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Preparing for College

Heading to College- Come Prepared!

Getting ready to start college is an exciting and busy time for students and their families.  There is much to do to get ready- transcripts, financial aid, attending orientation, registering for classes, possibly moving into the dormitory............In trying to get everything accomplished it is also important that students prepare for their health needs while attending college.  No one plans to become ill while at college but unfortunately college students are not immune from illness and being prepared can help them manage illness much easier when it occurs.

All students are strongly encouraged to have health insurance coverage while attending college. Students who do not already have coverage may purchase a student insurance plan that is contracted through the Tennessee Board of Regents.  Information on the plan and its coverage is available at

While at Austin Peay, students have access to A.R. Boyd Health Services to assist them with staying healthy.  Health Services is staffed by physicians and family nurse practitioners, a pharmacist, and nurses and is able to meet most of the health needs a student will experience while attending college.  Please see our website for complete information regarding A.R. Boyd Health Services at

Helpful things to know when visiting Health Services (or any medical provider):

  • Be familiar with your health history. Talk with your parents/guardians about any chronic illnesses you may have or any major past illnesses, surgeries, hospitalizations, or accidents
  • Have a list of any medications you are currently taking
  • Have a list of any medications you are allergic to
  • Have the name and number of your primary care provider
  • Know the date of your last tetanus vaccine
  • Whether you are covered by health insurance and how to obtain information about your benefits (Always carry your insurance card.)
  • Students ages 18 and over must sign a release of information giving Health Services staff permission to speak with the student’s parents/guardians about their care, except in emergency situations.  In cases of an emergency, the student’s parents, guardians or emergency contacts will be notified.

It is a good idea for students to bring a basic health care kit with them when moving away from home and into a dormitory or apartment.  Having basic care items will help the student be more comfortable until he/she can visit the Health Services clinic or regular health care provider.  Below is a list of suggested items to include:

  • Thermometer
  • Pain reliever/fever reducer ( acetaminophen, ibuprofen)
  • Decongestant (Sudafed)
  • Cough medication (Delsym, Robitussin)
  • Throat lozenges
  • Anti-diarrheal/upset stomach relief (Imodium, Pepto-Bismol)
  • Allergy medicine (Benadryl, Zyrtec, Claritin)
  • Heating pad
  • Band-aids
  • Antiseptic (hydrogen peroxide)
  • Antibacterial ointment (Bacitracin, Neosporin)
  • Calamine lotion
  • Tweezers
  • Tissues
  • Health insurance card
  • Ice pack
  • Any prescription medications you are taking
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Stomach friendly snacks and liquids in case the stomach bug strikes (saltine crackers, pretzels, jello, sprite, ginger ale, Gatorade)

Health Services welcomes you and hopes you have a wonderful experience in college at Austin Peay.  Remember we are here to help you stay healthy so you can be successful in college. Please contact our office if we may be of any assistance.

A.R. Boyd Health Services

Ellington, Room 104

931-221-7107 or fax 931-221-7388