By Christine Moffa, MS, RN, clinical editor at AJN

Not only is antibiotic resistance dangerous and expensive, it’s on the rise. Unfortunately, cold and flu season can make people so uncomfortable they’ll do anything to feel better, including insisting that their health care provider write a prescription for a medication that can’t help them. In an effort to change this, the CDC and FDA have teamed up for the 3rd annual Get Smart about Antibiotics Week (November 15–21). You can check out their websites for various patient education materials and other resources to promote awareness at your facility.

For more information on antibiotic resistance and the Get Smart campaign, look at these articles published in AJN:

“Acute Respiratory Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance,” by Ann Marie Hart, PhD, RN, FNP, Alison Patti, MPH, CHES, Brendan Noggle, MPH, Erica Haller-Stevenson, MPH, CHES,and Lisa B. Hines, MPH, CHES

“Is Your Patient Taking the Right Antimicrobial?” by Mary C. Vrtis, PhD, RN

Sometimes it’s hard to not give in to the pressure when a patient expects a prescription at the end of a visit. What do you tell your patients or friends and family when they insist they need an antibiotic for cold or flu symptoms?

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