April 22, 2010

Hospital to Celebrate 40th Year With $10 Million Expansion Project

by Robbie Lewis and Chris Feeney

The traditional gift for a 40th anniversary celebration is ruby. Scotland County Hospital will be celebrating its 40th year in business with something closer to a ruby mine.

On April 16th, hospital CEO Marcia Dial announced at a press conference held at the hospitals south entrance, that the community healthcare provider has been approved for a $10 million package of grants and low-interest loans through the United States Agriculture Department (USDA). The funding paves the way for an enormous expansion and renovation project at the 40-year old facility.

Word was received on April 15th that the USDA had approved funding for a five-phase hospital expansion and renovation in Memphis as part of President Obamas American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Scotland County Hospital is the recipient of nine million dollars in loans from the USDA and one million dollars in grants.

Phases I through IV of the project will add 18,926 square feet of new building addition and 13,468 square feet of renovated space at the hospital. Phase V adds 7,300 new square feet.

Phase I provides two new modern and energy efficient boilers that will replace the existing old and failing hospital boiler system. Additionally, Phase I will provide for a new emergency suite with triage exam and support space. The project will include new front entrance for the facility, a new drive under canopy, new central reception, admitting and registration areas, new main lobby and waiting room as well as vending and public restrooms. New parking and circle drives with a closed, painted helipad and site utilities are also included in Phase I.

We are going to have a state of the art emergency facility when it is done, said Elliott Hix, D.O., FACEP, Chief of Emergency Medicine at SCH. We get the job done with what we have here now, but this is going to be much better for all parties involved.



DR. Elliott Hix, Chief of Emergency Medicine at Scotland County Hospital and Marcia Dial, hospital CEO address a press conference on Friday regarding a $10 millionexpansion at SCH.

Phase II provides for a new out-patient and in-patient surgery center with a separate entrance and discharge exit. This includes a new operating room, endoscopy minor room, stage I and stage II recovery, dressing areas, new central sterile supply, support and storage. This area will be attached to the existing Womens Center for operating room access to the existing c-section surgery suite.

Our existing rooms are a bit antiquated, with not a lot of space, said Celeste Miller-Parish, DO, surgeon at SCH. The hospital was built in 1970, when a lot less equipment was available. The renovations will mean much more needed space in patient rooms and other areas.

Dr. Miller-Parish also noted that the new OR suite will all be located in one unit, meaning patients will not be intermixing with the rest of the hospital.

This should make for a more pleasant experience for the patient, she said.

Phase III provides for a new critical bed nursing unit of 20 beds with new or renovated patient rooms. The new and renovated patient rooms include handicapped toilets and showers in each room. Two of the new patient rooms are set up for special care, two more for isolation and two rooms for meeting the needs of the obese patient.

The hospital will maintain its 25-bed status, but the project will ultimately double the patients room size.

A new nursing station includes a medicine room, dictation area, nursing report room, lockers, administration areas and support, as well as a family waiting area with toilets, a consultation room and chapel.

The old nursing unit renovation, which is part of Phase IV will house I.V. and oncology therapy, pharmacy expansion, waiting and consultation rooms, physicians lounge, physicians on-call area and conference and education space.

Phase IV provides for renovations of the old surgery space into a consolidated radiology imaging suite. The remainder of the old surgery holding area and imaging space will be utilized for a new outpatient service center with a waiting area and toilets, consultation rooms, non-invasive cardiology testing and two sleep labs. The old emergency department will be renovated into an addition to the purchasing department and support services.

This project will make us more efficient and will improve privacy for patients while simply generating a much better flow of services for all parties involved, said Randy Tobler, MD, Chief of Obstetrics & Gynecology. It will create proximity of the care givers to those receiving the care and produce a much improved comfort level.

Phase V will provide for a library within the hospital and expands to a collaborative arrangement with the Scotland County Public Library. Through a lending agreement, the hospital would have on hand a diverse library available from novels and light reading to consumer health, music on CD, audio books and classic movies. These would be seen as a welcome activity for those confined to the hospital.

The prospect of a library within the hospital opens great opportunities for the communities to access computers, community meeting rooms, website education and other educational opportunities, said Dial.

