Boost Your Cold Calling Results in Commercial Real Estate

To make your prospecting system work for you in commercial real estate, you really do need to systemise it and set some priorities. Systems help build the future; random undirected action does little for you as a commercial real estate agent.

When you set the priorities you will not be wasting your time on things that don’t matter or perhaps have little results and conversions for you. It’s tough enough finding the time to prospect every day, let alone spending time on things that are not good converters of business opportunity for you.

So what can you do here? You can set a plan up that keeps you focused on the highly converting prospecting processes. You need new business to make your career work for you and prospecting is the key to pulling it all together.

Here is a priority model used by salespeople that I have helped in shaping their market share.

  1. Practice your call pitch for 30 minutes at 8:00am every day. This single one fact will help you convert more people faster to opportunities.
  2. Start the day with cold calls to new people. This should happen for a period of 2 hours. Start your calls at 8:30am.
  3. It will take you 30 minutes to build momentum as part of the call contact process. After 30 minutes you will be comfortable with what you are doing and the conversations will flow. The calls will get easier.
  4. Remove any meetings from the start of a business day. That includes team meetings. Focus on prospecting before anything else. Don’t let other people waste your prospecting time.
  5. Any follow up calls to established contacts should happen later in the day outside of your prospecting time. Create a habit of prospecting for new business. Don’t let existing customers or contacts derail your prospecting system.
  6. Towards the end of the day you should enter the results of the calls into your database. Perhaps you can do that as you are making the calls; the data does however have to be entered and you must take responsibility for that.
  7. End the day with research related to new prospects that you are to call tomorrow. Who are they and why are you calling them. You will need to know those facts as part of the process.

So these are some very rigid rules. When you stick to them you will find that opportunities develop. In any market and at any time the business is out there; it is just a matter of opening up the relationships with the right people.

Three Tips to Run a Car Wash Business

The car wash business is considered as a safe business, as it provides regular profits. It is not a sector that millionaires would like to dabble in. However, it does offer people, who look for reliable investment options and are willing to work hard, an opportunity to do something worthwhile.

As with any other business, the car wash business too has its own tricks of the trade. It is definitely a sure-fire profit making sector. However, that does not mean that you just have to start a company and profits will follow automatically. No business ever guarantees that.

The following are some tips on how to run a car wash business professionally and profitably:

Tip 1: Invest wisely in cleaning machines

Cleaning machines have to be the first priority of the investor. There is no use or purpose of spending extravagantly to buy the so-called best machines. On the other hand, it would be disastrous to buy the cheapest machines. You need to do a bit of home work before making the purchasing decision.

The problem with auto detailing is that it requires the use of multiple cleaning machines. An automobile consists of different types of surfaces, with each having varying levels of hardness. The exterior body and engine parts are hard and sturdy, windshield glasses are obviously, and fabric seat upholstery and carpets are soft.

A single machine cannot be used to clean all these types of surfaces. As a result, a car wash business essentially requires different types of machines that are pressure washers for cleaning the hard surfaces and carpet cleaners to clean the soft surfaces. Steam cleaners, too, do a good job of cleaning the hard surfaces.

Tip 2: Focus on quick delivery

One of the secrets of success of an auto detailing business is the quick delivery of the vehicles. In this busy world, owners want the vehicles as quickly as possible. The average delivery time in this business now can be within several hours. So, how can you ensure that the cleaning is done quickly?

Employing the right mobile car wash machines would help. You should use carpet cleaners equipped with low flow technology and pressure washers having a low flow rate. Using steam cleaners with dry vapor output is another good option.

In short, make sure that all the car detailing machines transfer less quantity of water on to the vehicle surfaces. While doing this, you have to ensure that there is no compromise on speed or efficiency of the mobile car wash machine.

Tip 3: Use green chemicals

A good cleaning agent improves the cleaning power and speed of most car detailing machines. However, synthetic detergents do more harm than good. These products improve the efficiency of car wash equipment, but leave more toxic residues on the vehicle surfaces than the dirt they help to remove.

This is the reason why most reputable suppliers recommend using green chemicals along with their car wash equipment. These products are derived from plants and vegetables, and do not contain a single toxic substance.

How To Be A Successful Entrepreneur Nurse

Nowadays, as nursing profession has become innovative and flexible, nurses have been able to get new ideas, learn, and expand beyond their traditional roles. Since nurses have inherent talents, knowledge and abilities through the rigors of their nursing education, they have started to think outside the box and freed themselves from external restrictions. Their persevering spirit to accomplish greater things has motivated them to advance their degrees, start and grow their own business, join healthcare projects, and hold executive roles in the field of health care. Their ability to lead and innovate enables them to venture a new nursing experience, the nursing entrepreneurship.

