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  • June/2011

The Society for Human Resource Management President Speaks Out

by Student
June 30, 2011

By Guest Blogger
Laurie Rhind
Argosy University - Online Programs Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) President

Membership truly does have advantages!

When you join national SHRM, you don’t just get the national membership benefits (which are impressive!), you also become eligible to join our virtual student SHRM chapter. The cost is a mere $35.00/year compared to the full price of membership at $180.00/year. You may wonder what this membership is all about and why it is important to belong to the National Group. SHRM at the national level is a well-respected organization in the Human Resource field; some have called it THE premier association in HR. If you plan on being a Human Resource Manager, or work in any professional field that involves a lot of people skills, it is in your best interest to join. The rewards of this organization are virtually limitless. It is the one stop to access all information pertaining to all aspects of the Human Resource position you may hold. SHRM is known to be the lifeline of many HRM at all levels; I am one who believes this. I have accessed their site many times for professional and now educational use. What we can’t stress enough is how they disseminate information for us to stay up to date on legal issues and federal laws. They are there as a resource to assist you in the time of need. So, please understand if you want to join our group, a National SHRM membership is required. We don’t want to be rude by not allowing you to join; however, strict guidelines have been set for us to abide by at this time. There is no way for us to cut a corner.

Please check out SHRM.org, sign up for a membership and come join our group. We are young, yet growing. Please come visit us or send an email, we would like to hear from you with any questions, concerns, or comments you may have.

Are you an Argosy University Online Programs student interested in writing for this blog? Check the Welcome Center in the Campus Common to find out how!

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Dealing with Constructive Criticism

by South University
June 30, 2011

In the online learning environment, you may be exposed to more constructive criticism than you have at any point in your career. Your classmates are required to comment on your assignments and thoughts, just as you are on theirs. At first blush, this situation may be difficult to stomach. You may feel like you, personally, are under attack, and it’s tempting to become defensive. You worked hard to put the assignment or thoughts together. Can’t your fellow students understand that? Perhaps it’s not that your classmates are too critical, but that you need to change your frame of mind.

As the recipient of constructive criticism, it’s important to remember that your colleagues aren’t attacking you, and you need to separate yourself from the work. The goal of having your colleagues comment on your work is not to tear you apart, but rather to provide you with feedback that will help you become a better student. Constructive criticism, when given effectively, can improve your work and ensure that you’re seeing the whole picture of the assignment.

In a traditional classroom, it’s easy to become complacent. Many classes don’t require participation, and what usually happens is that the same two to three people offer their thoughts in each class. Online learning requires that you remain engaged in the subject, and collaboration from your colleagues reinforces the instructor’s lecture.

It’s tempting to look at your colleagues’ feedback as a curse, but if you understand why you’re receiving it, you’ll find that it’s actually more of a blessing.

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The Internet and its Impact on the Healthcare Industry

by South University
June 27, 2011

In today's society, we rely heavily on technology to gain access to information and to complete research. The information we acquire online can be a valuable tool, particularly when it comes to healthcare. For example, if we’re experiencing symptoms at a particular time, rather than heading directly to the doctor’s office, we can search online and find other individuals with similar symptoms and determine what they might mean. This culture of “needing to know” doesn’t eliminate the need to go to the doctor, but it creates a better informed, more connected community.

For example, an MSN Health article entitled “Is Social Networking Changing the Face of Medicine?” discusses the backlash incurred when new regulations proposed that women didn’t need to begin having mammograms until age fifty, as opposed to the previous guideline of forty. A number of women, who felt that beginning mammograms at forty may have saved their lives, took to social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter to express their outrage. In the end, the guidelines set forth by the American Cancer Society remained unchanged.

In the situation described above, it can be argued that public opinion and the use of technology only helped, but there’s a fine line between helpful and incorrect. As with any situation concerning the internet, it’s just as easy to broadcast incorrect information as it is to relay the facts. But there’s no denying that information can be a valuable tool if used wisely.

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South University Spring 2011 Commencement Ceremony

by South University
June 24, 2011

On Saturday, June 18, South University held its Spring 2011 commencement ceremony in Savannah, Georgia. Many of the over 1,000 online students who earned their degrees this winter and spring attended the ceremony. To view the commencement video and read the names of the online graduates, check out our graduation website. Congratulations, graduates!

