• Finding What Works in Treating Mental Illnesses

    Individuals who suffer from mental illnesses need a wide range of care options, because the same approach does not work for everyone with a given condition. Plus, mental healthcare involves both physical and psychological aspects, since mental conditions are complex and pose unique symptoms for different patients.

    This video shares one woman’s story of finding the right mental care to inspire other patients to get the care they need. While her journey did involve some setbacks, she was ultimately able to improve her overall mental state and become more involved with activities she enjoys.

    Good Samaritan Hospital may provide the first steps in achieving the right care for behavioral disorders with our Behavioral Health services for adults in San Jose. You can explore these services and find a physician at our hospital on our website or at (408) 559-2011.

  • What to Expect with Hospitalized Behavioral Care

    Handshake with patient

    Individuals with mental disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, addiction, or anxiety disorders may need specialized care with a more intensive approach to assist in recovery from severe psychological episodes. At Good Samaritan Hospital, patients can find a convenient, cost-effective approach that serves as an alternative to complete 24-hour inpatient care with adult partial hospitalization. This approach uses six-hour sessions five days a week with flexible care tailored to individual needs for assessment and treatment. When dealing with substance abuse, a dual-diagnosis method is used to improve outcomes and address problems from a more effective angle. From this program, patients can make a smooth transition to the intensive outpatient program, which supports transitions back to home and the workplace.

    If you or a loved one is struggling with severe behavioral issues or substance abuse, connect with Good Samaritan Hospital on our website to explore our inpatient and outpatient behavioral programs. You can also reach us through our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (408) 559-2011 to speak with a registered nurse.

  • Understanding Potential Causes for Non-Healing Wounds


    Non-healing and slow-healing wounds can be problematic for patients, because they pose a higher risk for infections and long-term health complications. A non-healing wound may be a burn, cut, or sore, and it will not scab and clot like a normal wound, because the body’s healing response is impaired.

    The body may be unable to effectively heal through natural means for a number of reasons, but diabetes is by far the most common. People with diabetes tend to have poor circulation and nerve damage that can restrict the body’s healing mechanisms. Other conditions affecting circulation such as badly functioning veins may also be to blame. In some cases, malnutrition might affect wound healing time, because the body does not have the proper materials to rebuild damaged tissues.

    Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose features a specialized wound treatment center utilizing hyperbaric medicine to keep slow- and non-healing wounds under control. If you are in need of this type of care, call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (408) 559-2011 to find a physician.

  • How to Tell When Your Child Is Sick

    Mother taking temperature of sick daughter at home

    When you have a young child or infant who is sick, he or she may not be able to articulate exactly what is wrong. This means that it is often up to parents to determine when their children are ill and what type of care is needed. Read on to see some of the most common signs of childhood illnesses and know how to seek the right type of medical attention.

    Physical Signs

    The first move parents make when determining whether or not a child is sick is checking for a fever, because this symptom will be present with most infections or illnesses. If a child does have a fever, he or she should not go to school or daycare until the fever has broken naturally. Other physical signs that a child is sick include oversleeping, vomiting or diarrhea, headache, or absence of urination. These symptoms tend to be more serious, so you should call the pediatrician when you observe them.

    Irritability and Crankiness

    Young kids might not be able to say “I have the flu” or “I have food poisoning,” but they will tell you that they are not feeling well by maintaining an irritable state. If your child is irritable or cranky, even while being held and comforted, he or she may be sick and in need of immediate medical attention.

    Eating Habits

    With infants especially, refusing to eat or drink is a sure sign that something is wrong. If your baby is not feeding, you will want to alert your pediatrician right away. When older kids are not eating normally, they may not need medical care as urgently, but you should schedule a visit to the pediatrician soon.

    Good Samaritan Hospital can make it easy to find the right care for your child with our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (408) 559-2011. We are able to answer your questions 24/7 and provide pediatric care through our family-centered pediatrics unit when your child needs medical attention.

  • Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain by Steering Clear of these Fattening Winter Foods

    Christmas Star and Tree Cookies

    If you tend to pack on extra pounds for the holiday season, you are not alone in this struggle. Unfortunately, gaining even just a few pounds over the holidays can be hard on your body and put you at risk for cardiac disease. One of the most common contributors to holiday weight gain is the heavy cuisine of the season, which may be hard to avoid. Still, you might stay away from some of the most decadent choices to save room for your favorite holiday treats. If you avoid the foods listed below and replace them with some healthier seasonal options , you may find it easier to keep your waistline trim through the winter.

    Cheesecakes and Pies

    Desserts often take center stage at holiday events, which is problematic because they are essentially empty calories loaded with fat and sugar. Pies and cheesecakes can be among the worst choices—especially when they are topped with whipped cream or ice cream. If you do splurge on these desserts, have only a small sliver and say no to seconds.