Just like in other business, being a nurse entrepreneur can be achieved in a step-by-step basis. You cannot simply be a successful entrepreneur overnight. You have to have sufficient training experience and perseverance in order to grow and thrive as a nurse entrepreneur. Here are some tips on how to become a successful entrepreneur:

1. Practical Approach to your Business

If you’re planning to start a business as a nurse, you have to think twice or thrice before venturing to this field. Entering a business of course entails investment and money so you have to be very sure and dedicated before establishing a business. Also, if you have started one, you have to innovate in whatever you do and discover the latest ideas in the field of nursing. You have to be a good leader to gain the respect of the people working for you as well as the trust of your clients. You have to develop your skills and knowledge, and you have to prove that you really take good care of your clients.

2. Starting up your Business

Do not start a business or any undertaking without preparation and planning. You have to think of all the things that could be relevant to your business, like the initial investment, the time you will need to establish your business, the target population of your business, the timetable you will pursue to regain your investment, and the necessary expenses such as purchasing of business equipments and advertising expenses to promote your business.

3. Be Optimistic

Always look at the positive side of things and do not lose hope when it seems that your business does not profit. Also, when you are planning, always have a persevering spirit that would prompt you to innovate and lead in your nursing field or even in other fields. Believe in yourself and always think that you have unique talents and capabilities to accomplish greater things.

4. Fall back alternatives

Just in case your business does not succeed, do not lose hope. Thinking of other alternatives for your business does not meaning being negative, but would mean being practical. Face the reality that not all businesses succeed and take it as a chance to innovate, redefine your business, and further expand your roles. Besides, you have many other options as a nurse. You can be a teacher, a public speaker in conferences, a researcher, and a consultant under medical field, among others.

Of course, being a successful nurse entrepreneur could give you much advantages and benefits. Here are some:

1. Many Opportunities

Since being a nurse is the most in demand profession in many countries nowadays, being a nurse entrepreneurship can be a plus especially when you are working in hospitals and other health sectors. Since you have proven innovative skills and knowledge in entrepreneurship, nurse entrepreneurs are much more very welcomed in their medical field.

2. Flexible Roles

Having started a business as nurse, you have proven to be a leader to the people working for you. You also have all the authority to delegate people and adjust working time and schedule. As a result, your role as an entrepreneur becomes really flexible. Because of that, you still have more time to work other than your business like being a nurse in nursing homes for adults, maternity homes, and other medical facilities.

However, when starting a business, you still have to take into account things other than the advantages of entrepreneurship. You should take heed of certain disadvantages and possible problems that may occur when establishing a business.

1. Nursing Business Needs Experience

You have to remember that managing and handling a business needs enough experience. Do not venture into any kind of business if you are not 100% sure of what you’re going to do. If you know someone who has already run a business that matches yours, you can team up with him or her to ensure a more firm and stable business.

2. Funds

Of course, you cannot start a business without money and capital. Make sure you have enough funds to offset any shortage that may occur and to pay future expenses you will need to improve your business

Travel Nursing: A Unique Career Path for Nurses

Aside from being an entrepreneur nurse, another possible option for nurses is travel nursing. As the name implies, travel nurses are nurses who travel a lot and go to new and different locations to provide their service to their clients. Since this job is highly compensated and could give some a unique life experience to travel in many places with all the travel, housing, as well as health and malpractice insurance and costs paid, travel nursing has become an alluring career path for many nurses.

If you’re thinking of shifting into this career path as a nurse, here are some things you need to consider first:

• The hours, responsibilities, required skills and salary- If you do not want to regret in the end, you have to know these things before signing any contract.

• Network roles – Contact other travel nurses you know and ask them about their experiences in their work. You can also inquire to the most credible travel nurse agencies in you location about the nature of travel nursing.

• Your dedication to get the job – Traveling could be enticing since you will be able to see new places; however, also consider your comfort and convenience with short assignments and frequent change of residence.

• Weighing options – If you’re still unsure about travel nursing, you can consult a healthcare staffing agency to enlighten you about the pros and cons of this nursing career. Tell them your options, your motivation, your hesitations, as well as the benefits and disadvantages you consider about travel nursing. Doing so may help you make a decision about this new venture.

Types of Drug Detox

There are 4 primary types of drug detox available for addicts and alcoholics to achieve the initial stages of sobriety. This includes the cold turkey method, specialized detox centers, medical detox facilities and rapid detox centers. Each type of drug detox has its own benefits and pitfalls that people seeking to recover from addiction should understand before they decide which treatment option is right for them.

Cold Turkey Drug Detox

This type of detox is also called “Uncategorized detox” and essentially consists of an addict or alcohol undergoing the stages of acute withdrawal in a private setting with little or no assistance or care. Unfortunately, the chances of successfully breaking the initial stages of acute withdrawal syndrome are small with this method, and most addicts will return to their drug of choice before they have reached a critical mass in their recovery efforts.

Despite its propensity for failure, quitting cold turkey isn’t dangerous if the substance in question is fairly benign such as marijuana or mild opiate addiction. However, some substance addictions can lead to life-threatening symptoms of AWS in the event of sudden cessation. The three most dangerous of these substances are alcohol, barbiturates and benzodiazepines; all of which can lead to seizures, respiratory and/or cardiac arrest, coma and in rare cases, death.

