How To Be Health-Aware At Uni – Don’t Take Your Health For Granted!
Your bags are packed abd there’s excitement in the air. But don’t forget a few simple but important things to consider when starting out at uni; they can make all the difference if you need medical care.
Sign up to a GP
You’re registered in your home town, but it’s a good idea to register with a GP where you’ll be moving to. Chances are you’ll be spending more time at your uni residence than you will at your home town, so sign up. The last thing you want is to feel dreadful and have to trudge all the way back home to be seen by a GP.
Registering at a local practice is also important if you have a long term medical condition. This way the staff will have access to all your medical history and you can order repeat prescriptions more easily.
To register with most GPs you can sign up online, or pop in by person and fill out an application form. You will need to provide two forms of documentation as evidence of identity, one of which must contain a photograph. Acceptable documents can include student ID card, driving licences, passports, bank statements or utility bills.
Registration normally takes up to a week so do this in advance of needing to see a GP. To find a GP practice, click here and search for local ones near to you. GP practices tend to have location boundaries which they have to adhere to, so opting for the nearest one to where you’re living is a good bet to start with.
If you need to see a GP while back at home in the holiday times you can always register as a temporary resident to be seen.
Protect those milky whites
Equally, try to sign up with a local dentist. For the same reasons as registering with a local doctor, you’ll also need to register with a local dentist to ensure you’re seen in an emergency. To find a dentist practice close to you, click here.
With your new-found freedom, most students are likely to become sexually active during their university days, so make sure you practice safe sex.
Research the different types of contraception on offer to you and what suits you best. There are plenty to choose from: the pill, diaphragm, cervical cap, condoms – and so on and so forth. Look into what they do and which is your preference.
To have a coil fitted you’ll need to make an appointment with a GP to discuss your needs, whereas condoms can be purchased from any supermarket or pharmacy. If you’d rather go to a family planning clinic, find local services here.
Okay, nobody likes having a needle jabbed into their arm. But we have vaccines because we need them.
Meningococcal meningitis is a potentially fatal infectious disease which first year university students are at particular risk of. The best way to ensure you’re protected against this disease is by having the vaccine. It’s useful to know the signs and symptoms of meningitis so you know what to look out for. Speak to your GP for more information.
Mumps is another injection for which you may want to ask your doctor. There have been recent outbreaks of mumps among students and it’s easily spread. If you haven’t had your MMR vaccine and are worried, speak to your GP.
So settle into your student digs, find your bearings and get health aware. And remember: taking a few precautions now can mean peace of mind when and if you need to access health practices.