Barbara Dehn, RN, MS, NP, FAANP, NCMP
Practicing Nurse Practitioner
San Francisco, CA
Barbara Dehn RN, MS, NP is a practicing Nurse Practitioner and a television health expert, who's known as Nurse Barb. She is passionate about health education, whether it's 1 on 1 with a patient, in a lecture hall at Stanford or with millions of people watching on television. Her warm and engaging personality puts everyone at ease as they learn more about health.
Nurse Barb is the award winning author of the Personal Guides to Health used by over 5 million women in the US, with titles ranging from fertility and pregnancy to menopause and breastfeeding. Active in Social Media, she contributes content to HealthyWomen, Huffington Post, NurseBarb, KevinMD and The Patch and amplifies her reach with an active and engaged Facebook following and 34,000 Twitter followers.
She is the author of The Hot Guide to a Cool Sexy Menopause, Nurse Barb's Guide to Breastfeeding and Nurse Barb's Guide to Pregnancy.
Barb earned a masters degree from UCSF and a BS from Boston College. She is certified by the North American Menopause Society and is a Fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Over the last 2 years, she has been an active participant in Global Health Initiatives at FAME Hospital in Karatu, Tanzania. Barb lives in the San Francisco Bay area.Full Bio
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While you're with your family this holiday, it's a golden opportunity to gather around and share stories and food and connect with one another. This is also the time to consider starting a new healthy holiday tradition by taking a few minutes to share your family's health history.
Information about your family's unique health can empower you to ask your providers about screening tests, a healthier diet and possibly genetic testing.
Because these conversations may be overwhelming for some family members, there are some things you can do to help everyone feel more comfortable sharing information.
Here are some tips:
Set the expectation that you'd like to talk about family health
- Pick a convenient time and stick to it.
- Keep it short to prevent overwhelming people (30 to 60 minutes).
- Request people bring any relevant medical information or photos they're comfortable sharing.
- Bring genetic testing results.
Set the context
- Start off by thanking everyone for sharing.
- Share your own concerns first.
- Ask people to share any of their concerns.
- Offer to share information about any conditions that may affect other family members.
- Offer to compile notes and send out.
Here's a sample script to guide the conversation:
Thank you so much for taking the time away from the eggnog and holiday cookies to talk about health. I'm hoping this helps all of us be healthier in the New Year and for a long time. As you know, my mom has Alzheimer's and had breast cancer a few years back. I wanted to share with all of you what her health care providers told us and the results of some testing. This is what we know and what we're doing to stay on top of these and other conditions.…
Remember, knowledge about your family health is power. Many people see that their relatives have health conditions and worry that they too may be affected. Getting a better understanding of what you can do to reduce your own risks is empowering and can help you and your family live healthier lives.
This blog originally appeared on Nurse Barb's Daily Dose. Barb Dehn is a women's health nurse practitioner, award-winning author and nationally recognized health expert. She practices with Women Physicians in the Silicon Valley of California.
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