Catheter Connection

Common Myths About Living With an Ostomy

by Jessica December 16, 2014 09:54
There are hundreds of thousands of individuals around us who have experienced an ostomy surgery (which is a surgical procedure that involves re-routing the flow of body waste from the bladder, small intestine or colon/large intestine through an opening in the abdomen called a stoma). This is done when injury or disease renders the digestive or urinary system incapable of safely processing waste in the usual manner from the body. Common causes include injury, cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s Disease, chronic inflammation of the bladder, and more.

However, given the procedure, many might have some misconceptions of what an ostomy surgery is and how having an ostomy can affect an individual's daily life. For this reason, we thought it could be beneficial to address a few of the more common myths about living with an ostomy to help the public better understand that there is life after the procedure.  

Myth: People will know that you have an ostomy.  

Today’s ostomy systems are designed to be as discreet as possible under clothing, so most people will not have a clue unless you tell them. 

 Myth: I will not be able to exercise.

Although the Cleveland Clinic recommends that you forgo the heavy lifting for the first couple of months, regular exercise is possible and encouraged. You might even find exercise to be easier than before you had the procedure, especially if you were dealing with poor health prior to your surgery. Have you heard of the fitness model, Blake Beckford, couple huggingwho has an ileostomy? He is walking proof that you can still exercise and achieve big dreams!   

Myth: Physical intimacy will be an issue.  

It’s perfectly normal to have some concern about this change in your life, but with some communication and a caring partner who understands the unique issues that come with having an ostomy, you can still enjoy sex. You may want to take some precautions prior to intimacy, such as emptying your pouch or wearing a smaller specialty pouch designed to be less bulky. There are also accessories available that can help hold your pouch or bags in place during intimate times.  

Myth: All ostomy procedures are permanent.

Some are, but many others are temporary. This will depend on why you need the surgery in the first place.  

Myth: I will completely need to overhaul my diet.

This will depend on what you eat and the nature of your surgery, but there may be no need for huge overhauls. For instance, if you have a colostomy, you may want to avoid foods that produce excess gas such as beans or cabbage, or if you have an ileostomy, you might be advised to avoid tough, high-fiber foods. The best course of action is to consult with your treating physician for full information on how you should balance your diet.


180 Medical offers a number of colostomy, ileostomy, and urostomy supplies to help you adjust to life with your new procedure. Contact us today to learn more about our ostomy products, billing information and more. 

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180 Medical Employee Spotlight: Territory Sales Representative

by Jessica December 5, 2014 12:07
180 Medical is a national leader in the intermittent catheter industry, and we also provide ostomy and other related medical supplies. We recruit employees who are positive, hard-working individuals who want to help others and enjoy what they do at their job. We offer a competitive benefits package, extensive training, and many fun extras. 180 Medical was also named one of the Best Places to Work in Oklahoma for the fifth year in 2014. 

This month, we're shining a spotlight on an employee that has been with us for five years now.

employee spotlight 180 medical seth

Seth, what do you do as a Sales Rep & Manager? What’s an average day like for you?

My day is full of appointments and cold calls with established and potential accounts. Every day is something different and new for me, even though I've been with 180 for 5 years now.  I am currently covering territory in the northeast. 

What do you love most about your job?

I love being out and about on a daily basis.  I've been doing it my entire career, and I don't know how I would function behind a desk if I had to.  Also, there is never a dull moment in the field. There are always new challenges to overcome. It keeps things interesting!  
 

What’s unique about 180 Medical that makes it such a great place to work?

180 is still a family even though we are growing like crazy.  I worked for a major drug company prior to 180 Medical, and there, you are just a number -- not a name. It is very rare to have this kind of dynamic in our industry. I feel very fortunate to be a part of the company.  

Anything you’d say to someone thinking about applying for a job here?  

This is the place you want to be if you want to be able to prove yourself and excel. There is upward mobility, and the structure allows a top performer to stand out and be recognized.    

