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Who Uses a Pocket Ultrasound Machine?


There is a newcomer to the field of ultrasound technology: pocket ultrasound devices. For many doctors across the country, this tiny machine has been a part of normal physical exam tools in both hospital and outpatient clinic settings. Although pocket ultrasound devices are not necessarily standard in every healthcare environment, more doctors and sonographers are considering purchasing these machines to make bedside ultrasound a seamless part of the scanning practice.

Sonographers may find that pocket ultrasound machines are welcome and unexpected bonuses since many patients find the technology fascinating. In some cases, a sonographer may decide to allow the patient to hold the device so that the sonographer can point out what it is that he or she is seeing. However, since some sonographers are not legally allowed to discuss ultrasound findings with the patients, this may be a tricky line to walk, and many ultrasound technicians may decide to use the device only for their eyes.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Pocket Ultrasound Machines

As a sonographer, the first item to consider when deciding to purchase a handheld ultrasound device is the cost. The average pocket machine can retail for more than $ 8,000, although they may be available through secondhand markets or from an overseas retailer. Many sonographers and doctors balk at the notification of spending this amount of money on a single piece of equipment since many of the most expensive gadgets that sonographers use are owned by the practice or hospital in which they work.

However, musicians, for example, purchase their own instruments that often exceeded tens of thousands of dollars, leading many sonographers to consider whether the cost bought to be a serious consideration when deciding whether to purchase a pocket ultrasound machine.

Additionally, it is important to note that not everyone can purchase one of these devices and expect to know how to use it right away. Rather, sonography and ultrasound imaging can take years to learn, so it may be in a sonographer's best interest to gain experience using the standard ultrasound machines before he or she purchases a device for his or her own use.

On the other hand, doctors often maintain that "practice makes perfect" and that learning exponentially expends with on-the-job experience. Many medical students are now learning how to use bedside ultrasound machines as part of their standard training, and some doctors claim that these portable devices are simply another way in which students and technicians can gain practice.

Other Considerations

Patients may wonder why pocket ultrasound machines are not available for their own purchase or why their doctors are not currently using these devices. Although it may be difficult to develop this type of technology, the answer may lie in a less-than-wholesome factor. Ultrasound is a huge aspect of the radiology field, and it has grown as sonographers and doctors have become aware of potential dangers of repeated ultrasounds and scans.

Full-scale ultrasounds are performed by sonographers using machines that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and these scans are typically read by radiologists and billed out for thousands of dollars apiece. Should sonographers perform these exams for free at a patient's bedside, the revenue centers and insurance companies may be negatively impacted. In other words, it may not be in the financial interest of the entire industry for manufacturers to produce pocket ultrasound machines.

However, imaging of all kinds is often anxiety-provoking and misleading. There are many instances in when abnormalities turn out to be nothing more than a common side effect or a condition that is easily treated or removed. Combining bedside imaging with talking to the patients, examining them and reviewing laboratory data may be less likely to cause misdiagnoses than appropriate ones.

Still, older doctors who are trying to adjust to changes may feel as though they are losing the profession that they had so skillfully practiced in the past. Rather than fight this change, doctors and sonographers may consider embracing the new technology and understand that pocket ultrasound machines may simply mean one additional way to diagnose and help the patient through what may be a difficult time in his or her life.

While pocket ultrasound machines are useful and effective for many sonographers as they have the ability to perform scans in a matter of minutes, it is important to consider the entire picture should he or she contemplate the purchase of this device. Pocket ultrasound machines are new and exciting now, but it may only be a matter of time before they are a part of a sonographer's regular scanning process.

Medicare workshops offered for Baby Boomers – Red Bluff Daily News


Passages Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program is presenting Welcome to Medicare workshops for those turning 65 this year or younger adults who will be entitled to Medicare due to a disability.

As people get closer to Medicare eligibility, there are several things to consider. In light of the fact that Medicare’s coverage is much like employer group coverage it’s important to know what questions to ask: How will my retiree plan work with my Medicare? Can I delay enrolling into Medicare and not be penalized? Do I need a drug plan? Are there programs available to lower my Medicare health and prescription costs?

Workshops are scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, Feb. 14 at Lakeside Pavilion, 2565 Lakeside Village, Chico; and 1-3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19 at Red Bluff Community Center, 1500 S. Jackson St., Red Bluff

Registration is required by calling 898-6716. This free workshop is designed for Baby Boomers and others who will be new to Medicare this year who want to understand how their Medicare benefits work. Family members or caregivers are also welcome to attend.

People who are new to Medicare will be deluged with information from different insurance companies marketing their products. Ronda Kramer, program manager for Passages HICAP warns signing up with the wrong plan, or not doing anything may cost new Medicare recipients thousands of dollars, and they may not be able to make changes if enrollment deadlines are missed.

