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Individual Counseling Available During Dead and Finals Week

Student visiting with CAPS Counselor

The end of the semester can be especially stressful! This year, Cougar Health Services is offering individual counseling sessions during dead and finals week to help you navigate this busy time.

These same-day appointments will be available at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) over the next two weeks:

  • Monday, Dec. 2 through Friday, Dec. 6, 9 AM – 5 PM
  • Monday, Dec. 9 through Friday, Dec. 13, 9 AM – 5 PM

You can schedule an appointment by calling CAPS at 509-335-4511 on the day you would like to meet, even if you are not currently seeing a CAPS counselor. Sessions are covered by your student health fee, and no insurance is required.

If you have questions, please contact CAPS at 509-335-4511.

November Peer Health Educator Spotlight – Makena Horne

Makena Horne

Makena Horne is a second-year sophomore at WSU completing a B.S. in genetics and cell biology and a minor in pre-genetic counseling. She joined the peer health education program in the fall of 2019. Her peers in the program nominated her for the November Peer Health Educator of the Month award. This award is given to peer health educators in recognition of their hard work and dedication to the program. We sat down with Makena to hear more about her time in the program and why she thinks other students would benefit from joining.

How has being a peer health educator been meaningful to you?

Makena Horne: [Being a peer health educator] has helped me learn some of the skills I felt I was either lacking or didn’t have as much training in. To be able to help people in need – like when my friends are going through a rough patch or somebody needs some advice – I feel I can better aid them.

How do you think being a peer health educator has built career skills?

MH: I think the best career skills I’ve learned are active listening and learning what makes a good and effective program/workshop. I personally want to work more on my public speaking skills. How can I keep an audience engaged and how can I deliver information in a clear manner so people can understand – I think that’s going to be really beneficial in a clinical setting.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned as a peer health educator?

MH: Well, I am working with the Peer Body Project this year and one thing I really took home was how to accept myself and how to help others accept themselves. And I think that’s really powerful. So I am really happy I get to be a part of that and to be able to help. I’ve also learned about the bystander effect and how to overcome this and be an active bystander. I feel I am in a better place to intervene in a situation I would see.

What would you say to someone who is considering becoming a peer health educator?

MH: I’d say go for it because it’s a whole lot of fun. Not only is everyone friends, but we all have similar interests and ideas, so we really vibe with each other. I was really worried at first about the time commitment – I have Honors classes and pre-med classes and just everything else I have to worry about – and it’s really not that bad. I don’t really feel strained or anything. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to get involved on campus. You don’t have to be pre-med to be a peer health educator. The skills you’ll learn are about teaching and those skills can go so far.

Want to quit vaping? We can help!

person using e-cigarette
person using e-cigarette

Quitting is tough, but we are here to help! Cougar Health Services provides a variety of free resources to help students quit vaping or using tobacco products.

As of October 15, 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 1,479 lung injuries related to e-cigarette and vaping products in 49 states. Because of this, the CDC and Cougar Health Services are encouraging those who use these products to quit.

We provide brief cessation counseling to currently enrolled students who have paid their student health fee. During your appointments, we can help you:

  • Explore your options for quitting
  • Improve your motivation to quit
  • Learn ways to manage cravings
  • Reduce the stress of quitting
  • Reduce your e-cigarette and vaping product use if you have had previous attempts to quit, or are not able to entirely quit

Nicotine replacements (gum, patches, or lozenges) are also available at no charge to students who participate in nicotine cessation counseling. If you’d like to find out how we can help you quit, call 509-335-3575.

In the meantime, here are five quick tips to help you get started:

Set a quit date.

Choosing a specific quit date can help you get serious about your plan to stop using e-cigarettes and vaping products. Try to find a day when you won’t be too busy or stressed.

Celebrate the small milestones.

On top of the health benefits, quitting can save a lot of money. Reward your achievements and spend the cash you’ve saved on something you enjoy.

Don’t do it alone.

Tell the people in your life that you’re planning to quit, join a support group, talk to a counselor, or download an app to receive reminders and support. Counseling and nicotine replacements can significantly improve your chance of success and help ease the symptoms of withdrawal.

Take care of yourself.

Caring for your body and mind can help alleviate the stress of quitting. Exercise will improve your mood and energy. Strive for 7-8 hours of sleep every night, eat a balanced diet, and drink plenty of water.

Try and try again.

Most people try to quit smoking an average of 8 times before they succeed. Don’t give up! Each time you attempt to quit, you can learn something new about what does and doesn’t work for you, and what you need for success in the future.

