2019-20 Student Handbook and Wellness Guide

Wellness Guide

To Augusta Technical College Students:

We are pleased to provide you with an introduction to the concept of wellness. Wellness, as a concept and a lifestyle, seeks to enrich and promote activities that enhance complete well-being and thus increase the power students have available to accomplish educational and life goals. Living a life of relative equilibrium requires physical, mental, emotional, and social well‐being. Thus, the goal of the Wellness Committee is to promote physical, psychological, academic and environmental wellness for all Augusta Tech students. The contents of this Wellness Guide are designed to serve as your introduction to wellness.

We hope you will find this Guide useful and worth keeping for future reference. Wellness Counseling and Referral Service are available through our Counseling Center. The referral service provided by our counselors includes comprehensive information about community agencies and support groups. In addition, the Wellness Committee plans, develops, and promotes wellness programs and activities for students, faculty, and staff each term.

During the Resource and Wellness Fairs information booths display contemporary literature on health/wellness concerns and community resources for faculty, staff and students. Workshops or speakers address health/wellness issues requested by students, faculty, or staff. In addition, each branch library has a variety of materials located in the Wellness Section to increase awareness and knowledge of health and wellness issues.

If you desire personal guidance and counseling, or referral to an agency or support group, contact Amy Laughter (706) 771-4068.

Wellness Committee College Collaborative

The Wellness Committee College Collaborative (WCCC) is a group of faculty, staff, and students from across campus locations that are committed to wellness education and promotion. The WCCC meets each semester. If you would like to be a part of this collaborative, please contact Amy Laughter at alaughte@augustatech.edu. We are always looking for ways to expand our reach and involvement.

Wellness means living a healthy, balanced lifestyle that incorporates positive attitudes and productive behaviors related to the Nine Dimensions of Wellness: social, physical, intellectual, career, emotional, spiritual, financial, creative, and environmental aspects of the self.


To create a wellness culture that fosters optimal individual and community wellness that enhances learning and promotes success of Augusta Technical College students, staff, and faculty throughout all stages of their lives.


To create and live in a collaborative, seamless, dynamic, college community that models total wellness, celebrates diversity, promotes respect, and establishes life-long commitment to good health and well-being.


  1. Partnering: Collaborating with community agencies, college departments and off-site locations, faculty, staff, and students to share resources and develop more community connections.
  2. Diversity: Celebrating our spectrum of ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, body size, social economic status, abilities and disabilities.
  3. Balanced Lifestyle: Creating a proactive approach to living a balanced lifestyle that encompasses assessment, education, awareness, and assistance.
  4. Change: Adapting to emerging issues and knowledge through flexible and progressive approaches to wellness.
  5. Safe Environments: Fostering a sense of community while learning how to set responsible personal and group boundaries.
  6. Empowerment: Serving as positive role models, challenging unhealthy behavior, and supporting individual growth and development of a complete wellness lifestyle.


  1. Educate and promote continual learning by collaborating in the development of innovative and effective wellness systems that are research-based and can be delivered via the many venues of instruction and service throughout the Augusta Technical College community.
  2. Influence Augusta Technical College policy to support and enhance effective comprehensive wellness systems.
  3. Foster interdisciplinary research on the Nine Dimensions of Wellness to determine best practices in providing education and support to the need of the college community.
Dimensions of the Wellness Assessment

Life Skills

Stress/Time Management

Stress is a general descriptor for our physical and emotional responses to changes or demands in our lives.

The changes do not have to be negative to be stressful. Starting a new job can be just as stressful as being fired. Some of the changes we experience are "bombs," major stressors like the death of a good friend. However, minor stressors are currently thought to have a larger cumulative effect on us than do the "bombs."

Under stress, your heart beats faster, you breathe faster, your blood pressure goes up, and other metabolic changes occur. Psychologically you may feel rushed, nervous, or irritable; have difficulty concentrating; feel fatigued; and feel time pressured. Stress can also produce various physical symptoms like headaches and muscle tension, sleeplessness, and appetite changes.

Each of us has a unique stress profile. What is stressful for you may not be so for someone else. The same can be said for stress relievers; what works for you may not work for someone else. However, we can make certain generalizations. Good basic nutrition, coupled with regular exercise, regular rest, and regular involvement in an activity that you enjoy help build up resistance to stress. It also appears that having one or more close friends with whom you can and do confide is important.