Regardless of the substance of abuse, most experts do not recommend Uncategorized detox as the chances for success are significantly impaired.

Specialized Drug Detox Centers

Specialized detox centers provide inpatient style treatment for up to 2 weeks. Patients receive an initial evaluation which will be used to develop an individualized treatment plan for the duration of their stay. Because of the individual nature of these plans, some detox patients will undergo treatment in just a few days, while others will require a week or two. In many cases these types of detox facilities work in conjunction with longer-term treatment centers that patients can automatically transfer to once they are past the acute stages of withdrawal.

Specialized detox centers work because of the therapies employed – such as individual and group counseling – and because they effectively isolate the addict or alcohol from people, places and things that could be triggers for them to relapse.

Medical Detox

Medical detox is similar to a specialized detox center but with a distinctly medical component. This can consist of an on-site nurse or doctor, 24 hour monitoring and other types of medically-oriented benefits. A medical detox center can also help addicts to step-down their drug usage in an effort to maintain medical safety and reduce or eliminate symptoms of acute withdrawal.

Medical detox is often required by addicts that have relapsed repeatedly, as subsequent attempts to get clean result in more severe withdrawal symptoms that last for a longer period of time. This is referred to as the Kindling Effect and is a very real phenomenon that can make it extremely difficult for people to get clean and stay clean. A medical detox center can address these issues expertly in a safe, relaxed and non-judgmental environment.

Rapid Detox

Rapid detox refers to a type of medical-detox procedure whereby the patient undergoes most of the symptoms of withdrawal while unconscious. This is accomplished by placing the patient into a medically-induced coma, then administering a series of drugs that facilitates and hastens the process of acute withdrawal. This spares most patients the worst of the symptoms and allows them to begin their treatment without the pain and discomfort of a long period of withdrawal.

Unfortunately, rapid detox is a relatively new practice and it’s not well understood yet how successful it is from a long-term treatment standpoint. Addicts considering this method should consult with their primary physician prior to speaking with a detox specialist.

Going through detox in a specialized or medical facility is the best option for most addicts and alcoholics; not only from a safety standpoint, but also because sequestering an addict away from potential exposure to drugs or drug- abuse triggers provides the best chance for lasting recovery.

Find out for yourself by reaching out for help now if you or someone you love is fighting the disease of addiction.

Which Is More Cost-Effective, Cabs or Car Rentals?

Rent it or cab it?

People like the freedom of having their own vehicle to drive about in, at home or when they travel, and the tendency is to book a rental car when you are away. But freedom comes with a price and it depends where your travel destination is as to whether you’re best to rent a car or take a taxi.

Cheap ground transportation depends upon location, accessibility and extraneous expense factors, like gasoline costs and parking fees. Add to that the potential complexity of finding your way around a strange city, especially a large one, and you might change your mind about what freedom means.

A trip to, for example, New York City or Montreal, two North American cities with decent public transit systems, plenty of cabs, walkable areas in their cores, and very high parking fees, and you’ll realize that a taxi will almost inevitably surface as the cheapest mode of getting around.

But what if you want a day trip to the Laurentian Mountains or the antiques stores of Hudson? That’s the day to rent a car, or to find out if there is a luxury coach service to those destinations that returns the same day.

Car rentals are convenient, to be sure, but the costs add up quickly (don’t forget insurance and occasional peak-season added fees), unless your airline points cover all or most of the cost; even then, in large cities gasoline and parking is very costly, and that is not usually included in credit card or airline rewards perquisites.

When does a rental car make sense? If you live in North America (and can’t drive across the Atlantic Ocean!) and are vacationing in Italy, for example, landing in Rome and taking a motorcar tour of Tuscany and other regions from there, your only other viable option is the train. Like anywhere else, gasoline in Europe is expensive, but you can’t take a full driving holiday in a taxi. But don’t forget, there are guided tours and some taxi drivers will gladly spend a day with you, exploring San Gimignano; they are often the best tour guides, full of information about their homeland. And driving in other countries can be a harrowing experience, especially if it involves driving on the opposite side of the road than you are accustomed to!

Plan your itinerary, do an accurate cost comparison and decide whether a taxi or car rental, or combination of the two, is the cheapest way to get around when you reach your destination. And don’t forget to ensure that your driver’s license is current, and if you need to, get an international license before you set off for your trip. Happy motoring!

Kids Waterproof Splashsuits – The Essential Travel Garment For Your Young Child

Most adults would simply prefer to stay indoors when it is raining. Nobody wants to get soaking wet. However, kids really enjoy playing in the rain and splashing in puddles. They are thrilled when it is necessary to go out in the rain. Of course their parents do not really enjoy dealing with the results. The kids will get soaking wet and dirty from all the water. Choosing the right waterproof clothing for your child can really help prevent your child from getting too wet and catching a chill.

