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Health & Wellness Services Division of Student Affairs

Get your meningitis B vaccination!

Meningitis is a rare but serious illness, with a high risk for young adults – especially those under 25 who live in close quarters with others, like residence halls or Greek housing.

By college, most students have received a standard 4-strain meningitis vaccine. For full protection, we strongly recommend you also get a meningitis type B vaccine.

For meningitis B, we currently offer BEXSERO, a two-dose vaccine. You’ll need to wait at least a month after getting the first dose to come in for your second, but you can get the second dose any time after that. BEXSERO is approved for use in individuals 10 through 25 years of age.

You can see a full list of the immunizations we offer on our services page or give us a call for details at 509-335-3575.

Violence prevention toolkit for faculty & staff

Violence prevention toolkit for faculty & staff

As faculty and staff, we’re in a unique position to shape the climate of the university. We typically stay in the area and at the university longer, and many of us are in frequent contact with students.

When it comes to violence prevention, there are many ways faculty and staff help set the tone for students. You can play a critical role in efforts to reduce sex- and gender-based violence on campus.

Stalking, intimate partner violence and sexual assault are complex, difficult problems to address and it’s easy to become discouraged.

We firmly believe that while no one can do everything to stop violence, everyone can do something. To get started, check out our toolkit below for ideas and resources you can use in the year ahead.

For faculty

  • Use your syllabus. Link to the Health & Wellness Services and the Office for Equal Opportunity (OEO) in your syllabus. OEO provides sample syllabus language about campus policy prohibiting discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct.
  • Promote a safe space. Let students know your classroom is a safe space that does not tolerate violence of any kind.
  • Make sure you know the resources. If a student needs help, direct them to OEO’s list of resources. If you have concerns about a student’s emotional or psychological wellbeing, you can share your concerns with the AWARE Network.
  • Spread the word about Green Dot. On syllabus day, consider including a Green Dot slide in your presentation.
  • Need to cancel class? Call us! If you’re ill, or planning to be out, invite staff from Health & Wellness Services to host a workshop on violence prevention.
  • Have a discussion. Talk with your class, student workers and colleagues about interpersonal violence.
  • Encourage Green Dot participation. Consider providing extra credit to students who attend Green Dot events.

 For all employees

  • Get trained! Come to a Green Dot bystander training or invite us to one of your staff meetings.
  • Display a violence prevention resources poster in your office. You can request posters from Health & Wellness Services for pick up or delivery by interdepartmental mail.
  • Set an example. Model compassion for survivors of interpersonal violence.
  • Get on board with Green Dot Day of Action. Encourage your student organizations to attend a Green Dot Day of Action workshop on September 18, 2016.
  • Check in with students. Trust your gut and check in with a student if they look like they need to talk. Direct them to resources on campus or share your concerns with the AWARE Network.
  • Subscribe for updates. Sign up to receive our monthly campus health updates or occasional information about violence prevention on campus.

By taking action in our everyday lives, we can all do something to help stop violence on our campus.

Flu vaccine available at clinic

Flu season is approaching fast! Are you ready to get your flu shot? Good news: we now have flu vaccine in stock at our medical clinic.

This fall, we’ll be holding Flu Shot Fridays every week from September 23 to October 28. Stay tuned for more details coming soon!

Students who want get their flu shots ASAP can make an appointment at the clinic online or by phone at 509-335-3575.

Everyone can do something

Everyone can do something

Preventing interpersonal violence like sexual assault, stalking and intimate partner violence can seem overwhelming. But it becomes a lot easier if we all work together. One person can’t do everything, but everyone can do something!

We can all take action to prevent violence in our everyday lives. By simply showing that Cougs care for one another and our community, we can help reduce violence on our campus and in our community.

Hanging out with friends or heading to a party? Here are some things you can do to take action and make sure you and your friends stay safe.

  1. Charge your phone before going out. Make sure you’ve got enough battery life to stay in contact with your group throughout the night.
  2. Check in. Plan to have everyone check in with another group member before leaving the party. If someone doesn’t check in, call or text to make sure they’re okay.
  3. Take action. If you see someone making another person feel uncomfortable, or even unsafe, it’s hard to know what to do. It can be even harder to intervene if your friend is the one pushing someone’s boundaries. If you don’t feel comfortable directly calling the person out, you could try distracting them with another topic or activity.
  4. Make a back-up plan. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Talk as a group about assigning a designated driver for the night. In case that doesn’t work out, save a number for a cab company in your phone and make sure everyone keeps a little cash on hand to pitch in for a cab.
  5. Pace yourself. If you choose to drink, don’t let drinking too much get in the way of enjoying your night out. Make sure to eat a full meal before going out, or eat snacks throughout the night. You can also alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
  6. Listen to your gut. If you see or hear something that makes you uncomfortable, take a second look and check in. Even if it’s a false alarm, simply asking someone “are you okay?” can help you make sure the night is enjoyable for everyone.
  7. Delegate. If you see a potentially violent situation developing and you’re not sure how to intervene, ask someone else to step in. This can be another friend, an RA, a bouncer or even the police.

