Tag Archives: South Carolina

Be Sun Safe: May is Skin Cancer Prevention Month

(GIF Credit:  https://giphy.com/gifs/qutisuYBaGfFC)

Sundress and shorts season has officially begun.  Are you protected?  According to the 2018 South Carolina Health Assessment, melanoma of skin (skin cancer) is the 5th leading cause of new cancer cases in the state (see below).

Skin Cancer Table

Did you know that skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States with nearly 5 million people treated each year?  Skin cancer is caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun and other sources such as tanning beds.  Anyone can get skin cancer, but it can be cured if found and treated early.  Talk to your doctor if you notice any unusual moles or changes to your skin.

Whether you are taking a trip to the beach or doing some much-needed gardening, it is important to protect your skin from the sun.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours
  • Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck
  • Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block UVA and UVB rays
  • Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) or 15 or higher, and both UVA and UV protection
  • Avoid indoor tanning

Being in the sun does not have to be worrisome.  Just make sure you protect yourself. Visit the CDC for more fun safety tips and  follow their  hashtag #SunSafeSelfie for pictures of people all over the world who are taking action to protect themselves from the sun – and having fun while doing it!

DHEC Employees Win Big at the 2019 Palmetto Gold Nurse Awards and Gala: 12 Employees Honored

In its 18th year, the Palmetto Gold Nurse Awards Gala recognizes exemplary Registered Nurses throughout South Carolina who are constantly raising the bar in healthcare.  Through a nomination and selection process, 100 nurses are chosen each year and honored at the Gala.  To date, over 1400 nurses have been honored with this award.  This year, DHEC is proud to have 12 of our own recognized.

The gala was held on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.  Join us as we congratulate our 2019 Palmetto Gold Recipients!

Hurricane Season is Coming: Get Prepared During Hurricane Preparedness Week

Hurricane season officially begins on June 1st, but it is best to start early and get prepared!  Established by the National Weather Service, Hurricane Preparedness Week educates about the impact of hurricanes and informs people about ways to protect their homes and businesses.

Hurricanes are inevitable in South Carolina.  Follow these tips to prepare:

  • Have an Emergency Kit: Your emergency kit should have equipment, such as flashlights, generators, batteries, and first aid, etc.
  • Write or Review your Family Emergency Plan: Discuss means of contact, where you will go, and what you will do in an emergency.  Prepare for health concerns for those with chronic illnesses.
  • Review insurance policies: Understand your insurance coverage for your health, home and personal property.
  • Get familiar with the National Weather Service (NWS) forecast language: Understand the meaning of NWS watches, warnings, advisories, and outlooks.

The CDC’s guide , Preparedness and Safety Messaging for Hurricanes, Flooding, and Similar Disasters, is a tool that discusses every potential issue when preparing for a water-related natural disaster.  For more information about what to do before a tropical storm or hurricane, visit:  https://www.weather.gov/safety/hurricane-plan

For local emergency preparedness updates, visit the South Carolina Emergency Management Division‘s website.

Don’t Forget to Thank A Nurse This Week: National Nurses Week is May 6-12

Officially recognized in 1993, National Nurses Week was founded to celebrate nurses and their contributions to society as well as encourage more people to join the nursing profession.

Whenever there is someone in need of care, you can count on a nurse to show compassion in tending to their needs.  Nurses are critical in safeguarding individual and public health.

“We celebrate our DHEC nurses for protecting our communities one individual at a time,” said Rebecca Morrison, APRN, MSN, FNP-BC, director, Public Health Nursing.  “Nurses Week is a time to celebrate their dedication and commitment to Public Health nursing.”

CDC Nurse Photo JPG

DHEC nurses provide care for clients in several programs, including:  immunizations, sexually transmitted disease (STD) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing, tuberculosis, family planning, children’s health and more.  They are also in local schools and childcare centers.  For a full list of services we provide statewide, visit:   https://www.scdhec.gov/health/health-public-health-clinics/services-we-provide.

The nursing profession was founded to protect, promote, and improve health for all ages.  Take time this week to thank a nurse for all they do.

Clean Hands Count: 3 Hand Hygiene Myth Busters in Recognition of World Hand Hygiene Day

World Hand Hygiene Day is Sunday, May 5.  Even though it may seem trivial to review facts about hand-washing, there are many little known facts about proper hand sanitation.

Myth #1:  Soap and water is better than alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is more effective and less drying than soap and water.  Sanitizers reduce bacterial counts on hands and are effective against multidrug-resistant organisms.  Sanitizers generally cause less skin irritation than frequent use of soap and water as well.

Myth #2:  Alcohol-based hand sanitizers eventually cause antibiotic resistance.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers kill germs quickly and in a different way than antibiotics.  There is no change for the germs to adapt or develop resistance.

Handwashing CDC Photo

Myth 3:  The amount of product you use does not matter.

Use enough alcohol-based hand sanitizer to cover all surfaces of your hands.  Rub your hands together until they are dry.  Your hands should stay wet for around 20 seconds if you used the right amount.

Proper hand sanitation does not have to be difficult.  Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is an efficient way to keep your hands healthy.  Remember public surfaces such as gas pumps handles, door knobs, money, and toilets may carry highly contaminated microbes.

For more information about hand hygiene visit:  https://www.cdc.gov/handhygiene/index.html