There are a number of different types of kits waterproof clothing available, so you can choose the one that is most suitable for your child. One option that many people don’t think about which is particularly good for very young children is the splashsuit. When it comes to kids waterproof clothing, the splashsuit is the most likely to keep your child dry. This is because it is a one piece outfit that has a hood and straps to go under your child’s feet. Add a pair of rain boots and your child will be covered from head to foot. Young children have difficulty holding an umbrella, and will want to splash in puddles so this is a great solution for them.

Kids waterproof clothing for slightly older kids can be chosen to suit their interests and their behavior. Those who still refuse to stay out of the puddles can wear splashsuits, while those who are better behaved can choose a combination of a raincoat or poncho with a matching umbrella and rain boots. This will keep them mostly dry and let them have a few more options when it comes to the design of their rain gear. Another option is to get separate dungarees and jackets so that they will still be fully covered when they are out in the rain.

Raincoats are available with designs including dinosaurs, bugs, firemen, pirates, sail boats, alligators, ladybugs, bees, frogs, butterflies, flowers, ducks, watermelons, strawberries, fairies, and more. Many of these coats have hoods, so an umbrella is not necessary, although kids tend to like to carry them once they reach a certain age. These are great for preschoolers and those who are just starting school. They will be more likely to actually want to wear their waterproof clothing if it is in a design that they really love.

For those older kids that view kids waterproof clothing with designs as being a bit childish, there is rain gear available in solid colors, or combinations of solid colors, such as red and gray or blue and gray, that look a bit more adult and might appeal to older kids a bit more.

Some of the options that are currently available for kids waterproof clothing are made so that they are easily packable for when you want to go on a trip, or just to have available in your bag should it start to rain unexpectedly. Some brands now manufacture very lightweight packable splashsuits and jackets which are ideal for taking on holiday as they take up so little room in the suitcase.

Planning and Design of Behavioral Healthcare Facilities

Behavioral Healthcare Facilities: The Current State of Design

In keeping with most districts of healthcare, the marketplace has seen a boom in the construction of Behavioral Healthcare facilities. Contributing to this increase is the paradigm shift in the way society views mental illness. Society is placing a heavier value on the need to treat people with serious addictions such as alcohol, prescription and elicit drugs. A large percentage of people suffering from behavioral disorders are afflicted with both mental and addictive behaviors, and most will re-enter communities and either become contributors or violators.

These very specialized facilities do not typically yield the attention from today’s top healthcare designers and their quantity accounts for a small fraction of healthcare construction. However, Behavioral Healthcare projects are increasing in number and are being designed by some very prominent architectural firms such as Cannon Design and Architecture Plus. Many are creating state-of-the-art, award-winning contemporary facilities that defy what most of us believe Behavioral Healthcare design to be.

Changing the Way We Design Behavioral Healthcare Facilities

As with all good planners and designers, A+D (along with facility experts) are reviewing the direct needs of patient and staff while reflecting on how new medicine and modern design can foster patient healing rates, reduce environmental stress, and increase safety. This is changing the face of treatment and outcome by giving the practitioner more time to treat because they require less time and resources to “manage” disruptive patient populations.

The face of Behavioral Healthcare is quickly changing. No longer are these facilities designed to warehouse patients indefinitely. And society’s expectations have changed. Patients are often treated with the belief that they can return to their community and be a contributor to society. According to the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS), depending on the severity of illness, the average length of stay in a Behavioral Healthcare facility is only 9.6 days.

What has changed?

Jaques Laurence Black, AIA, president and principal of New York City-based daSILVA Architects, states that there are two primary reasons for the shortened admission period:

1. Introduction of modern psychotropic drugs that greatly speed recovery

2. Pressures from insurance companies to get patients out of expensive modes of care

To meet these challenges, healthcare professionals are finding it very difficult to effectively treat patients within the walls of antiquated, rapidly deteriorating mental facilities. A great percentage of these facilities were built between 1908 and 1928 and were designed for psychiatric needs that were principled in the belief to “store” not to “rehabilitate.”

Also impacting the need for Behavioral Healthcare construction is the reluctance of acute-care facilities to provide mental health level services for psychiatric or addiction patients. They recognize that patient groups suffering from behavioral disorders have unique health needs, all of which need to be handled and treated only by very experienced healthcare professionals. This patient population also requires a heightened level of security. Self-harm and injuring staff and other patients are major concerns.

The Report of the Surgeon General: “Epidemiology of Mental Illness” also reports that within a given year about 20% of Americans suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder and 5.4% suffer from a serious mental illness (SMI ) – defined as bipolar, panic, obsessive-compulsive, personality, and depression disorders and schizophrenia. It is also believed 6% of Americans suffer from addiction disorders, a statistic that is separate from individuals who suffer from both mental and addiction disorders. Within a given year it is believed that over one-quarter of America’s population warrants levels of mental clinical care. Even if these statistics were cut in half, it cannot be denied as a serious societal issue.

With a growing population, effectively designing in accordance with such measures is at the heart of public health.