What's one of your favorite stories of how you helped or interacted with a customer or facility? 

There is a guy on one of our  national brochures that is a patient of one of my old facilities. I remember the lengths the inside team and I went to in order to help him out, and in the end, it was definitely appreciated. He even uploaded his own YouTube video praising 180 Medical, and when I saw that, I knew this was why I am doing my job -- to help others!

Tell us just little bit about yourself. 

I love to play golf, although I rarely get time to play anymore with a 1-1/2 year old and another baby on the way (due date is Valentine's Day 2015). I've been married for 6 years. I like to cook, and I regularly tear my house apart to start new projects constantly -- it's what I do to de-stress. 

What's a favorite quote that keeps you inspired?

"Seek first to understand then be understood." -- Stephen Covey. It's a great quote and a good line to live by, especially when dealing with many different types of people on a daily basis.  



We'd like to give a big thank you to Seth and to all of our amazing Territory Sales Representatives and Managers in the field! Your work is so important to 180 Medical! 

Interested in applying for a job in sales or another department at 180 Medical? We're hiring! Check out our available positions at our Careers page and apply today. 

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About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for over 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, art, music, and spending time with friends and family.

Best Practices for Self-Catheterization

by Jessica December 3, 2014 17:59
Intermittent catheters are a type of medical device that can be easily used by patients or their caregivers in the comfort of your own home. However, it is technically considered an invasive device, since it enters the body to drain the bladder. Therefore, it must be used properly to be fully effective and not hurt more than it helps. For instance, UTIs (urinary tract infections) are one of the most common side effects of catheter usage, but these infections and other side effects can be avoided just by following some guidelines:

Make an appropriate selection for your needs.

There are a variety of options available, but you and your treating health care provider can decide together what kind of catheter may work best for you.
  • Size:  To minimize trauma and irritation to your urethra and to maximize urine flow, the correct French size of catheter should be used. Your doctor can work with you to determine what size is most appropriate for your body.
  • Material: Latex catheters were once the most common variety of catheter material, but as increasing numbers of people experience latex allergies, other options such as vinyl and silicone have been created to accommodate for these issues, as well as providing a slightly firmer tube for easier handling.
  • Type:  Intermittent catheters come in a variety of options. Straight cure hydrophilic catheter 180 medical catheters are affordable straight tubes that are manually lubricated and come in coude (curved) insertion tip or rounded straight tip. Your doctor can determine which type of insertion tip works best for your needs. Hydrophilic catheters come ready to lubricate via activation of sterile water, and once activated, they are super slippery for ease of insertion. Closed system catheters come in what are essentially on-the-go kits that allow for sterile and convenient cathing in places like public restrooms. These also often come with an easy introducer tip to help bypass the highest concentrations of bacteria in the first few millimeters of the urethra. 

Practice proper technique.

Because a catheter is inserted into the urethra, it has the potential to introduce bacteria into the bladder. To minimize infection risks, catheter insertion should only be performed once you have been made aware of how to do so by a health care professional. Once you are home from your doctor’s office, the process of self-cathing may feel a little daunting, but with 180 Medical, you have access to specialists who can walk you through it over the phone, as well as learning materials like our DVD and booklets with step-by-step instructions.

Practice proper hygiene.

Intermittent catheters are considered single-use devices, so they should be used only once and then disposed of. While cleaning and reusing catheters may seem appealing to those who are trying to save a bit on medical supply costs, this practice makes UTIs much more likely. When you use a catheter, it’s nearly impossible to get it clean again, since it’s already been inserted into the body and contaminated by bacteria.

Using catheters once, on the other hand, means you will have a more sterile experience each and every time you self-cath. The chances of bacteria being carried into your urethra on the catheter is minimized significantly. Single use of catheters is safer and recommended by medical professionals.

One of the most important things that you will learn is the necessity of a clean environment when cathing. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before starting out. You can also keep some anti-bacterial wipes on hand with you to clean the area before insertion. Other items such as disposable gloves and an underpad to lay your supplies on can be helpful as well.    

