As providers at the UA Campus Health Service (CHS), we realize that parents continue to play an important role in ensuring that their college-aged children obtain good quality health care. We at Campus Health strive to act as partners with our patients and their parents in that endeavor. As parents, here are some ways you can help:
- DO provide us with information about your child's health. Help your child obtain medical records from providers back home prior to their first visit with us--this is extremely important. That being said, you do not need to send your child's medical records to us unless your child is making an appointment to see a provider here. In some cases, a combined patient/parent visit or a telephone conversation with a CHS provider is useful to make sure the picture is complete. Realize that HIPAA laws require your son/daughter's verbal permission to discuss any health concerns with you if he/she is over 18.
- DO assist your child in navigating insurance coverage issues and make sure they have an insurance card on hand. They may need you to check on whether there are restrictions in prescription coverage, lab/x-rays, referrals to specialists, etc. Insurance coverage questions can be confusing to all of us, including providers, so please help us when you can.
- DO encourage your child to review our CHS website when they have questions about their health. We have a staff of excellent health educators who have addressed many of the more common questions they hear from students on our website at www.health.arizona.edu.
- DO advise your child to self-treat viral upper respiratory symptoms at home with over the counter medicines at first, when possible. Upper respiratory infection/sore throat is one of the most common complaints that we see at CHS. The vast majority of these infections are viral and most of the time prescription meds are not necessary. If your child has been sick for less than a week, has no underlying illness such as active asthma or diabetes, and has no complicating features (e.g. fever, chest pain, trouble swallowing), please encourage your child to rest, drink plenty of fluids, and allow his/her immune system to fight off the virus. Most viral upper respiratory infections will resolve in about 10 days.
- When your child is sick with an upper respiratory infection, please DON’T tell your child to "go in to CHS and get an antibiotic." And please, if you are a health care provider yourself, DON'T prescribe an antibiotic for your child over the phone! The CDC estimates that at least half of all antibiotic prescriptions given to outpatients for respiratory infections are unnecessary. Inappropriate antibiotic prescribing has led to dangerous antibiotic resistance patterns. We have cases every year of patients who have been given antibiotics inappropriately for mono or bronchitis (both of which are viral) and have had adverse reactions to those antibiotics. When a patient or parent demands an antibiotic when it is not indicated, it puts health care providers on the defensive and makes it more difficult to deliver what we know to be the best quality care.
- DON'T hesitate to let us know if you think something might have been overlooked during your child's visit to CHS or if your child is getting worse (again, we will need verbal permission from your child to speak with you). The best way to address concerns is directly with the provider that your child saw at CHS, or by having your child come back in to CHS to be re-evaluated. Remember, we are partners in your student’s health care. Our goal is the same as yours--to make sure your child gets the best quality care which we know we can provide at CHS.