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Licensed pharmacist Sonya Sengson, Rph, President of the Servant Health Group, knows that the secret to success is balance. Though she works hard at her job, she finds time to spend with her three children. She's also passionate about playing tennis and supporting charitable organizations like the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Sonya Sengson's company manages long term care companies who distribute medications to elder care facilities throughout the southeastern United States, Servant Health Group is actively looking for long term care operators to partner with. The company was founded on the principles of Servant Leadership. Servant is also looking forward at the landscape to get it right for our customers, like, for example, the new changes that will come along with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Relationships with customers facilitates measuring success in terms of their customer’s success. One big example of this is that they plan to bring medications to the faculty via automated dispensing technology.
Sonya Sengson oversees a large staff of between 80 and 90 employees. As the President of the company, the buck stops with her! Nonetheless, she doesn't believe in micromanaging. She believes in hiring people with the right attitude, training them on the end result and letting them use their gifts and talents to choose the path to get there.
Developing new client relationships is an important part of any service industry. The Servant Health Group's value proposition is customer service and clinical care in an industry that has continued to provide less and less. Medication errors are one of the largest sources of preventable medical errors. The Servant Health Group reduces the risk that the wrong amount of medication will be given to a patient. On top of mitigating preventable health risks, this protects from legal liability, and can significantly decrease exposure to medical malpractice lawsuits.
The Servant’s staff must be prepared to address the advantages of specialized dispensing systems with potential clients. Staff education is the number one priority at the Servant Medical Group. Pharmacists are trained to educate their clients, so Sonya has the resources to support her staff here.
Sonya Sengson understands the critical importance of correct dosages from a professional and a personal perspective. One of her three children was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Juvenile diabetes is more frequently called type 1 diabetes. Experts estimate that as many as three million Americans may be affected by type 1 diabetes.
Parenting a child with type 1 diabetes involves special challenges. Children do not understand about diseases. Injections and finger pricks hurt. When they are young, children may view these necessary health procedures as a type of punishment. As teenagers, they may rebel against the various protocols designed to keep them healthy.
Sonya Sengson works hard to help her child understand the nature of the disease process. She provides her child with physical care and psychological support that normalizes life as much as possible.
Medical scientists are not quite sure what causes type I diabetes. Most believe that a combination of medical and environmental factors are involved. While there are no cures for type 1 diabetes, there are treatments to keep affected individuals healthy.
Individuals with type 1 diabetes must take insulin on a regular basis. Some individuals opt for injections while others prefer continuous infusions through small portable pumps. Individuals with type 1 diabetes must also measure their serum glucose levels at regular intervals. This will give them an indication of how well their insulin doses are managing their condition.
Type 1 diabetes can appear suddenly in either children or adults, notes Sonya Sengson. Every year roughly 15,000 American adults and 15,000 American children are diagnosed with the condition for the first time.
Sonya Sengson wants all parents to be on the lookout for the symptoms of type 1 diabetes. Those symptoms include:
● Extreme thirst and frequent urination: When you have diabetes, excessive amounts of glucose build up in your blood. Your kidneys go into overdrive in an effort to clear the excess sugar from your blood.
● Increased appetite and weight loss: Your cells are starved for sugar, which makes you want to eat more. At the same time, you are losing calories through frequent urination.
● Fatigue: Frequent urination leads to dehydration, which can cause you to feel fatigued. Your body also suffers because it doesn’t have access to sufficient amounts of fuel.
● Blurred vision: High serum glucose levels exert osmotic pressure on your tissues that draws fluid from them. When fluid is pulled from the lenses of your eyes, it will result in blurry vision.
Although type 1 diabetes cannot be cured, it can be treated. You will need insulin therapy to keep your serum glucose levels at certain values. These will fluctuate throughout the day, just as serum glucose levels in unaffected individuals fluctuate. Physicians say you want your serum glucose level to be between 80 and 120 mg/dL before meals. Before you go to bed at night, you want your serum glucose numbers to be between 100 and 140 mg/dL.
You may need to adjust your insulin doses from time to time. The goal is to keep your serum glucose levels in the desired range, notes Sonya Sengson. People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin intravenously because stomach enzymes deactivate insulin.
Sonya Sengson knows how challenging it can be to help a child learn to manage type 1 diabetes. If the child is very young at the time of the initial diagnosis, you will have to administer insulin. Poking your child with a needle can be very stressful especially if you are frightened of needles yourself.
Many children surprise their parents, though, by taking over their diabetes management at a young age. Children as young as seven will sometimes insist on performing their own injections. Medical experts say this is fine, but that children still need to be supervised in diabetes-related activities.
Children with type 1 diabetes also need to learn the fundamentals of healthy eating and exercise. Intake of the proper types of foods is vital to diabetes management. Sonya Sengson had to teach her child how to count carbohydrates. Since the body converts carbohydrates into glucose relatively quickly, children with diabetes must limit their carb intake.
Children with type 1 diabetes can indulge in sugary treats on special occasions. They will have to increase their insulin doses, however, to compensate for the candy, cake or ice cream. Sonya Sengson recommends working a plan out with your child's physician to cover special situations like birthdays or parties.
Teenagers with type 1 diabetes can present a special challenge. Frequently, they rebel against their necessary medical regimens. They may begin sneaking candy or sweets in order to fit in with their pals. This will show up in unexpectedly high blood sugars.
The worst thing you can do in this situation is to police your child, advises Sonya Sengson. You need to keep the lines of communication open with your diabetic teen. Family meetings reduce the tension between the teen and the primary parent. Often a rebellious teen will listen to siblings more attentively than he or she will to parents. Sonya Sengson counsels against approaching diabetes management as a battle of wills between you and your adolescent child.
As a pharmaceutical professional, Sonya Sengson spends a lot of time thinking about changes the future will bring to her profession. Pharmacists are taking a far more proactive role in patient education, and Sonya expects that trend to intensify. Traditionally, family care practitioners were the primary care physicians responsible for providing patient education. However, fewer and fewer physicians are choosing to become family care practitioners. In a world of specialists, it will fall to pharmacists to educate patients about medications they are taking.
Insurance reimbursers like this model because pharmacists are typically reimbursed for services at lower rates than physicians. These days, pharmacists advise patients on how to manage a range of conditions from diabetes to cardiovascular diseases.
Pharmacists are also becoming more proactive about sharing information across the health care continuum. This enables data to be converted into useful information that can contribute to positive health outcomes for patients.
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