Finally, instruction in time management, stress management, and relaxation techniques may be appropriate depending on your individual situation. If you feel stressed out, check out some of the relevant sections in this Guide and obtain a copy of our more complete Wellness Guide from a Wellness Counselor. If you need further help, contact Amy Laughter (706) 771-4068.


We have learned a great deal lately about the value of physical fitness. The strength, stamina, suppleness and positive attitude that result from regular exercise play key roles in helping us achieve satisfaction in work and school, relationships, recreation, and health. Conversely, lack of exercise has been associated with obesity; back problems; fatigue; and, perhaps most importantly, a weakened cardiovascular system, which may be more susceptible to heart disease.

There are many benefits to regular exercise:

  1. You will feel better physically. Your heart will be stronger, your heart and lungs will work more efficiently, and you will have more energy.
  2. You will feel better emotionally. People who exercise regularly report a positive sense of well‐being. Exercise is a stress reducer and may help relieve depression and insomnia.
  3. You will look better. Muscle tone will increase and a percentage of body fat will decrease. In addition to burning calories, exercise aids in decreasing your appetite.

A good fitness program should address three important areas: endurance, muscle strength, and flexibility. Remember, an exercise program is only beneficial if you stick with it. Be sure to choose exercises you enjoy. Once you have developed a well‐rounded program, start slowly, work up gradually, and enjoy feeling great.

Preventive Health Care


Proper diet is the ultimate source of good health. Throughout life, it is nutrition gained through eating that builds the body up and gives it strength to repair itself. Once the diet is consumed, the body is very good at picking and choosing just the right nutrients for the different areas and systems to insure proper functioning. If the diet lacks some essential ingredient, however, the body has no way to get it.

To ensure a proper diet, nutritionists say to eat a variety of foods. The building blocks which provide the body's needs are water, vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

The food groups that constitute the Food Guide Pyramid are (starting with the largest):

  • the Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta Group (6 to 11 Servings)
  • the Vegetable Group (3 to 5 Servings)
  • the Fruit Group (2 to 4 Servings)
  • the Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese Group (2 to 3 Servings)
  • the Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts Group (2 to 3 Servings)
  • the Fats, Oils, and Sweets Group (use sparingly)



The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) now recommends the Choose My Plate option:


Good eating habits will also help you to avoid tooth decay. Decay causing bacteria thrive on sugar, so try to stay away from sticky sweet foods that linger in your mouth and promote tooth decay.

Weight Reduction

Present estimates are that 40 to 80 million Americans fall into the overweight category. Twenty million Americans are "clinically obese"‐one person in ten. Hundreds of fad diets hit the market each year, and each diet is advertised as the latest sure‐cure for obesity. Experience shows, however, that short term restrictive diets produce short-lived successes. No wonder Americans go on an average of 1.4 diets per person per year!

How did we get so fat? We have perhaps been too successful at developing work‐saving devices that require less and less expenditure of human energy. Eating has become a socially preferred and culturally conditioned activity. We have grown up in the midst of plenty, so we eat plenty. These are some of the reasons we are fat, but they are also poor excuses.

How can you begin to balance your energy needs and your eating? You've got to begin with a belief in your own ability to control your eating.

Develop sound nutritional habits. That means eating foods from all four food groups (see Nutrition) and eating reasonable portions. Junk foods like soft drinks, candy, chips, pies, cakes, and cookies are loaded with sugar, fats and calories. They are best avoided. Eating well balanced meals, including breakfast, will prevent the munchies and get you off to a good start.

Increase your energy expenditure through daily exercise and recreation. This burns calories and also helps maintain muscle tone. Take the stairs, or ride your bike instead of driving. Weather in the CSRA makes it easy for you to be active outdoors all year. Start these changes slowly and work up, making it a regular part of your daily routine.

Do you eat when you are bored or when you study, even if you are not hungry? Do you eat too fast or too much before you know it? Try to be aware of your eating behavior, and try to be responsive to your body's needs.

If need be, get involved in changing your eating habits either through joining a weight reduction program or by beginning to manage your weight problem on your own.


Smoking is a matter of personal choice. However, the link between smoking and lung cancer seems clear. If you are going to smoke, you should know what is happening in your body.