For more information, call HICAP at Passages at 1-800-434-0222. If your group or agency would like a workshop, contact Tatiana Fassieux at 898-6717. And remember, HICAP does not sell or endorse any insurance products.

Passages helps older adults and family caregivers with important services to empower them to remain confident in their ability to sustain and enjoy independent lives. For more information about Passages services go to www.passagescenter.org.

Denton-based Sally Beauty is counting on your gray hair and desire to look younger to boost sales | Retail


There are good reasons that Sally is trying to become everyone’s go-to source for hair. 

Hair color and care product sales increased 3 percent last year and it was the only salon category with any decent growth, Bulsara said. It propped up the entire salon category, which grew only 1.6 percent in the U.S. last year.

“Hair color is the anchor service that brings clients into the salons for all other services such as cutting, styling and straightening,” Bulsara said.

Half of that growth is coming from aging baby boomers, he said. “And the other half from the working professional who wants fashionable highlights and color that makes them look young.”

For its fiscal quarter, Sally Beauty reported a 21 percent decline in profit to $65.7 million, or 54 cents a share, compared with $83.3 million, a 65 cents a share, a year ago. The decline was almost all from a one-time tax benefit the prior year.

Baby Boomers Failed Us. Tangibles 2019


Majority of Americans Believe Teaching Children to Swim is Important


Courtesy: National Recreation and Park Association

Ashburn, Va. (Feb. 4, 2019) — According to a recent poll conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), more than 9 in 10 Americans (95 percent) believe it is important for children to learn how to swim at an early age. Parks and recreation is a leading provider of low-cost/free swimming lessons. Nearly 70 percent of agencies nationwide provide aquatics programming, including learn-to-swim lessons and water safety programs for children and adults.

People of all ages agree it’s important for young children to learn how to swim. However, baby boomers (97 percent) feel the strongest. In fact, eighty-five percent of baby boomers believe it’s extremely or very important while Gen Xers (79 percent) and millennials (73 percent) also feel it is extremely or very important.

“Every child, no matter their age or background, should have the opportunity to learn how to swim,” said Barbara Tulipane, CAE, NRPA president and CEO. “Parents and care givers everywhere are encouraged to visit a local aquatic or recreation center where there are affordable options for everyone.”

Research shows risk of drowning can be reduced by 88 percent if children participate in formal swimming lessons between ages 1–4. That’s why NRPA is proud to partner with the World Waterpark Association to support the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™, June 20, 2019, which brings together tens of thousands of individuals from hundreds of communities around the globe who all participate in the same lesson over the course of a 24-hour period to raise awareness about drowning and the fact that swimming is a vital life-saving skill that every child should learn.

This poll is part of NRPA’s Park Pulse, a continuing series of monthly surveys that gauge the public’s opinion on topics relating to parks and recreation. To explore previous Park Pulse survey results, visit www.nrpa.org/Park-Pulse.



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Super Bowl 2019 tests a twist on youth vs. experience


Super Bowl LIII will pit the Los Angeles Rams against the New England Patriots, but the sidelines will be the setting for another kind of matchup: youth versus experience.

In 2017, Sean McVay, at 30 years old, was the youngest head coach to be hired in NFL history. Now in his second season, he’ll be facing off against Bill Belichick, the league’s longest-tenured head coach.

As a leadership professor, I study how leaders of all ages navigate generational differences, including how to motivate those that might be on the other side of the generation gap.

For Belichick and McVay, the challenges might seem particularly acute. Most of Belichick’s players hadn’t even been born when Belichick secured his first coaching gig. And while McVay can probably talk about social media with his players in a way Belichick can’t, he’s in charge of a coaching staff that includes septuagenarians.

But it doesn’t matter if you’re the greenest of leaders or a grizzled veteran: With some insight into generational dynamics, your age can become irrelevant.

Bridging the generational divide

Having a leader at one end of the age spectrum can lead to all kinds of assumptions.

Research has shown that older leaders are expected to be stable, dependable and interested in upholding the status quo. Younger leaders are thought to be natural change agents and innovators.

There seems to be a basis for these assumptions. Studies have found older leaders do tend to take a more measured approach and lead in ways that are described as structured and conservative. Younger leaders, in contrast, are more energetic and have what employees describe as a “take charge” approach.

But one approach isn’t necessarily better than the other. Instead, what matters is the ability of a leader, young or old, to do two things.

First, they must reflect certain leadership qualities. Research shows that people want leaders who they see as inspiring, competent, forward-looking and honest.

Second, a good leader must also understand the needs and perspectives of each team members — specifically, the different kinds of support younger and older employees require from their leaders. Navigating these generational differences requires what I call “gentelligence.”

