Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center
Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center is committed to providing the highest quality of care while serving the communities of southwest Las Vegas.
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What to Know About Your Neighborhood ER Staff

When you seek emergency care, who will be in charge of your treatment? Several staff members work together to ensure that every patient gets the interventions they need in the ER, from stroke care to stitches. Here are some of the people you can expect to encounter when you get emergency care.

Triage Nurse

After a receptionist in the ER takes your personal information, the first member of the medical staff you will encounter is usually a triage nurse. Triage nurses are responsible for collecting information about patients’ symptoms and making a decision about the urgency of their needs. Under this system, patients who are experiencing life-threatening emergencies, like strokes or heart attacks, get treated before people with less serious conditions. Triage nurses also take your vitals and begin a medical record for your visit that other providers will add to as you proceed through the ER.

Primary Nurse

When you are moved to a treatment room, the primary nurse is the next provider you will meet. In the ER, primary nurses are trained to respond a wide range of medical complaints and react quickly to begin treatment for life-threatening conditions. Additionally, primary nurses typically answer the questions families have when loved ones are receiving emergency care and arrange for patients to admitted for inpatient care when necessary. These nurses are assisted by other nurses in the ER who provide supportive care and assist the primary nurses managing patient cases.

Physicians

ER physicians are specially trained in providing critical care for a number of different conditions. They evaluate symptoms and either direct treatments to begin or order additional lab tests or diagnostic imaging to make a diagnosis. When necessary, the attending ER physician may refer patients to specialists for advanced care, such as cardiologists or neurologists.

The ER at Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center provides life-saving care 24 hours a day with highly trained staff, including specialists, on hand around the clock. We are also pleased to bring emergency care in Las Vegas to more residents with our ER at The Lakes facility, set to open in the third quarter of 2016. Speak to one of our nurses or learn more about emergency care by calling (702) 880-2700.


Reduce Your Risk of Skin Cancer with These Summer Safety Tips

Summer is the perfect chance to spend time outside with family and friends, but this fun in the sun comes at a risk. In addition to the burns and heat-related illnesses that could require emergency care, sun exposure can also cause skin cancer. Skin cancer cases are on the rise, but you can protect yourself from the blistering Las Vegas sun this summer with these safety tips.

Wear Sunscreen

Sunscreen isn’t just for summer. You can and should use it all year long, especially on your face. However, any time you have an outdoor activity planned during the summer, be sure to apply sunscreen before you go. Choose a product with SPF 15 or higher, and be sure that it protects from both UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreen doesn’t last all day with a single application, so be sure to reapply it every two hours, or sooner if you have been swimming or sweating.

Avoid Peak Sunlight Hours

The sun usually reaches its peak strength between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. During these hours, your skin is especially vulnerable to the sun’s harmful rays. Avoid scheduling outdoor activities for these times. Not only does being outside during these peak hours increase your skin cancer risk, but it also makes you more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses. If you must be outside for an extended time, seek shade as much as possible and reapply sunscreen often.

Dress for the Weather

Most people think that wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts is the best way to dress for summer, but covering up is actually healthier. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing that covers your arms and legs to feel cooler and protect your skin. Add a hat with a wide brim that protects your face and wrap-around sunglasses with polarized lenses that offer UVA and UVB protection.

At Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center, our ER in Las Vegas is ready to provide emergency care for all of your summer emergencies, from bad burns to broken bones. Find out more our comprehensive medical services, including geriatric psych, orthopedic surgery, and stroke care in Las Vegas, by calling (702) 880-2700.


Don't Get Injured by Your Summer Shoes

Of all of the things that could cause you to need emergency care or a visit to the orthopedic surgeon, you may not put your summer shoes high on the list. In reality, summer footwear is notorious for causing injuries that can leave people in chronic pain. Keep your feet safe from injury this summer with this advice.

Tennis Shoes

Many people use summer as an opportunity to get back into their favorite outdoor activities. Often, this involves reaching into the back of the closet and shaking the cobwebs off your old tennis shoes. Although you don’t need new shoes every summer, if you haven’t updated your pair within the last few years, you could be risking injury. Shoes get worn out over time and may no longer provide an adequate level of support. This can lead to overuse injuries that can not only leave you sidelined from your favorite activities but can also cause damage to your feet and ankles that could require treatment by an orthopedic surgeon.

Flip-Flops

Most orthopedic surgeons advise against wearing flip-flops, no matter how friendly they are to summer temperatures. Flip-flops are too flat to provide any real protection for your feet. Because there are no heels on flip-flops, many people unconsciously scrunch their toes to try to hold the shoes in place. This leads to muscle imbalances that can cause prolonged periods of pain.

