Health

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Health
College, the time you are finally free to be your own person and to look after yourself. But what many students forget is that looking after your health is vitally important. You can’t just survive on toasties and baked beans. You need a little variety in your diet, not to mention looking after your body. Now is the time bad health habits start so it’s time to develop some good habits.
If you are ill and need to see a doctor then please get in touch with the Student Health Unit in Aras na Mac Leinn on 091 492604. There are also several Pharmacies close to campus that offer student discounts.
Exercise
Exercise doesn’t have to be running ten kilometres a day. Stick to what is manageable for you. The best thing about college is that there are loads of different clubs for you to join. If you want to, you can join the Kingfisher gym on campus or sign up to one of the many Sports Clubs at NUI Galway. What ever exercise you engage in, try to do 30 minutes worth at least three times a week.

Some simple DIY

Health

Okay, we know you’re not Bob the Builder but a little goes a long way especially when it’s your hot neighbour having the trouble. Remember, don’t try to be a hero – call your landlord or agency immediately if you have any emergencies.

Your own little tool box!

Have a quick rummage around at home for the following handy items: screwdrivers (flathead and crosshead), claw hammer, pen knife, pliers, spanner, spare fuses, screws, nails and duct tape (see the section on “Borrowing stuff from home”).

Repairs

Turning the house supply of water off
To turn off your house supply, you need to locate your stop valve, which will usually be under the kitchen sink or a downstairs floorboard by the front door. Ask your landlord when you move in. Turn it clockwise to turn it off, and anticlockwise to turn it on. Remember “righty tighty, lefty loosey”. By turning this off, you haven’t cut off the water supply to taps in the house, as the cold water cistern will still be full.

Turning off the taps
The pipes to turn off the taps have a red/orange handle coming off them and may be located in either the airing cupboard (hot) or the attic (cold) and sometimes both will be located in the same place. Turn both handles clockwise to turn them off.

How do I unblock a sink/drain
Pour hot (not boiling) water down the plughole, and then use a plunger. Next, put on protective gloves and carefully pour soda crystals (caustic soda) down the plughole, using a length of stiff wire ( a wire hanger unfurled always works a charm) to dislodge any stubborn blockages. If this
doesn’t work, contact your landlord. Make a habit of regularly pouring drain cleaner down your drains to prevent grease sticking.

The toilet won’t stop flushing
Lift up the cistern cover and pull the plastic float as high up as possible to stop the water. Then phone your landlord and ask them to send a plumber round.

Sticky drawers
Take the drawers out and sandpaper down the wear marks to a smooth edge. Rub candle wax on the surface. Repeat inside the chest of drawers.

Electrics

Re-setting the electricity ‘trip’ switch
‘Trip’ switches can be set off for loads of different reasons. This means that if you lose power in your house, it may well be the trip switch. Your landlord should have told you where the fuse box is (usually the hallway or under the stairs). Have a quick check of the appliances in the house first and see if you can find the problematic one. If you don’t find it, open the cover of the fuse box to expose the trip switches. Check which switches have been tripped to the OFF position and put them back to the ON position. If it trips again then you should unplug all appliances and start plugging them in again one by one to find out which appliance is setting it off. When you find the problematic appliance you should have it checked by an electrician. In the meantime don’t use it and make sure everyone else in the house doesn’t either.

How do I change a fuse?
Release the central screw that holds the two halves of the plug together, lever out the old fuse and replace it with a new one of the same amperage. Never use a fuse of different amperage. Put the plug back together.

Changing a plug
Most accidents with electricity in the home are caused by faulty or incorrectly wired plugs. The correct wiring of a plug is extremely important for your own safety. Please follow these guidelines carefully.
They cover the two most common types of plug used in this country – the 3-pin,13 Amp plug and the 2-pin, 16 Amp side-earth plug.