  1. Each time you inhale tobacco smoke you kill several hundred lung cells.
  2. You send carbon monoxide into the blood where it competes with oxygen for hemoglobin (and usually wins).
  3. You paralyze the bronchial cilia (hairs that catch things) and make it hard for them to keep bacteria from the lungs.
  4. You speed up your heart rate.
  5. You dull your brain with carbon monoxide, thereby slowing your reaction time and visual acuity.
  6. Nicotine hits the central nervous system and stimulates it to release hormones. A feeling of depression and fatigue follows the nicotine "rush."
  7. Other components of cigarette smoke cause the arteries to contract, causing a decrease in blood supply to the fingers and toes and a drop in skin temperature.

Drug Use and Abuse

Many people use and abuse drugs and don't realize it. They don't think that foods and drinks contain drugs. We have all, at one time or another, used and abused drugs. Here is some information on different drugs you may encounter. If you determine you have a drug dependency problem or just want more information, please contact a Wellness Counselor.

Aspirin: This is one of the most commonly abused drugs. It is also, however, one of the most useful medicines. It has three functions:
(1) analgesia (pain relieving);
(2) anti-inflammatory (reduces redness and swelling); and
(3) antipyretic (reduces fever).
With the exception of those few people who are allergic to it, two aspirins every six hours are safe for nearly everyone. Aspirin is useful for most headaches, fevers, minor injuries and illnesses. Aspirin should be avoided if you have the flu or chicken pox. Aspirin may contribute to Reye's Syndrome during these illnesses.
Caffeine: The users of cola drinks, coffee, tea, and chocolate don't think they are taking drugs, but all these beverages contain caffeine, a drug, which is sometimes prescribed medically. Those who overuse drinks containing caffeine use drugs in the truest sense, and some are addicted.
Tobacco: Tobacco is addictive due to its content of nicotine. Nicotine decreases blood flow to vital organs which contributes to disease of these organs. Seven known carcinogens, over 1,000 chemicals, and many toxic gases enter your bloodstream each time you light up. Smoking is the number‐one voluntary health risk. Tobacco abuse increases your risk of chronic bronchitis, emphysema, upper respiratory and lung infections, and coronary artery and cardiovascular disease. It is a leading risk factor for cancer of the larynx, lung, mouth, throat, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, and bladder. It has recently been shown to increase women's risk of cancer of the cervix. A new form of tobacco abuse smokeless tobacco - is just as dangerous and addicting as smoking. The greatest risk is oral cancer, but it also causes dental problems-tooth decay, bad breath, discolored teeth, and gum disease.
Alcohol: Although alcohol is legal, it is a potentially lethal drug and can be addictive. See section on Alcohol.
Marijuana: Marijuana is a dangerous and illegal drug. It damages the lungs in the same way as cigarette smoke, causes chest pain because of increased heart rate, reduces short-term memory, and affects the reproductive system of males and females. Its chronic use is associated with "amotivational syndrome,"‐loss of motivation and interest in school, work, and friends. Marijuana also interferes with coordination, reactions, and judgment. Marijuana is psychologically addictive.
Stimulants: The amphetamines (bennies, dexies, speed), methamphetamines (ice, crystal), and cocaine (coke, blow, flake, snow, crack, rock) fall into this class of drug. These drugs are not harmless. They raise blood pressure and respirations. Sudden death due to cardiac arrhythmias or stroke can occur at anytime, even with the first use. Users of stimulants build up tolerance so that more and more of the drug is needed to get the same effect. These drugs can by psychologically and physically addictive.
Narcotics: This class of drugs includes opium, morphine, codeine, and heroin. These drugs are addictive. They are used medically to alleviate pain; but even in this case, must be used cautiously because of the tendency to produce addiction.
Sedatives: Barbiturates like Phenobarbital are the main drugs in the sedative class. As with virtually all classes of drugs, these have definite medical value. They are, however, physically addictive. Sudden withdrawal from Phenobarbital can cause severe problems including convulsions, just as sudden withdrawal from alcohol can produce delirium tremens (DT's) and convulsions in an alcoholic.
Psychedelic Drugs: The major psychedelics are Mescaline, Psilocybin, and LSD. These drugs increase pulse, heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature. They also cause chills, nausea, irregular breathing, confusion, and hallucinations. Frequent users can have flashbacks without taking additional drugs. There is also evidence that LSD can cause permanent genetic damage. Psychedelic drugs are very unpredictable. One "trip" may be good and another may be disastrous. There is a great danger of bodily injury to self and others.


