HealthyLife® Students' Self-Care Guide

Section I–Common Health Problems

  Table of Contents 


Introduction

You are at a time in your life when you need to make a lot of decisions: Decisions on career choices, future plans and goals, etc. You need to make decisions to take care of your health, too. Knowing what to do can be confusing. You may not have had many health problems in the past, and when you did, your parents probably took care of you. You need to fend for yourself now. This guide can help. It contains 3 sections. The first one addresses 20 common health problems. The second section covers issues that deal with keeping you safe while keeping you healthy. The third section presents information on lifestyle issues. Like a roommate or a friend, this self-care guide can come to your aid when you need it. It may even save your life!

Section I –Common Health Problems

How to Use This Section

Find the health problem in Section I of the table of contents and go to that page. The problems are listed in order from A to Z.
Read about the problem, what causes it (if known), its symptoms, and treatments.
Scrutinize the “Questions to Ask.”Start at the top of the flow chart and answer YES or NO to each question.

Be open and honest when you talk to a health care provider.

Follow the arrows in the flowchart until you get to one of these answers:

See Provider Illustration

Get Immediate Care
You should get help immediately. If symptoms threaten life, go to a hospital emergency department, if you can do so quickly and safely. If not, call 9-1-1 or your local rescue squad. Symptoms that threaten life include:

No breathing and/or pulse
Unconsciousness
Difficulty breathing
Severe bleeding
Head or neck injury
Suicidal or homicidal intent
Choking

For symptoms that don’t threaten life, immediate care means seeing your health care provider or going to an urgent care center right away. If your school has a health service center, find out where it is and when it is open. Find out where to go for urgent care, both on and off campus. Make sure you know phone numbers for these places and write them on  Telephone Numbers & Information Form .

Find out, now, how your health insurance covers medical emergencies when you are in the state you live in, when you are out of state, and even out of the country. Then you’ll know what to do if something occurs. You may need to get additional insurance when you travel or study abroad.
See Provider Illustration

See Provider
Call your health care provider. State the problem(s) so it can be determined how soon you need to be seen. The term “provider”can be used for a number of health care providers. They include:

Your primary doctor, physician’s assistant (P.A.), nurse practitioner (N.P.), etc.
Doctors, registered nurses, and counselors at your school’s Health Service or Mental Health Service
Walk-in clinic health care providers
Call Provider Illustration Call Provider
Call your health care provider and state the problem. You will be given advice on what to do.
Use Self-Care Illustration Use Self-Care
You can probably take care of the problem yourself if you answered NO to all questions in the flowcharts. Use the self-care items that are listed, but call your health care provider if you don’t feel better soon. You may have some other problem.
To learn more about topics covered in this guide and other health issues go to: www.healthfinder.gov .  At this site, enter your topic in the Search box.  You can also visit the Health Library and find targeted information based upon age, race, and sex.

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March 21, 2007