  1. Remove the cover and loosen the screws of the cord grip and the brass terminals.
  2. Measure the flex against the plug and strip the outer covering back as far as the cord grip, taking care not to cut through the coloured insulation on the wire strands.
  3. If the coloured cables have to be trimmed, ensure that they are long enough to reach the terminals without straining: allow for a little slack on the green/yellow earth wire.
  4. Strip about 10 mm (1/2 inch) of the coloured insulation from each core.
  5. BROWN to the LIVE (L) terminal; BLUE to the NEUTRAL (N) GREEN/YELLOW to the EARTH (E) terminal. Note: Some foreign appliances use different live colourings. If in doubt, ask an electrician.
  6. Pass the flex under the loosened cord grip,
  7. Twist the exposed wire strands of each core between the finger and thumb so that there are no loose strands. Double the twisted bare wire back on itself for about 5 mm and insert it fully into the hole in the appropriate terminal. Tighten the terminal screw firmly on the wire.
  8. Tighten the cord grip screws, making sure that the cord grip is clamped on the full outer covering of the cable and not on the inner cores.
  9. Replace the cover.

Note: If the appliance has a moulded plug fitted, this cannot be opened or re-wired. If it is damaged or faulty, it should be cut off and a new plug fitted as described above.
Never mess around with electricity or gas. If you are in any doubt at all, call an electrician or the gas company to deal with it, even if it’s just a seemingly simple job. Never take risks!

Food & Diet

Health

If you’re not in digs, this could be the most difficult thing about coming to University. You’re hungry, you don’t have the cash to eat out and you’re sick of beans on toast. On top of that, you’re off form because you’re not getting the right stuff into you. This can mean your sporting, academic, health and social life aren’t exactly thriving.
We have the magic recipes. You won’t be hired as head chef downtown but the lads in the house and the hot stuff next door will give you kudos. Your mum might give you a break too!
Tips for shopping on budget

  • Make a list and stick to it!
  • Shop once a week for everything.
  • Stock up on starchy food like cereal, bread, pasta, noodles and rice.
  • If you use frozen vegetables there’s no waste.
  • The cheapest vegetables are normally cabbage, carrots, cauliflower and broccoli.
  • Look out for special offers, but don’t bother with ‘three-for-twos’ unless you really want it, because you won’t be saving money if it goes off and you have to throw it out.
  • Lean mince beef or chicken fillets can be expensive but there’s no waste, so overall they canbe good value.
  • Try doing your shopping in the bigger stores – they tend to be cheaper.
  • If you shop early in the day, the store will usually deliver to your house.

Pasta Carbonara Recipe

Indian Chicken Curry Recipe

Mars Bar Squares Recipe

Home Safety

Health

Fire Safety Tips

  • Get smoke alarms and test them regularly – €15 is a small price to pay to protect yourself. Put it somewhere it can be heard all over the house. Get a second one if you have to.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher and fire blanket in your kitchen.
  • Make sure that all electrical appliances, sockets and leads are in good working order. Don’toverload sockets.
  • Never turn your back on a frier. Don’t use water on a chip pan fire.
  • Check that your cooker is turned off and put out an open fire before you go to bed.
  • With an open fire, always use a fireguard and make sure the room is ventilated.
  • Plug out appliances, especially the television, before going to bed.
  • Smokers, use proper ashtrays and don’t smoke in bed.
  • Roll, don’t fold, an electric blanket if you’re storing it.
  • Keep heaters away from furniture and curtains and don’t move them when they are on. Make sure there’s ventilation in rooms where you use them.
  • Have an escape plan. Know how you and your housemates would get out if you had to.
  • Don’t leave your phone charger in the socket when it’s not in use
  • Carbon Monoxide is a colourless, odourless poisonous gas and is a common yet preventable cause of death from poisoning. Carbon Monoxide detectors can be bought for around €30 in a DIY store.

Burglary Prevention

Most day-time burglaries take place in unoccupied homes. Windows are the most common means of entry in domestic cases. When leaving the house, close any windows which can be climbed into. Make sure you don’t leave valuables where they can be seen through the window. Secure your windows, doors, sheds and garages and don’t cut more keys than you have to! If you have a spare, give it to someone you trust. Don’t leave obvious signs of a vacant apartment such as closed curtains during daylight hours. Just in case you are broken into, you should mark your property so it can be identified. Don’t leave loose cash at home and keep bank cards in a safe place. Consider insuring any valuables you have such as laptops, Playstations etc.
The Gardaí in Galway can be reached on 091 538000 or in an emergency ring 999 or 112.