The Basics of Coude Catheters

by Jessica November 18, 2014 14:29
There are many different types and brands of catheters available today, but there are typically only two basic insertion tip types (with the exception of some variations of the two): straight tip and coudé tip. Straight is the most common type of insertion tip, but coudé catheters are also frequently used. Read on to learn more about this type of catheter insertion tip to see if it is right for your needs.

What is a coudé catheter?

The coudé tip is basically an slightly angled or curved tip on a catheter. This type of tip is best used for those who have great difficulty passing a regular straight tip catheter. This situation is most common in men, so the coudé tip is nearly always on a male length catheter. The reasons for this situation include urethral strictures, blockages, enlarged prostates, or false passages. 

Coudé Tip Catheter Types & Product Options

There are varying types of coudé catheters available 
180 medical coude catheter curesuch as an olive tip, Tiemann tip or tapered tip. Your doctor will likely determine what works best for you, based on your anatomy and the issue causing the need for a coudé. 

Coudé catheters come in a variety of products for everyone's needs and preferences, such as closed system kits, hydrophilic catheters, and intermittent straight catheters. See our product catalog for a look at some of the available options.

How to use a coudé tip catheter

There is no one right way to position the angle of the tip, depending on your body's needs. But your prescribing healthcare provider will likely spend a little time in the office to go over the process of learning to insert the catheter, including which direction to face the angle of the insertion tip. 

Many coudé tip catheters will offer a reference point on the funnel or tube of the catheter itself to see which way the coudé's angle is facing, such as a notch, bump, or guide line down the catheter tube itself, which can be of some help during insertion as well. 

After you leave the doctor's office and start using catheters at home on your own, it's natural that you might have some questions or need further assistance. 180 Medical can help. We have trained specialists available to contact during our business hours, and we also offer one-of-a-kind informational booklets about catheterization and even a DVD with step-by-step instructions. We'll do all we can to make this process easy to understand.

Finding the Right Coudé Catheter For You

180 Medical offers a variety of the top coudé-tip catheters. Coudé-tip catheter products come in intermittent catheter, hydrophilic catheter, or closed system catheter options. There is no one catheter that works best for everyone. With 180 Medical, you'll have access to the  widest selection of the top coudé tip catheters, available from the best manufacturers including ConvaTec's GentleCath line, Bard, Coloplast, Cure, Hollister, Rusch, LoFric, and more! 

Contact us today to speak with one of our friendly trained catheter specialists to get started on the road to finding the best catheter for you.



About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for over 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. She loves writing, art, music, and spending time with friends and family.

180 Medical is Hiring!

by Jessica November 12, 2014 09:59
180 Medical continues to grow as a company, and over the summer, we recently moved to a new location since we outgrew our old headquarters. Now we are looking for some exceptional individuals to join our 180 Medical family. 

“Even though 180 Medical continues to grow by leaps and bounds, we have kept that fun, family atmosphere here that I think is a big part of why our employees truly love their 180 medical is hiring employee feedback quotejobs,” says Todd Brown, founder and CEO of 180 Medical.  

In fact, 180 Medical is such a great company that we werebest places to work in oklahoma 2014 named one of the Best Places to Work in Oklahoma for a fifth year as of 2014. The ranking is based upon anonymous employee feedback in surveys, and we are excited to be recognized as a company that treats its employees with care and consideration, just as we do for our customers. We offer great benefits as well as fun perks to keep our employees smiling, such as casual wear to work, goal-driven incentives, and fun company events like our annual bowling night and chili cook-off.  

But what is it that makes working at 180 Medical so special? Well, a huge part of what 180 Medical is all about revolves around service - both to others in the workplace and to our customers. We are devoted to providing unparalleled care for our customers, and that even extends into our community. Every day, one resounding thing that our employees say is that they love how our company feels like a family, even with the continued growth, and that they look forward to coming to work every day. Not many people can say they truly love their jobs, but we hear it very often from our employees. 

