaccinations can help prevent conditions that cause a cough.

For people ages 19 years and over, these include the annual flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.

Following the immunization schedule for infants and children can help protect them from conditions such as whooping cough.

Various health conditions can cause a nighttime cough. Following a treatment plan for these conditions can help manage them and address a cough.

Many different conditions can cause a cough. It is best to contact a doctor for an official diagnosis. Below are some examples of conditions that can cause a cough and how to treat them.

20. GERD

GERD is a digestive disorder that causes regurgitation and heartburn. It happens when a sphincter (valve) in the esophagus becomes weak.

It can lead to throat irritation and coughing.

A doctor may recommend:

  • eating smaller meals more often
  • not eating from 3 hours before bedtime
  • avoiding substances that trigger symptoms, such as chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco

A doctor may also prescribe medication.

21. Laryngopharyngeal reflux and postnasal drip

Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) is a possible cause of postnasal drip. This is similar to GERD but does not cause heartburn. Instead, it can cause a postnasal drip, a cough, and a feeling like there is a lump in the throat.

People with LPR can:

  • avoid trigger foods, such as spicy and fatty foods, chocolate, and alcohol
  • avoid eating for 3 hours before bedtime
  • sleep with the head of the bed raised

22. Asthma

Using an air purifier and avoiding allergens can help manage asthma. However, asthma is a potentially life threatening condition that needs medical attention.

Medication for asthma comes in different forms, such as pills and inhalers.

Some inhalers contain medications to open the airways, which may ease coughing and make breathing easier. Some are for regular, long-term use, and others provide rapid relief.

Learn more about treatments for asthma.

It is best for a person to contact a doctor if they have a cough and any of the following symptoms:

It is also advisable to contact a doctor if the cough worsens or does not go away.

Here are some answers to questions people often ask about stopping a cough.

Why is coughing worse at night?

Lying flat in bed can cause mucus to collect in the airway, making coughing more likely. Coughing may also worsen at night if a person is sleeping in a room that is dusty or contains other allergens.

Why do I get a tickle in my throat and cough at night?

A tickle in the throat and cough at night may be due to irritants in the room. This can worsen in rooms with wall-to-wall carpets and lots of soft furnishings. Dry air can also irritate the throat, but using a humidifier may help.

Learn more about the causes of a tickle in the throat.

Is a tickle in the throat at night asthma?

While asthma can cause a nighttime cough, there are other causes like postnasal drip, allergies, and GERD.

How can I stop a night cough?

Managing a nighttime cough typically involves treating the underlying cause. People can also try cough suppressants, humidifiers, and home remedies.

Why am I coughing so much but not sick?

If a person is coughing but not sick, the cough could be a result of allergies, GERD, postnasal drip, or asthma.

A cough can develop for many reasons. At night, some types of cough can worsen.

Raising the head of the bed can help resolve some types of nighttime cough. Other tips depend on the cause but may include avoiding eating close to bedtime, keeping a room clear of allergens, and taking medication.

It is best for anyone with a persistent nighttime cough to contact a doctor, as there may be an underlying condition causing the cough.

Read this article in Spanish.

Thu, 21 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html
Which diets are healthiest in national U.S. News study? And which ones fail? No result found, try new keyword!Dementia is the No. 6 killer in the U.S., so the MIND diet promotes brain health with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, nuts, berries and dark green leafy vegetables, offering advice on increasing ... Wed, 03 Jan 2024 03:26:04 -0600 en-us text/html Dr. Vijay Naik, Owner Of Survivors exam Preps, Reviews The Best Ways To Study For The USMLE Exam

(MENAFN- EIN Presswire) Dr. Vijay Naik, Owner of Survivors exam Preps, Reviews the Best Ways to Study for the USMLE Exam

BOSTON, MA, UNITED STATES, January 4, 2024 /EINPresswire / -- Dr. Vijay Naik, founder of Survivors exam Prep, is a medical professional who has made it his mission to prepare and support aspiring doctors and physicians. With a deep understanding of the rigorous journey that lies ahead for these students, Dr. Naik founded Survivors exam Prep to offer personalized guidance and mentorship. His program has been developed based on reviews and feedback from current and previous students, ensuring that the curriculum is tailored to their needs. Dr. Naik's dedication to helping students successfully pass their USMLE exam is backed by his own experiences and the challenges he faced on his path to becoming a doctor. With Survivors exam Prep, students can feel confident that they will have the support and resources they need to thrive in their medical careers.

Dr. Vijay Naik has reviewed his previous students' success and compiled three essential tips to help them pass the exam with flying colors.

