Self-Care Guide

Creighton University
2500 California Plaza
Harper 1034, Ground Floor
Omaha, Nebraska 68178
Phone: (402) 280-2735
Fax:  (402) 280-1859

Academic Year

Monday 8:00am-4:30pm
Tuesday 8:00am-6:30pm
Wednesday 8:00am-6:30pm
Thursday: 10:00am-4:30pm
Friday 8:00am-4:30pm

Fall Break/Spring Break/Summer

Mon through Fri 8:00am-4:30pm


Self-Care Guide

Here are several common conditions treated at SHS.  In most cases, these symptoms can be managed at home following these simple recommendations.  If you are experiencing a medical emergency on campus, call Public Safety at 2-2911. For off-campus medical emergencies, call 911.

See our list of recommended over-the-counter medications to keep in your medicine cabinet.

Stomach Flu

o   Caused by viruses that affect the gastrointestinal system. The viruses can be spread by contact with someone who has the virus, contaminated food or water, and unwashed hands after going to the bathroom. 

o   Symptoms include: diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache, fever, sore muscles

o   What to do:

  • Rest! The body needs sleep in order to fight off the virus.
  • Drink clear fluids. Your body may become dehydrated from vomiting, diarrhea, and a fever. Sip on water or broth. Gatorade can aid with electrolyte replacement.  Avoid coffee, alcohol, soda, citrus juice, and caffeinated tea.
  • Eat bland foods as tolerated (crackers, cereal, and toast).  Yogurt, bananas, and apples can help with diarrhea. Avoid dairy products, spicy foods, and high fat foods.

o   Antidiarrheal meds: Imodium and Pepto-Bismol (follow dosing instructions)

o   When to call SHS:

  • Vomit or diarrhea turns bloody or tarry
  • Dehdration symptoms develop: (lack of urine and tears, dry mouth and eyes, extreme thirst)
  • Worsening abdominal pain
  • Vomiting >24 hours
  • Severe diarrhea > 48 hours
  • Symptoms fail to improve after 1 week


Tension Headache

o   Tension headaches can develop in response to emotional stress, alcohol us, skipping meals, changes in sleep patterns, eyestrain, and neck or back strain due to poor posture. 

o   Symptoms include: aching head pain; sensation of tightness or pressure across the forehead or on the sides and back of the head; tenderness on the scalp, neck and shoulder muscles

o   What to do:

  • Hot or cool showers
  • Relaxing in a quiet room
  • Cool cloth on forehead
  • Massaging the temples and neck muscles

o   Medications: Ibuprofen or acetaminophen(follow dosing instructions)

o   Preventing Headaches:

  • Practice good posture when studying and sitting in class
  • Use a comfortable pillow that provides support for the neck and head
  • Minimize caffeine consumption
  • Exercise regularly
  • Stretch back, neck, and shoulders when sitting for long periods of time

o   When to call SHS:

  • If medication is needed for the headaches more than twice a week
  • Headache pain/pattern changes
  • Abrupt, severe headache
  • Headache with a fever, stiff neck, mental confusion, seizures, double vision, weakness, numbness or speaking difficulties
  • Headache after a head injury, especially if the headache gets worse


Cold symptoms, sinus congestion

o   Caused by viruses spread by inhaling viral particles from sneezes, coughs, speech, or nasal secretions.  These viruses can live on hands and contaminated surfaces for several hours.

o   Preventing the common cold

  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer
  • Cover your cough or sneeze

o   Symptoms include: runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat, sneezing, cough, mild headache and body aches, low-grade fever (<100.5), mild fatigue

o   What to do:

  • Sleep (at least 8 hours)
  • Drink fluids

o   Medications (follow dosing instructions)

  • Decongestant (Pseudoephedrine)
  • Oral antihistamine (Claritin, Zyrtec, or Allegra)
  • Mucous thinner (Mucinex)
  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen (for pain or inflammation)
  • Cough suppressant (Delsym or Robitussin DM)

o   When to call SHS

  • Symptoms last longer than 10 days
  • Fever of 103 F (39.4 C) or higher
  • Fever accompanied by sweating, chills and a cough
  • Significantly swollen glands
  • Severe sinus pain
  • Ear pain
  • Difficulty breathing


Sore Throat

o   Most often caused by a virus, although some are caused by a bacterial infection.  Environmental allergies can also cause a sore throat.

o   Preventing a sore throat

  • Donít share drinks
  • Wash your hands

o   Treatments and Medications

  • Rest
  • Gargle with salt water
  • Drink fluids
  • Throat lozenges
  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen (follow dosing instructions)

o   When to call SHS

  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Sore throat lasting more than 48 hours
  • Earache
  • Rash
  • Hoarseness longer than 2 weeks 



o   Mono is a viral infection that causes fever, sore throat, tiredness, and swelling of the neck glands.  Some people call mono the "the kissing disease." That's because kissing is one of the ways you can catch mono.   Mono is spread through saliva. It usually affects children, teenagers, and young adults.  

o   How do I get mono from someone who is already infected?

  • Kissing
  • Sharing a fork, spoon, or knife
  • Drinking from the same glass
  • The virus has an incubation period of approximately four to six weeks, meaning that you may not know if you are infected with mono for about 1 month following an exposure to the virus.

o   What are the symptoms of mono?

  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes in your neck
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Headache

o   Is there a test for mono?

  • There is a blood test for mono but even if you have mono, the test might not show the infection during the first 2 weeks of symptoms.

o   How is mono treated?

  • There is no treatment that cures mono
  • Since mono is caused by a viral infection, antibiotics are not a treatment option
  • Symptoms can be controlled with medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • Get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids

o   When will I feel better?

  • You will probably start to feel better in 1 to 2 weeks, but it can be a month or more before you get back to normal.  Most people get over mono with no lasting problems.