Frequently Asked Questions

Is your question not answered on this page?

  • Call 785.532.6595
  • Stop by the Health Promotion office (Lafene Health Center—Room 268)
  • E-mail your question to healthy@k-state.edu

The healthyKSU listserv, through Lafene Health Center, is for students, faculty, and staff who would like to receive health tips and notices for the K-State community. Subscribe by sending an email to healthy@k-state.edu.

Asthma

I have asthma and need information.

Take the Asthma Control Test and see how well your symptoms are currently controlled. Then, check out these resources for information about asthma, its treatment, and how to use and maintain your equipment to improve your breathing. Also, print the Asthma Action Plan [pdf] and it to Lafene for your first medical appointment to learn how to better control your asthma.

What about allergies--do you have information about managing them?

Additional resources about allergies and how to control them are listed. Lafene's Allergy Clinic provides services for students requiring allergy immunotherapy.

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Exercise

What services are available if I get injured at the Rec?

There are athletic trainers available at K-State Recreational Services to assess your injury and provide immediate first aid and recommend follow-up treatment.

What about sports injuries?

The Sports Medicine Clinic provides evaluation and treatment of sports related injuries, to include information and advice on fitness, injury prevention, and health effects of exercise. Appointments may be made by calling 785.532.6544.

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Health Insurance

Is there health insurance available at K-State?

The Kansas Board of Regents offers student health insurance through a Student Health Insurance Plan.

Health care services can be costly, often accruing medical care bills quickly. As a student at K-State, a student health fee is included in your tuition each semester. The Student Health Fee allows the student to see a healthcare provider at Lafene Health Center free of charge. This fee also entitles access to all services provided at the Health Center.

Students needing ancillary (other) services or procedures such as laboratory tests, x-rays, physical therapy treatments, medications or medical supplies will be assessed a charge, customarily much less than you would have to pay in the general community. There will be a charge for physical exams for employment, etc. which require forms and/or letters to be completed by a provider. Charges incurred at Lafene Health Center are the responsibility of the student. Any question concerning the cost of a procedure or service should be directed to the Business Office.

The health center is not open at night. Also, persons with life threatening emergencies cannot be treated at the health center. For these situations, students are directed to call 911 or Mercy Health Center—785.776.3322.

See the Health Insurance Information internet resources.

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Immunizations

What immunizations are K-State students required to have?

Kansas Board of Regents policy, effective starting the fall semester of 2006, requires all incoming students residing in university housing at a Regent's institution be vaccinated for meningitis or sign a waiver declining the vaccination.

The Centers for Disease Control and American College Health Association recommend that you consider several immunizations or screenings before entering college. (Tuberculosis screening is required for all students who have lived in a "high risk" foreign country for over 3 months before enrollment at K-State is allowed.) These vaccinations/tests can be obtained from your local physician, health department or Lafene Health Center (call 785.532.6544 for an appointment). Follow these links for more information about immunizations and other health policies for students attending K-State.

What if I haven't kept up-to-date in receiving my vaccinations?

Lafene's Allergy and Immunization Clinic can help you get up-to-date with your immunizations. Call 785.532.6544 to schedule a consult and develop a plan for obtaining missed vaccinations.

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Influenza

What is influenza?

Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.

    Symptoms of seasonal flu include:
  • Fever greater than 100 degrees
  • Body aches
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Respiratory congestion
  • Headache
  • In some cases, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting

CDC resources:
Action Steps for Students, Faculty, and Staff to Prevent the Spread of Flu

How can I prevent the spread of flu to others?

Flu is spread through respiratory droplets that are coughed or sneezed into the air. It may also be spread by virus that remains on hands after coughing or sneezing that gets spread to others through common use items such as phones, doorknobs, desks and keyboards.

  • If you are sick, stay home to avoid spreading illness to coworkers and friends. DO NOT go to class, dining halls or any social gatherings.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue and properly dispose of used tissues.
  • Clean hands after using tissues with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and warm water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay healthy by eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water and getting adequate rest and exercise.

