Thursday, February 05, 2015
Doctor's Perspective
Apologizing is more than saying 'I'm sorry'

By Dr. Anthony Policastro
When I was growing up, I did things for which I needed to apologize. I would tell my mother, "I'll be good." She would teasingly reply, "There are two kinds of good, no good and good for nothing. Which do you plan to be?" This was my mother's way of saying that children tend to do the same things repeatedly. Even though children apologize for them, both they and their parents know that it will happen again. That is part of what we learn growing up. Our apologies are, more often than not, just words. As we become adults, we need to realize that there is more to an apology than just "I'm sorry." Several things are necessary for a real apology. The first is an admission that something was done incorrectly. Sometimes, the easy course of action is to just apologize but not admit why the apology is necessary. If you hurt someone's feelings, it is because you have done something wrong. You need to include that as part of the apology. The next thing is to hold yourself accountable. Making an apology and explaining it as you being the victim of circumstances is not a real apology. For example, suppose you are driving down the road and the light ahead turns yellow. You think that you can make it but the individual in front of you stops. You do not stop and you hit him. It is not the traffic light's fault nor is the car in front of you at fault. You were wrong and need to take responsibility. The third thing is to put the first two into words. A simple "I'm sorry" is not enough. You need to admit that you did something incorrectly and you need to indicate that it was your fault alone - in words. The sorry part only becomes real after those two pieces are in place. The fourth is to ask that the person receiving the apology forgive you for your actions. You need this in order to provide closure. Apologizing and then walking away suggests you are simply filling a square. It is usually helpful to give some outward sign that you are sincere. That could take the form of a handshake or, if it is someone close, it could be a hug. This reinforces the sincerity of the apology. The fifth thing is to plan to change your behavior so it does not happen again. This is what children do not do. They tend to repeat their incorrect behavior so they apologize repeatedly for the same thing. As adults, we need to be more proactive than children. We need to make plans to not repeat the behavior again. That usually means looking at the circumstances that are involved and then trying to avoid these circumstances in the future so you do not get the same result. As we move from childhood to adulthood, we learn many lessons. One lesson needs to be realizing when our behavior is incorrect. When that happens, a sincere apology is needed. We should not use the reflex "I'm sorry" from our childhood. A sincere apology has many more pieces.

Annual cholesterol, glucose screenings Nanticoke Health Services will offer cholesterol and glucose screenings at four locations in February. Cholesterol and glucose screenings will be held at the following dates and locations: Fridays in February, 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Bridgeville EZ Lab, 9111 Antique Alley, 337-8571 Fridays in February, 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Georgetown EZ Lab, 503 W. Market St., 856-1762 Fridays in February, 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Laurel EZ Lab, 30549 Sussex Hwy., 715-5233 Feb. 21, beginning at 9 a.m. - Laurel Senior High School, 1133 S. Central Ave. The cholesterol screenings require a 12-hour fasting and read the HDL, LDL, and triglyceride blood levels. Cholesterol screening results will be mailed within three weeks along with information to evaluate the results. Screenings are free with a $10 donation appreciated. For more information, call 629-6611, ext. 8948. Pre-registration is not required.

Nanticoke to host annual health fair Nanticoke Health Services will host its third annual health fair, The Heart of Good Health: A Healthy Community Event, on Saturday, Feb. 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Laurel Senior High School. Health education and health professionals will be on hand and several health screenings will be available. There will be healthy living demonstrations, and activities for the whole family. Free health screenings include cholesterol, glucose, vision, blood pressure and more. Cholesterol screenings start at 9 a.m. and require a 12-hour fasting. A donation of $10 is appreciated but not required. Pre-registration is not required. Health information and interactive displays on heart risk factors, body mass index (BMI), stroke awareness, healthy eating, diabetes, cancer, and much more will be available. Vendors will also include many other non-profit organizations and private businesses that provide services related to healthy living. For sports fans, NFL Wide Receiver, Pierre Garcon will sign autographs from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Community members are invited to bring one sports item for Garcon to sign. Merchandise will not be sold at the event and autographs will be limited to one per person.

The health fair is free and open to everyone. For more information, visit or call 629-6611, ext. 8948.

Hospice Lunch Bunch Lecture "Tips for Mending a Broken Heart" will be the topic of Delaware Hospice's free Lunch Bunch Lecture with Dr. Judy Pierson on Friday, Feb. 6 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the Delaware Hospice Center in Milford. Love gives us our greatest joy and when it ends, often our deepest despair. The greatest act of courage is to love, knowing there are no guarantees. Come be with others who have shared the experience of heartbreak and learn tips for mending and moving on. Lectures are free and open to the public. Lunch is $5 per person. Registration is required as seating capacity is limited. Register by Thursday, Feb. 5, by contacting Michele August at 302-746-4503 or

Brown named to Hospice board Thomas E. Brown, senior vice president for Nanticoke Health Services and president of the Nanticoke Physician Network, has been elected to a two-year term as chair of the Delaware Hospice Board of Trustees. Brown has been a member of the board since March 2013.

Technology advances at Nanticoke In December, HIMSS Analytics announced Nanticoke Memorial Hospital achieved Stage 6 on the EMR Adoption ModelSM (EMRAM). HIMSS Analytics developed the EMR Adoption Model in 2005 as a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for hospitals in the HIMSS Analyticsª Database. Tracking their progress in completing eight stages (0-7), hospitals can review the implementation and utilization of information technology applications with the intent of reaching Stage 7, which represents an advanced electronic patient record environment. Stage 6 hospitals have made significant investments to reach this stage, have almost fully paperless medical records, have investments in improving patient care, are well positioned to provide data to key stakeholders and more. Stage 6 represents a level of sophistication that only 968 US hospitals have reached to date.

Diabetes education program Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, Seaford, will hold a four-session diabetes educational program on Feb. 10, 17, and 24, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the hospital. Registration is required. The cost of the program may be reimbursable by insurance. This four-session program includes weekly education sessions and individualized meal planning for diabetes self-management. The goal is to give you the self-management skills to control your diabetes. Family members/significant others are welcome to attend. To register and to obtain additional information regarding the course, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Diabetes Education department at 629-6611, ext. 2446.

Child safety technician training class Safe Kids Delaware is sponsoring a Child Passenger Safety Technician Certification Course at the Delaware State Troopers Association in Dover on March 3-6. The course includes classroom lecture, hands-on practice with child safety seats and vehicle restraint systems, required written and practical exams, and an end of course public car seat check-up event. Participants who complete the course will be certified as National Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPS Techs) for two years. CPS Techs are specially trained individuals who have the knowledge and skills to educate parents/grandparents/caregivers on the correct way to install child safety seats in vehicles and provide them with one on one, hands on assistance as needed. There are approximately 65 certified CPS Technicians in Delaware. The class is primarily geared toward safety (law enforcement, fire, injury prevention) and medical (nurses, EMS) professionals and community volunteers. Pre-registration is required and there is an $85 registration fee for the course. For more information and to register, contact the course's lead instructor Mary Ann Crosley at

Huntington's disease fact of the week Huntington's disease is a genetic condition that causes progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the brain. Anyone who has the mutation will eventually present symptoms of the disease, if they live long enough for its onset to occur.

Walk, run, and fun day is May 16 Walk, 5k Run and Fun Day For Huntington's Disease - May 16 at Roger C. Fisher Park, 27701 Park Lane Laurel 8:15 -9:15 a.m.- Registration 9:30 a.m.- Walk /5k run/ Family Fun Day 11 a.m.- Lunch Provided noon- Fun Day Activities 1 p.m.- Auctions Itinerary subject to change.