When other people see you taking everyday small actions to take to care of others, they’re more likely to do the same.

Want to do even more to prevent violence? Join us for a bystander training at Connecting the Dots: National Green Dot Day of Action on September 18. During the training, you’ll learn how to identify potentially dangerous situations and safely intervene.

To prevent violence at WSU, we need Cougs to stay involved. You can also subscribe to receive the latest events, news and information on ending violence.

Welcome from Health & Wellness Services

Welcome from Health & Wellness Services

Welcome to all new and returning students from all of us at Health & Wellness Services! We’re here to support you in all aspects of health. We provide services and programs designed to help you thrive mentally, emotionally and physically.

Our medical clinic is one of the largest in the area, and works much like your family doctor’s office at home. We provide general medical care, plus a wide range of other services. Our full-service retail pharmacy is a great option if you’d like to transfer and fill your prescriptions without leaving campus. In the spring, we also opened a vision clinic where we provide eye care services and a retail store with a variety of eyewear and accessories.

Thinking about quitting tobacco? Now’s a great time to start! This fall, WSU Pullman will become a tobacco-free campus. Our tobacco cessation program can help you explore your options for quitting, improve your motivation and learn new ways to manage stress and cravings.

In addition to clinical medical services, we provide free programs and workshops on a variety of health topics to the entire WSU community. Workshops cover topics like healthy relationships, stress management, alcohol education, time management and more.

Our providers work closely with Counseling and Psychological Services to provide comprehensive mental health treatment for students. Our health promotion team is also working to support students’ mental and emotional health through a variety of efforts including trainings like Mental Health First Aid and our new suicide prevention program, Campus Connect.

Our violence prevention programs are another great opportunity for students. Bystander training workshops focus on making our campus safer by empowering Cougs to become active participants in preventing violence.

Got questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Come visit us in the Washington building, call 509-335-3575 or schedule an appointment online.


Where you buy your eyewear matters

Where you buy your eyewear matters

Buying new glasses can be overwhelming! Because each pair is custom-made just for you, the list of decisions to make on the frames, lenses, coatings and other options can feel endless.

Because there are so many choices to make, buying glasses at a traditional optical store has many advantages. Your local optician can walk you through your options and give expert advice on the best frames and lenses to fit your individual needs.

Selecting your frames

Trying on frames is the key to making sure your glasses look good and fit well. Choosing your frames online without trying them on can lead to disappointment and frustration.

Optical stores have the advantage of hand-picking the quality and styles of frames they sell. Plus, they can special order colors and sizes for each patient.

Your optician will explain different frame materials and features, and help find options if you have a metal allergy. And, they’ll help you find frames that look good and match your style!

Getting the right lenses

The lenses are the most important part of your glasses! You’re able to see best when the optical center of your lens lines up perfectly with your eyes. If this isn’t done right, you may experience headaches. Opticians have been trained and licensed to measure the optical center and distance between your pupils, ensuring your lenses line up with your eyes correctly.

Fitting multifocal lenses is an even more intricate process requiring extra measurements. These special measurements cannot be done accurately when ordering online. Getting the right multifocal lens requires an in-depth discussion with a knowledgeable optician or optometrist.

Optical stores are able to offer more types of lenses than chain or online stores, especially when it comes to bifocal and progressive lenses. For example, your optician might talk about getting thinner, lighter lenses, which are more comfortable and attractive.

So, next time you are ready for a new pair of glasses, consider more than just the price. You can visit our vision clinic retail store any time to try on new styles, get expert answers to your questions and find the best glasses to fit your unique prescription and needs.

Yes, you need an eye exam

Yes, you need an eye exam

Most people visit the eye doctor to get a prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses. But even if you don’t need vision correction, it’s still important to visit your eye doctor every one to two years to check the health of your eyes.

How your eye doctor can help

Many silent eye diseases, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, can affect the health of your eyes. Left undetected, these conditions can lead to permanent vision loss.

Your eye doctor can also help detect changes to your eyes that impact your overall health. Conditions that affect the entire body, like high blood pressure and diabetes, can cause changes in the back of your eyes as well.

And sometimes signs of disease can be detected first in the eyes. For example, multiple sclerosis may affect your eyes first before affecting the rest of your body.

Some common medications such as birth control, anti-depressants and blood thinners can also affect the eyes. During an eye exam, your eye doctor may be able to notice changes, detect signs of illness and help your overall health.