Scotland County Hospitals mission is to improve the healthcare of our communities with services close to home.

The hospitals Board of Directors, Administration, Medical Staff and employees are committed to improving the health of the communities they serve, said Dial. Due to the hospitals rural location, many resources are not available. The staff at Scotland County Hospital does not believe that just because of its rural location, that essential basic medical services should not be provided. And for that reason, the hospital board and administration sought out this funding opportunity with the USDA to expand and renovate the hospital facilities to better serve the residents of the area.

This is just one more commitment we are making to the communities we serve, in aiming to improve their health, their access to exceptional medical services & facilities, and their quality of life. We are humbled and grateful to have been approved for this funding and we are excited to add and expand services that will really address this areas healthcare needs and improve the communitys well being well into the future.

Dial praised the progressive efforts of the hospital board, which she said had been considering this project for approximately three years. The plan started coming together in November of 2009 when the board authorized completion of the master facility plan by Murray Company of St. Louis. The plan highlighted the hospital staffs stability and positive financial strength of the public entity.

Financial feasibility studies were positive and private consultant reviews of the hospital verified the need for the proposed improvements.

They came back saying exactly what we already knew, that we really needed to make these upgrades, Dial said of the independent studies.

Construction is slated to begin this summer with a completion date of December 2011. The project will invovle construction of the four separate phases simultaneously, involving relocating some of the existing services and adjustments to public traffic patterns and access to the hospital.

This is a very aggressive schedule, and we will be working diligently with the public to keep them informed over the next 18 to 20 months of how the work will impact public access to the hospital, Dial said.

The latest in a series of upgrades and additions at the hospital will obviously be the most significant. In 1995 the Outpatient Center was constructed. In 1998 the physicians medical clinic building was added. In 2006 the Womens Center was constructed and the following year additions were made to the clinic building and the cardiac rehab facility.

Weve done five building projects and weve done it out of our own resources or with grant money, Dial said. Weve been really fortunate with our ability to get grants for good projects that are recognized as good projects.

Bible Grove Bar B Saddle Club Meets

The Bar B Saddle Club had their monthly meeting on April 27 at the club building. They will be holding a poker ride for horses and ATV’s this Saturday, May 7th starting at the club house with sign up starting at noon and the ride starting at 1:00 p.m. Entry fee is $5.00 per hand with a carry-in wiener roast following. All are welcome to attend!

Final preparations were made for the poker ride and wiener roast at the meeting. The next meeting will be Thursday, May 19th at 6:00 p.m. at the club house. Come on out to their event and support the newly formed saddle club.

Music Department Hosting Used Instrument Drive

sax web

That trumpet in the attic was made to make music. The guitar case in the garage is collecting dust instead of being played by the next great musician.

If you have any good used, or easily repairable musical instruments would you consider putting them back to work? The Scotland County R-I Band is hosting a used instrument drive to find more pieces to put in the hands of youth wanting to learn how to make music.

“This is an excellent way for donors to ensure that their unused instruments find a new home in the hands of promising young students who are unable to afford or obtain a suitable instrument of their own,” said SCR-I band booster Ellen Aylward. Of course, cash donations will also be accepted to help offset the costs of repairs and refitting these instruments for future use.”

A starter trumpet can cost several hundred dollars, with violins, guitars and drum sets being even more expensive.

Donors to the SCR-I instrument drive will receive a receipt for fair market value for the music item, making the donation tax deductible.

For more information contact SCR-I music director Nathaniel Orr at 660-216-5426 or the SCR-I High School at 465-8907.

Sheriff’s Office to Join Youth Alcohol Enforcement Crackdown

sober WEB

The Scotland County Sheriff’s Office Youth Alcohol Enforcement Campaign is joining the National Crackdown in an effort to reduce drunk driving fatalities.  The ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign will target substance-impaired drivers.

Local and state law enforcement will be out in full force as part of the annual nationwide May/Youth Alcohol Enforcement Crackdown ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ substance-impaired driving crackdown.  The crackdown, which will include high-visibility enforcement throughout Scotland County, will run from May 5-16, 2016.

The effective nationwide substance-impaired driving crackdown will also include high-visibility enforcement, high-profile events, and will be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb substance-impaired driving during the enforcement period.