Understanding the Complexity of Behavioral Healthcare Design

Therefore, like Corrections, leading planners and designers specializing in Behavioral Healthcare are delving deeper to better understand the complexity of issues and to be the activist to design facilities that promote treatment and healing – and a safer community.

The following is a list of key design variables that are being studied and implemented:

1. Right Sizing

2. Humanizing Materials and Color

3. Staff-Focused Amneties and Happiness

4. Security and Safety

5. Therapeutic Design Tenants

Right-sizing

Today’s Behavioral Healthcare facilities are often one-story single buildings within a campus size. Often debated by Clients due to costs, this design preference is driven by the demand for Uncategorized light, window views to nature for all patient areas, and outdoor open-air gardens “wrapped” within. All of this provides soothing qualities to the patient, reduces their anxieties, counteracts disruptive conduct and helps to reduce staff stress.

“When you look at the program mix in these buildings, there’s a high demand for perimeter because there are a lot of rooms that need Uncategorized light. Offices, classrooms, dining areas, community rooms, and patient rooms all demand Uncategorized light, so you end up with a tremendous amount of exterior wall, and it forces the building to have a very large footprint.” – James Kent Muirhead, AIA, associate principal at Cannon Design in Baltimore

These design principles are also believed to improve staff work conditions. Unlike a multi-story complex, at any moment staff can walk outdoors and access nature, free from visual barriers, and within a building that more accurately reflects building types that both patients and staff would encounter in their communities.

In addition to right-sizing for the overall building footprint, is right-sizing for internal patient and staff support area. Similar to the move we have seen in Corrections to de-centralize support spaces, Behavioral Healthcare is moving to decentralized nursing/patient units called “neighborhoods.” With mental health facilities there is a large concern with distances and space adjacencies in relation to the patient room and patient support areas such as treatment and social spaces. Frank Pitts, AIA, FACHA, OAA president of Architecture Plus, Troy, NY, advocates neighborhoods that average 24-30 beds arranged in sub-clusters, called “houses”, of 8-10 beds. Thus, each neighborhood consists of three houses. Often these layouts will include a common area where patients congregate and socialize, with a separate quiet room so patients can elect to avoid active, crowded areas. In addition Pitts states, “There’s a move away from central dining facilities. So, while facilities will still have a central kitchen, it’s a whole lot easier moving food than it is patients.” However, it is important for the facility to mimic normal outside daily life routines, so patients are encouraged to frequently leave their neighborhoods to attend treatment sessions, and outdoor courtyards.

Humanizing Materials & Color

In all facilities that play a role in rehabilitation, design strives to create spaces that humanize, calm, and relax. Behavioral Healthcare patients need to feel that they are in familiar surroundings; therefore, the architectural vocabulary should feel comfortable and normal. Since these facilities are about rehabilitation (when possible) and encouraging patients to merge back into society, the facility should feel like an extension of the community. Their spaces should reflect the nature and architecture of the surrounding region and thus so, no two facilities should look too much alike.

“Our a
pproach to designing these facilities is to view the facility as an extension of the community where patients will end up when they’re released. Interior finishes also depend on geography because you want to replicate the environment patients are used to. You want to de-stigmatize the facility as much as possible.” – Tim Rommel, AIA, ACHA, OAA, principal with Cannon Design in Buffalo, NY.

Therefore, materials and colors within these spaces want to feel familiar to one’s region and everyday life. To soothe the psyche and rehabilitate, they want to feel soft and comfortable, yet visually stimulating. An interior that is overly neutral or hard in appearance is not appropriate. Materials should reduce noise, and colors should lift the spirit. This can help to create an environment in which the patient can learn, socialize, and be productive while easing anxieties, delivering dignity, and modifying behavior. As stated previously, behavioral studies advise the use of softer interior materials-like carpeting, wood doors and tile. Doing so translates directly to both patient and staff well-being, particularly staff safety, and makes for a nicer place to work. In addition, staff have more resources to “treat” instead of manage heated situations. When staff experiences are eased and satisfied, morale is boosted and life-saving rules and policies are more likely to be enforced.

Staff-Focused Amenities & Happiness

While reducing staff stress and fatigue through a healing supportive environment seems like an obvious goal, there are relatively few studies that have dealt with this issue in any detail. More attention has been given to patient outcomes. However, many leading hospitals that have adopted therapeutic tenants into their newly built environments have seen vast improvement through their “business matrixes” and financial reporting.

In one example, the Mayo Clinic, a national leader in implementing healing design in its facilities, has reported a reduction of nursing turnover from a national annual average of 20% to an annual 3%-4%. In another example, when Bronson Methodist Hospital incorporated evidence-based design into its new 343-bed hospital, they cited their 19%-20% nurse turnover rate dramatically dropped to 5%.

Now, both the Mayo Clinic and Bronson Methodist Hospital have had to initiate a waiting list for nursing staff seeking positions. This converts to better-trained and qualified staff, and a reduced error rate. Therefore, more health facilities are investing in staff support areas such as lounges, changing rooms, and temporary sleep rooms. Within these staff spaces and in the hospital throughout, facilities are also recognizing the need for upgrade materials, better day lighting, and an interesting use of color: One soon realizes that the need of patients and staff are interwoven, each impacting positively or negatively the other.