What to expect at your eye exam

During an eye exam, your doctor will check how well you can see at distance and near. They may perform a refraction test, which helps determine your eyeglasses prescription. The doctor will check to see how well your eyes react to light and will examine your eye muscles.

Additionally, they will check your peripheral vision and your eye pressures. They may use a large microscope, known as a slit lamp, to look at the front of your eyes and use a special lens to examine the back of your eyes. Your doctor may even take a baseline photograph of the back of your eyes to detect subtle changes over time.

If you haven’t had an eye exam in a while, make sure to call your eye doctor and schedule an appointment. Students can schedule comprehensive eye exams at our on-campus vision clinic.

Eye exams help children succeed

Eye exams help children succeed

Vision problems can significantly affect your child’s ability to learn. When children are struggling to see well, they have a hard time following along in class and concentrating on assignments. This can lead to poor academic performance that has nothing to do with their abilities or motivation.

If vision problems are not corrected early, children can get behind in school. This can potentially start a chain reaction of poor performance, low self-esteem and behavior problems.

One in 10 children has a vision problem significant enough to impact learning. Getting your child’s vision checked by an optometrist is a critical step to take before they start school. Vision screenings at school or at the pediatrician’s office are not the same as a comprehensive eye exam from an optometrist.

Vision screenings are limited in scope, which means some problems can go undetected. Even if children have 20/20 vision, other problems can affect their ability to see.

Children’s vision can change during the school year. It’s important to watch for the following signs between eye appointments:

  • Holding reading materials close to their face or sitting close to the TV
  • Excessive blinking or rubbing their eyes
  • Covering one eye or tilting their head to one side
  • Short attention span or difficulty remembering what they read
  • Poor hand-eye coordination
  • Headaches

Some common vision conditions that are not detected during vision screenings are strabismus, where both eyes do not look in the same direction at the same time; “lazy eye”, where one eye has poorer vision; and refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

As you prepare your children for the upcoming school year, remember to schedule them for a comprehensive eye exam with an optometrist.

10 fun facts about eyes

10 fun facts about eyes

Eyes are one of the most complex organs in the human body, second only to our brains. Check out these 10 fun facts about eyes from the experts at our vision clinic!

  1. Your eye muscles are the fastest muscles in your body – hence the saying “it happened in the blink of an eye.”
  2. The world’s most common eye color is brown, but brown eyes are actually blue underneath the brown pigment.
  3. Some people are born with two differently colored eyes. This condition is called heterochromia.
  4. Our eyes remain the same size from birth, unlike our nose and ears which continue to grow throughout our lives.
  5. An iris has 256 unique characteristics. To put this in perspective, a fingerprint has only 40 unique characteristics. This is why retina scans are becoming increasingly popular for security.
  6. Age-related diseases such as macular degeneration, diabetes, and glaucoma are the primary causes of blindness for adults in the United States.
  7. Eye transplants are currently impossible due to the sensitivity of the optic nerve.
  8. Each of our eyes has a small blind spot in the back of the retina where the optic nerve attaches, but we don’t notice a hole in our vision because our eyes work together to compensate.
  9. The pupil of the human eye expands as much as 45 percent when you look at someone you love.
  10. One in every 12 men is color blind, and all babies are color blind when they are born.

Protect your eyes from injury

Protect your eyes from injury

Did you know that most eye injuries happen during everyday activities? We rarely think about protecting our eyes when we work in the garage, kitchen or yard – but nearly half of all eye injuries happen at home. Sports and recreational activities are another common setting, factoring into about 40 percent of all eye injuries.

When to use protective eyewear

Luckily, the vast majority of serious eye injuries can be prevented by wearing protective eyewear. Always wear protective eyewear when you are:

  • Using common household cleaners
  • Doing housework that involves hammering, sanding or working with power tools
  • Playing a sport where eye protection is recommended
  • Working in the yard (for example: mowing, trimming weeds and cutting branches)
  • Working with metal, drywall, wood, or any other materials that create a lot of dust

How to choose the right eyewear for you

If possible, choose protective eyewear approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).  ANSI-approved eyewear has thicker lenses which are shatter resistant, and can help prevent injuries from impact, chemical splashes and similar hazards. All ANSI-approved eyewear are marked with a stamp on the frame and lenses. You may want to double-check your safety eyewear to make sure it meets ANSI standards.

For sport eyewear, you can start by checking out the National Eye Institute’s eye protection recommendations for any sports you play.

For any eye protection needs, talking to your optometrist about your specific situation is the best way to ensure you get the right style and a good fit. Your optometrist can then help you order either prescription or non-prescription protective eyewear that meets your needs.

If you have questions about how to keep your eyes safe while working or playing, you’re welcome to stop by our vision clinic or give us a call. We’ll help you talk through your options for protective eyewear and figure out what’s right for you!