Micro-Learn: Cough and Congestion  

Sidestepping and leaning away from someone who coughs or sneezes is a natural instinct to avoid exposure to germs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has introduced the Cough and Congestion Micro-Learn to provide additional education on ways to reduce the chance of infection. The short, adaptive, and easy to use activities are made for any healthcare facility and cover a variety of topics.  

Mary Jane Koehn, RN

Rebecca Sime, RN, program manager for the South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care (SDFMC), explains, “If we learn how to identify symptoms often associated with viruses, we can work to prevent the spread to others. Simple things like covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, coughing into your elbow if you do not have a tissue, and immediately performing hand hygiene reduces the risk of spreading germs.” 

A cough can be caused by many factors and is often accompanied by congestion. Congestion appears as a runny/stuffy nose, watery eyes, or a nasal voice. These symptoms are caused by a virus, which spreads easily to other people. As the infected person talks, breathes, coughs, or blows air out of their body, the virus spreads.  One person can quickly infect multiple people. Health outcomes for healthcare workers and patients improve when coughs accompanied by congestion are identified.  

“Approximately one third of infections are preventable by performing hand hygiene. Washing hands properly and using disinfectant can also prevent respiratory infection by up to 20 percent,” Sime continued. “The South Dakota Project Firstline team provides training and education to prevent infection in every healthcare setting and community.” 

The upcoming South Dakota Project Firstline (SD PFL) Office Hour will review the new cough and congestion micro learn option from the CDC.

SD PFL Office Hour: Micro Learn on Cough and Congestion 
Wednesday, November 8, 2023, at 11:00 AM Central 

Contact the SD Project Firstline team to learn more or to schedule a free in-person or virtual training session.