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Dragonfly May 12th, 2021
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Consumer Health Minute: Health Reference

Posted by on March 19th, 2020 Posted in: Health Literacy/Consumer Health, Public Libraries, Training & Education
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Unless you are a consumer health librarian you may not be as familiar with addressing health reference questions. It’s OK if you don’t feel comfortable and a little uncertain how to answer questions regarding medication, a health condition, or a specific diet. You don’t have to know the answers. Like many of the topics your patrons ask of you, you probably aren’t an expert and neither are you a health professional (most likely).¬† But what you can provide is information from authoritative resources. Unsure what those are? NNLM (National Network of Libraries of Medicine) offers consumer health classes to help you increase your knowledge about health information and increase your confidence in providing your patrons with quality health information so they can be better informed about their own health as well as their families. NNLM has developed a new class specifically about health reference.

Introduction to Health Reference: Ethics and Best Practices
Health reference has some unique factors to consider. Take this on-demand class to learn how to conduct a health reference interview confidently and ethically. It is currently available and is self-paced and interactive. By the end you will learn:

  • What is a health reference interview
  • How the library can protect patrons’ health privacy and confidentiality using ethical guidelines from library associations
  • Effective communication strategies to identify the health information needs of patrons
  • Simple methods for evaluating online health information that can be easily explained to patrons

Register to take the class and you’ll be well on your way to conducting health reference with greater confidence.

Image of the author ABOUT Carolyn Martin
Carolyn Martin is the Consumer Health Coordinator for the NNLM Pacific Northwest Region. She works with various libraries and community organizations to increase health literacy in their communities.

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Developed resources reported in this program are supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH) under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012343 with the University of Washington.

NNLM and NETWORK OF THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE are service marks of the US Department of Health and Human Services | Copyright | Download PDF Reader