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Health & Wellness Services Division of Student Affairs

Who did you get your flu shot for?

Who did you get your flu shot for?

Do you want to help your friends, family, roommates and co-workers stay healthy? A flu shot not only helps prevent you from getting the flu, it also protects everyone in the community.

When you get a flu shot, you protect those you live with. You also help protect:

  • People who live in close quarters such as residence halls
  • Those with chronic illnesses and pregnant women who are at high-risk for flu related complications
  • Individuals who have a weakened immune system
  • People who are unable to get a vaccine, for example, people with allergies to the vaccine or any ingredient in it
  • Babies younger than 6 months of age who are too young to get a flu vaccine
  • Elderly people who are at a greater risk for getting ill from the flu

Cougs help Cougs stay well — and that means getting a flu vaccine.

Health & Wellness Services is giving flu shots every Friday from September 29 – October 27 between 10 am – 3 pm, in the Washington Building, room G41. Bring your insurance card.

Flu facts

Flu Facts

The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated.

Flu vaccines cannot cause influenza. Flu viruses used in vaccines are not live, therefore unable to cause the flu.

Getting a flu shot is the number one way to prevent the flu. If you get the flu vaccine, you are about 60 percent less likely to need treatment for the flu. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone six months of age and older get a flu shot.

A flu shot can help you stay well and prevent serious complications. The flu can cause you to miss school or work. Flu shots helped reduce flu-related hospitalizations by 71 percent during the 2011- 2012 flu season. If you happen to get the flu despite getting a vaccine, a flu shot may help make symptoms milder.

The earlier you get your flu shot, the better. It takes about two weeks to develop antibodies that protect against the flu. Flu season runs from October to May, and getting vaccinated in the fall can help you stay well in the spring.

Get your vaccine at one of our Flu Shot Friday events or by visiting our medical clinic.

7 healthy habits for preventing flu

7 healthy habits for preventing flu

Getting a vaccine is the number one way to prevent the flu, but practicing good health habits can also help stop the spread of flu, colds, and other viruses.

To stay healthy and prevent the flu from spreading, we recommend Cougs practice the following healthy habits:

  1. Keep your hands clean. Wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
  2. Cover up. Flu viruses can travel up to six feet when someone coughs, talks, or sneezes! Try to sneeze and cough into your sleeve or a tissue.
  3. Stay home if you’re sick. It might not feel important to miss class, work, or other responsibilities, but it’s more important to rest and avoid spreading germs to others. If you do get sick, be sure to check out our managing symptoms at home post.
  4. Kill germs. Flu viruses can live on a surface for up to eight hours! Be sure to disinfect and clean countertops, sinks, doorknobs, and other frequently used surfaces.
  5. Avoid touching your face. Germs spread when you touch a contaminated surface and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  6. Don’t share. Don’t borrow items such as lipstick, lip balm, eating utensils, straws, cups, toothbrushes, smoking devices like hookahs, pipes, vape pens, or cigarettes. Flu-contaminated saliva can be transferred by any of these items.
  7. Take care of yourself. Sleeping, exercising, managing stress, and eating healthy foods can all help you stay healthy. Need help with any of these or aren’t sure where to start? Check out our full list of wellness workshops on CougSync.

Managing cold symptoms at home

Managing cold symptoms at home

Do you know what to do when you have a cold? Colds are miserable, but harmless even though it doesn’t seem that way. Knowing what to do when you have a cold can relieve your symptoms and make your illness a little more comfortable.

Symptoms:

  • Sore throat
  • Running or congested nose
  • Cough
  • Blocked or popping ears
  • Muscle aches
  • Slight fever
  • Tiredness
  • Post nasal drip
  • Headaches

Sore throat care:

  • Gargle with warm salt water to help reduce swelling and relieve discomfort (1 tsp (5 g) of salt dissolved in 1 cup of warm water.)
  • Sip warm chicken broth
  • Try warm tea with lemon and honey, apple juice, Jell-O, or popsicles
  • Take frequent small sips if it is painful to swallow
  • Take over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) which has anti-inflammatory effects and provides pain relief, or acetaminophen (Tylenol) which is a pain reliever only. Make sure you read the label and follow directions on the package.

General things to do to make you feel better:

  • Use a vaporizer or humidifier in your bedroom
  • Prevent dehydration, increase fluid intake
  • Breathe in steam (hot shower)
  • Rest as needed
  • Nasal/Sinus Irrigation (Sinus Rinse®, NetiPot®) relieves sinus and nasal congestion and promotes drainage.
  • Do not smoke or use other tobacco products and avoid secondhand smoke

 Contact us if:

  • Temperature is greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit. You can purchase a thermometer at our pharmacy or at any drugstore or grocery store.
  • Your symptoms become more severe
  • Your symptoms do not improve
  • You have questions
  • You feel you need to be seen by a medical provider

Many illnesses including “colds” are caused by viruses; antibiotics only affect bacteria, not viruses. To help relieve symptoms, many non-prescription medications are available in our pharmacy.