The Scotland County Sheriff’s Office said its deputies will be aggressively looking for substance-impaired drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone caught driving impaired.

Although it is illegal in all 50 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to drive impaired (having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher), far too many people across the nation get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or other illegal drugs. The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration underscore the serious nature of the nation’s continuing drunk driving epidemic.

“Every year, about one-third of all motor vehicle traffic deaths involve one or more substance-impaired drivers or motorcycle operators,” said Chief Deputy Bryan Whitney. “In 2015, 178 people were killed and 605 seriously injured on Missouri’s roadways in crashes that involved at least one substance-impaired driver.” That works out to approximately one substance-impaired driver involved fatality every two days.

Whitney added the St. Patrick’s Day holiday is particularly dangerous. During the Youth Alcohol Enforcement Campaign May 1-12, 2015, four people were killed and eighteen seriously injured involving at least one substance-impaired driver that was under 21 years of age.

Research has shown that high-visibility enforcement like the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign reduces substance-impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. By joining this nationwide effort, we will make Scotland County’s roadways safer for everyone throughout the holiday,” said Whitney.

“We want to remind everyone that getting behind the wheel impaired is a terrible idea. Unfortunately, not only does being under the influence impair your ability to operate a vehicle safely, it also impairs your judgment and good sense about whether you can, or should drive. If you have any doubt about your sobriety, do not get behind the wheel. If you do chose to drive impaired, you will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses,” Whitney said.

He also noted that being arrested for driving under the influence of any substance brings a wide range of negative consequences into one’s life. Substance—impaired drivers face jail time, loss of their driver licenses, and steep financial consequences such as higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of their job. When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators also often face tremendous personal embarrassment.

“Driving while impaired is simply not worth the risk. So don’t take the chance. Remember, we will be out in force and we will be watching, so ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” said Whitney.

For more information, visit the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Campaign Headquarters at www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov, or www.saveMOlives.com.

SCR-I School Menus

Breakfast

Thursday, May 5 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Friday, May 6 – Muffin for Mom, Muffins, Choice of Cereal, Orange Rings, Juice/Milk

Monday, May 9 – Donuts, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Fruit Medley, Juice/Milk

Tuesday, May 10 – Cinnamon Rolls, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Rings, Juice/Milk

Wednesday, May 11 – Breakfast Pizza, Choice of Cereal, Cinnamon Toast, Orange Rings, Juice/Milk.

Thursday, May 12 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Lunch

Thursday, May 5 – Spaghetti/Meat Sauce, Chicken Quesadillas, Hamburger Bar, Buttered Corn, Garlic Bread, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Friday, May 6 – Sack Lunch

Monday, May 9 – Hot Dog/Bun, Bar BQ Ribb/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Chef Salad, Scalloped Potatoes, Mixed Vegetables, Mandarin Orange Slices, Fresh Fruit

Tuesday, May 10 – Cheeseburger/Bun, Tenderloin/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Taco Bar, Oven Ready Fries, Tomato Slices and Pickles, Applesauce, Fresh Fruit

Wednesday, May 11 – Chicken and Noodles, Sliced Ham, 5th/6th Grade Potato Bar, Whipped Potatoes/Gravy, Broccoli/Cheese Sauce, Dinner Roll, Sliced Pears, Fresh Fruit

Thursday, May 12 – Corn Dog, Chicken Fajitas, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Garlic Bread, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Help Us Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week

Superintendent’s Corner

by SCR-I Superintendent Ryan Bergeson

On teacher appreciation week, we would like to take time to thank the teachers and faculty members at the Scotland County R-1 School District for their dedication and commitment to our students.  To quote the great Todd Whitaker “it is people and not programs that make the biggest difference.”  Great teachers make great public schools and the Scotland County R-1 School District is fortunate to have so many great teachers. faculty and coaches leading our youth.   Teacher Appreciation Week is recognized Monday, May 2 through Friday, May 6 this week at the Scotland County R-1 School District and we encourage you to thank a teacher this week that has made a positive impact on your life.

“Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.”
John F. Kennedy

ANNA GENEVA PARRISH (10/5/1928 – 5/1/2016)

Anna Geneva Parrish, age 87, of Montevallo, MO, passed away May 1, 2016 at Cedar County Memorial Hospital after a short illness.