Security & Safety

Without debate, self harm and harm to staff is one of the biggest concerns mental health facilities manage. Often the biggest safety and security concern is the damage patients can do to themselves. “There are three rules I had drummed in me,” says Mark Hanchar; Director of Preconstruction Services for Gilbane Building Company, Providence, R.I. “First, there can’t be any way for people to hang themselves. Second, there can be no way for them to create weapons. Third, you must eliminate things that can be thrown.” Hanchar says that the typical facility is, “a hospital with medium-security prison construction.” This means shatter proof glass, solid surface countertops (laminate can be peeled apart), stainless steel toilets and sinks (porcelain can shatter), push pull door latches and furniture that cannot be pulled apart and used as a weapon. These are just to name a few.

Additionally, removing barriers between patients and nursing staff is a safety consideration. Frank Pitts, AIA, FACHA, OAA president of Architecture Plus, says what may be counter-intuitive for safety precautions, “Glass walls around nursing stations just aggravate the patients.” Removing glass or lowering it at nursing stations so patients can feel a more human connection to nurses often calms patients. There is also discussion of removing nursing stations altogether; decentralizing and placing these care needs directly into the clinical neighborhoods and community spaces. Pitt says, “The view is that [nursing staff] need to be out there treating their patients.”

Therapeutic Design Tenants

As medicine is increasingly moving towards “evidence-based” medicine, where clinical choices are informed by research, healthcare design is increasingly guided by research linking the physical environment directly to patient and staff outcomes. Research teams from Texas A&M and Georgia Tech sifted through thousands of scientific articles and identified more than 600 – most from top peer-reviewed journals – to quantify how hospital design can play a direct role in clinical outcomes.

The research teams uncovered a large body of evidence that demonstrates design features such as increased day-lighting, access to nature, reduced noise and increased patient control helped reduce stress, improve sleep, and increase staff effectiveness – all of which promote healing rates and save facilities cost. Therefore, improving physical settings can be a critical tool in making hospitals more safe, more healing, and better places to work.

Today’s therapeutic spaces have been defined to excel in 3 categories:

1. Provide clinical excellence in the treatment of the body

2. Meet the psycho-social needs of patients, families, and staff

3. Produce measurable positive patient outcomes and staff effectiveness

Considering the cost of treating mental illness, which is exceedingly high, and wanting facilities to have effective outcomes, a further practice of incorporating therapeutic design is increasing. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIM H) approximated in 2008 that serious mental illnesses (SMI ), costs the nation $193 billion annually in lost wages. The indirect costs are impossible to estimate.

The estimated direct cost to clinically treat is approximately $70 billion annually and another $12 billion spent towards substance abuse disorders. In addition to the increased need of care and the boom in Behavioral Healthcare construction, it becomes an obligation to make certain that we as facility managers, architects, designers and manufacturers therapeutically plan and design these facilities.

Notably, in 2004, “The Role of the Physical Environment in the Hospital for the 21st Century: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity,” published by Roger Ulrich P.H.D., of Texas A&M University, was released. In a culmination of evidence-based research, research teams found five design principles that contributed significantly to achieving therapeutic design goals.

The report indicates five key factors that are essential for the psychological well-being of patients, families and staff, including:

1. Access to Nature

2. Provide Positive Distractions

3. Provide Social Support Spaces

4. Give a Sense of Control

5. Reduce or eliminate environmental stress

Access to Nature

Studies indicate that nature might have the most powerful impact to help patient outcomes and staff effectiveness. Nature can be literal or figurative – Uncategorized light, water walls, views to nature, large prints of botanicals and geography, materials that indicate nature and most importantly, stimulating color that evokes nature. Several studies strongly support that access to nature such as day-lighting and appropriate colorations can improve health outcomes such as depression, agitation, sleep, circadian rest-activity rhythms, as well as length of stay in demented patients and persons with seasonal affective disorders (SAD).

These and related studies continue to affirm the powerful impact of Uncategorized elements on patient recovery and stress reduction. Thus, it is clea
r that interior designs which integrate Uncategorized elements can create a more relaxing, therapeutic environment that benefits both patients and staff.

Positive Distractions

These are a small set of environmental features that provide the patient and family a positive diversion from “the difficult” and, in doing so, also negate an institutional feel. These can be views to nature, water walls, artwork, super imposed graphics, sculpture, music – and ideally all of these want to be focused on nature and, when applicable, an interesting use of color. Therapeutic environments that provide such patient-centered features can empower patients and families, but also increase their confidence in the facility and staff. This helps with open lines of communication between patient and caregiver.

Social Support Spaces

These are spaces designed partially for the patient but mainly for the comfort and socialization of family members and friends of the patient; therefore, family lounges, resource libraries, chapels, sleep rooms and consult rooms all play a role. When family and friends play a key role in a patient’s healing, these spaces encourage families to play an active role in the rehabilitation process.

