University Health Service (UHS)
When Your Student is Sick – UHS Can Help!
We know it can be difficult for parents when their son or daughter is sick and away from home. The University Health Service (UHS) staff members are here to help your child receive the care and attention they need to help them through their illness. All of the UHS staff members have extensive experience caring for college students. They understand the stresses students have while at school. In addition, many of our staff members have or have had children in college. They experience the same concerns as you when their children are sick and away from home.
Please consider the University Health Service as your son/daughter's doctor's office on campus. Care is provided by our excellent staff of physicians, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses. Every student is assigned a primary care provider (PCP) at UHS. We encourage students to schedule appointments with their PCP whenever possible. Visits with the health care professionals at UHS are covered by the mandatory health fee, regardless of the student's insurance plan. If a student needs a lab test or procedure done during the visit to UHS, we will bill the charge to the student's insurance plan.
Here are some of the ways UHS can be helpful when your student is sick:
(With illnesses such as mono, the flu, bronchitis, or chicken pox or with recovery from surgery)
- Getting to UHS: One of the first challenges for a sick student might be getting to UHS for an appointment. Most students can walk to our office from their residence hall. Our main office is conveniently located in the UHS Building, which is next to the Susan B. Anthony Residence Hall. Students who due to illness or injury need assistance getting to UHS can call UHS at 585-275-2662 to ask for transportation to UHS. Our Nurse Manager will arrange for a ride with Public Safety. Students who need to go from one campus to another can travel on the UR shuttle bus.
- Assuring confidentiality: Visits to the University Health Service are confidential, which means we will not share information about a student's visit with others, including their parents, unless the student has given permission. Students can choose to give permission or not. Parents often call to ask about the care their student is receiving. If we have a student's permission, we can share information about the care and treatment for that specific illness. If we do not have a student's permission, we can speak with parents about our normal operation and procedures for that type of illness until we have the student's permission. There are two exceptions to this policy. If a student's condition is serious and the student is unable to assume responsibility for informing others, we will share information with others as necessary. The other exception is for students under age 18.
If a student is under age 18, we are required by law to notify parents and obtain consent before providing treatment.
- Purchasing medications: We have over-the-counter medications and antibiotics that might be prescribed for an illness. Students who are seen at UHS can purchase their medications at our office. We will bill the charge to the student's tuition billing statement if the student is not enrolled in the Aetna Student Health insurance plan. Students with an insurance plan may prefer to go to a local pharmacy to fill their prescription. Our providers can write a prescription for this purpose. Two pharmacies (CVS and the Strong Memorial Hospital Employee Pharmacy) are located within walking distance. Students can also take the UR shuttle bus to these locations. Please remember that antibiotics are not appropriate for viral illnesses (e.g., mono, flu).
- Receiving follow-up care: The UHS care provider taking care of your son/daughter will share information about the expected course of the illness and encourage the student to call UHS if not feeling better as expected. Students can be seen daily at UHS, if needed. Before a student leaves UHS, we review our hours with them and explain what to do when UHS is closed. We always have a physician on-call and available by phone (585-275-2662) for urgent concerns that cannot wait until our offices re-open.
- Receiving IV fluids: We can administer IV fluids if needed to counteract dehydration. Students needing IV fluids can stay in the UHS boarding room for the day and evening, if necessary. UHS is open from 8:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. weekdays, 8:00-5:00 on Fridays, 9:00-5:00 on Saturdays, and 1:00-6:00 on Sundays.
- Staying in bed: For severe and/or highly infectious illnesses, students may be told to stay out of class for a period of time. Students with flu-like symptoms and a fever will be asked to stay in their rooms until they have been without a fever for 24 hours. We give thermometers to students and encourage them to keep track of their temperature.
- Getting meals: We encourage students who feel too sick to leave their rooms to get their meals to ask their roommate and/or their RA to help with getting food from Dining Services. UHS has a limited amount of food supplies and may send students back to their room with Ginger Ale, orange juice, apple juice, and crackers. You might suggest your student have a small supply of these items (plus soup, tea, and water) in the room to be prepared if s/he gets sick.
- Missing classes: Sometimes students need to miss class due to illness. We encourage students to contact their professors by e-mail or phone. We will provide documentation of a student's visit and restrictions, if any, for students who receive care at UHS. Students can share this documentation with their professors. In more severe cases when a student needs to go home to recuperate, we can help arrange for a medical leave.
- Going home: Some students whose parents live relatively close to Rochester prefer to go home for a few days. Another option that has worked for some families is for the parent or parents to come to Rochester and stay in a nearby hotel to give the student some time away from campus to rest and have the family support. The Staybridge Hotel across the river from campus and the hotel in Collegetown are an ideal location for this option. We will support whatever decision the student and parent make.
The staff members at the University Health Service provide excellent care for students. If your son or daughter is sick, please encourage them to call UHS (585-275-2662) to schedule an appointment to be seen by one of our health care providers. Our office in the UHS Building on the River Campus is open 7 days a week during the academic year and weekdays during vacations and summers. We are here to help your student stay healthy or return to health if sick.
If you have questions about the care and services UHS provides students, please check our web site (www.rochester.edu/uhs), e-mail us (firstname.lastname@example.org), or call us (585-273-5770). We want to answer any questions you may have.
Mary Madsen, RN, UHS Nurse Manager
Linda Dudman, Associate Director, Health Promotion