Read directions on medications to ensure:

  • Correct dosing
  • Awareness of any warnings related to the non-prescription medication
  • Possible interactions with the medications you take on a daily basis
  • Possible interactions with any health conditions you may have.

If you have questions about medications including non-prescription medications, contact our pharmacists at Health & Wellness Services Pharmacy, 509-335-5742.

Protect yourself from wildfire smoke

WSU community members should take precautions to reduce exposure to unhealthy, smoky air.

Breathing in smoke can have immediate health effects. Older adults, pregnant women, children, and people with preexisting respiratory and heart conditions may be more likely to get sick if they breathe in wildfire smoke.

If you experience any signs of respiratory distress, contact your health care provider or call Health & Wellness Services at 509-335-3575.

There are many steps you can take for limiting exposure to unhealthy, smoky air.

Avoid being outdoors. Use public transportation rather than walking or biking.

Stay inside as much as possible. Keep indoor air clean by closing windows, and if possible use an air filter and air conditioning. Make sure your air conditioner’s fresh-air intake is closed and the filter is clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.

Do not add to indoor pollution. Avoid using candles, fireplaces, or gas stoves. Do not vacuum, because vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home. Do not smoke, because smoking puts even more pollution into the air.

Follow your health care provider’s guidance. If you have asthma or another lung disease, follow your doctor’s advice about medicines and your respiratory management plan.

Wear a mask. Masks can help limit exposure to unhealthy, smoky air. Students can get a free basic mask from the clinic’s waiting and lobby area. The CDC advises against relying solely on basic masks for protection.

Students can purchase N95 masks at the Health & Wellness Services’ pharmacy for $1.50. These masks offer more protection than basic masks.

WSU Environmental Health & Safety has additional resources on wildfire smoke including a real time map.

Get your flu vaccine!

Get your flu vaccine

Flu season is approaching fast! You can prevent the flu by getting your flu vaccine at one of our Flu Shot Friday events or by visiting our medical clinic.

It’s important that you get your flu shot early in the season. After getting a flu vaccine, it takes about two weeks for your body to develop the antibodies that will protect you from flu virus.

Flu Shot Fridays

Every Friday from September 29 to October 27
10 am to 3 pm
Washington Building, ground floor entrance

Unable to make it to a Flu Shot Friday or want your shot sooner? Students can visit our medical clinic to get their flu shot, no appointment necessary.

WSU students, faculty, and staff, as well as local community members, can get their flu shots at Flu Shot Fridays. We won’t be able to give the vaccine to those who are pregnant or under age 18.

Cost

Flu shots are covered in full by most insurance plans. If you don’t have insurance or are concerned about costs, we’re here to help you! Contact our billing office at 509-335-3575.

Make sure to bring your insurance card! We won’t be taking payment at the time of the services for Flu Shot Fridays, but we’ll take down your insurance information for billing.

Parking options

We’ll have some parking spaces reserved in the green lot at Stadium Way and SE Nevada St. for Flu Shot Fridays. Reserved spaces will be marked with orange cones. Metered parking spots are available on NE Washington St.

There are also a number of zoned parking lots available nearby for permit holders. For a detailed parking map, visit Transportation Services. Our building is also easily accessible via public transit. Visit Pullman Transit for routes and schedules.

Map of Health and Wellness Services building

Vaccine type

There are two types of flu shot: intradermal and intramuscular. Intradermal shots are given by injecting a small amount of concentrated flu vaccine in the top layers of the skin. The needle used for intradermal shots is smaller than a traditional shot, which makes this type a great choice if you have a fear of needles.

Intramuscular shots are given by injecting vaccine into the muscle. At Flu Shot Fridays, we typically give intradermal injections, but you can ask for an intramuscular injection if you’d prefer one.

Services covered by health fee


Your student health fee enables Health & Wellness Services and Counseling and Psychological Services to offer a comprehensive suite of services in one convenient on-campus location.

Your fall 2017 health fee eligibility starts today! If you’re enrolled for the fall semester, you can begin accessing our services and programs.