Are you looking for a job where you can make a difference? Maybe you want a positive work environment so yotheo employee 180 medicalu can look forward to come to work each weekday. Or perhaps you’re looking for a stable career with a company that offers great benefits and perks. 180 Medical can offer you all that and more!  

Check out our available positions:
  • Shipping Specialist
  • Inside Sales (Product Specialist) 
  • Documentation Specialist 
  • Confirmations Specialist 
  • Customer Service/Client Specialist 
  • Billing Specialist 
  • Officer Coordinator (Livonia, MI) 
  • Sales Representative (Varied Locations)     
If you or someone you know is interested in working at 180 Medical, apply today at our Careers page!

180 medical is hiring footer

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for over 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, art, music, and spending time with friends and family.

GentleCath Intermittent Catheters Designed to Reduce Discomfort

by Jessica November 11, 2014 15:52
Do you find that each time you use a catheter, no matter how much lubricant you put on it, you're still dealing with irritation, pain, or discomfort?tissue deformation in eyelets of catheters

While many people find that there is a definite difference between regular cold-punched eyelets in catheters versus smooth, fire-polished eyelets, some still experience general discomfort. 

One explanation for this may be that the catheter eyelets are pressing against and deforming your urethral tissue. Wider drainage eyelets in intermittent catheters may cause the tissue of the urethra to dip into the hole, creating irritation. 

Comparative Study Demonstrating Eyelet Impact on Urethral Tissue

In a recent in-vitro study, the surface urethral mucosal tissue was analyzed to observe the maximum height of tissue that deforms up into the eyelet upon passage of the catheter through the urethral tissue. 

Four different popular brands of catheters in 18Fr male length were evaluated, including Cure Medical, Bard Clean-Cath, Coloplast Self-Cath, and ConvaTec GentleCath. The study showed that the GentleCath catheters cause significantly lower tissue deformation than the other brands. 

eyelet tissue deformation comparison between brands

The ConvaTec GentleCath™ Difference

GentleCath™ intermittent catheters are designed specifically to reduce tissue deformation and irritation without sacrificing the speed of urine flow through the catheter. This is achieved due to the long and narrow shape of the eyelets, versus the wider eyelets of many other brands. The eyelets in the GentleCath™ are also polished and smooth to diminish irritation. 

Take a look at the below video for an easy-to-understand visual explanation of how this works.


Are you ready to ditch the urethral irritation and experience the GentleCath™ difference?

Contact one of the 180 Medical's friendly catheter specialists today by phone or Live Chat. We're happy to help you find the right product for your needs.



About the Author: 
Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for over 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, art, music, and spending time with friends and family.

Hydrophilic Catheters 101

by Jessica November 3, 2014 13:43
You may have heard the term "hydrophilic catheter," and your doctor may have even discussed some of the features of this type of newer-technology product. But are you still left with some questions as to how to use a hydrophilic catheter? Or perhaps you wonder what the benefits of using this kind of device could be for you. 180 Medical makes it a point to be an available source of knowledge for you, so we'll try to help shed some light on this topic. 

What is a hydrophilic catheter?

For many years, the most common type of catheter has been the straight catheter, which is most often manually lubricated with a separate form of sterile lubrication jelly. While this is a great option that is certainly tried and true, some people still experience some pain, pressure, and discomfort during the catheterization process, due to the lubrication sloughing off of the catheter during insertion or withdrawal.

Hydrophilic catheters were created in part to help with this very situation, as well as offer a more convenient and quick solution for catheterization on the go. These catheters have a layer of coating of pre-lubrication that is bound to the surface of the tube itself, so that once the lubrication is activated, it will not slough off.

Hydrophilic catheters are activated by water or sterile saline solution, which may be present in the catheter package itself or in a separate foil packet. The pre-lubricated coating absorbs water during the activation period and creates a smooth, slippery surface perfect for giving a smooth and comfortable catheterization experience. The coating layer remains intact upon introduction into the urethra and ensures lubrication of the urethra in its entire length.