She was born October 5, 1928, to Arthur and Eunice Egbert in Gorin, MO. She attended and graduated from Gorin School in 1947. Anna was a member of Gorin Methodist Church since her childhood.

After graduation she worked at National Fidelity Life Insurance in Kansas City, MO where she met many life-long friends, including her future sister-in-law, Madelene Parrish, who introduced her to her husband, Cap.

They married November 18, 1961 in Kansas City, MO. At that time Anna began her life-long career of being a homemaker and farm wife. She enjoyed raising chickens, working in the garden and attending to her flowers. After the tornado in 2006, Anna and Cap still remained on the farm in their new home.

On July 10, 1963, her son, Jeff, was born. The biggest joy of her life came in September 9, 2002 when her grandson Cameron Albert Parrish (Little Cap) was born. She enjoyed helping Cameron with all of his activities and getting his chickens ready for the fair. Even after Cap’s death, she enjoyed going with her son Jeff and grandson, Cameron to toy tractor shows.

Anna was a very loving and caring person. She enjoyed special occasions at Chicken Annies which was her favorite place to eat. She was looking forward to going there on Mother’s Day.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Cap Parrish; her parents, Arthur and Eunice Egbert; one son, Larry; one brother, Arthur Parrish; nephews, Kevin Parrish and Gray Calvin, her in-laws, Grace and Albert Parrish.

Anna is survived by one son, Jeff Parrish of Montevallo, MO; grandchildren, Cameron and Kelsey; two sisters-in-law, Madelene Parrish and Virginia Egbert; and a niece, Kim Calvin.

Funeral services are being held Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at Sheldon Funeral Home in El Dorado Springs, MO.  Interment will be in the Virgil City Cemetery, Virgil City, MO.

National Nursing Home Week is May 8 – May 14, 2016

senior

Every skilled nursing care center is a small, vibrant world.  Care centers are sharing, welcoming communities that encourage everyone to interact with the wonderful folks who populate them.  Once a year, always beginning on Mother’s Day, care centers nationwide take pride in publicly honoring the indomitable spirit of residents and recognizing staff who face each day with a sense of purpose and compassion.

During National Nursing Home Week, May 8 to 14, 2016, skilled nursing care centers will coalesce under the theme, “It’s a Small World, with a Big Heart”.  This theme underscores the bond between staff, older adults, and individuals receiving therapies or with developmental disabilities.  Staff and residents view each other in the spirit of family.  For staff, this reality is often a calling to a special mission and life’s work.

In observance of Nursing Home Week, the Scotland County Care Center will be hosting several events meant to encourage residents, families and other relatives to reach out to and visit with their loved ones and caregivers.  SCCC’s theme is Carnival/Fair Craze Days.

The week will begin on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 9th with a Cheesecake Social at 2:00 p.m.  Amazing Grace will be entertaining that afternoon.

On Monday, May 9th, the theme for the day is Messed Up Monday and the dress style is mismatch.  Terri and Tammy, the activity girls, will lead devotions at 10:00 a.m. followed by Carnival Fun Facts/1904 St. Louis World Fair at 10:30 and a photo booth with deep fried ice cream Twinkies at 2:00 p.m.

On Tuesday, May 10th the theme is Topsy Turvy Tuesday with the dress style being Red and White.  Devotions will be lead by Robert and Sheila Moseley at 10:00 followed by exercise at 10:30 a.m. Corn Scramble Bingo will start at 2:00 p.m. followed with Cotton Candy Ice Cream.

The theme for Wednesday, May 11th will be Wacky Tacky Wednesday and the dress theme is wacky and colorful.  Dr. Harlo Donelson will lead devotions at 10:00 followed by a Muffin Walk at 10:30. At 2:00 will be Carnival Games/Teamwork followed with funnel cakes.

On Thursday, May 12th the theme is Throwback Thursday with a 50-60 style dress theme.  Sue Kirchner will lead devotions at 10:00 and the 10:30 activity will be Big Top Trivia.  The SCCC Queen Pageant will be held at 2:00 followed with root beer floats. A hymn sing will take place at 7:00 p.m.