Sense of Control

In times when patients and family feel out of control, it is very healing for the facility design and staff to provide it back when appropriate. Although, this cannot always be done suitably in mental healthcare facilities. However, when applicable, these design features include optional lighting choices, architectural way-finding, resource libraries, enhanced food menus, private patient rooms and

optional areas to reside in. A few well-appointed studies in psychiatric wards and nursing homes have found that optional choices of moveable seating in dining areas enhanced social interaction and improved eating disorders. When patients feel partially in control of their healing program and that the building features are focused to them, an increased confidence of the quality of care enters and tensions lower.

As with all therapeutic design, this allows the caregiver to use their resources healing in lieu of “managing” patient populations.

Reduce or Eliminate Environmental Stress

Noise level measurements show that hospital wards can be excessively noisy places resulting in negative effects on patient outcomes. The continuous background noise produced by medical equipment and staff voices often exceeds the level of a busy restaurant. Peak noise periods (shift changes, equipment alarms, paging systems, telephones, bedrails, trolleys, and certain medical equipment like portable xray machines are comparable to walking next to a busy highway when a motorcycle or large truck passes.

Several studies have focused on infants in NIC Us, finding that higher noise levels, for example, decrease oxygen saturation (increasing need for oxygen support therapy), elevate blood pressure, increase heart and respiration rate, and worsen sleep. Research on adults and children show that noise is a major cause of awakening and sleep loss.

In addition to worsening sleep, there is strong evidence that noise increases stress in adult patients, for example, heightening blood pressure and heart rate. Environmental surfaces in hospitals are usually hard and sound-reflecting, not sound-absorbing causing noise to travel down corridors and into patient rooms. Sounds tend to echo, overlap and linger longer.

Interventions that reduce noise have been found to improve sleep and reduce patient stress. Of these, the environmental or design interventions such as changing to sound-absorbing ceiling tiles, are more successful than organizational interventions like establishing “quiet hours.”

Conclusion and Additional Information

The information contained in this excerpted report is intended as a guide for architects, specifiers, designers, facility planners, medical directors, procurers, psychologists and social workers which have a stake in providing improved facilities for behavioral healthcare patients. It is a portion of a report entitled “The Contributions of Color” authored by Tara Hill, of Little Fish Think Tank. Ms. Hill was commissioned by Norix Group Inc., in 2010 to research the role color plays in the safe operation of correctional facilities and behavioral health centers. More in-depth information specifically about the psychological influence of color and behavioral healthcare facility design can be found by reading the full report.

How To Properly Remove A Bumper Sticker and Blend the Paint to Match

No matter what your reasons may be you’ve decided its’ time to remove that old faded bumper sticker from your vehicle. Lucky for you in just a few minutes and with a small amount of effort your car can be bumper sticker free. This process can be repeated for just about any type of adhesive stuck to your vehicle. It can be used to remove inspection stickers from windows, or vinyl lettering/vinyl graphics from the vehicle as well. The most important part is to be very patient and not try to rush through any steps. All of the steps below should be completed in a garage, under a carport or during dawn/dusk to provide as much time as possible before the adhesive remover dries on the car.

What You Will Need:

Razor Blade (Single Sided Square Blade Recommended)

Citrus Based Adhesive Solvent (Goo Gone Automotive Cleaner Recommended)

Automotive Paint Safe Bug Brush (Can be purchased at Walmart, or any auto parts store)

Microfiber Towels

Wax

Compound

Applicators

STEP #1: Take your razor blade and carefully slide the edge of the blade under a corner of the sticker. With the edge of the razor blade under the sticker gently tease up the corner of the sticker.

STEP #2: Grab the freed corner of the sticker and slowly pull the sticker in the direction of the remaining sticker. NOTE: If the sticker becomes too difficult to pull without tearing, apply your citrus based adhesive solvent to the adhesive sticker backing during this step. The solvent will loosen the adhesive, making it easier to remove the sticker. It is recommended to wait at least one minute to allow the solvent to penetrate and break down the adhesive.

STEP #3: Once you have removed the entire sticker, there will still be bumper sticker adhesive left behind. Now apply the citrus based adhesive remover to your automotive paint safe bug brush. Using the bug brush, apply some citrus based adhesive remover to the remaining adhesive on the vehicle in a circular motion. NOTE: This step may will most likely have to be repeated in order to remove all the adhesive from the vehicle. To ensure everything is removed, run your hand across the area once dried. Any remaining sticker glue will create a rough/sticky feeling. If there is still some leftover then repeat step #3. If there is no residue or leftover you may proceed to step #4.

STEP #4: Remove the excess adhesive remover with your microfiber towel.

Note: There will be some slight scuff/mar marks as well as a discoloration of the paint depending on how long the bumper sticker was on the car. This will need to be removed by compounding and polishing the area to smooth out any blemishes and blend the clear coat to match the rest of the bumper.