For example, a young employee and an older employee might interpret the same action differently. While boomers tend to interpret a lack of feedback as a sign that everything is going well, millennials may assume the opposite. Studies show they expect a steady stream of feedback and mentoring.

We also know that millennials place a lot of weight on how well a leader communicates and connects with them on a personal level, which makes them feel valued. Boomers also want to feel valued, but asking them what they did over the weekend isn’t the way to do it. Instead, a boss could ask them to offer advice or input.

Also read: This NFL exec’s technique for assessing football players also works on stocks

The yang to McVay’s yin

The Rams aren’t the only organization giving the keys to a young leader: Across many industries, the number of millennial bosses is rising. Those born between 1981 and 1996 now make up 20% of organizational leadership roles. Baby boomers like the 66-year-old Bill Belichick hold just 18% of these roles.

Baby boomers may appreciate the energy and communication skills of younger leaders. But to gain the trust of older employees, young leaders often need to be willing to openly acknowledge what they don’t know yet, and ask others for input.

McVay appears eager to do just this. When asked what it means to have the older, more experienced Wade Phillips as his defensive coordinator, McVay described it as a “yin and yang” dynamic.

“It allows you to have a sounding board from someone who has been through a whole lot more than you have, have somebody to bounce things off of,” he told NBC Sports’ Mike Tirico. “It’s all about the people you’re around,” he later added, “and not being afraid to say, ‘Hey, help me figure this out.’”

Belichick never rests on his laurels

Older leaders need to grapple with a different set of challenges when engaging younger members of their team.

Established leaders such as Belichick grew up in an age when holding positions of leadership meant unquestioned respect. But younger generations are less inclined to listen to someone simply because they hold a title.

Nonetheless, older leaders are still well positioned to connect with younger employees who are eager for guidance, and their years of experience make them effective mentors. They also tend to bring a calm and consensus-building approach.

Just as important is an older leader’s openness to the ideas of their young employees. It signals that they’re confident enough in their own experience and track record to empower those beneath them.

According to his coaching staff, what makes Belichick such an effective leader is his willingness to listen to and trust his staff.

As former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia explained, “We go to him with new ideas all the time — or what we think are new ideas.”

“He wants you to disagree,” receivers coach Chad O’Shea added. “He respects that. He listens. He trusts us and demonstrates that by letting us go out and make decisions.”

Success, whether in the boardroom or on the field, depends on the talent of a leader to understand and navigate the expectations and needs of all their team members — no matter their age.

For a leader in today’s 21st-century workplace, that may be the most important playbook of all.

Megan Gerhardt is a professor of management at Miami University. This was first published by The Conversation — “Belichick versus McVay: An age-old question of leadership”.

Kevin O’Leary says you need to have all your debts paid off by age 45 — including your mortgage


“Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary knows how startup businesses succeed — or fail.

Most businesses make it past that crucial first year by finding investors while controlling costs tooth and nail.

If only retirement investment advice had that same approach.

“If you want to find financial freedom, you need to retire all debt — and yes that includes your mortgage,” O’Leary told CNBC

CMCSA, +0.60%

Your personal break-even, that moment where, like a business, you’re going to thrive or fail, is age 45, he says.

By then, O’Leary warns, you should be debt-free. No mortgage, no credit cards, no student loans.

It’s a tall order. Huge numbers of baby boomers are hitting 65, an estimated 10,000 of them a day. Many are leaving work, too, by choice or not.

And many of them, unfortunately, carry debt into retirement.

Debt free

The problem, as O’Leary explains, is that debts compound. It’s extremely hard to manage a growing debt load on a fixed income that does not grow.

He didn’t pick age 45 by chance. Even good savers need two decades of investment compounding to retire on their own terms.

Paying down debts past 45 will mean less money growing in your retirement savings and more paid out to cover outstanding liabilities.

Look, I know it’s extremely hard to just be debt free. But O’Leary’s point is well-taken. You can’t grow money prudently if your debts grow faster.

That’s a key financial concept that many folks simply don’t grasp. It’s a rare investment that grows faster than the economy and inflation.

But most debts absolutely grow faster — some much faster.

Consider a typical retirement portfolio of stocks and bonds. You might be able to get 6% or 7% a year, averaged out. Some years will be higher, some will be lower. Go with more stocks and maybe you’ll make a bit more, with more ups and downs, of course.

Read: Fidelity’s average account balance drops — the reason why may surprise you

Getting 7% means your investments will double in roughly 10 years. Then, over the following 10 years, that existing balance can double again, even if you stop saving. Compounding growth is a wonderful thing.

Unless it’s not. Your mortgage might be costing you less than 5%, but that only means your housing debt is compounding slightly more slowly than your retirement pot is growing.

If you have student loans, same thing. Credit card debt, meanwhile, is compounding on the order of 13%, 19%, or higher.