How do I use a hydrophilic catheter?

how to use a hydrophilic catheter 180 medicalHydrophilic catheters are activated by water or sterile saline solution, which may be present in the catheter package itself or in a separate foil packet.

If the catheter has a packet, you must burst it to release the water and activate the hydrophilic properties of the catheter. In order to do this, simply fold the water packet at the middle and apply pressure with your thumb and forefingers. This should release the solution.   Depending upon the brand of catheter, you'll usually allow approximately 15 to 30 seconds for the solution to fully coat the catheter and activate the hydrophilic coating. At this point, it should be ready for you to insert into the bladder, as you would normally.  

180 Medical also offers one-of-a-kind educational materials with step-by-step instructions, such as our 180 Medical DVD and our How to Cath Booklets for both men and women (offered in English and Spanish). We also have unique and helpful booklets just for kids that help to make the catheterization process more normal and less scary for children and their caregivers/parents. These great booklets also offer instructions and fun activities.

Contact us today if you have more questions!


180 Medical catheter catalog showcase

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, art, music, and spending time with friends and family.
 

180 Medical College Scholarship Recipients: Spotlight on Noah

by Jessica October 27, 2014 11:05
180 medical scholarship recipients 2014

We officially announced the 2014 winners of our annual 180 Medical College Scholarship on August 1st, 2014, and since that time, we have been featuring our nine individual recipients as the Fall semester progresses, including Nichole, Danielle, Garrett, Ian, Chelsea, and Kayla. Today, we're happy to let you meet another one of our well-deserving scholarship winners, Noah.

180 medical scholarship winner 2014 noah mussay

180 Medical Scholarship Winner Noah's Goals and Achievements

Noah's drive and strength really impressed us all here at 180 Medical. While he was born with Spina Bifida, he refuses to let his condition define him. While he was growing up, he began to feel a need to interact with other kids who had similar issues and feelings while noah mussay sled hockeyremaining active. He actively began searching for the right activity that would give him a physical outlet and allow him to meet other kids with disabilities, and finally, he discovered a passion: sled hockey. Since he joined his local sled hockey team, the Chicago Hornets, he has grown into a role as a leader and a role model for the younger kids on the team, and he always makes sure to exhibit qualities like good sportsmanship and confidence. "It is important to me to show these young kids, as well as the able-bodied kids, that although we look different, we can still play the game seriously."

On top of playing sled hockey, Noah has also maintained excellent grades in school, leading him to graduate in the top ten percent of his senior class. He shows a sense of purpose and drive in all he does, and he knows that while he may face certain challenges in life that come with having Spina Bifida, he is learning more every day how to rely on himself. He often advocates for himself when needed, such as coordinating his own workout regimen with a physical therapist since his school did not offer an adaptive physical education program.

Noah has just begun his Freshman year at the University of Saint Francis and will be majoring in Mass Communications. It's exciting to see someone with such drive and determination move forward with his goals, and we are happy to be able to play a part in contributing to his future endeavors.

180 Medical College Scholarship

180 Medical is honored to have a scholarship program to help those with spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, and/or a neurogenic bladder. Paying for college isn't easy these days, and we understand that there are often extra financial difficulties for aspiring students who live with these conditions. To learn more about 180 Medical's College Scholarship program, visit http://www.180medical.com/Scholarships.

What is Spina Bifida?

Did you know that this month is National Spina Bifida Awareness Month? Learn more about this condition and what you can do to raise awareness here.

spina bifida awareness month


About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, art, music, and spending time with friends and family.
 

180 Medical College Scholarship Recipients: Spotlight on Elena

by Jessica October 23, 2014 14:08
180 medical college scholarship winners

We officially announced the 2014 winners of our annual 180 Medical College Scholarship on August 1st, 2014, and since that time, we have been featuring each one on our blog as the fall semester progresses, including Nichole, Danielle, Garrett, Ian, Chelsea, Kayla, and Noah. Today, we'd love for you to meet the last of this year's inspiring recipients, Elena.