STEP #5: Now that the bumper sticker has been removed and all adhesive cleaned up it is time to make it look like the rest of the bumper. Follow the steps on how to properly compound and polish a car to remove light swirls and scratches.

STEP#6: Inspect the area where the sticker was to ensure it is satisfactory. Remember to apply a couple coats of wax, since it has been a long time since this portion of the bumper saw any.

Removing a bumper sticker can seem like an insurmountable task, and often people will give up because of the difficulty. With a little patience, the right tools and know how anyone can learn how to properly remove a bumper sticker without any blemishes to the paint.

Cheap Car Insurance and Car Safety – Use of Cellphones While Driving

There have always been debates about what constitutes distraction or different levels of distraction whilst driving a car, ranging from listening to the radio, having rows with kids to generally having a lack of awareness or understanding of road sense as to what is going on around you.

Cellphones and the use of cellphones whilst driving have taken this debate to a new level. It is simply not an academic debate any more since the use of cellphones both for making and receiving calls and for sending and receiving text messages or SMS messages has become widespread in most countries in the world.

Cellphones have come a long way since the first one appeared in the James Bond film from Russia with Love, and are now considered a routine part of most people’s drivers experience. Car manufacturers are increasingly building and integrating cell phone capabilities into the vehicles themselves, either by way of Bluetooth technology or other sorts of technological adaptations of cellphones.

When cellphones first became widespread they were often known as car phone’s, because that was where they were mostly used. Because of the size of the car phone it meant that most people would only use them when the car was stationary and would consciously make an effort to pull over or stop in a safe place before answering all receiving calls. At cellphones have changed in size and capability to reverse became true. More people began to find it easy and often necessary to make or receive calls during the course of a journey and subsequently do not think of it as being risky or distracting behaviour.

After a while governments began to realise both the normalisation of using a cellphone whilst driving, and the inherent dangers and risks associated with such. Many states and governments introduced laws that made holding a cellphone whilst making or receiving a call a criminal offence. The use of Bluetooth technology and other types technology allowed drivers to make and receive what are known as hands-free calls which were deemed to be safer and less distracting and physically having to hold a cellphone handset in the hand whilst driving.

That belief that hands-free driving is safer may or may not be true. The reality is that in most places it is legal but has almost been superseded by a bigger problem, that of sending and receiving text messages or SMS messages. This is a widespread and incredibly dangerous practice, not least because it involves the use of one or both hands whilst driving, but it also requires the driver to look at the screen of the cellphone whilst sending or receiving text messages rather than looking at the road around them to see what is going on.

The United States government has done research that shows that the use of a cellphone whilst driving can effectively be as distracting or have a similar effect to that of the driver being intoxicated was driving. It is an incredibly serious issue and one which most legislators have in reality given lip service to. The enormity of what it means in terms of potential fatalities or accidents is huge. In terms of car safety the any real safe use of a cellphone is when the car is stationary and effectively off-road so the driver does not have to concentrate on what is going on around them at the same time. In terms of car insurance there are a number of scenarios where the driver of the car, if involved in a fatality or accident that occurred whilst they were using a cellphone improperly, could have their car insurance compromised.

A Check in Hand – Pay Check Cash Loans

It can be a distressing situation if you don’t have money in hand and some financial emergency suddenly looms large. Mid month it can be further more troublesome because by that time you’ve already spent a large part of your monthly salary. So what do you do? You can always go in for an overdrawing facility on your account or a cash advance on your credit card or apply for a loan at your bank. But then, you also have the option of pay check cash loans. Let us know more about these loans.

Details Of The Loan

You draw the loan for a short duration, up till you receive your next pay check. The interest rates on payday loans can range from $15 to $30 per $100 withdrawn. The ceiling on the amount that can be borrowed is usually $1000. Often as a security, lenders giving an emergency cash loan ask for a post dated check. If the check bounces, another fee is for charged. Though rolling over the loan is not advisable (as it may lead you to a debt trap), sometimes it becomes inevitable.

The Loan Procedure

A large number of these companies are electronic in nature. That’s what gives speed to the transaction of no fax pay check loans. A pay check cash loan can be applied for, by anybody who is above 18 years of age, full time employed and having a running bank account. A simple form is to be filled in and a proof of employment has to be provided in the form of the latest pay stubs. The application is then verified and processed. Since the repayment record of the applicant is not a consideration, hardly any paperwork is required. Quite quickly, your account is credited with the loan money.

Some Do’s

Always ask yourself whether your need is really dismal. If the urgency is inevitable then of course, pay check cash loans are a viable option. They are convenient in case of an emergency. However you can try to maintain a budget for contingencies. Even planning the repayment beforehand is a good idea; it’ll help in debt management. Though most of the companies are safe to deal with, it’s always advisable to go through their fine print properly. This will help avoid any misuse of your financial information of personal nature.

Though cash advances can be a boon in times of need, they can become a bane too if you rely on them too much. A pay check cash loan is intended for small amounts, so borrowing big amounts can become a further source of trouble. Avail cash advance conveniently by searching and comparing various companies on the Internet.