McLennan County Precinct 1 mechanic Lance Johnson learned Wednesday he has been using the wrong sun protection for years.

“I try and buy the 100 SPF because I thought it would be better for me,” said Johnson, who has worked for the county for more than five years. “She said the 40-to-60 is where you need to be, and anything over that is just hype.”

Johnson was one of several county employees who dropped by the county’s Precinct 1 maintenance barn Wednesday for a free health exam offered by Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center.

Agnes Yahl, a certified family nurse practitioner, spent part of the afternoon meeting with county employees to offer preventive health screenings and information on skin cancer.

The county and Baylor Scott & White partnered to make the nurse practitioner available to county employees across the district, county health-plan manager RoseMary Mayes said. Employees have been appreciative that they can receive a little reassurance on any health concern with no co-pay, Mayes said.

Allowing employees to see a nurse practitioner only five minutes from their work station encourages them to discuss health issues they might not otherwise, she said. Employees often can be discouraged from making doctor’s appointments because of the time it takes to get an appointment or inability to get away from work.

Mayes said Yahl has worked to show employees how beneficial it is to have a relationship with a medical professional so they can follow along with changes in someone’s health.

Yahl said she spent some time discussing stress levels with employees who work in the courthouse. She said stress is the root of many diseases, and instead of addressing the effects of stress, it’s better to find the root of what is bothering a person. Once the stress factor is identified, the person can work to stop it or at least diminish it, she said.

“What I tell people I do to destress, there’s one radio station that plays ’80s music. Back in the 1980s, I was a student. I thought life was complicated back then, but in fact it really wasn’t,” she said. “So that kind of takes me back to when I used to go dancing with my sister and cousins just to have fun. It’s just kind of a way to destress. So, it’s teaching people how to find those things.”

Yahl said she also places Biodots, which act like mood rings, on people’s hands. The dots show a person their stress level as the color of the dot reacts to a person’s body temperature, which accurately predicts stress levels, she said.

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