Understand the fundamental reasoning behind all medical information. Dr. Naik advises that by comprehending where terms come from and their function that serves a bigger purpose, students can apply the knowledge in a more effective and memorable way.
Pay attention to current medical information as medicine is an ever-evolving field, and it's crucial to stay updated.
Invest in joining a study program such as Survivors exam Prep. This program offers access to the exact course material, one-on-one help, and access to all the questions students may have.

Dr. Vijay Naik's tips may make the difference between success and failure for USMLE exam takers.

In a exact review a previous student said,

“Dr. Naik does a great job at explaining and teaching the toughest and biggest concepts in medicine. He drills you throughout the course to ensure you retain these high-yield concepts. He is a wizard when it comes to breaking down questions, and a large part of why this course is so special is the test-taking skills and principles of management that he drills into you during the course. The combination of understanding the big concepts in GI, NEURO, CARDIO, RESP, and OBGYN to name a few, coupled with the test-taking skills is what helped to boost my exam score by over 20 points.”

Developing a deep and thorough understanding of medical terminology is essential for anyone pursuing a career in the healthcare industry. Fortunately, Dr. Vijay Naik offers some valuable tips for students, including the importance of consistent quizzing and testing. It's not enough to simply memorize medical terms; students must also understand how to apply them in real-life situations. By taking the time to quiz themselves and ask questions, they can develop a deep knowledge of the subject matter. Additionally, Dr. Naik also teaches test-taking skills that can help reduce stress and ensure proper time management during rigorous exams like the USMLE. With these tips in mind, students can feel confident and well-prepared as they move forward in their healthcare careers.

Dr. Naik is a committed and dedicated medical professional who has made it his mission to support aspiring students in their journey to becoming successful medical practitioners. With access to a wealth of high-quality resources and up-to-date information, Dr. Naik utilizes a personalized approach to ensure that students have the tools and skills they need to succeed. His Survivors exam Prep program focuses on the unique needs of each candidate, providing essential practice materials and personalized study plans. What's more, Dr. Naik's commitment to staying up-to-date with the latest medical industry trends through updated lessons and a supportive community makes his program a trustworthy choice for anyone preparing to take the USMLE. His dedication, perseverance, and unerring belief in his students' potential make him an exemplary leader and mentor to aspiring medical professionals.

Jon Smith
News Live
email us here


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Wed, 03 Jan 2024 18:22:00 -0600 Date text/html
Tips For Sleeping Peacefully With An Ear Infection No result found, try new keyword!The pressure and pain that comes with an ear infection can be downright painful. Here are some tips to help you get a restful sleep with an ear infection. Sat, 28 Jan 2023 06:00:03 -0600 en-us text/html What is a hypnic jerk?

A person may twitch while they sleep due to hypnic jerks. Hypnic jerks, also known as hypnagogic jerks or “sleep starts,” are involuntary muscle contractions that some people experience as they fall asleep. They may feel like muscle twitches.

Hypnic jerks are a type of sleep myoclonus. This is a scientific name for jerking movements the body makes during sleep or while falling asleep.

Some hypnic jerks are mild and hardly noticeable. Others can be intense — anyone who has been close to falling asleep and then felt a sudden jerk that has woken them up has experienced them.

Hypnic jerks are common and occur randomly. And while the exact cause of these twitches is unclear, some factors may increase their likelihood.

Hypnic jerks are not dangerous. A person experiencing them does not need to consult a doctor or seek medical treatment

unless they cause distress or other symptoms, such as incontinence, injury, pain, or confusion.

This article explores hypnic jerks, how common they are, and how to reduce their frequency.

A hypnic jerk is an involuntary twitch of one or more muscles that occurs as a person falls asleep. It tends to occur in stages 1 or 2 of sleep and disappear in stage 3, which refers to rapid eye movement sleep. In other words, they occur when a person transitions from a wakeful state to a sleeping state.

Hypnic jerks are a type of involuntary muscle movement called myoclonus. Hiccups are another common form of myoclonus.

The strength of a hypnic jerk may vary. Some people may not be aware of their body movements and only know that they have them if a partner or caregiver notices them. Other times, the spasms can be strong enough to startle the person and wake them up.

People may experience other symptoms alongside hypnic jerks, such as:

  • feeling as though they are falling or tripping
  • a sensory flash, which may feel like an electric shock
  • a hallucination or vivid dream, often about falling

These sensations are not signs of any underlying health conditions. However, if they are intense, they may prevent the person from falling asleep, leading to insomnia.

Sleep myoclonus is when people’s bodies twitch or jerk while sleeping or falling asleep. Learn more.

The authors of a 2016 study noted that hypnic jerks occur randomly and affect people of all ages.

Additionally, the researchers found that 60–70% of individuals experience hypnic jerks, usually just as they are about to fall asleep. However, people who experience them do not usually have them every time they sleep.

In most cases, there is no clear cause of a hypnic jerk. They occur in most people without any underlying explanation.

