when to seek professional help

Good health is a valuable asset and should be carefully guarded. The Baird Health & Counseling Center can be a partner in helping you maintain or improve your physical and psychological health so that you can function at your highest level of wellness. There are times, however, when illness strikes and it is important to know when to seek professional help.

The most common ailment seen at BHCC is respiratory illness. Most of the time a common cold will resolve in 7 to 10 days with rest, extra fluids and patience. Antibiotics do not help and can contribute to the very serious problem of antibacterial resistance. But how do you know if you have more than a cold? If you get "stuck" in one phase of a cold, where a symptom keeps getting worse instead of gradually improving, seek professional help. You'll want to make sure that a cold hasn't become complicated by a bacterial infection that might require antibiotics. If you have any of the following symptoms, call BHCC at x3621 for an appointment.

  • temperature over 101 degrees F for more than 48 hours
  • a cough associated with pain in your chest
  • shortness of breath (which is different from a stuffy nose)
  • a persistent sore throat or an extremely red throat
  • a severe headache with a fever
  • worsening pain in one or both ears
  • any chronic medical condition, such as asthma or diabetes, which may complicate a cold
  • if there is no improvement in 7 days
  • persistent vomiting
  • inability to maintain adequate hydration due to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or severe pain w/ swallowing
  • difficulty thinking clearly
  • severe stiff neck
  • unusual rash

The staff at Baird Health & Counseling Center can assess and treat the vast majority of illnesses and injuries that student's experience and can advise you on the best steps to take to feel better. Laboratory services are available as well as prescription medication. Occasionally the emergency departments at either New London Hospital or Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center are necessary for serious illness or injury.

Here are other important symptoms that need to be assessed by health care professionals:

  • feelings of sadness or irritablilty that last for two weeks or more
  • loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
  • changes in weight or appetite
  • changes in sleeping pattern
  • feeling guilty, hopeless, or worthless
  • inability to concentrate, remember things or make decisions
  • fatigue or loss of energy
  • restlessness or decreased activity
  • thoughts of death or suicide
  • uncontrollable feelings of panic or worry

The staff at Baird offers screening and counseling for students who need to work through problems in a safe place with professionals they can trust. Asking for help is itself a sign of health.