Mountain Campus: Medical Know Before You Go Instructions
The Nurse Clinic at the CSU Mountain Campus is open from 7:00 am-10:00 am and from 3:30 pm-6:30 pm seven days a week. The nurse is available on-call 24/7 for emergency needs only. Our nurses are experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable caregivers who have the skills needed to treat various minor illnesses and injuries that may occur during your stay. Issues that are beyond the scope of the Nurse Clinic such as IV fluids, moderate to severe orthopedic injuries, sutures, or illness that may require prescription medications and physician evaluation, are referred down to Fort Collins. On-Call counseling and urgent mental healthcare is available via telephone consultation either at the CSU Health Network or a third-party telemedicine service specializing in mental health. For issues that cannot be addressed at the Mountain Campus Nurse Clinic, the nurse will assist you in connecting to the resource who can best help address your needs.
Emergency services, including Flight for Life, are available to serve the CSU Mountain Campus in a medical emergency. The determination on when to activate emergency medicine will lie with the nurse in coordination with the Mountain Campus Administrative Staff. Fire and ambulance services are available via the Poudre Canyon Fire District located in Bellvue, CO, along with additional support from Fire and EMS services in Fort Collins, CO where the nearest hospital is also located. For urgent, but stable, medical needs that are beyond the level of service of the nurse clinic at the Mountain Campus, students, guests, staff, or faculty members will be referred to care in the Fort Collins community approximately an hour and forty-five minutes away by private vehicle.
Before arriving for your stay at the CSU Mountain Campus, we strongly encourage everyone to take a COVID test. Do not come up if you are positive for COVID-19. If you are positive for COVID-19 or have had a known exposure before your arrival at Mountain Campus, please contact CSU Public Health at https://covid.colostate.edu/reporter/ for further guidance. If you have had symptoms of any contagious illness (fever, rash, vomiting, diarrhea, cough) within the last 3 days prior to your arrival at Mountain Campus you will need to be symptom free for 24 hours prior to arriving at the Mountain Campus as well as have a negative COVID-19 test. While masking on campus is not required, it is recommended for those who are immunocompromised, high risk for COVID-complications, or desire the extra precaution. Frequent hand hygiene is encouraged to help prevent the spread of illness during your stay. If you become ill during your stay with COVID/Cold/Flu symptoms, please wear a mask, stay in your room, and make arrangements to see the nurse for further assessment. COVID-19 testing is available at the nurse clinic for those who become symptomatic or have an exposure during their stay.
We strongly advise that all guests, students, faculty, and staff of the Mountain Campus check with their Primary Care physician to ensure all immunizations are up to date. We especially encourage Tetanus, Influenza, COVID-19, and Meningitis vaccines be current. No immunizations are offered at the Mountain Campus clinic, including Tetanus. This means if you were to get a cut or scrape and your Tetanus booster is out of date, you will need to return to Fort Collins for a Tetanus shot.
At an elevation of 9,000 ft the risk of Acute Mountain Sickness is present when visiting Mountain Campus. Acute Mountain Sickness has a range of symptoms from mild (headache, fatigue), moderate (nausea, severe headache, and difficulty with coordination), and severe (shortness of breath, difficulty walking, confusion). You are at greater risk for altitude sickness if you have a lung or heart condition, are pregnant, live at a low elevation, or have previously had altitude sickness. If you present with a headache and one other symptom of altitude sickness within 24-48 hours of arrival to campus, you most likely have altitude sickness and will need to check in with the nurse for evaluation. To prevent altitude sickness, stay hydrated, avoid alcohol, and take your time on your journey up to the Mountain Campus if possible. If you are coming from a lower elevation or sea-level, staying a day in Denver may help you acclimatize and avoid altitude sickness. The good news is that altitude sickness at less than 12,000 feet is often mild, and altitude sickness if caught and treated early, is temporary.
At higher elevations you are more prone to dehydration. Dehydration can happen not just through sweat but also through insensible water loss that occurs with respiration. As higher elevations can be dry, windy, and closer to the sun it is important to stay hydrated. For adults, it is recommended that you drink an additional 1-1.5 liters of water per day for a total of 3-4 liters. Any extreme temperatures or strenuous activity should also be accounted for in your hydration plan. During activities, such as hiking, plan on sipping water throughout as opposed to drinking only when taking a break. You may want to consider electrolyte supplementation to your water if you plan on being exposed to hot temperatures or high levels of physical activity. It is recommended you increase your hydration the week before arriving at the Mountain Campus to help minimize your risk of dehydration.
