For more than 25 years, Cedric Fernando, MD, has held the position of assistant clinical professor of family medicine at East Tennessee State University. Cedric Fernando, MD, also serves as the medical director of the occupational health program at Unicoi County Memorial Hospital in Erwin.
Employers throughout the Erwin area are invited to participate in Unicoi County Memorial Hospital’s full-time occupational health program. The program is designed to minimize employer costs and maximize workplace productivity while providing the care that injured employees need.
The program’s pre-employment screening services include physicals, laboratory tests, x-rays, stress testing, hearing evaluations, and pulmonary function testing, among other available evaluations. The comprehensive drug testing program consists of pre-employment screening services as well as ongoing random and targeted testing according to each company’s policies. All laboratory results are reviewed by a certified medical review officer to ensure accuracy.
In addition to treating work-related injuries, the hospital’s occupational health staff offers physical therapy, employee compliance monitoring with modified duty instructions, and vaccines.
At Unicoi County Memorial Hospital, many patients seek treatment from Cedric Fernando, MD, for on-the-job repetitive stress injuries. Over the course of his career in occupational medicine, Cedric Fernando, MD, has handled numerous workers’ compensation claims.
Repetitive stress injuries often occur in the workplace when employees must make repeated motions or stay in a fixed position while working. Also called cumulative trauma, these types of injuries often can be prevented with an ergonomically correct work setup and enforcement of OSHA guidelines. Common repetitive stress injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and cervical radiculopathy.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which the median nerve in the forearm experiences compression. This in turn causes pain, tingling, or numbness in the hands and arms.
Tendinitis occurs when tendons, which are the thick cords that affix muscles to the bones, experience pain and inflammation. Any tendon may be affected, but tendinitis most commonly is seen in the elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles.
Cervical radiculopathy is caused by spinal nerve damage that happens when vertebrae in the neck are compressed. The resulting pain can extend from the neck to the arms, chest, and upper back.
Cedric Fernando, MD, has provided medical care to patients in the Tennessee area for over two decades. A board-certified family physician, he currently serves as the medical director for the Unicoi County Memorial Hospital Occupational Health Department. Dr. Cedric Fernando earned his MD from the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine in the British West Indies and fulfilled his residency through East Tennessee State University.
In many situations, workplace hazards result in avoidable accidents, such as slips and falls, muscle sprains, chemical exposure, burns, and others. Job-related accidents can lead to missed days from work, medical costs, and long-term rehabilitation expenses.
To avoid accidents, both employers and employees can work to eliminate hazardous conditions around the workplace. Employees can clean up their work areas, make sure to read and follow all safety guidelines and regulations, and take additional safety precautions if sick or fatigued. Employers are responsible for providing safety training and following up with employees to ensure that they are complying with the established rules and practices. Employers should also ensure work areas are well lit and free of clutter and that all equipment and furniture is functioning properly. A proactive approach to safety can prevent accidents and injuries, increase productivity, and save time and money.
Cedric Fernando, MD, is an experienced medical practitioner in the field of occupational health and safety. As medical director of the occupational health department at Unicoi County Memorial Hospital, Dr. Fernando prevents, treats, and manages workplace-related injuries, diseases, and substance abuse issues in Unicoi County, Tennessee.
Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) can affect the health and well-being of those exposed to it. Despite its lack of recognition as a public health threat, indoor air pollution is listed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the fourth-largest environmental danger in the United States. Annually, more lives are lost to illnesses related to poor IAQ than are lost in alcohol-related car accidents.
The instruments and techniques used in indoor air pollution detection are advanced and varied. Wireless detection monitors have improved air safety in buildings by allowing IAQ experts to remotely monitor for gas or radiation, collect data, and generate reports in a timely fashion. IAQ monitoring devices are able to detect all of the most common air pollutants, which include carbon monoxide, radon, formaldehyde, and microbial contaminants such as mold.
Measuring levels of carbon dioxide can give an early indication of air quality in a building. Though not considered a pollutant in low amounts, elevated levels of carbon dioxide can indicate the presence of other pollutants.
Cedric Fernando, MD, attended the Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee, where he now serves as an assistant clinical professor. In addition, Dr. Fernando oversees the occupational health department at Unicoi County Memorial Hospital.
Many people follow a healthy eating plan in an attempt to lose weight, or just to feel better. However, without some preparation in advance, spending most of the day at the office can make healthy eating difficult.
The American Council on Exercise provides several tips for staying on track with healthy eating at work. The first is to plan for your meals and snacks during the day. Decide what you will have for each meal and snack, and bring healthy foods if you don’t have the option to purchase them at work.
If needed, prepare your meals and snacks at home to avoid the temptation of eating processed foods high in fat, sugar, or calories that may be available in an office vending machine. An additional way to avoid the junk food is to stock up on healthy snacks to keep at your desk.
It is important to eat a balanced, filling breakfast before heading to the office in order to stave off afternoon crashes or food cravings. Breakfast should include a combination of whole grains, protein, fruits, and vegetables.
Cedric Fernando, MD, is an occupational health physician in Unicoi County, Tennessee, where he performs all aspects of workplace health evaluations and treatments as the Medical Director of the Unicoi County Memorial Hospital Occupational Health Department. Here, he offers guidelines on how to stay safe at your job.
Workplace safety is an important issue in many professions. Safe workplace practices are crucial not only in traditionally “dangerous” jobs such as construction, but also in office jobs. The best ways to preserve health and prevent injury while at work are to become familiar with the specific safety guidelines for your workplace and to take commonsense health maintenance measures.
Practice safe techniques for lifting heavy equipment or boxes, and adjust equipment to fit your physiology. Remember to take short breaks for stretching or to drink water if you are outside in the heat. Repetitive motion of any type, whether typing at a computer or carrying heavy objects, can cause injury. Prevent repetitive motion injuries by changing your motions and taking breaks.
A healthy lifestyle will also help prevent workplace injury. This includes maintaining a healthy weight, getting sufficient sleep, and not working under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
is one of the most under-recognized occupational health risks. While research has shown that prolonged stress can cause health problems, few workers are aware of how to reduce work-related stress. Occupational health and family physician Cedric Fernando, MD, discusses methods for reducing this stress.
Some work-related stress is caused by the employee-supervisor relationship. The best way for employees to improve their relationship with their manager is to communicate with candor and respect. In addition to doing the best job possible, employees should strive to address issues as soon as they arise, manage their emotions, and have a confident and positive attitude.
As more and more people struggle with work invading their personal lives, finding a balance between the two is key to success and well-being. If, after evaluating your relationship to your work, you find that work takes precedence over your health and time with loved ones, it may be time to reconsider your priorities. Don’t be afraid to say no if you need to, and learn to manage your time.
Reducing stress and finding equilibrium between work and life are two of the most important things people can do to improve their health and quality of life.