Tips for a Healthy Transition to College
The first year of college is a major transition for both students and parents. Not only are new college students making more independent personal and academic decisions, but these students have most likely never managed their own health and wellness.
Below are some tips to make the transition a little smoother:
- Bring all prescription medications with you to college, including inhalers, nebulizers and epinephrine auto injectors (i.e. EpiPens). Whereas some high schools require you to keep such medication in the nurse's office, in college you should keep these medications with you at all times.
- Keep the name and number of your primary care provider (and any specialists you may see) in your wallet or on your phone.
- Know what medications you take (including the name, dose and frequency). If you are allergic to something, make sure you know what it is! Keep it written down or on your phone so that you are able to easily access this information if necessary.
- Keep your insurance card with you at all times in case of an emergency.
- Bring a 'health kit' to college, including items like mild pain relievers (acetaminophen, ibuprofen) and cold/flu remedies (DayQuil™, Sudafed®, etc).
- Young adults can have varying degrees of asthma. Some may have outgrown childhood asthma, and some may need several daily medications to keep it under control. We recommend that even if you have not used your rescue inhaler in a year or two, you still bring one with you just in case. The SXU campus and/or the dorms are a new environment that may trigger your asthma.
- Make sure that your inhalers are not expired and are full. Our nurse practitioners are able to assess your asthma and write prescriptions for asthma medications if needed, but only during business hours. You do not want to discover that your inhaler is empty when you need it in the middle of the night.
- If you have been using a nebulizer at home, please make sure to bring it with you to campus. We have a nebulizer machine and albuterol at the Health Center, but you may need your machine when we are not open.
- If you have serious allergic reactions necessitating an epinephrine auto injector (i.e. EpiPen), please make sure that you carry one with you at all times. We have EpiPens at the Health Center; however, you should not depend on these as we are not open 24 hours per day. Epinephrine is most effective when administered as soon as the allergic reaction begins.
- We recommend that if you have a severe allergy that you inform your Resident Advisor and/or the Dean of Students office. If you have very severe allergies, the Dean of Students and the Health Center will work with you to develop a safe plan of care.
- In the event of food allergies, you are encouraged to contact Dining Services to take a tour of the SXU Diner. During the tour the student can be shown what foods are safe for them to eat.
- The SXU Health Center works very closely with the SXU Counseling Center in order to ensure each student gets the support he or she needs. It should be noted that the SXU Health Center will not share any information with the SXU Counseling Center unless we have written permission from the student to do so and vice versa. We take confidentiality very seriously.
- Our nurse practitioners are able to diagnose and treat certain mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. The nurse practitioner may decide to refer a student to a psychiatrist depending on the issue and the type of treatment needed.
- At this time we do not prescribe ADHD medications. If you require an ADHD evaluation and/or medications, we can refer you to local psychiatrists.
- The SXU Health Center abides by all HIPAA laws. Please see our Privacy Practices for more information. You may also request a written copy at any time.
- Any student 18 years or older must give their permission for the SXU Health Center staff to disclose confidential information to anyone, including family members.