The theme for Friday, May 13th is Finally Friday with a jeans and care center shirt dress theme. Departure for the Golden Age Games in Hannibal is at 7:00 a.m.  Dan Hite will lead devotions at 10:00 followed by Carnival Food Information at 10:30.  At 2:00 p.m. Nancy Tague Platz will present a program and refreshments will be served.

The week’s activities will conclude on Saturday, May 14th with the 19th Annual Car Show.  Registration will start at 9:00 a.m. with judging at 1:00 p.m.

Scotland County Health Department Schedule

Thursday, May 5 – Clinic hours from 8-10:00 a.m. for immunizations.

Friday, May 6 – Clinic hours from 8:00-3:30 for fasting blood sugars, cholesterols and blood draws, blood pressure checks, immunizations, nail care, etc.

Monday, May 9 – Office closed for Truman Day.

Tuesday, May 10 – Skin screening clinic from 9:30-3:30.  Please call 465-7275 to schedule an appointment. Clinic hours from 8-9:00 a.m. for fasting blood sugars and cholesterols and blood draws and from 12-2:30 p.m. for immunizations, blood pressure checks, nail care, etc.  Board of Trustees meeting at the Health Department at 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 12 – Clinic hours from 8-10:00 a.m. for immunizations.

Jeffrey Davis, DO, Installed as President of MAOPS

Dr. Jeffrey Davis was installed as the President of the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (MAOPS) at the MAOPS Convention. He is pictured with past president Dr. Mark Pelikan, a family physician from St. Louis.

Dr. Jeffrey Davis was installed as the President of the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (MAOPS) at the MAOPS Convention. He is pictured with past president Dr. Mark Pelikan, a family physician from St. Louis.

Jeffrey Davis, DO, of Memphis, Missouri was recently installed as the President of the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (MAOPS). Dr. Davis has been a member of MAOPS since 2000 and is a prestigious Wetzel Scholar. During his membership, he has held the leadership positions of Education and Convention Committee Chair, Convention Program Chair and Young Physicians Committee Chair.

As President, he will ensure the association adheres to its mission and vision through its strategies.  He will also lead the Missouri Delegates to the American Osteopathic Association’s House of Delegates, the AOA’s policy making body for the national association, and will be responsible for ensuring that the voice of Missouri’s almost 3,000 osteopathic physicians is heard.

Dr. Davis is a graduate of A. T. Still University in Kirksville, Missouri and is currently Chief Medical Officer at Scotland County Hospital and the Medical Director of Memphis Medical Services, Wyaconda Medical Services & Scotland County Care Center in Memphis, Missouri.  Additionally, he is the Coroner of Scotland County, the Physician for Scotland County R-1 Schools and the Medical Director of Clark County Ambulance District in Kahoka, MO.

The Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, is a not-for-profit professional membership association dedicated to osteopathic physicians and their patients in the state of Missouri.  Its mission is to preserve and protect the distinct philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine in the state of Missouri and to serve and advocate for its members in their quest to provide the highest quality of medical care.  For more information about MAOPS, visit www.maops.org or call Executive Director Brian Bowles at (573) 634-3415.

Behind The Lens: Spring Cleaning Your Camera

camera

By Taylor Lloyd

April showers might bring May flowers but to a photographer, this equates to mud and pollen producing flowers. With these conditions in mind, it is important to once in a while deep clean your camera.

While it is important to clean your gear, you certainly don’t want to overdo it. A good rule of thumb is, if it’s not dirty, don’t clean it. But when it does get dirty, the first thing you’ll want to do is start with the exterior of the camera. Start by taking a soft bristle brush, like a toothbrush, and gently remove any large particles of dust or grit in the harder to reach crevices. Obviously, if your camera is muddy, now is a good time to use a slightly damp cloth to wipe it down.

