National Health Education Week is Oct. 19-23 and strives to bring national attention to the important role health education plays in the general well-being of the public.
This year the Society for Public Health Education, who sponsors the week of awareness, is focused on how far public health education has come, the people who continually work to educate the public and how public health education can be bettered in the future. Educating the public on how to find relevant health information including local medical services and how to use that information effectively are important components of public health education.
According to Dr. Michael Sloan of Casper Medical Imaging, “Public health education is important in every realm of medicine, but I find it especially important in specialty – Interventional and Diagnostic Radiology. Many people don’t know what a Radiologist or Interventional Radiologists does; how we help patients, and why it matters that we are real doctors who are actively involved in caring for patients. Here at Casper Medical Imaging and Outpatient Radiology, you have Casper’s only local Radiology group working to help detect illness and disease and save lives through many minimally invasive interventional procedures – and people simply don’t know about us.”
A component of public health education is patients taking an active role in their care. Education includes knowing which programs and services are available, including local providers and facilities as well as the importance of prevention and how to navigate health insurance.
Communication is key between healthcare providers and patients in personal health education. With the ever-increasing choices in medical care, patients are able to take a more empowered role in their overall care including making decisions about treatment and understanding service options.
Dr. Sloan continues, “Patients need to ask questions about their healthcare so they understand their situation. They need to know that there is always a choice in their care. It is important to know who is collaborating on your care and if the members of that team are available for personal interaction. The radiologists at Casper Medical Imaging try to make ourselves as accessible as we can to patient questions and concerns the imaging and procedures in our patients’ care and even their concerns of radiation exposure.”
So ask the questions, and know your doctor. Patients have a choice and should be comfortable with their care team.