Not sure where to start? Give us a call at 509-335-3575, and we can help you find the best option for you.

October Peer Health Educator Spotlight – Nathan Salyer

Nathan Salyer
Peer Health Educator, Nathan Salyer

Nathan Salyer is a third-year junior at WSU completing a B.S. in neuroscience and a B.A. in Chinese. He joined the peer health education program in the spring of 2019. His peers in the program nominated him for the October Peer Health Educator of the Month award. This award is given to peer health educators in recognition of their hard work and dedication to the program. We sat down with Nathan to hear more about his time in the program and why he thinks other students would benefit from joining.

How has being a peer health educator been meaningful to you?

Nathan Salyer: I’ve always been passionate about health education throughout high school. It has been good to be in a program where I can go out into the public and reach people who are interested in learning. It is a great way to help people become more comfortable with healthcare and learn to do things on their own.

How do you think being a peer health educator has built career skills?

NS: One skill has been the customer service aspect of health education. I want to become a doctor and learning how to teach is definitely vital. If someone doesn’t understand what you’re saying, you have to be patient with them. You try to find another way to explain to them so they can understand what you are trying to say.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned as a peer health educator?

NS: One of the most important things I’ve learned is it’s okay to not have the answer. There is a large amount of information I need to know to be able to present a workshop, but it doesn’t cover everything actually known about a topic.

If someone asks a question in a workshop I’m facilitating with someone else and I don’t have the answer, I can step aside and look it up really quick. If I’m by myself, I can say that’s a great question, but I don’t know and ask them to talk to me afterward. Then we can figure it out and look it up together or I can give them contact information for people who are much more knowledgeable than I am.

What would you say to someone who is considering becoming a peer health educator?

NS: I’d say go for it. The time and effort you put in to learn all the information is very beneficial if you want to have an impact on people. If you have any sort of passion for it, then go for it.

 

Be a Flu Fighter: Get your Flu Shot this Fall

WSU receives their flu vaccination

Flu season is approaching fast! Be a flu fighter and prevent the flu by getting your vaccine at one of our Flu Shot Fridays events.

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 27 to October 25 + additional outreach Nov. 1
9 AM to 3 PM
Washington Building, ground floor entrance

WSU students, faculty, and staff can get their flu shots at Flu Shot Fridays. However, 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.

Washington Building Map

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.

Can’t make it to Flu Shot Friday?

Unable to make it to a Flu Shot Friday or want your shot sooner? Students can schedule an appointment with our medical clinic to get their flu shot by calling 509-335-3575.

 

Measles Vaccine Outreach

Cougar Health Services is hosting a Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) outreach on September 19th from 9 AM – 3 PM for students who have not met the immunization requirement. No appointment is necessary; there will be 300 doses of vaccine available on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Map of Cougar Health Services building

Visit room G41 on the Health Promotion side of the building to receive your vaccine. Please note that anyone who is pregnant or expecting to become pregnant within the next month will not be eligible to receive the vaccine.

If you are unable to attend the MMR outreach, you may schedule an appointment at Cougar Health Services Monday through Friday. Call 509-335-3575 or, schedule an appointment online at https://healthweb.wsu.edu/

You can also learn more about the measles immunization requirement here. 

Vaping-associated Pulmonary Illness

As of December 4, 2019, 2,291 cases of lung illness associated with the use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products have been reported to CDC. This includes 48 deaths. No evidence of infectious diseases has been identified; therefore the lung illnesses are likely associated with a chemical exposure. The CDC’s investigation has not identified any specific substance or e-cigarette product that is linked to all cases. Please consider not using e-cigarette products.

If you vape and you experience symptoms like those reported in this outbreak, seek medical care promptly. Some patients have reported that their symptoms developed over a few days, while others have reported that their symptoms developed over several weeks. A pulmonary infection does not appear to be causing the symptoms, which have generally not improved with antibiotic treatment alone. Patients in this investigation have reported symptoms such as:

  • cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
  • nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • fatigue, fever, or weight loss

Regardless of the ongoing investigation young adults should not use e-cigarette products.

  • The use of e-cigarettes is unsafe for teens and young adults.
  • Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20s.
  • E-cigarettes can contain other harmful substances besides nicotine.
  • Young people who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to smoke cigarettes in the future.

Additional information can be found on the CDC website. 

Those experiencing symptoms or who have questions about their health should contact their healthcare provider. Pullman students can contact Cougar Health Services at 509-335-3575 or schedule an appointment at https://cougarhealth.wsu.edu/appointments/