For the past two years, downtown’s Turntable Health has used a team-based approach to improve primary and preventive care for patients of all ages, including those suffering from headaches and abdominal pain caused by the stress and anxiety they feel at work.
Dr. Zubin Damania, founder of Turntable Health, was asked to move to Las Vegas from California in 2012 by Zappo’s CEO Tony Hsieh to fill the health care component of Hsieh’s Downtown Project.
“Many people in Las Vegas come from elsewhere and don’t have a social structure for support so they’re always welcome to come here and talk to us,” Damania said. “We’ll first identify whether stress is the driver of the physical complaints and then look at their entire life to figure out things they can do to lessen their perception of stress such as meditation classes or taking a deep breath and focusing on the present instead of the future.”
Nutrition is crucial for a healthy lifestyle as well as being efficient at work, Damania said.
“It’s important to cut out sugary beverages and juices, avoid processed foods and get up and walk around frequently at work,” he said. “Also, the act of bringing your own food to work can be transformative since you’ll be more mindful of what you’re putting into your body.”
In Las Vegas, social functions at work often revolve around alcohol, Damania added.
“There’s a binge drinking culture in Vegas and people often feel pressured to drink at work events,” he said. “A little alcohol is all right but in excess it can drive cholesterol, cause liver problems or result in driving under the influence and those are not without their cost.”
Bill Vena, physical therapist and southern operations director for Henderson-based Matt Smith Physical Therapy, takes unconventional measures to determine the efficiency of his patients in their work environment as he has visited almost every major hotel on the Strip and even rode in a garbage truck to perform job site analyses and ergonomics assessments.
“For job site analyses, we look at how much a person is lifting, walking and carrying on the job,” Vena said. “We also look at what we can do with the job site or the employee to make it ergonomically correct and less stressful on the body.”
Vena said making a work site ergonomically correct can be as simple as readjusting a chair and computer monitor or as complex as receiving an entirely new workspace.
“We will arrange things in a flow that is easiest on the employee such adjusting the chair and monitors because it’s much easier to move everything than to try and make the employee fit the workspace,” he said.
According to Vena, common injuries seen at Matt Smith Physical Therapy include back pain, postsurgical knees, hips and shoulders.
“After a person has gone through treatment for an injury most doctors will ask a patient if they think they can return to work without evaluating what they do for a living,” Vena said.
“We look at what is physically needed for their job and get a true understanding of their injury so we can make an appropriate recommendation as well as prevent future injuries.”
Education, Vena said, is the biggest component to averting a person from being injured on the job.
“Employers have done a lot of things to ensure the safety of their employee,” he said. “The more the employer educates the employee about their safety protocols the better.”
Contact Ann Friedman at email@example.com or 702-383-0391. Find her on Twitter: @AnnFriedmanRJ