Once your camera body is clean, move onto your lens by cleaning the lens barrel with a softer bristle brush, like a makeup brush. Be sure to extend the barrel all the way to get all the grit off in those close knit places. Next, remove the lens cap, lens hood, and any filters that may be on your lens. Use a hand blower or a condensed air canister to first blow off the big particles of dirt and dust and then move the soft bristle brush over the glass. Then take a soft cloth, like a microfiber or disposable lens tissue, and put just a drop or two of lens cleaning solution (some people recommend using a highly concentrated isopropyl alcohol) onto the cloth to remove any stubborn smudges. Clean the glass in a circular motion starting from the middle and working your way outward. My recommended cleaning regimen is to breathe upon the lens in most situations and to only use the cleaning solution when tough smudges are present. A few things to keep in mind is to use only lens cleaning solution or alcohol. Household cleaners contain harsh chemicals which could damage your glass. You also want to apply the solution to your cloth first, not your lens. Paper towels are too abrasive and regular tissues are too linty so it is often best to use microfiber cloths or lens cloths specifically made for cleaning lenses.

If your camera has a detachable lens, check and make sure all the contacts and lens mounts are clean and shiny. If they are not, your auto focus may have trouble focusing. Your contacts shouldn’t ever get too dirty, but if they ever do, clean them by applying a drop of lens cleaning solution onto a Q-Tip and place a microfiber cloth or disposable lens cleaning wipe over the Q-Tip. Very carefully swab the contacts on your lens and allow it to dry for a few minutes before replacing it on your camera body. Most photographers recommend never using erasers to clean your electrical contacts because they can scratch or wear off the protective coatings.

Now comes the scariest part, cleaning the inside of your camera. The biggest components inside most DSLRs are the mirror and the image sensor. The mirror is often the first thing you will see when you remove the lens, if it isn’t a mirrorless camera of course. It sits at a slight angle in front of the image sensor and its purpose is to reflect light from the lens into the viewfinder pentaprism, allowing you to capture exactly what the camera “sees”. When you push down the shutter button to take a picture, this mirror folds up briefly (which is why your viewfinder goes dark) to expose the image sensor to light. If the mirror looks clean, don’t clean it and never touch anything inside the camera with your bare hands since small traces of oil can remain on your hands even when washed thoroughly.

Ok so you notice some lint and dust on your mirror, now what? Your first go-to should be to face the camera downward to allow gravity to do its thing, then grab a hand held blower and proceed to blow air onto the mirror. Never use compressed air inside your camera. Compressed air, like the kind you buy in a can, is too forceful and can either cause dirt and dust particles to lodge deeper into your camera or damage fragile components. Also avoid using your breath to clean the inside mechanisms because small moisture particles can get onto delicate electronic parts and cause them to malfunction. After you use the hand blower, if dust still remains on the mirror, you can use the Q-Tip and cloth method like as you would when cleaning your electrical contacts.

Once finished with your mirror, you should proceed onto the sensor. If you notice spots on your images, often resembling small dark specks, this might be from a dirty sensor. If you are unsure if your sensor needs cleaning, a good way to check is by taking a plain, white piece of paper (I usually use cardstock since the underside won’t show through) and placing it on a well lit, flat surface. Turn your camera to manual mode and turn your ISO as low as it will go and set your aperture to the smallest possible aperture (large F number). Pre focus on something the same distance from you as the paper, like the wood grain on a table so that any noticeable grit will be visible on your image. Take a few test pictures and review them at 100% on your LCD screen. Any dark spots you see are either dirt or dust.

Since the mirror covers up the sensor, refer to your camera manual on how to raise or “lock” your mirror up. On my Canon, I raise the mirror up by going to my camera’s menu and finding the Sensor Cleaning option. Once there, I then choose the Clean Manually mode, which folds up my mirror, allowing clear access to the sensor. When you choose to clean your sensor manually, it is important that your battery is charged up since many cameras have to stay on in order for the mirror to stayed folded up.

Once the mirror is up, tilt your camera upside down again and gently use the hand blower a few times. These blowers, usually called rocket blowers, sell on Amazon for $10 but in a pinch, I’ve used a clean turkey baster from my kitchen or even a sterile, disposable syringe like what you’d get at an animal health store. If the dust isn’t coming off, you may have to avert to a sensor brush. Since most sensor dust is caused by static from changing your lens while your camera is on, this brush works by using your blower to statically charge the bristles, and allows dust to cling to the brush.

Cleaning your gear can be tedious but it is a satisfying feeling when your gear is all spick and span and functions better. Until next time, happy cleaning, I mean shooting!

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