Before graduating high school, your parents may have helped you manage your medical care. But once you’re living away from home, it’s important you understand your medical history and health needs so you can properly manage your own care.
“As early as possible, develop a wellness plan,” says Roberts. “This looks like a written document of current medications, allergies and contact numbers of providers. It can also list who to call for specific concerns. Talk with your primary specialist about how things such as medications, follow-up visits, labs and other concerns will be handled now that you are 1) over 18, because now that you are an adult, your health team cannot speak as freely with your parents as we used to and 2) the logistics of moving away from your home medical time.”
You should also understand who to call for medical concerns. “Students can advocate for themselves before leaving for college by asking their provider about which symptoms warrant a call to them versus a specialist or even the emergency room in an emergency,” says Roberts. “Also, they should ask about the one or two things that the provider feels are super important for people caring for them to know. Then, the student should add this information to their wellness plan and keep it close by in their mobile device.”