CDC resources:
Prevention & Treatment
Contamination & Cleaning

Where should I go if I feel ill with flu-like symptoms?
  • Take your temperature.
    • Check your temperature - http://firstaid.webmd.com/body-temperature
    • If you have a fever of 100°F or above and other symptoms (as above), take an over the counter (OTC) medicine to help reduce the fever and make you feel better.
  • Stay home! DO NOT go to class, dining halls or any social gatherings. Isolate yourself.
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Drink lots of fluids
  • Eat light meals
  • If you are a K-State student, contact your RA (if you live in a residence hall) or the Office of Student Life at 785.532.6432 so arrangements can be made to assist you.
What are the emergency warning signs?

From the CDC (www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/sick.htm#3)

In children

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

In adults

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting

If these signs develop, seek medical care right away.

What should I do if I am ill and can't attend my classes?

Students should call the Office of Student Life at 785.532.6432 or your college's dean's office for assistance in notifying your professors and information about working with them to make up missed work.

What supplies should I have in case I get sick?
    It is a good idea to keep a few simple medical supplies available:
  • Thermometer (a reliable, digital one is best)
  • Over the counter medicine such as:
    • Tylenol® (acetaminophen)
    • Advil® (ibuprofen)
    • Aleve® (naproxen)
  • Fluids such as water, juice and decaffeinated tea
  • Tissues
  • Hand sanitizer

CDC Interim Guidance for Novel H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu):
Caring for Someone Sick at Home

When can I go back to class or work?

Once your temperature stays in normal range (96°- 99°F) for 24 hours without using fever reducing medicine.

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Medications

Can I get prescriptions and over-the-counter medications at Lafene?

Yes, Lafene's full-service Pharmacy provides drug information, fills prescriptions and offers prescribed and non-prescription medications for purchase. You can transfer an existing prescription to the pharmacy, too. Most medications are offered at or near cost and claims for prescription drugs can be filed with most insurance companies at the time of service. If you have prescription drug insurance, don't forget to bring your card with you. If the Pharmacy is not provided with current, accurate insurance information at the time of service, insurance filing becomes the patient's responsibility. The pharmacy receipt given with your prescription may be used in self-filing for all insurance carriers.

What if I can't afford my medications?

Many pharmaceutical companies offer patient medication assistance programs to help people afford necessary medications. Ask your health care provider if the medication you are using might qualify under one of these programs. The company will require that you complete a form so they can determine eligibility. Some of the pharmaceutical companies are listed with links to their specific program information.

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Nutrition

How can I avoid gaining weight at college?

A change in lifestyle may involve an increased risk for weight gain. By recognizing unhealthy habits early in your college career, you can take action to prevent major weight changes. The American Dietetic Association links college weight gain to "all-you-can-eat dining facilities, evening snacks, empty-calorie food choices and recent dieting experiences." Some guidelines are:

  • Watch the "all you can eat" syndrome and think about "balance". Look for fewer high fat entrees and desserts. If you choose a high-fat food, balance it with a low-fat item, such as vegetables, salad with low-fat dressing, fresh fruit.
  • Learn to manage time. Avoid skipping meals and plan ahead for healthy eating on the go..
  • Don't let alcohol calories do you in. Alcohol contains excess calories which can quickly add up to excess pounds.
  • Keep physically active.
  • Seek advice from campus resources. Lafene Health Center offers nutrition counseling and information on healthy weight management.
  • Don't take weight maintenance to an extreme. Aim for fitness and balanced eating, not fad diets obsession over food intake and/or exercise..
  • Stock up on healthy snacks: fruit, popcorn, veggies, low-fat dairy, nuts.
  • Be aware of proper portions—avoid "super-sizing" it!

If you have further questions, read about Lafene's Nutritional Counseling and/or call 785.532.6544 to schedule an appointment with a registered dietitian.

I love all the choices in the dining hall but I know I'll gain weight...what can I do when there are so many great foods to try?

Remember, you don't have to try everything at once...it will be served again. Enjoy the entire dining experience which includes socializing with friends. Take your time and be mindful of what you eat.

      Some suggestions from the
American Dietetic Association
    include:
  • Try one new food each night or each week.
  • Limit your meal to one plate of food with reasonable portions.
  • Aim for foods from each food group .
  • Eat a piece of fruit before going to dinner.
  • Stop when you are full.

If you need additional information, contact Lafene at 785.532.6544 and schedule an appointment with a registered dietitian.

How do I know if my calorie intake is appropriate for the amount of activity or exercise I put in?