However, there are some ideas and theories about why these sleep starts occur.

Possible reasons may include the below.

Extreme tiredness and sleep deprivation

Overtiredness is a common cause of hypnic jerks. They can also occur when someone goes to sleep in an uncomfortable position.


Body and brain stimulants, such as caffeine, nicotine, or some drugs, may make falling asleep or staying asleep difficult. They may also increase the frequency of hypnic jerks.

Stress and anxiety

High levels of stress and anxiety can make it difficult to relax in preparation for sleep. An alert brain may be easier to startle, so a person may be more likely to wake up when these involuntary muscle twitches occur.

Results from research using an EEG suggest specific brain activity occurs during a hypnic jerk, known as vertex sharp waves.

Sleep starts can occur in people of all ages. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine notes that adults are more likely than children to complain about frequent or intense hypnic jerks.

However, children can experience hypnic jerks from birth. The author of one older study from 2003 describes myoclonus, or uncontrollable body movements, as a developmental feature of the human nervous system, present from the early stages of fetal development.

Hypnic jerks can cause a person to wake up, but this does not always occur. It depends on the intensity of the muscle contraction.

Smaller movements are unlikely to wake a person up. They may only be aware that they experience hypnic jerks if a partner or caregiver notices them.

The other symptoms of a hypnic jerk may also wake someone up. Sometimes, a person may dream that they are falling out of bed, from a tree, or through a void. Although it is uncertain which sensation comes first, this can be enough to scare people awake.

While it may not be possible to avoid all instances of hypnic jerks, some people may notice that they have them less frequently when they make a few lifestyle changes.

Tips that may help prevent hypnic jerks include:

Avoiding over-tiredness

A person can avoid excessive tiredness by getting sufficient quality sleep.

Tips for sleeping well include:

  • ensuring a room is dark, quiet, and of a suitable temperature
  • keeping electronic devices outside the room
  • going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, if possible
  • exercising during the day

Get some tips on managing sleep while on night shifts.

Avoiding caffeine

Caffeine sources, such as coffee, tea, and chocolate, may help a person wake up. However, having caffeine later in the day may overstimulate the body and brain, making it difficult to transition to sleep.

Avoiding other stimulant drugs

Other stimulating drugs, such as nicotine and alcohol, may affect sleep. Using them may result in sleep deprivation or disruptive hypnic jerks.

Seek help for stress and anxiety

Hypnic jerks may be more intense in people with anxiety. Addressing stress and anxiety may help reduce their intensity.

Learn about eight ways to calm anxious thoughts.

Creating a bedtime routine

A bedtime routine may help the body relax and reduce stress. Some people drink calming teas or warm milk and read a book before bed. Others may prefer to do gentle stretches or listen to music.

Discover some tips on getting better sleep.

Turning down the lights

Research shows that light stimulates the brain to be more alert, meaning that while it may help someone wake up more easily, it could make sleep more difficult.

Blue light — the cold light from some light bulbs, televisions, computer monitors, and smartphones tells the body that it is daytime.

Turning down these lights or avoiding digital screens before bed will reduce the levels of blue light and may help a person relax.

However, there is no evidence that it will prevent hypnic jerks.

Relaxing meditations

Some people use guided meditations or breathing exercises to help them relax. Taking slow, deep breaths for 5 minutes may help them reduce stress levels.

Try these sleep apps to help with sleep and relaxation.

Hypnic jerks, or sleep starts, are typical and common. Experiencing them does not mean that a person has an underlying medical condition.

Certain lifestyle changes may help people reduce the number of hypnic jerks they experience.

Anyone with concerns about frequent hypnic jerks and their overall health or sleep quality can speak with a doctor.

In some cases, healthcare professionals can prescribe medications to help them get more restful sleep.

Wed, 20 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html
Time to choose a career? A psychologist offers tips on the journey after high school

Pivotal decisions loom large for high school graduates and those with responsibility over them.

The trajectory has been a fairly straightforward line until now – learning and more learning.

Having completed high school, will the journey now lead directly to university? If so, what field of study? Will it be the technical training route? Or will it be perhaps a direct leap into a “dream” job?
Suddenly there are many options to choose from. It’s important to determine what’s advisable and what’s not.

Some may benefit from parental guidance, others may not. Some guardians may be ill-equipped to offer proper guidance. Knowing when and from whom to ask for help can make a big difference.

I am a researcher and educational psychologist with a particular interest in career counselling and helping people find their life’s purpose.

I have previously worked with thousands of students who need to make subject choices, learners who need to make career choices with a view to tertiary studies and other students who are uncertain whether they are pursuing an appropriate field of study.

The focus of this article is to provide a compass for families navigating the labyrinth of decisions for their high school graduates.

It becomes especially pertinent as the new year dawns and important choices loom ahead. I highlight four key guidelines.

