I Never Thought About My Son or Daughter Getting Sick at School

A Short Guide to Illness at Cornell College

The first time your student is sick away from home can be a difficult experience – for them and you. Your son or daughter suddenly realizes how much they depended on you for care – both physical and emotional. When you get that phone call, you realize how hard it is to be at a distance when they are feeling awful and wanting you. This guide will help you know what to do should your student become ill.

  1. Send your son or daughter to college with a basic first aid kit and make sure they know how to use the contents. Contents could include basic over-the-counter medications (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, pseudoephedrine, etc), antibiotic ointment, hydrocortisone cream, gauze, band-aids, and a thermometer. When you get that telephone call late at night, you will feel better if they have a thermometer and can tell you if they have a fever.
  2. Make sure your student knows about the Health Center. We are open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. , Monday through Friday. For after-hours care, a physician is on call. The Health Center voicemail (ext. 4292) will tell you how to contact them. For further information about our services go to: http://www.cornellcollege.edu/student-health/. While you are there, check out our popular on line e-nurse service.
  3. Discuss illness on the block plan with your son or daughter before they get sick. Getting sick can be a stressful event, even more so on the block plan. Getting health care immediately is important. Your student needs to know that they are doing everything they can to get well quickly.
  4. Encourage them to communicate with their professor when they are ill. Professors will be more understanding if they know what is going on.
  5. Know what your insurance coverage is in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, before your student needs to use your insurance. HMO’s and PPO’s can make insurance extremely complicated. Dealing with insurance coverage issues are not fun at anytime, but when your student is sick, it’s the last thing you want to be doing.  Please make sure your student has a copy of their insurance card with them when they come to school!  You'll likely need to contact your insurance company to ask for another card.  
  6. Reinforce good health habits. A healthy immune system will be able to fight off illness much better than a weak immune system. Encourage healthy eating, plenty of sleep, good hand washing, and regular exercise.  Flu shots are offered each fall at the Health Center.
  7. Last, but not least, encourage your student to use the Health Center. We want to help your student and can provide a great service for them. We’re a friendly Health Center with kind staff. We think both you and your student will be glad they stopped by.