Water Safety

Health

Water, water, everywhere – be careful what you drink! Galway has a river, canals, a lake and the ocean, all of which can be dangerous if you are not careful. The most important thing to remember is to stay away from the waters edge, especially if you have drink or drugs taken. It is very easy to fall in and it can have fatal consequences. Remember that when you drink you may do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do so steer clear of any potential hazards and don’t wander off alone.
We recommend you learn to swim. It’s a really enjoyable form of exercise and makes your environment safer. The swimming, waterpolo and lifesaving club provides beginners’ lessons. Never swim while intoxicated, within an hour of eating or if you feel tired or weak. You should only go swimming within view of a lifeguard on duty or with someone who has trained in lifesaving.
If you are not a strong swimmer then don’t go out of your depth. Don’t dive into an unfamiliar body of water, one too shallow, murky or at low tide. Don’t swim anywhere there are strong currents. Don’t swim and chew gum! If you are out on a boat, make sure you have life jackets and adequate safety gear. A mobile phone isn’t enough as it won’t work if it gets wet. If you encounter a person in trouble in the water, call emergency services on 999/112. Do NOT go in after him/her unless you are trained. Throw a ring buoy to the person if there is one there or if you have a jumper or length of rope that could reach him/her use it to pull the person in. Only do this if it does not put you at risk of falling in.
For more information on water safety, check out www.iws.ie

Road Safety made easy

Health
Buckle up Slow down
Stay sober Be Patient
Watch out for animals on road Indicate
Put on lights if visibility is low Be aware of cyclists and pedestrians
Don’t overtake unless you can see Take corners slowly
Don’t use the phone Limit loose objects
Don’t drive if sleep deprived Don’t drive if very agitated
Leave extra space between you and car in front in poor conditions

Whether you are a pedestrian, cyclist or driver you need to take care of yourself and others on the roads. Follow the rules of road as they are there to protect you and those around you. We want you to all arrive alive so follow the advice of the Road Safety Authority at www.rsa.ie

Walk on the path or if there is none at the edge and against the traffic. Use a reflector. Remember the hedgehog? Look both ways. Don’t risk a tight crossing. When cycling: wear a helmet and reflector. Be Careful not to leave trousers/skirt loose by thechain. Stay on your side of the road and use hand signals. Don’t weave in and out of traffic and don’t cycle on footpaths.

Personal Safety

Health

 

Even if you are an eight foot tall body builder, you are still a target for assault, mugging or a drunk driver. Watch your back. There are a lot of things you can do that will make your environment a lot safer.

  • Avoid isolated and darkened areas, both day and night. Take the busy route (especially if you are alone)
  • Tell somebody where you’re going and when you will return
  • Carry a panic alarm. You can purchase a small and effective alarm to put on your key chain for just a few euro from the Students’ Union shop. They are also available on loan from the College Bar
  • Walk facing traffic
  • Don’t display your jewellery, i-pod, wallet etc. if you can help it
  • Don’t carry more cash on your person than you need
  • If you think you are being followed, go to the nearest place there are people, even a private house, and ring the Gardaí
  • Don’t walk home alone at night even if you are Chuck Norris
  • Never take a lift from somebody you don’t know
  • Know the timetable of your bus route to avoid standing at the bus stop on your own. Most timetables are available elsewhere in your Students’ Union diary
  • Don’t listen to your i-pod or talk on your phone if you feel uncomfortable. This makes you less alert
  • Never walk along the canal, river or sea while “under the influence”. For more info see Water Safety
  • Walk confidently, with your head up and with purpose
  • Trust your instincts

If you are assaulted, help is available 24 hours a day. Go to the hospital and get a check up. Get in contact with the Gardaí and report the incident. If you want, make an appointment with the Chaplain or a counsellor to talk about what happened. If you decide you want to talk to someone at a later stage, don’t hesitate to contact the services. If you are unable to attend college as a result of injuries sustained, you should contact your lecturers. The Students’ Union Vice-President / Welfare Officer can help you do this if you like. In any case involving sexual attack, washing, changing your clothes or cleaning up the immediate vicinity may destroy evidence. You may want to contact the Gardaí first. If for any reason you need to contact campus security, they are there to help. You can call extension 3333 internally or (091) 493333 from an outside line. If necessary, they can put you onto the Gardaí. They can also help you if you have been assaulted.