Students who pay the health fee receive access to a wide range of health services at no additional cost, including:

  • One medical clinic office visit per semester, which covers the face-to-face time spent with a health care provider only. This excludes comprehensive physicals, specialty visits to Behavioral Health or the vision clinic, procedures, immunizations, and travel clinic.
  • 24/7 medical advice from our nursing staff over our telephone nurse line at 509-335-3575
  • Same-day mental health services at Behavioral Health (on referral from your health care provider)
  • Referral coordinator to help you find community providers for specialty services
  • Certified health insurance navigators to help students without insurance understand their options through the Washington Health Benefit Exchange
  • Nutrition counseling with our registered dietitian
  • Tobacco cessation counseling and nicotine replacements through Behavioral Health
  • Health screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure, stress, cancer screening skills and more
  • Educational programs covering a range of topics including stress management, mental health, life skills, substance use, and violence prevention
  • 24-hour crisis line operated by Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
  • Unlimited group counseling and workshops as well as brief, focused individual therapy and other psychological services provided at CAPS

Charges for additional services will be billed to your insurance. Don’t have insurance? Call us and get help from our certified health insurance navigators. We also offer a financial assistance program for students who need help paying for medical services at our clinic.

For details on costs for services and insurance companies we’re contracted with, visit our billing page. As always, don’t hesitate to call our billing staff at 509-335-3575 with any questions about costs and insurance!

Notice of Accreditation Survey

Washington State University, Health & Wellness Services

Survey dates: July 19–20, 2017

The above-named organization has voluntarily requested this accreditation survey as a means of having a third-party review of the entire organization to build upon strengths or identify opportunities to improve its delivery of safe, high-quality health care. The survey will evaluate the organization’s compliance with AAAHC Standards for ambulatory health care organizations and to determine if accreditation should be awarded to, or retained by, this organization.

Members of the general public, patients, and individuals on the staff of this organization, believing that they have relevant and valid information about this organization’s provision of health care or compliance with AAAHC Standards, may request to present this information to AAAHC surveyors at the time of the survey or may communicate such information in writing or by telephone to the AAAHC office.

All information received from identified individuals at or prior to the survey will be considered in making the accreditation decision. The information presented will not be debated with the reporting individual. Requests for presentation must be received at least two weeks prior to the survey in order to allow sufficient time to schedule presentations.

A request to present or report information may be communicated in writing by mail to the address below; email to feedback@aaahc.org; or by telephone as listed below.

Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, Inc.

5250 Old Orchard Road, Suite 200

Skokie, IL 60077

Telephone: 847-853-6060

FAX: 847-853-9028

This Notice of Accreditation Survey is posted in accordance with AAAHC requirements, and may not be removed until after the survey has concluded, or until it has been posted for 30 days if the survey ends prior to that period.

Student insurance coverage improves

While prices rise all around us, there is good news for graduate assistants and international students: student insurance rates for next year are decreasing while providing more coverage.

The 2017-2018 insurance plan premium will be $1677 per year, a $183 decrease from last academic year. International students pay their own premiums and will therefore benefit from a direct reduction in their out-of-pocket expense. Graduate assistants’ premiums are paid by their department.

In addition to lower rates, both graduate assistants and international students will receive additional benefits in the 2017-2018 plan. We’ve increased reimbursement for brand name prescription drugs from the current 60 percent to 70 percent. We now cover vision exams in full at our clinic and up to $65 at other vision clinics.

Additionally, international students will now be able to purchase a Delta Dental insurance plan. Graduate assistants receive dental coverage as part of their standard plan.

We’ll post more information about the 2017-2018 plan and benefits on our website in July. Automatic enrollment for qualifying students occurs in the second week of August.

Do you have any questions about your insurance benefit? Please feel free to contact us for more information.

Providers trained on care for LGBTQ patients

We’re dedicated to providing the best possible medical care for WSU students of all genders and sexual orientations. After meeting with students from the Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center last fall and hearing their concerns, we’ve vigorously pursued new training and resources to better serve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) students.

The students we spoke with identified unmet needs, including training for our staff on common issues and concerns for members of the LGBTQ community. In particular, transgender students in attendance talked about their struggle to receive gender-affirming hormone treatment locally and the importance of being able to access treatment on campus.

Since then, our primary care, counseling, and pharmacy staff have taken steps to improve our care for LGBTQ patients. Earlier this month, two of our health care providers attended a symposium on providing more effective, culturally sensitive care to LGBTQ patients.

For providers, the symposium including taking an inclusive LGBTQ health history, guidelines for primary care treatment for LGBTQ patients, and information regarding gender affirming hormone treatment. For all staff, the symposium reviewed the need for gender affirming care as well as cultural competency.

We plan to begin offering hormone treatment for transgender students in fall 2017. We will continue engaging with LGBTQ students and working together to address their needs going forward.