Platform Sandals

Sandals with platform or high heels are especially dangerous for feet. They lack proper support and can push your feet into unnatural positions. The heights of the heels leave you vulnerable to falls and ankle twists, and because they frequently have open backs, they can cause the same kind of muscle imbalances as flip-flops.

If you’re experiencing chronic joint pain, make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon in Las Vegas at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center, or seek emergency care for an acute injury in our ER. You can request a referral to an orthopedic surgeon today by calling (702) 880-2700.


What's the Relationship Between Osteoporosis and Arthritis?

When it comes to the risk factors for a given disease, there are many different risks to consider. These include uncontrollable risk factors such as your age and family history, along with modifiable risk factors such as your dietary choices and activity level. But in some cases, having one medical condition may increase the risk of developing another health issue, such as developing osteoporosis after having been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). When you meet with an orthopedic specialist at Southern Hills Hospital in Las Vegas, you’ll learn all you need to know about your diagnosis and its treatment options.

Conditions

You can watch this video to hear a neurosurgeon at Southern Hills Hospital describe osteoporosis. He explains that it is a disease that involves the softening of the bones. Weakened bones are more susceptible to fracturing, which may require intervention from an orthopedic surgeon. Arthritis is a different type of disease, of which there are many subtypes. Rheumatoid arthritis is among the most common forms of arthritis. RA is an autoimmune disease in which the membranes around the joints become inflamed. This causes the release of enzymes that attack the cartilage and bones, causing them to deteriorate. RA can result in joint pain, stiffness, mobility impairment, and other troublesome symptoms.

Associations

Although RA and osteoporosis are different diseases, they can overlap in the same patient. In fact, patients who have already been diagnosed with RA may be at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis. Primarily, this is because some of the drugs used to treat RA, known as glucocorticoids, can result in substantial bone loss. The National Institutes of Health suggest that RA may even directly cause the loss of bone mass. Furthermore, it is thought that the symptoms of RA may indirectly encourage the development of osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercise is essential for maintaining healthy bone mass, and many patients with RA find it too difficult to engage in exercise regularly because of the symptoms of the disease.

At Southern Hills Hospital, you’ll find exceptional bone and joint care. Our orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgery specialists perform complex spine surgeries and joint replacement produces at our state-of-the-art hospital in Las Vegas. To request a referral to an orthopedic surgeon or other specialist, call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (702) 880-2700.


Grilling Tips to Keep You Safe This Summer

Few activities epitomize summer as much as grilling. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to wind up in the emergency care department because of burn injuries caused by grilling. You may already know that it’s important to keep kids and pets away from a hot grill and that you should never add flammable fluids to a fire. But do you know why grease can be hazardous or why you should marinate before instead of during grilling? Read on to learn everything you need to know to have a safe summer cookout with your backyard grill.

Setting Up Your Workstation

Even if you set up your grill in the same spot every year, you’ll need to take a look around before igniting the charcoal. Check whether any tree branches have encroached over the space; if so, you’ll need to move your grill or get out your pruning shears. Position your grill on a level, firm surface away from the house, deck railings, or other structures. If you have a propane grill, check the connectors and tighten them if need be. Remember to open the lid of a gas grill before igniting it. Additionally, keep a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it.

Preventing Burn Injuries

Before igniting your grill, make sure it’s free of grease and other buildups. This applies to the tray beneath the grill, too. Accumulations of grease or fat can increase your risk of burn injuries. Remember to keep kids and pets far away from your cooking area. While you’re grilling, it’s best not to wear long sleeves or loose clothing that might catch on fire.

Grilling for Good Health

There is no definitive proof that grilling fatty meats can increase your risk of cancer, but it is known that heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are produced when meats are cooked at high temperatures. It is thought that these compounds may be carcinogenic, but the evidence is lacking. Still, it is healthier to grill plant-based foods or to trim the fat from meats when you grill. You can also marinate before—rather than during—grilling to minimize HCA formation.

For more helpful tips on healthy grilling this summer, browse the food safety articles available on the website of Southern Hills Hospital. Our community hospital provides advanced medical services for Las Vegas-area families, including maternity care, stroke care, emergency care, and orthopedic surgery. Please call 911 or visit our ER if you sustain serious burn injuries while grilling; non-emergent inquiries may be directed to a registered nurse at (702) 880-2700.


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