The amount of fuel (or calories) you need each day depends on your age, sex, size, and how physically active you are. An estimate of your daily needs may be found at www.MyPlate.gov.

For a more specific, individualized assessment of your energy and nutrient needs, call 785.532.6544 to schedule an appointment with a registered dietitian.

How much caffeine is too much?

Most health experts recommend using common sense and moderation when consuming caffeine. Most health organizations define moderate as no more than 300 milligrams or the equivalent of three cups of coffee per day. More importantly, you should not replace your daily water intake with caffeinated beverages. Caffeine is not addictive in the same way as nicotine and alcohol but it can cause you to experience side effects if you are used to large quantities and then stop consuming it. Side effects may include headaches, irregular heart beats, trembling, fatigue and mood changes. Withdrawal from caffeine should be gradual.

What is S.N.A.C and how do I schedule a S.N.A.C. program?

S.N.A.C. stands for Sensible Nutrition And body image Choices. This peer educator group presents information to campus groups about healthy eating strategies and body image. Call Health Promotion at 785.532.6595 or e-mail snac@k-state.edu to request a presentation.

How can I become a peer educator in S.N.A.C.?

Currently, peer educators are recruited from the K-State Dietetics, Kinesiology and Human Nutrition degree programs. However, other interested students are welcome to apply to become a SNAC peer educator. An application is available by calling or stopping by the Health Promotion department at Lafene (Room 268, 785.532.6595) or call Dianna Schalles (785.532.5240) if you have questions.

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Quitting Smoking
How can I get help to stop smoking?

Become a "K.I.S.S."er—a K-Stater Inspired to Stop Smoking. Lafene Health Center can help you quit smoking. Assistance is provided through one-on-one sessions, e-mail/phone support, and support groups as desired. E-mail kiss@k-state.edu for information. Check out what the benefits are to stopping smoking and use online and other resources to help you quit smoking.

What drugs are available to help me stop smoking and are they available at Lafene?

Lafene stocks nicotine replacement therapy such as Nicotine gum, Nicotine patch and the Nicotine inhaler. There is also a Nicotine nasal spray; however, it is not available through the Lafene pharmacy. The pharmacy also has bupropion (Zyban) on hand. A pharmacist can answer your questions regarding cost. Some over-the-counter therapies may be purchased at local pharmacies as well. Your Lafene healthcare provider can discuss appropriate options and therapies with you. Make an appointment by calling 785.532.6544.

What hints do you have to help me get started in the quit process?
Get Inspired to Stop Smoking!! Check out the K.I.S.S. website.
  1. Make a decision to quit. It has to be YOUR decision, not someone else's or for someone. Only if quitting is your choice will you be able to find the desire and commitment required to stick with it.
  2. "Pick a day to save your life!" Set a date, mark the calendar. Commit. Try to avoid high stress times so you don't sabotage your success.
  3. Tell everyone. Ask for support. Get people involved with your process. Not only can they help you through difficult days but they can help you stay accountable…to yourself.
  4. Find out what quit method is best for you. Lafene can help. Call 785.532.6595 to set up an appointment or e-mail kiss@k-state.edu.
  5. Be prepared…The first week is the hardest. Stay committed. Use your resources.

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Sexual Health

What does abstinence mean?

Abstinence is the Voluntary refraining from indulgence of an appetite or craving..restraint of one's appetites or desires. In the case of sexual abstinence, it is the absence of sexual activity. In other words, no sexual activity!

What are the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) on campus?
Where can I go to get tested for STDs?

Lafene offers STD testing (including HIV) and counseling for both men and women. Women can obtain testing through the Women's Clinic and men through the General Clinic. Appointments may be made by calling 785.532.6544.

What are the specific tests for STDs?
      Each STD that can be tested for has its own test. The following STD screenings (testing) can be done at Lafene:
    • Gonorrhea
    • Chlamydia
    • Syphilis
    • HIV
    • Hepatitis B
    • Hepatitis C
    • Trichomoniasis

NOTE: There is not one "STD TEST" but individual tests for certain STDs as listed above. Not all STDs have a screening test. Why is it important to use a latex condom?

Latex is the least likely to allow microscopic organisms (sperm, bacteria, viruses) to pass through.
All About CondomsAmerican Social Health Association (ASHA).

Do condoms prevent you from being infected by all sexually transmitted diseases?