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Healthy Homes: Understanding Housing-Related Hazards

by South University
June 24, 2011

There is a growing awareness of the number of illnesses that can be caused by environmental risks in the home.

Everybody’s health is at risk from housing-related hazards, but infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with chronic medical conditions and disabilities are especially susceptible.

Knowledge of potential hazards in the home is important in the prevention and treatment of the medical conditions they can cause.

Home health hazards include dust, allergens, mold, and pests such as insects and rodents. They also include toxic materials such as lead, asbestos, and chemical pesticides, and poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide and radon. Since some of these hazards are odorless and colorless, they cannot be detected by the human senses alone. That’s why homeowners are encouraged to install detectors in their homes.

“Some environmental poisons can be invisible,” says Laura A. Saucer, program director of Nursing at South University — Montgomery. “You can’t see, taste, or smell radon or carbon monoxide, but both have deadly health effects.”

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon exposure is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Radon is found in outdoor air and in the indoor air of buildings of all kinds, the EPA says. It comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into homes through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Any home can have a radon problem – new, old, well-sealed, or drafty, with or without basements.

Knowledge of potential hazards in the home is important in keeping individuals and families healthy.

There are many do-it-yourself radon test kits that can be purchased in hardware stores and retail outlets. Also, a qualified tester can be hired to do the testing. The state radon office should have a list of qualified testers.

Carbon monoxide, another silent killer, is found in combustion fumes, such as those produced by cars and trucks, small gasoline engines, stoves, lanterns, burning charcoal and wood, and gas ranges and heating systems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says that on average, about 170 people in the United States die every year from carbon monoxide produced by non-automotive consumer products.

“These are preventable deaths if people would practice a few safety precautions,” Saucer says.

The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. High levels of carbon monoxide inhalation can cause loss of consciousness and death.

The CDC lists guidelines to prevent carbon monoxide exposure, including having gas, oil, or coal-burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician and not burning anything in a stove or fireplace that is not vented. Most importantly, carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in the home.

In addition to poisonous gases, there are many other housing-related hazards that pose health risks. Mold and pests such as cockroaches, rodents, and dust mites, can cause and contribute to asthma, allergies, and other respiratory illnesses. Molds are microscopic organisms that can grow anywhere. The steps to controlling and removing mold should be taken carefully with special consideration given to protecting the hands, eyes, nose, and mouth.

Many home-dwellers have had to contend with insects and rodents. It might be difficult to get rid of the pesky creatures for good, but there are some proven ways to prevent them from taking over the home. The first step of pest control involves knowing what pest you are up against and then getting rid of the food and water sources they are living on.

Meanwhile, cleanliness is key to minimizing dust in the home.

Toxic materials such as lead, asbestos, and pesticides can be very harmful, Saucer says. For example, lead poisoning can cause reduced IQ and attention span, hyperactivity, impaired growth, learning disabilities, and other intellectual and behavioral problems. Lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust are the main sources of exposure for lead in children, according to the CDC.

Homeowners should talk with their state and local health departments about testing for lead in paint and dust in the home. Then, prevention methods should include housing maintenance to prevent hazards and remediation of existing hazards.

Asbestos fibers are known to cause respiratory illnesses including asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. The fibers are commonly found in building construction materials that are used for insulation and as a fire-retardant. Laboratory testing is needed to determine if a material contains asbestos.

In general, if a material suspected of containing asbestos is in good condition, it should be left alone, says the National Center for Healthy Housing.

“A professional is needed to remove or repair asbestos-containing materials that are damaged or will be disturbed during a home improvement project,” the center says.

Cleaning is generally considered an important step in preventing illness and injury from many housing-related hazards. However, some of the very products used to clean the home actually contain chemicals that can be harmful to people’s health.

“Cleaning products, pesticides, chemicals, and household plants can be poisonous,” Saucer says.

Household products that are pesticides are considered necessary for keeping the home safe and clean from other health risks. Insect repellents, rodent poisons, disinfectants, sanitizers, and lawn products can also be harmful to humans. The EPA offers many tips on using pesticides safely in and around the home.

Solid knowledge and prevention of housing-related hazards go a long way in maintaining a healthy home for individuals and families.

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