    Fatty Meats

    Stews and soups are popular choices for wintertime fare, but they often use the fattiest and most unhealthy meats like sausage or fatty cuts of beef. You can cut calories in these options by making them yourself and choosing leaner meats as a base. Add some extra vegetables, and skip the sour cream and cheese on top when serving.

    Sweetened Drinks

    Those pumpkin spice lattes and egg nog confections may be delicious treats, but they usually have nearly 300 calories in small 12 ounce sizes—most of those coming from sugar. Instead of satisfying a sweet tooth with these drinks, choose plain coffee or tea instead and add just a teaspoon or two of sugar. Choosing soy or almond milk instead of dairy-based creamers can also cut calories in your favorite holiday drinks.

    Holiday Cookies

    Cookies are dangerous because even eating just one will add about 80-100 calories and at least 10 grams of sugar to your day, and most people will eat several cookies when they are readily available at holiday parties and in the office break room. To minimize the temptation of these sweet treats, eat more protein and fiber rich foods throughout your day and have a piece of whole fruit before reaching for a cookie.

    For more holiday health tips, call Good Samaritan Hospital at (408) 559-2011. We offer a higher standard of care over a wide range of specialties through our state-of-the-art San Jose facilities. 

  • How Is Flu Season Different in 2014?

    male flu

    Every year, the flu virus evolves and changes, making it hard to predict what each flu season will have in store. Because the flu virus does change so rapidly, it is important to get annual flu shots to stay protected through every flu season. This article will take a look at some of the specific concerns for flu season in 2014-15 so that you are able to better protect yourself and your family from this common virus.

    Younger People Facing Complications

    Typically flu complications are most often seen in infants and elderly individuals, because these populations have the highest vulnerability to illnesses. However, with H1N1 reemerging , complications are more likely in the 18-64 age group. When H1N1 had an outbreak in 2009, this group saw more hospitalization and fatalities than normal, but this year’s vaccine does protect against this flu strain, making the chances of complications lower for young people who have had the flu shot.

    Higher-Dose Vaccine Options

    Elderly individuals can find a higher level of protection with the high-dose flu vaccine available through most physicians and pharmacies. This version of the flu shot is only available for individuals over 65, who are most at risk for flu-related deaths. The nasal spray flu vaccine has also become more widely used, and is recommended over the intramuscular shot or intradermal shot for individuals from ages 2-8.

    Flu Symptom Concerns

    This year, people are concerned about the spread of Ebola, which presents symptoms very similar to the flu. It is important to remember that Ebola is only spread through direct contact with an infected individual, and cases in the United States have been incredibly isolated. Flu symptoms are most likely attributable to the influenza virus and should not cause panic for most individuals.

    When you need emergency care for flu complications, Good Samaritan Hospital is there for you with exceptional care and low ER wait times. You can get to know us and explore our services offered in San Jose by calling (408) 559-2011 or visiting our website.

  • Rethinking Gynecological Surgery with da Vinci Surgical Technology

    Gynecological surgery may be considered for women facing a wide range of health problems, including gynecological cancers, pelvic prolapse, and uterine fibroids. In the past, surgical procedures used to address these problems were performed with open surgical methods that left significant scars behind. Today, da Vinci Robotically Assisted Surgery offers a much less invasive solution that can create improved prognoses and allow women to have surgery with a shorter window of recovery. Here is a closer look at what da Vinci Surgery can offer to women in need of surgical gynecological care.


    Smaller Surgical Incisions

    In surgeries such as a hysterectomy, which involves the removal of the uterus, da Vinci technology is able to provide a minimally invasive approach with a single incision at the belly button. This means that women will no longer need to fear large abdominal scars when they need to have this common surgical procedure.

    Fewer Complications

    A smaller incision not only minimizes scarring, but it can also reduce the risk for infections and other surgical complications. Additionally, the minimally invasive approach facilitated by da Vinci Surgery shortens hospital stays and recovery times. Women may have a da Vinci procedure on Saturday and be back to work by Monday in some cases. Because surgery does have such a quick recovery with fewer risks, women may consider surgery for conditions such as uterine fibroids or endometriosis where previous surgical options may have had risks outweighing the potential benefits.

    Improved Outcomes

    While da Vinci Surgery utilizes robotic technologies, it is still completely controlled by a surgeon who can view the surgical site in real time through a 3D HD screen. The specialized instruments of the da Vinci System offer more control and stability than even the most skilled surgical hands, so physicians can perform surgeries with more predictable outcomes and improved results.

    If your doctor has recommended gynecologic surgery for the conditions discussed here, contact the Silicon Valley Institute for Robotic Surgery at Good Samaritan Hospital. You can reach us on our website or at (408) 559-2011 to learn how we can improve your surgical care.