Pharmacies

Health

The following pharmacies offer student discounts:

Matt O’Flaherty Chemist, NUI Galway (on campus beside entrance to James Hardiman Library) 

Telephone: 091 864025 Fax: 091 864026 email: mofnui@eircom.net NUIG Extension number: 5044

Opening hours: Mon-Thur 08:30-18:30/Friday 08:30-17:30/Closed Saturday & Sunday 

10% on all products 

The University Pharmacy Newcastle Rd. (opposite the hospital) Telephone: 091 520115

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9:00-21:00 / Sat 09:30-18:30 / Sun & Bank holidays 12:00-18:00

10% on Prescriptions

The Eglinton Street Pharmacy Eglinton St. Telephone: 091 569090

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 9:00-19:30 / Sun & Bank holidays 11:00-19:30

10% on all products

O’Beirns Pharmacy Henry St. Telephone: 091 528917

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 09:00-18.00 Sat 10:00-17:00 Closed Sunday & Bank Holidays

10% on all products

Men’s Health

Health

Generally, most medical conditions that particularly affect men won’t affect most of you until much later in life. Yet be warned, although younger men’s health tends to be generally good, bad habits such as smoking, heavy drinking and a poor diet can easily be developed while in University and will be hard to shift later in life. The best way to break a bad habit is to not let it develop in the first instance.

There are, of course, medical conditions that you may be affected by during your college years. Be mindful of your health and try not to take the “ah, it’ll be alright” attitude if a health problem does arise. Real men do get sick, and they get help so use the services at your disposal.

Also see Cancer & Testicular Cancer

 

Do you get enough sleep?

Unless a man gets enough sleep, his performance is likely to be sadly lacking. Not just sexual performance either. Work performance, creativity, reaction time and moods all become worse when we’re tired.
Although it’s not entirely clear why we need sleep, the effects of sleep deprivation justify trying to get enough.

How much sleep do we need?

The amount of sleep needed depends upon the individual and their age. Some men manage on four or five hours sleep a night. On average seven, eight or nine hours of sleep a night is what the majority of young and middle aged men need to stay bright-eyed and bushy-tailed during the day. As we get older we tend to need less sleep.

Are you getting enough?
If you can answer ‘no’ to all of these, you are probably getting enough sleep:

  • Do you sleep longer than usual on the weekends?
  • Do you feel drowsy or nod off during the afternoon?
  • Do you fall asleep within around 5 minutes of being in bed (It takes people who are getting enough sleep around 10-20 minutes to fall asleep)?

Overcoming sleep problems:

  • Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, including your days off.
  • Keep your bedroom for sleep and sex, not work or TV.
  • Avoid heavy meals, caffeine, nicotine and alcohol for 3-4 hours before going to bed.
  • Don’t exercise within 3 hours of going to bed.

 

Mental Health

In our quest for physical health, it’s easy to overlook the importance of emotional health and its effect on our body. The fact that Irish men between the ages of 15 and 34 are more likely to commit suicide than be killed in a car crash demonstrates the need for our mental health to be addressed. If you feel you suffer from mental illness, or are just feeling low, then the useful contacts in the Mental Health section should be consulted.

Incredibly there are easy things that any man can do to improve his health

  • Read a book or two – now a prescribed treatment in some health authorities for beating the blues, reading in the evening also helps relaxation and sleep;
  • Play cards and do crosswords – keeps the brain active;
  • Support a decent team – success boosts testosterone levels which is why we’re competitive. Identifying with a successful team can have the same effect.
  • Work on your relationships – a study of 6,000 blokes found that the married ones got better jobs and were healthier.
  • Go out in the sun – vitamin D, which is important for bones, teeth and happiness is boosted by sunlight (but keep the sunscreen on.)
  • Walk – it’s good for the heart and lungs and improves brain function by boosting its oxygen supply.
  • Sing – the breathing control needed to sing – however badly – makes it one of the easiest and most effective ways to shed stress.
  • Drink water – many of us don’t drink enough. The yellower your urine the more dehydrated you are.