: Temperatures in Colorado can swing widely during the day. It is important to plan for a variety of scenarios when visiting the Mountain Campus. Early in the season and late in the season can bring cold temperatures. It is not surprising to see rain or snow on campus during these times too. Dress in layers of synthetic or wool clothing. Cotton should be avoided as it can increase your risk of hypothermia if exposed to moisture. Wear warm wool socks and bring an extra pair in your pack. Ensure that footwear is comfortable and sturdy and can stand up to moisture, mud, and various terrains and temperatures. Ensure that you have additional weather protection, such as gloves, a hat that will also cover the ears, and outwear that is appropriate for cold weather. Waterproof outerwear that is lightweight and compact and can be a lifesaver if you encounter rain. Conversely, heat is a danger at certain times of the year at the Mountain Campus and heat exhaustion can be a risk if precautions are not taken. When the heat index is high, plan for shorter expeditions in the early parts of the morning. Rest often and stay hydrated by taking lots of frequent sips of water. Bring extra water as you may experience more water loss at higher temperatures and consider electrolyte additives to your water source. Wear layers of lightweight and breathable materials and apply sunscreen every 1-2 hours. Most importantly, keep an eye on your group and make sure everyone is taking frequent breaks and is hydrating and snacking as needed to keep up the energy and fluid stores for a safe and successful day. If someone is struggling or the heat becomes too intense, plan on immediately returning to campus.
At higher elevations you are closer to the sun’s rays. Sunburn can happen quickly, even on days with cloud cover. Please protect your skin by wearing a wide-brim hat, light colored long sleeves, pants, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Sunscreen should be rated as SPF 30 or higher, and mineral based sunscreens are recommended. Sunscreen should be applied 15 minutes prior to exposure to sun and an amount equal to the size of a shot glass is the recommended quantity to cover your entire body. For maximum benefit, sunscreen should be applied at regular 1–2-hour intervals, especially if you are sweating or exposed to water.
As you venture into the great outdoors you may find that you have a flare up of environmental allergies as you adjust to the different flora and fauna that surrounds the Mountain Campus. We recommend that you bring non-drowsy 24-hour allergy relief tablets, such as Zyrtec, along with you to improve any allergy symptoms that may arise during your stay. For any other known allergies, please consider bringing along Benadryl and if you have any history of anaphylactic or systemic allergic reaction, please be sure to always have an EpiPen with you. If you have specific food allergies or sensitivities, please contact Dining Services to notify them of your needs so they can make the necessary accommodations.
Ticks, mosquitoes and other biting/stinging insects are present at the Mountain Campus. Ticks are most active during the Spring and Early Summer in Colorado and can carry serious diseases, so it is important to protect yourself as best as possible from tick bites. Wearing long pants, long sleeved shirts, and pulling socks over the bottoms of pants can help be a barrier for bites. Insect repellant that contains DEET, Picaridan, and oil of lemon eucalyptus can help deter ticks and mosquitos from biting. Insect repellants can be applied to skin and/or clothing to prevent insect bites- follow the directions on the insect repellant label for all safety instructions. After your day being outdoors is done, check for ticks especially within the hairline and skin folds along the body where they can be difficult to see. If you do have a tick attached you can remove it by grasping the tick with fine tipped tweezers, as close to the skin as possible, and pull the tick slowly and steadily away from the skin. Avoid crushing the tick as you remove it. Disinfect the site once the tick has been removed and wash your hands with soap and water. Mosquitoes are also present at the Mountain Campus. In addition to the recommendations above to avoid tick bites, over the counter hydrocortisone topical cream can be useful for bothersome itching that mosquito bites can cause. If you have a suspected insect bite or sting, monitor the site for several days for any signs of infection such as: fever, chills, redness, swelling, pain, drainage, or a bullseye rash. Should any of these signs or symptoms develop, see the nurse immediately.
Medical Supply Packing List
Most of these items come in convenient travel sizes at your local retailers and are likely to be things you already have at home as part of a well-stocked medicine cabinet. If you repackage anything for easier travel, please label the container with the name of the medication and instructions for use.
Prescription Medications (anything your doctor has prescribed that is used on a daily or as needed basis)
Tweezers (for splinter or stinger removal)
Ibuprofen/Aleve (for headache, muscle aches, menstrual cramps, joint pain)
Sunscreen SPF 30 or Higher (mineral based sunscreen recommended)
Zyrtec/Claritin/Allegra (non-drowsy 12- or 24-hour allergy symptom relief)
Benadryl (sedating allergy relief for systemic allergic reactions)
Lip Balm with SPF (dry air, wind, and sun exposure can quickly lead to chapped, burned, and dry lips. Remember to protect all your skin!)
Tylenol (for fever reduction and minor aches and pains)
Insect Repellant (ticks and mosquitos are present on campus- protect yourself accordingly)
Pepto Bismol tablets and Tums (for nausea, heartburn, diarrhea)
Basic First Aid Kit with Bandages (especially handy to have in a pack when outdoors and away from the Nurse Clinic)
Cold/Flu Medication (such as Dayquil/Nyquil)
Blister bandages (cushioned bandages to help blisters heal quickly)
Hydrocortisone Cream (useful for treating rashes and itchy insect bites)
Feminine Hygiene and Sexual Health Products (tampons, pads, condoms, etc.)
Face Masks (for protecting yourself and others in the event of infectious illness)
Portable Hand Sanitizer