Influenza season is always a dreaded time, and everyone is anxious to protect themselves and their families from catching the flu. But every year new influenza strains crop up, and some of them spread like wildfire. So it is essential that patients be as educated as possible about the nature of influenza and the proactive measures they can take to guard against catching the flu or spreading it to others.
One of the challenges for health care providers when it comes to influenza education, however, is that many people already feel as though they know everything about it. The flu is so common and has been around for so long, that patients may have a tendency to tune you out when you start talking about it, thinking that there is nothing new to know.
To combat this tendency and better educate patients about the flu, it helps to conduct a year-round informational campaign. Instead of just reminding patients about influenza once or twice a year when flu season rolls around, for example, or talking to them about it when they come to you because they have already contracted it, make it an ongoing conversation. That way your advice will always be in the front of their minds as a gentle and constant reminder.
Free Resources for Flu Education
Another great way to make influenza education more relevant and vivid is to take advantage of information provided by organization such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
This organization’s expertise is presenting the material in an eye-catching and consumer-friendly way. You can order or download and distribute from the CDC, for example, all kinds of free flyers, booklets, fact sheets, and posters and use those to bolster your year-round patient education initiatives. You’ll also find them in Spanish, which can been a huge help to patients who may be more comfortable with that language.
Be sure to use newsletters, social media connectivity, and other opportunities to dialog with your patients as a way to keep them informed and share with them website links, statistics, and preventative tips. They’ll appreciate your concern and effort and by keeping the issue front and center you’ll be more successful at encouraging them to take the right steps and make the healthy choices regarding influenza prevention and care.