  1. Coping with disappointing grades
    The final high school exam is water under the bridge. Not all will have attained their desired success, that’s for sure.

But there are still ample reasons to remain optimistic about the future. First, let’s discard the term “fail” from our vocabulary.

Your current marks may limit your acceptance into your preferred field of study, but they don’t dictate your overall success in life. They don’t limit your career prospects.

It is essential to step back emotionally and to approach the experience logically. Everyone encounters both successes and setbacks and this is entirely normal.

If your results fall below expectations, view this as a manageable challenge. It’s an opportunity for personal growth and development, and for exhibiting resilience in rapidly changing and uncertain times.

In the face of disappointment, sadness, anxiety, or even depression following your exam results, dwelling on what might have been serves no purpose and offers little benefit.

Instead, consider for example the fact that your parents, guardians or caretakers cherish you as precious and love you unconditionally.

Foster open communication with them. Share your feelings with them through conversation or text, and actively listen when they express their thoughts. They are crucial pillars of your support structure.

It is crucial not to fixate on a preferred university, college or training institution. While research indicates that individuals with degrees often find employment more easily and earn higher salaries, university is not the only path to success.

Non-university study holds its own value, and each study discipline and tertiary training institution should be evaluated on its merits.

Consider specialised diplomas and certificates, such as those in information technology (for instance, cyber security), or technical qualifications (for instance, renewable energy wind turbine service).

These qualifications can be personally enriching and offer diverse career opportunities, often making students highly employable.
Don’t hesitate to seek career counselling from a qualified psychologist (career counsellor).

  1. What to do if grades fall below expectations
    You may have secured decent grades – but not good enough to secure admission to your preferred course of study.

There are several avenues to explore. Some examination boards entertain requests for a reevaluation of exam papers, supplementary exams, or even repeating classes or specific subjects. These options call for diligence and dedication.

I always encourage determined learners to translate their aspirations into actions. For example, you could explore the option of pursuing your favoured field of study at training levels or institutions other than university.

Consulting with a career counsellor in this regard is essential. Seek advice from individuals who have successfully navigated similar situations – and from those who were unable to do so.

Consider the inspiring story of a student aspiring to study medicine, but failing to achieve desired grades and lacking exposure to mathematics or physical sciences in high school.

After completing high school, the student enrolled in mathematics and physical sciences at a post-school training institution, subsequently pursuing a general degree at a university.

Achieving excellent results, the student gained admission to study medicine and is now a final-year medical student. This illustrates that diverse routes can lead to a successful career.

The significance of high school subject symbols diminishes over time. You are encouraged to reflect on your short-, medium- and long-term goals and understand the purpose of your studies.

It should not primarily be about pleasing family or outperforming others. Instead, focus on becoming the best version of yourself. Competition with others serves no meaningful purpose.

  1. Discovering a sense of meaning and purpose
    It is imperative to ensure that students cultivate a profound sense of meaning, hope and purpose in their lives.
    This is to say that you get a clear understanding of life’s purpose, why you are pursuing your studies, and what serves as your “north star”.

While choosing a field of study that supports financial stability is crucial, you should also consult a professional, such as a career psychologist, to uncover and enact your central life theme(s).

This helps you identify what you genuinely wish to achieve in life (for instance, helping others that have been bullied), beyond the numerical goals you aim to attain.

Furthermore, you need to be instilled with the belief that you possess the capacity to reach these goals and bring your dreams to fruition.

  1. Identify your key life themes
    Once you have identified your key themes, you gain the ability to articulate your career-life purpose, addressing existential questions such as “Why do I live?” “Where am I headed?” “Why am I on this planet?” and “Is life worth living?”
    For example, one female high school graduate said to me:
    I lost my father due to cancer, and I love helping people with cancer. More than that, I want to help others who do not have access to medical help.

This evolves into a vision statement, revealing the social significance of her work.

Another shared her story, stating,
I fell pregnant before completing high school and was compelled to give my child up for adoption. I subsequently studied social work. Today, I use my profound understanding of the challenges faced by young girls who become pregnant while still in school to help them navigate their pain and trauma.

A common thread weaving through these real-life stories is the transformative power of turning personal pain, hurt or “suffering” into triumph and social contributions.

In essence, it is about converting passive suffering into active mastery. The eminent Swiss psychologist Carl Jung once said:
Be grateful for your difficulties and challenges, for they hold blessings. In fact … (Humans) need difficulties; they are necessary for health, personal growth, individuation, and self-actualisation.

By assisting others who have overcome challenges similar to their own, individuals actively confront the pain they themselves have experienced.

The Conversation
Kobus Maree is Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Pretoria

Thu, 04 Jan 2024 23:00:00 -0600 admin en-GB text/html

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