The Backpack: A news source for parents and families of students at Northern Arizona University Campus Health Services
Campus Health Services Campus Health Services
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Vol. 10 No. 12 | October 22, 2013

Parent to Parent

by Shannon Clark, Parent and Family Services Coordinator

Like you, I sometimes worry that my son is safe and healthy while he is away at college. College students are famous for taking risks while riding their longboards or snowboarding for example. Where can he go if he gets injured or seriously ill? How can the university help if he needs to miss classes or needs to find a medical specialist? You may feel helpless if you are not familiar with the resources available at the university or in the Flagstaff community.

The following article is the result of a parent request--asking that we share these resources and information with other parents. I hope you will find the article below useful. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please send me an e-mail and I will get back to you as soon as possible.


The Office of Student Life

What if your student is seriously ill or injured while a student at the university? Or even worse, they end up in the hospital?

First I'd like to assure you that our doctors, nurse practitioners, and other health care providers at Campus Health Services are excellent! Many of them are well-known in the community and have intentionally chosen to work with university students at Campus Health Services. Campus Health provides X-ray and lab services, a full pharmacy, urgent care medical, and crisis counseling appointments. In addition, Campus Health will provide appropriate community referrals if the matter is beyond the scope of their services. If it is an emergency, the Flagstaff Medical Center, only two miles from campus, is a state-designated Level I Trauma Center and is prepared to handle any medical emergency, 24/7.

When a student is seriously ill or injured we recommend that families or students, if they are able, give us a call at the Office of Student Life. We can walk you through the kinds of ways that we can help. For example we can:

  • Prepare a "missed class memo" that will inform your student's instructors of his or her absence and the anticipated date of return.
  • Provide any necessary referrals to Disability Resources to explore any temporary or permanent assistance your student may require.
  • Refer to and work with other departments at the university to address personal issues and needs.
  • In extraordinary situations, discuss medical withdrawal from classes.

If your student has not already, please ask him or her to grant you "Guardian Access" to their student records. The instructions on the website will walk your student through the sign up process in his or her Louie account. This will allow departments to speak directly to you about your student's records, including financial aid, student billing, and registration.

At the Office of Student Life, we will do everything we can to assist your student if they are seriously ill or injured while at the university.


Get More Z's to Get More A's

by Melissa Griffin, Health Promotion Manager, Campus Health Services

Is your student getting enough sleep? The likely answer is "no." With academic, social, and work demands, students often cut out sleep in order to make more time for other things especially around mid-terms and final exams. As busy as students are, it is important for them to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Getting adequate sleep will help students have more energy to tackle the stressors that often accompany college life. It will also help with academic performance and has been directly linked with better grades. Additionally, good sleep hygiene seems to be important in helping students maintain a healthy weight and manage their mood. Adequate sleep over the long run may even extend their lives.

You can help assist your student in getting their much-needed sleep by sharing these tips:

  1. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  2. Get regular exercise (but avoid vigorous exercise at night).
  3. Invest in a comfortable pillow and bedding.
  4. Consider using a sleep mask and/or ear plugs in shared living spaces.
  5. Avoid eating large meals at night.
  6. Avoid alcohol and tobacco before going to bed.
  7. Shut down the computer, TV, and all other electronic devices at least a half hour before going to sleep.
  8. Turn off the ringer on your cell phone before you go to sleep to avoid late night interruptions.
  9. Avoid procrastination in order to eliminate the need to "pull an all-nighter."

Midterm Moments

by Melody Hicks, MC, LPC

Students are now halfway through the semester and that means some midterm grades are coming to light. Parents may expect a son or daughter to do as well as they have in high school. There are some students who rise to the occasion, but other students struggle to find their way in their first semester with average results.

Here is what you can do to help your student:

  1. Don't overreact. Keep it in perspective.
  2. Talk with your student. It is a good time to discuss the details about how the semester and classes are going. Ask questions like: What is working? What is not working? What is your plan to get on track?
  3. Expectations. This is a great time to discuss or review expectations with your student as you may be on different sides of the fence. A student may be satisfied with his or her grade at this point while a parent may not. It's a great time to navigate through the expectations to avoid extra pressure for everyone.
  4. Adjustments. This may be time to make some shifts or adjustments. Does your student need to negotiate an Incomplete for a class, a lighter load for next semester or work with a tutor? Does he or she need to decrease work hours in order to focus more on school? What other resources on campus might help your student? Midway into the semester is a great time for parents and students to reflect on how the semester is going and what changes need to be made. If parents and students can focus less on the grades and more on the process, this can be a great time to talk, clarify, and move forward toward creating a successful semester.

Event Highlights

See a complete listing of university events on the official university calendar website. More Flagstaff event highlights can be seen at Flagstaff 365.