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Month: July 2019

Top 21 Books on Brain Health, Fitness, Training, Neuroplasticity and Neurogenesis

Posted on July 11, 2019 in Uncategorized

Given the growing media coverage of brain fitness and brain training, we have produced this compilation of the Top 21 Books that help understand these trends, the research behind them, and the implications for all of us.

For your easy browsing, we have categorized them into seven groups:

1) Fascinating books on neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to rewire itself through experience):

– Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves – by Sharon Begley.

– The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science – by Norman Doidge.

– The Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes and the Civilized Mind – by Elkhonon Goldberg).

– The Wisdom Paradox: How Your Mind Can Grow Stronger As Your Brain Grows Older – by Elkhonon Goldberg.

2) User-friendly scientific books on the brain:

– Best of the Brain from Scientific American: Mind, Matter, and Tomorrow’s Brain by Floyd E. Bloom.

– A User’s Guide to the Brain: Perception, Attention, and the Four Theaters of the Brain – by John J. Ratey.

– In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind – by Eric Kandel.

– Mapping the Mind – by Rita Carter.

– Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind – by V. S. Ramachandran.

– Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: An Updated Guide To Stress, Stress Related Diseases, and Coping – by Robert M. Sapolsky.

3) On how to apply all this to education and learning:

– Magic Trees of the Mind: How to Nurture Your Child’s Intelligence, Creativity, and Healthy Emotions from Birth Through Adolescence – by Marian Diamond and Janet Hopson.

– The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning – by James Zull.

– Enriching the Brain: How to Maximize Every Learner’s Potential – by Eric Jensen.

4) On how to apply cognitive and positive psychology to solve other real-world problems:

– Thanks: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier – by Robert Emmons.

– The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person – by Judith Beck.

– Enhancing Trader Performance: Proven Strategies From the Cutting Edge of Trading Psychology – by Brett Steenbarger.

5) With a health/medical angle:

– The Brain Trust Program: A Scientifically Based Three-Part Plan – by Larry McCleary.

– The Memory Prescription: Dr. Gary Small’s 14-Day Plan to Keep Your Brain and Body Young – by Gary Small.

– Brain Longevity: The Breakthrough Medical Program that Improves Your Mind and Memory – by Dharma Singh Khalsa.

6) Reference manual:

– The Dana Guide to Brain Health: A Practical Family Reference from Medical Experts by Floyd E. Bloom, M. Flint Beal, and David J. Kupfer.

7) Good combination of information and activities:

– Building Mental Muscle: Conditioning Exercises for the Six Intelligence Zones – by David Gamon and Allen D. Bragdon.


Copyright (c) 2008 SharpBrains

Surgical Technician – A Rewarding Career Option in the Health Care Industry

Posted on July 5, 2019 in Uncategorized

A surgical technician is a trained professional who plays a very vital role to any undergoing surgery. Though there may be slight variation in the role of a technician depending upon the different medical facilities within the United States, but in most of the cases a surgical technician helps the surgeon by passing surgical instruments at the appropriate time, transporting patients to and from the operating room, and preparing patients for the procedure with proper cleansing of the incision site. In addition to this, techs may also assist by helping surgeons put on operating room clothing and caps, so that a surgeon can remain completely sterilized before entering the operating room. It won’t be wrong to say that a surgical technician also known as the technologist is a vital member of any surgical team and whose presence is very important for any surgery.

Employment Scope

Over the past few years, with the growth in the population and hospitals in the United States, the demand for surgical technologists has increased drastically.  If we look at the scope of this profession, it has grown up and in next few years expected to boom further. In fact, the job growth is projected to be faster than average as compared to all other professions through 2012. As per the recent analysis done by some of the leading heath care industry experts, the employment of surgical technologists is anticipated to grow near around 24 percent, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. In addition to this, in recent years some of the major technological advances, such as fiber optics and laser technology have created a better scope of surgical technicians. Though hospitals have always remained the biggest employer, but with rapid growth in the ratio of doctors’ offices and outpatient care centers, like ambulatory surgical centers are emerging as yet another working options for surgical technologists.

Good Salary

In terms of salary, the amount of salary a surgical technician can earn is quite decent and better than many other professions. In general, the median surgical tech salary is between $30,000 and $45,000 per year. However, it is also important to understand that the earnings for surgical technologists also differ depending on the workplace and the location. If we study the recent observation made by Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor the average annual salary for surgical technologists as of May 2008 was $40,070, with the top 10% or earners making an average of $54,300. Adding to this, the average salaries of surgical technologists by location are:

Location- Salary

  1. Specialty Hospitals (not Psychiatric and Substance Abuse)- $42,420
  2. Outpatient Care Centers- $40,490
  3. Offices of Physicians- $40,320
  4. General Medical and Surgical Hospitals- $39,770

Apart from all this, working as a surgical technician has its own rewards. These days many surgical centers provides additional benefits such as paid vacation and sick leave, health, medical, vision, dental insurance and life insurance. Few centers also provide tuition reimbursement and child care benefits. Moreover, the field even provides options to advance career by doing specialization in a particular area of surgery, such as neurosurgery or open heart surgery. With additional training, surgical technologists may even advance to first assistant.

Certainly, working as a surgical technician is an excellent career opportunity if you are looking to move into a different career. The rewards are abundant and in long-term career you may find and enjoy great satisfaction in helping other people who always need your support.

What is the Best Health Insurance Provider?

Posted on July 1, 2019 in Uncategorized

Selecting the best health insurance provider depends on your age, health, medical needs, location and finances. There is no single provider that can lay claim to being the best for everyone. However, there are several companies who stand out based on the Health Effective Data and Information Set (HEDIS) used to measure quality of service. Use this information as you compare the health insurers available.

The National Committee for Quality Assurance assessed and ranked 600 providers in November of 2009. Each organization received a rating between 0 and 100, with 100 being the top and ideal score. (Sorry- no private insurer scored a perfect 100!) However, many did make it in the 90s and high 80s. The five highest rated for commercial (private) insurance plans were:

Harvard Pilgrim with a 91.2

Tufts Associated Health Maintenance Organizations with a 91.2

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of New England with a 90.6

Grand Valley Health Plan with an 89.1

Geisinger Health Plan with an 88.2

Other top ten health insurance providers were Health New England, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield-Connecticut, Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts and CIGNA Health Care of New Hampshire.

The above study was run in a partnership with US News and World, and the study focused on managed care operations (MCOs) only. Plans are in effect for a 2010 study that will include preferred provider organizations (PPOs). To decide what type of plan you are looking for, you will need to decide how much flexibility you require in terms of physician choice, and how much you are willing to pay for that privilege.