I’m sick…It’s bound to happen. At some point, the phone will buzz and your independent college student will cry “I don’t feel well.” Hopefully, their illness will be a result of their new-found independence that includes lack of sleep, exercise, stress, an unhealthy diet and hygiene habits that don’t embrace enough hand-washing and can be cured quickly and easily.
I sent my daughter to college with a “things you may need that Mom thought of just in case” box, just in case you get sick. Inside were a thermometer; vitamins, the medicines for a cold; sinus infection; stomach ache and other common ailments. Sometimes they need care beyond your box. The University of Miami Health System has been recognized as one of the best hospitals in Florida. With leading-edge patient care by the region’s best doctors, powered by the groundbreaking research and medical education of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. As South Florida’s only university system, UHealth is a vital component of the community. Walgreens, located inside of the Student Health Center is the contracted pharmacy for UM.
Students who have paid the Health and Counseling Centers Fee or the Medical Student Coral Gables Health Fee are eligible to receive care at the Student Health Service and Counseling Center. You are NOT required to have the University sponsored health insurance plan in order to utilize the services of the Student Health Service. Many services are provided at no charge and charges for other services can be submitted for payment to most insurance companies.
There is nothing worse than calling to find out how your sick or injured student is and being told the doctor is not authorized to talk with you. Click here for consent for treatment for a minor. If your student is older than 18 (and most college students are) expect that medical records will be kept confidential and released only with your students’ written consent or in response to court-ordered subpoenas. It is important to discuss these issues with your student prior to beginning college away from home.
To access all of the UM Health student resources click here.
If the health center on campus is inconvenient due the hours or long wait times, there are alternatives. CVS and Walgreens near campus both have clinics for minor illnesses. Have a discussion before dropping them off at college with an emergency plan. This should include having your student’s roommate or friends phone number, especially if they are accompanying them to the ER. I had my daughter add a phone contact titled ICE (In Case of Emergency) in the event she was unable to communicate. You can add that info whether you have an iPhone or Android. For instructions, click here. Have them enter in their Medical ID information. This information allows medical personnel to access even on a locked phone and includes allergies, emergency contact information, and other crucial information.
Be sure your student has a copy of their insurance card. If you want to send a care package to make your student feel better, there are options including chicken soup that can be delivered directly to your student from Chabad Jewish Student & Community Center at UM (you don’t have to be Jewish to order). See our blog on Care Packages for more ideas.
And finally, remind your student to notify their professor if they will be legitimately missing class and unable to complete coursework. Including a doctor’s note is sometimes mandatory. UM students who are seen by a doctor at the Student Health Care Center and who will not be able to attend class or take an exam may be able to get an excuse note. You can find that information here.
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