Patient Advocate Nurse


Top Ten Heath Care Tips Your College Bound Student Needs

       Back to school season is in full swing which, for many, means their college bound student is leaving home for the first time. As a nurse and mother of two college students, I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 self care tips your student needs when they go to school! 

1.  Health Insurance Card

        If your student does not have their own card, a paper copy of the family insurance card will work.  Taking a copy of his/her vaccine record is also advised.

2.  Get established at the school Health Center

        Visit the Health Center the first week.  Check out their hours and phone number so your student is prepared when they become ill.

3.  Get the Flu vaccine as soon as it is available

        This is so important- especially when living in close quarters with many people!  Plus, influenza can lead to other infections, and can last up to two weeks. This could effect school attendance.

 4.  Get the Meningitis Vaccine as soon as possible

         Meningitis B is a devastating illness that is frequently found on college campuses.  It can leave a person with long term physical effects and can even result in death. The Health Center should be able to vaccinate students for this disease.

 5.  Transfer all prescriptions to a local and convenient pharmacy

         Have the new pharmacy that is conveniently located near campus contact the previous pharmacy to transfer the prescription(s).

6.  Wash hands frequently!

        This has been proven to be the most effective way to prevent illness.  Use soap and water or waterless hand cleanser several times a day.  Be sure to dry hands thoroughly!

7.  NEVER share drinks or leave your drink unattended

     If you leave your drink unattended at a social gathering, this leaves an opportunity for an unscrupulous person to put drugs into your drink.  Yes, this does happen, especially on college campuses.

8.  Be careful when sharing food! 

        If you share food you are also sharing bacteria, aka germs.  They may not be sick at the moment, but could be getting ill without knowing it yet.

9.  Use sunscreen

        Students are not invincible.  Lots of walking outside to classes on campus possibly in a warmer/sunnier climate than home.  Cover all exposed skin daily.

10.  Pack a First Aid Kit

        This needs to include all those comfort items one is used to having at home so they can treat themselves:

 -Tylenol (Acetaminophen).  Follow directions on the bottle for frequency and dosing

-Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Naproxen). follow directions on bottle for dosing and frequency.      These are NSAIDS or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.  Do not take more that one NSAID at a time. This medication is best for muscle pain and inflammation.

-Cortisone cream for skin irritation or rashes. This comes in several strengths over the counter.

-Benedryl (Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride) is good for allergic reactions (hives), seasonal allergies, or to help with sleep. Follow dosing directions on bottle.  Remember it is sedating so don’t take it if you have to go to class.

-Band aids and medical tape

-nail clippers and tweezers

-microwaveable heat packs for sore muscles



Lisa Bushman