Drinking is so much a part of American culture that we take it for granted. We drink at home, at parties, in bars, in restaurants, and at football games. We drink to relax, to break the ice, to celebrate, to show off, and to forget. We often forget that we have a choice ‐ to drink or not to drink. The choice is ours alone, and we alone are responsible for the decision.

When deciding what role alcohol should play in your life, you should consider not drinking at all. Join the 50 million adults who have chosen not to drink.

Alcohol is potent-it affects the brain powerfully and quickly. Alcohol kills. It is a major factor in motor vehicle accidents, drownings and violent crime. Alcohol destroys. It ruins careers, breaks up families, and leads to personal tragedy.

Long-term excessive abuse of alcohol increases the risks of heart disease, liver disease, cancer, brain damage, mental disorders, loss of sexual functions and blood disorders. Alcohol abuse during pregnancy can cause birth defects and other fetal abnormalities.

A small minority of us are problem drinkers. Check the list below to see if you fall into this category.

  1. Family, social, job or financial difficulties due to drinking.
  2. Loss of ability to control drinking.
  3. "Blackouts," or forgetting what happened while drinking.
  4. Distressing reactions if drinking is stopped.
  5. A need to drink increasingly more to get the desired effect.
  6. Changes in behavior or personality when drinking.
  7. Getting drunk frequently-more than four times a year.
  8. Injuring oneself or someone else while intoxicated.
  9. Breaking the law while intoxicated.
  10. Starting the day with a drink.

If your choice is to continue to drink, be sure you are a responsible drinker as described below.

  1. Drinks while relaxing, not to relax.
  2. Eats before and during drinking.
  3. Has two or fewer drinks daily.
  4. Abstains periodically.
  5. Doesn't rush or rush others when drinking.
  6. Feels comfortable alternating alcoholic with non‐alcoholic drinks.
  7. Follows legal sanctions pertaining to drinking (legal age, driving while intoxicated, etc.).
  8. Recognizes alcohol as a potent drug.
  9. Respects the right of others to drink or not to drink.

If you know someone who is not a responsible drinker or who seems to have a drinking problem, don't be afraid to talk to him/her about it. Show some concern and offer some support while avoiding preaching or criticizing. Discuss the issue when neither of you is drinking. Be prepared to offer alternatives as to what kinds of professional help are available. Wellness Counselors can help by referring individuals with drinking problems to the appropriate agency or support group.

Haven/HavenPlus & AlcoholEdu
As part of our federal compliance mandate to address Title IX and comprehensive prevention efforts for new and returning students, Augusta Technical College expects you to complete the Haven/HavenPlus and AlcoholEdu courses. Haven and HavenPlus are programs on sexual assault prevention techniques. AlcoholEdu is a program that provides alcohol abuse prevention techniques. These 2 hour online courses are thoughtful, educated, and educating programs for adults of all ages committed to thinking about their life choices, as well as assisting others. Students are requested to complete the courses in their first semester of attendance

Latex in the Workplace

There appears to be an alarming rise in associated sensitivity and the number of allergic reactions to latex gloves, etc. Workers exposed to latex gloves and other products containing natural rubber latex may develop allergic reactions such as skin rashes; hives, nasal, eye, or sinus symptoms; and (rarely) shock. Students in health related majors, cosmetology, child development, or culinary arts are at risk for developing latex allergy if they use latex gloves frequently. Recommendations for preventing latex allergy in the work place are available in the NIOSH ALERT Bulletin “Preventing Allergic Reactions to Natural Rubber Latex in the Workplace” which may be found in the above mentioned departments.