180 medical scholarship winner elena esch

180 Medical Scholarship Winner Elena's Story and Goals

Elena was born with Spina Bifida. From the time she was 3 months old, she began to undergo surgeries to repair her spine. Although the surgery was considered successful, to this day, she cannot feel her foot or much of her leg. Despite all this, Elena maintains a positive attitude and considers her condition her motivation. She states that she "aspire[s] to become an engineer in the biomedical or neurological field and to create technologies which will help those with a similar or worse condition than [her] own."

Elena has achieved much so far throughout high school. She was an active member of multiple clubs, as well as presided as Senior Class President and acted as a Student to Student Ambassador Leader and Mentor (Anti-Bullying Program), all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. She was an AP Scholar with Honors and belonged to the National Honor Society, and she was honored with the 2013 Rotary Youth Leadership Award, among many other achievements. 

We're sure Elena will go far in life, and it's so exciting to be able to contribute a piece to Elena and all of our bright, young scholarship winners' futures! 

180 Medical College Scholarship

180 Medical is honored to have a scholarship program to help those with spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, and/or a neurogenic bladder. Paying for college isn't easy these days, and we understand that there are often extra financial difficulties for aspiring students who live with these conditions. To learn more about 180 Medical's College Scholarship program, visit http://www.180medical.com/Scholarships.

What is Spina Bifida?

Did you know that this month is National Spina Bifida Awareness Month? Learn more about this condition and what you can do to raise awareness here.

october is national spina bifida month awareness

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, art, music, and spending time with friends and family.

180 Medical College Scholarship Recipients: Spotlight on Kayla

by Jessica October 23, 2014 12:20
180 medical scholarship winners

We officially announced the 2014 winners of our annual 180 Medical College Scholarship on August 1st, 2014, and since that time, we have been featuring our nine individual recipients as the fall semester progresses, including Nichole, Danielle, Garrett, Ian, and Chelsea. Today, we are proud to introduce you to Kayla, one of our inspiring scholarship winners.



180 Medical College Scholarship Winner Kayla's Story & Goals

Kayla was born with Spina Bifida Occulta, where an extra bone in her back severed her spinal cord and damaged the nerve that ran to her left foot. At just three months old, she had surgery to correct her spine and foot - the first of many surgeries in her life.

Doctors said she would likely never be able to walk, and while she definitely had difficulties to face that other children did not, she still proved the doctors wrong. Kayla says, "I do not remember my first steps, [but] I know the spirit that I had - the spirit that says never, ever give up."

Throughout her life, she continues to work hard to defy the odds. In high school, she received numerous awards and honors, such as the Superintendent's Rigor Award and the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society. She also stayed very busy with extracurricular activities, clubs, and community service, such as DECA, FBLA, Spanish Club, Beta Club, Prom Committee, and more. On top of that, she has stayed active with sports, including JV and Varsity basketball and JV softball. 

Kayla, who has just entered her Freshman year as a major in Public Policy at the University of Virginia, has kept a fiery spirit of determination and a positive outlook. We here at 180 Medical are awed by her story and her optimism, and we're excited to play a part in contributing to her bright future.

180 Medical College Scholarship Program

180 Medical is honored to have a scholarship program to help those with spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, and/or a neurogenic bladder. Paying for college isn't easy these days, and we understand that there are often extra financial difficulties for aspiring students who live with these conditions. To learn more about 180 Medical's College Scholarship program, visit http://www.180medical.com/Scholarships.

What is Spina Bifida?

Did you know that this month is National Spina Bifida Awareness Month? Learn more about this condition today and find out ways to spread awareness.

spina bifida awareness month


About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 5 years and currently holds the title of Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company! She loves writing, art, music, and spending time with friends and family.