Sick at School, Mom Can Help!

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haveuheard sick at school ucf


Due to the current situation regarding COVID-19, as of Monday, March 23, 2020, Student Health Services’ Downtown office will provide telehealth services only. Please call 407-823-2701 for an appointment.

It’s bound to happen.  At some point, while our kids are at college, the phone will ring and suddenly our mature, independent college student will sound like a preschooler again. There is little worse than when they tell you how sick they feel and you are far away. Hopefully, and most likely, their illness will be a result of their new-found independence that includes lack of sleep and exercise, stress, not-so-healthy food, hygiene habits that don’t embrace enough hand-washing, and can be cured quickly and easily.

I sent my kids to school with a little box that I literally labeled, “Things you may need that Mom can’t squeeze through the phone.” Inside the box, I put all sorts of things from a tiny sewing kit to Tums. When my daughter got sick with her first cold she was happy to find a thermometer, cold medicine, and Vaseline for her chapped lips. When my son got a stomach bug, he was thrilled to find Imodium in his box. All kinds of remedies come in sample size these days. In my experience, my kids and I have had great results taking Source Naturals Wellness Formula. It has been a strong herbal defense supplement in fighting an illness that was recommended to me by a local natural health food store. Two a day for prevention but when you feel yourself coming down with something, you take 6 in the morning and 6 in the evening for two days. It has worked amazingly well for most everyone I have recommended it to.

Sometimes their sickness may need care beyond the treasure box. UCF’s Health Care Center is pretty comprehensive. There are even three satellite centers throughout campus. There is also a 24-hour Ask a Nurse Service,  also lists places to go for emergency service.

I highly recommend having your student fill out an Authorization to Release form when they begin college. Don’t wait until they are sick. There is nothing worse than calling to find out how a sick or injured (adult) student is and being told the doctor is not authorized to talk with you. They may want to get a free flu shot at the UCF Health Center too.  CVS Minute Clinic and Walgreens Healthcare Clinic have locations locally where they can test for things like the flu or strep throat. Both allow them to go online to check the wait time and reserve a place in line.

The other walk-in clinics near campus that they can call in advance to find out what the wait time is, include First Choice and Minier. Centra Care can even see students who may have a broken bone and need an x-ray. Many parents speak highly of East Colonial Family Medical Center. There is also the option to video chat with a Doctor on Demand who can treat things like rashes and upset stomachs. Finally, of course, and hopefully it won’t come to this, the nearest hospital to UCF is Florida Hospital East Orlando.  Additional reputable facilities include Orlando Regional Medical Center, Central Florida’s only Level One Trauma Center, and Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, which does see patients up to 21 years of age.

If your student needs to get into an orthopedic facility and cannot get into UCF’s Health Care Center, other options include Jewett Orthopedic which takes online appointments as well as walk-ins, and Orlando Orthopedic Center. Be sure to check before going as some orthopedic centers have closed temporarily during Covid-19. Also, be sure your student has a copy of their insurance card.

We have also used MyVirtualDoctor as an option when no one else is available. There are many hospital groups and virtual doctor options that are good for minor conditions such as colds, flu, sinus infections, UTIs, pink eye, rashes, and sunburn. They are not typically covered by your insurance, but they also offer other services such as prescription drug cards and Electronic Medical Records Storage and Access. This is not a service for medical emergencies.

With flu season upon us some students may want to get a flu shot. Read our blog on the flu season. This past year, my daughter got really sick twice; once with the bad flu and once for a bad virus. It was difficult to get an appointment during flu season (it seems that most students and teachers all got hit with the flu). I would recommend your student getting the flu shot this year. Another consideration is to ask your family doctor for a recommendation of a general practitioner doctor in Orlando. Yes, your fees pay for the student health center but her now having an Orlando doctor will make getting an appointment a little easier. They are going to be at college for four years so establishing a relationship early may be worth it when the time comes that your student needs to be seen (although all bets are off when the flu season hits its peak).

And finally, you may want to remind your students to notify their professor if they will be legitimately missing classes and unable to get work done on time. Including a doctor’s note is encouraged. You can find information about this at Student Care Services.

One more thing…Eye exams/care/treatment. There’s an optical center in the UCF Student Union. They have glasses, eye exams, and can fix glasses for a small fee. Otherwise, should students need, the following local stores have vision centers:

  • Target Optical
  • Alafaya Vision Center
  • Walmart Vision Center
  • Lenscrafters

If you want to send a little something to make your student feel better there are many options including chicken soup sent by the UCF Hillel (you don’t have to be Jewish to order). See our blog on general Care Packages for more ideas. Of course, I think chicken soup cures just about everything, but sometimes any soup will do when they are sick.

Need your student’s official dorm address? No matter what sort of package you are sending be sure to double-check the mailing address. Too many times we have heard of packages arriving, but never getting to the right recipient. At present, the country is watching closely in regard to the spread of the Coronavirus. UCF is constantly updating their protection plan. Finally, please make sure your student has filled out the legal forms should an emergency arise and you need to know what is going on.

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2020-09-29T11:56:11-04:002 Comments


  1. Susanne August 2, 2017 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    So my daughter called this morning feeling pretty miserable. She got an appointment at the health center in less than an hour. They told her that she has tonsilitis and an ear infection and quickly filled a prescription for her. She went to class to do her final presentation and then right back to her bed. The good news….I went on line to the UCF Hillel matzo-ball soup hotline and just as she arrived at her dorm, someone from Hillel delivered hot, delicious soup to her dorm. Hows that for turning a frown up-side-down?

    Thanks so much for having all this info in one place!

    • Tracey August 3, 2017 at 1:51 pm - Reply

      Thanks! We hope you will share this with other parents!

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