Heart Disease

Heart disease affects many men throughout life. In Ireland it starts to present itself in men in their 50’s. If a close relative has developed heart disease in their 50s, it’s wise to have your level of risk checked. The main risk factors are smoking, raised blood pressure, raised levels of blood cholesterol and physical inactivity. Body weight is increasing throughout the developed world and more people are developing diabetes, which in turn increases risk of heart disease. We are learning more about the genetic factors associated with heart disease but for most Irish people, heart disease is related to lifestyle.

Blood pressure increases as body weight and alcohol intake increases. A diet high in fruit and vegetables and low in salt helps to keep blood pressure levels low. Healthy eating also keeps down blood cholesterol levels. Diets that are high in fat, especially saturated fats (mostly animal and dairy fats) tend to raise blood cholesterol. So it’s wise to watch your overall fat intake and change the balance the fats in your diet:

By lowering the level of your cholesterol you will greatly reduce the chance of suffering from a heart condition in later life. The level of cholesterol in our blood stream is greatly affected by what we eat. Foods that are high in saturated fats (mostly animal and dairy fats) tend to raise blood cholesterol.

Further Information
For more information, contact the Vice-President / Welfare Officer

Sexual Harassment

Health

Sexual Harassment can include

  • Physical – Unnecessary touching, pinching or brushing against another; assault; coercing sexual intercourse.
  • Verbal – Unwelcome sexual advances, demands for sexual favours, suggestive remarks, innuendoes or lewd comments.
  • Non-Verbal – Displays of pornographic, or sexually suggestive pictures and objects; leering. whistling or sexually suggestive gestures.

If you encounter sexual harassment in the University, you may report it to your dean, the registrar, Student Services or the Students’ Union Vice-President / WelfareOfficer.

You can also see the student counsellors in confidence and free of charge.

Useful contacts:

Galway Gay Helpline (091) 566134 (20:00-22:00 Tuesday and Thursday)
Galway Lesbian Helpline (091) 546611 (20:00-22:00 Wednesday)
Galway Rape Crisis Centre 1800 355355 (freephone) or see www.galwayrcc.org
An Garda Síochána (091) 538000 or for emergencies dial 999 / 112
Garda Liaisons (091) 538079 Vincent Jennings / Ciara Moran
Student Counsellors (091) 492484
Students’ Union Welfare Officer (091) 524810 extn 2747
Welfare Officer Union of Students in Ireland LGBT Rights Officer (01) 7099300
GiGsoc (gigsoc@socs.nuigalway.ie)
Students’ Union Equality Officer (091) 524810
TENI info@teni.ie 085 1477166, www.teni.ie (Transgender Equality Network)

Sexual Violence

Health

Any sexual act without consent constitutes rape or sexual assault. Both parties must be sure that they have the full consent of the other(s). If a person is ‘out of it’ on alcohol or another substance, legally they cannot be considered to have given consent. Dancing, dating or going home with someone does not change any of this. Both Men and Women can be raped or sexually assaulted. Rape or sexual assault is usually committed by someone the victim knows and in a familiar location. Each individual always has the right to choose with whom they will or will not have sexual relations, or the extent and nature of the sexual relations.
The most common rape drug in Ireland is alcohol. Don’t leave your drink unattended. Always be careful not to get drunk in the presence of someone you don’t fully trust and do not accept drink off them. Remember personal alarms are available from the Students’ Union Shop.
Acts of rape and sexual assault are never the victim’s fault.
Sometimes the victim may be too embarassed or humiliated to talk about their experience. This can be a difficult burden to carry alone.

The Galway Rape Crisis Centre offers support to both men and women. They offer support in reporting to the Gardaí if required. The centre offers counselling for people who have experienced rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment. The Rape Crisis Centre also offers counselling to adult victims of Child Sexual Abuse.