Diphtheria and Tetanus: Routine immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough) in childhood has been common practice in the United States for the past 30 years. If you didn't get your "baby shots," primary immunization can be done as an adult in a series of three shots. It is recommended that all persons who have had primary immunization receive booster doses every 10 years. Under certain conditions, such as treatment of a puncture wound or an unclean wound, more frequent injections may be indicated.
Measles (Rubeola) Vaccine: Measles is often a severe disease. It is frequently complicated by secondary infections. Measles vaccines were introduced in the early 1960's, but some of them were ineffective and were withdrawn from the market in 1967. If you were vaccinated in 1968 or later, you received the "live further attenuated" vaccine (live further attenuated means the vaccine contains a live but weakened virus that won't produce the clinical disease but will produce immunity). Persons who received any other kind of vaccine should be revaccinated, unless they know they had the measles. There have been recent outbreaks of rubeola on college campuses across the U.S. If in doubt about your vaccination record, check with your doctor.
Rubella (German Measles) Vaccine: Rubella is a common childhood rash disease, and childhood cases are often overlooked or misdiagnosed because signs and symptoms vary. The most common features of rubella include enlarged lymph nodes, joint pain, and a transient rash usually with low fever. Rubella vaccine has been available since 1969, and it is recommended that everyone receives a vaccination, not so much to prevent the benign illness as to provide protection for women of childbearing age. If a woman becomes infected during the first three months of pregnancy, there is a risk of serious birth defects. It is recommended that you check your vaccination record; and if in doubt, we recommend a blood test for rubella antibodies. If the blood test indicates that antibodies are not present, you are susceptible to rubella and immunization will be offered after contraception counseling. With rubella, as with other live‐virus vaccines, there is a theoretical risk to the fetus if a woman is vaccinated during pregnancy.
Mumps Vaccine: Live‐virus mumps vaccine was first introduced in 1967. The vaccine produces a subclinical (mild or no symptoms) non-communicable (not “catching”) infection with very few side effects. On the other hand, mumps itself can be serious in adults, so it is important to have immunity. Mumps virus vaccine is available to anyone without history of the disease or of effective vaccination.
Polio/Triv Series: In severe cases, polio can be a serious disease resulting in permanent paralysis or even death. It is most likely to affect children from 6-16 but may occur in extremely serious form in adults. Polio can be prevented by three doses plus two boosters of oral vaccine. Immunity is permanent.
Hepatitis B Vaccine: Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis B virus can be transmitted by contact with body fluids including blood (including contaminated needles, semen, tears, saliva, urine, breast milk, and vaginal secretions. Health workers are at high risk of acquiring Hepatitis B because of frequent contact with blood or body fluids and, therefore, vaccine is recommended to prevent the illness. “Recombivax HB” (Hepatitis B vaccine {Recombinant}) is noninfectious Recombinant DNA Hepatitis B vaccine. Clinical studies have shown that after three doses 96% of healthy adults have been seroprotected. Three doses of Hepatitis B vaccine are needed to confer protection and are generally administered at 0, 1, and 6 months.


Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a bacterium that causes infections in different parts of the body. It's tougher to treat than most strains of staphylococcus Aureus - or staph ­ because it's resistant to some commonly used antibiotics. The symptoms of MRSA depend on where you're infected. Most often, it causes mild infections on the skin, like sores or boils. But it can also cause more serious skin infections or infect surgical wounds, the bloodstream, the lungs, or the urinary tract. Though most MRSA infections aren't serious, some can be life-threatening. Many public health experts are alarmed by the spread of tough strains of MRSA. Because it's hard to treat, MRSA is sometimes called a "super bug."

MRSA is spread by contact with an infected person or object. MRSA infections are common among people who have weak immune systems and are in hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care centers. Infections can appear around surgical wounds or invasive devices, like catheters or implanted feeding tubes. Rates of infection in hospitals, especially intensive care units, are rising throughout the world. In U.S. hospitals, MRSA causes more than 60% of staph infections.

Students in clinical programs are instructed by faculty concerning the importance using personal protective equipment (PPE) and hygiene rituals to protect from exposure to MRSA and other bacterium.

Blood Borne Pathogens

The Board of the State Department of Technical and Adult Education has a policy on Occupational Exposure to Blood and Airborne Pathogens that governs the actions of faculty and students in this Technical College’s occupational training program and courses when performing tasks, procedures or activities which have the potential for accidental exposure to either blood borne or airborne pathogens. Augusta Technical College has an Exposure Control Plan designed to provide the faculty and students with a recognition of tasks, procedures and activities which present the potential for occupational exposure to blood and airborne pathogens and means of eliminating or minimizing risks in the performance of their instructional duties or student tasks. Contact the Infection Control Coordinator, Ernest Quattlebaum at (706)771-4195 for information regarding the Exposure Control Plan or the programs designated as having the possibility of exposure.

Right To Know

It is the intent of the Hazardous Chemical Right‐To‐Know program to inform employees and students of any potential hazardous chemicals that may be encountered at Augusta Technical College. Also, the program states that Augusta Technical College must accomplish any tasks in a safe and efficient manner. For more information regarding Right-To‐Know, please contact Michael Anchor at (706) 771-4021.