"When used consistently and correctly, male latex condoms are effective in preventing the sexual transmission of HIV infection and can reduce the risk for other STDs (i.e., gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomonas). However, because condoms do not cover all exposed areas, they are likely to be more effective in preventing infections transmitted by fluids from mucosal surfaces (e.g., gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and HIV) than in preventing those transmitted by skin-to-skin contact (e.g., herpes simplex virus [HSV], HPV, syphilis, and chancroid)." Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines 2010.

What is a PAP test and does a PAP test include testing for STDs?

A PAP test is a simple and relatively painless test that obtains cells from a woman's cervix and a certified cytotechnologist evaluates the cells for abnormalities which may be indicative of cervical cancer. STD testing involves a variety of laboratory tests, depending on which disease is suspected, and is done to determine the presence of sexually transmitted disease.

How do I schedule a S.H.A.P.E. Program?

S.H.A.P.E. Stands for Sexual Health Awareness Peer Educators. Check out the S.H.A.P.E. website for more information. Call Health Promotion at 785.532.6595 or e-mail shape@k-state.edu to request a presentation that meets your scheduling needs.

How can I become a peer educator in S.H.A.P.E.?

S.H.A.P.E. is a campus organization and has an open membership policy. Students may volunteer with the group. S.H.A.P.E. is also a course worth three University General Education (UGE) or K-State 8 credits. In addition to becoming a peer educator, members gain leadership experience, improve public speaking skills, & inform peers about being safer. New classes begin each semester. Candidates are required to complete an application process. Interested students should contact the Health Promotion department at Lafene Health Center at 785.532.6595 or e-mail shape@k-state.edu.

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Tuberculosis and TB Testing
Why are International students from high-risk countries the only ones required to be tested for Tuberculosis (TB)?

According to the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control, active TB disease can be prevented if screening is provided for those at high risk. What makes a country "high-risk" are the numbers of cases of active TB disease in the population. Coughing is the primary means of transmission through germs in air droplets. It has the potential to be very contagious.

Testing for TB is required of several other groups. Annual TB testing is required for some U.S. health care workers and encouraged for all those persons working with at risk patients. All persons who spend or have spent more than 3 months in a high-risk country must also be tested. These groups, in addition to international students from high-risk countries, are at higher risk for TB than most K-State students.

Are there other American universities that require TB testing?

Most of the universities in the Big 12 Conference require TB testing of International Students from high-risk countries. These include: University of Colorado, Texas A & M, Baylor University, Iowa State University, University of Nebraska, University of Missouri, and Oklahoma State University. There is currently a nationwide trend to implement mandatory TB testing of international students from high-risk countries.

If I have a positive test, does it jeopardize my ability to enroll in K-State? Will I have to return to my country?

You can enroll in courses at K-State even if your TB test is positive. If you have a positive test, you will be required to get a chest x-ray to determine if you have active TB disease. (Persons receiving chest x-rays will be assessed a charge, customarily much less than you would have to pay in the general community.) Prophylactic medication to prevent active TB disease will be provided free of charge if you choose to be treated.

Upon completion of required testing, you will be able to enroll in K-State courses.

What if I have active TB disease? Will I have to leave the United States?

Returning to your home country would be an option for you if you have active TB disease.

TB treatment is available here in Manhattan. The Riley County Health Department and your Lafene Health care provider would monitor your care according to guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control.

What are the symptoms of active TB disease?

Please see the TB Internet Resource List for detailed information regarding testing, treatment, and active TB disease.

May I submit a TB test result/report from my home country?

Testing must be done in the USA. Test results from outside the United States will not be accepted. If you are tested in the United States prior to arriving at Kansas State University, bring the test results to Lafene Health Center as soon as you arrive at K-State.

Does health insurance cover the cost of treatment for testing and active TB disease?

Yes, most health insurance will cover costs according to the coverage outlined in the policy. Percentage of coverage will most likely vary between insurance companies.

At Kansas State University—Lafene Health Center, the TB test and the chest x-ray are charged services. Call the Business Office for the current cost. Prophylactic drug therapy is free provided by Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Drugs required to treat active TB disease are free—provided by Kansas Department of Health and Environment. (If the TB test is positive and the chest x-ray is abnormal, the cost of differentiating TB from other diseases such as cancer can amount to many thousands of dollars.)

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lafene@k-state.edu