Say you have $10,000 on a card at 12.9%. If you carry that for five years the real cost to you is $13,621. Carry it for 10 years and the cost mushrooms to $17,846.

That’s nearly $18,000 that you did not put into your own retirement plan. It’s money that will not compound on your behalf and which buys you nothing at all. It’s just wasted.

Fine print

When it comes to investment costs, the same dynamic kicks in. If you pay 2% of your assets a year to a mutual-fund manager or financial adviser, that’s not 2% of your yearly returns.

People miss this in the fine print all the time. A 2% annual charge on your total assets is a lot of money. For many investors it’s thousands of dollars a year.

And it’s charged whether you have a good return or the market sells off.

In fact, over time, high-fee funds can absorb essentially all of your potential gains. You take the investment risk and the managers and your adviser keep the returns.

Ideally, advisers should help lower their investment costs using index products and provide truly conflict-free advice — such as how much risk to take for your personal goals, when to rebalance, and timely financial planning ideas.

O’Leary’s right. If you can’t make his debt-free timeline work right now the next best thing is to get started toward that goal.

Meanwhile, remember to contribute to your own future through prudent, low-cost investments. That way your money will compound into a solid financial base for retirement.

Baby Boomers Going Back to School


It's that exciting time of year. Kids are heading off to school in their new duds with backpacks full of notebooks and lunch pails. But it turns out not only the young will be cracking books.

Plenty of baby boomers are going back to school as well. Some are enrolling to college for the first time.

"At 78 million strong, the baby boomer generation is bringing a surge of older students to campus," states the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) in its report "Plus 50 Students: Tapping Into a Growing Market.

What are the reasons for this trend? Unlike younger college students, trail-blazing baby boomers are not driven by anyone's expectations other than their own, according to a survey by Schools.com. And, perhaps surprisingly, regret does not seem to be a big factor either. Only about 15 percent of students aged 50 to 59 said they went back to school to complete a degree they previously started.

So, just why are baby boomers heading back to school?

To Update Skills

Many boomers are working longer. Studies show that up to 80 percent of baby boomers plan to do some sort of paid work until age 70 to stay mentally sharp, keep engaged socially, and achieve financial security in retirement. That leaves a couple of decades after 50 to work.

Whether boomers are working because of financial needs or personal choice, many go back to college for additional training so they can stay marketable in the work or advance their careers. Some are laid off and having difficulty finding employment. Updating their skills by going back to school looks like a step in the right direction.

Aside from motivation, baby boomers stand out from younger students in other ways. For example, most do not care about social activities, campus life, and extracurricular activities. Many enroll in online or hybrid degree programs because of the lower cost and flexibility.

Many colleges have taken note of older students' unique needs as they search for fast and efficient ways to further their education and careers. In fact, The American Association of Community Colleges introduced the Plus 50 Initiative in 2008 to help colleges learn how to provide what older students want. As a result, those over 50 usually can find plenty of flexibility with degree programs, online and weekend courses, and accelerated classes.

To Change Careers

Some baby boomers are pursuing an "encore career" and go back to school to prepare for a new direction in life. Whatever boomers are retired and want to try out another career part-time or are still working and want to change jobs, many want to pursue their interests and passions before it's too late.

In addition, as people age, they tend to want a career that's fulfilling and meaningful to help others. "Sometimes people may have been very successful in a career that they had and now they are retiring but they knew all along it was not what they really wanted to be doing," says Dawn Jones of the Office of Career and Transfer Services at Schenectady County Community College. "They want to be doing things that are more important to them."

To Focus on Themselves

For those 50-59, the decision to return to school was often about finally having the freedom to explore a subject they love. Thirty-one percent of those surveyed in that age range said they enrolled in college to explore their passions. Compare that to those between 18 and 29 who were three times less likely to give that answer; they were more likely to say they enrolled in college as a logical next step in their lives.

The fact is that baby boomers are changing the way people age and many want to continue to grow and learn. Some became part of the continuing education department, taking classes to learn a new language or about astronomy. The idea is to learn for themselves rather than earn a degree. And why not? Many now have the freedom with less responsibilities to take advantage of opportunities.

Are you a baby boomer thinking about going back to college? Do not let age stop you. It's never too late to go back to school or try out a new career.

"It's not about a number, it's about a mindset," Jones says. "If it's something you want to do and have the energy to do and you're passionate about it. We've had students in their 60s and 70s, and I think we've even had a few older than that, taking classes and enrolled in degree programs. There's no age limit, there's no limit to what you can do if you want to be doing it. "

"What I say often to my returning adults is 'you're never too old to decide what you want to be when you grow up.'" Jones adds.

Federal Reserve faces dilemma after the pleasantly surprising jobs report

Federal Reserve faces dilemma after the pleasantly surprising jobs report

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