Health services on campus

By Erika Maldonado
October 8, 2009
Filed under News

Psychological counseling sessions and chiropractic evaluations are a few of the many services the Health Center provides that many students do not use, student health services coordinator Debbie Canover said.
“Most people think our campus Health Center is like high school where you lay on a cot, have your temperature taken and get an ice pack,” Conover said.
What most students don’t realize is the $17 health fee they pay with their tuition supports the full-service Health Center, which is located in between the North and South Physical Education Buildings.
A nurse practitioner is on hand during walk-in hours and is ready to evaluate any student that may be feeling sick, Conover said.
Walk-in hours at the Health Center vary from day-to-day, but the Health Center is open Monday through Friday at 8:30 a.m. and lasting until 7 p.m. some days, Conover said.
“I didn’t even know we had a health center,” Ruth Flores, business major, said. “But I’m definitely going to check it out and get my money’s worth.”
A nurse practitioner evaluates, determines the plan of care and either prescribes medication or refers the student to the physician.
This can be beneficial not only to students without health care, but also to students who do not have time to go to his or her private doctor because they do not want to miss class, Conover said.
Complex cases that require more medical attention than the Health Center can offer may receive doctor-to-doctor referrals to county hospitals, which can speed up the waiting process that can last as long as two or three months.
“We make no profit in the Health Center. That’s not what we’re here for. So if we get something low cost or free, those savings are passed on to our students,” Conover said.
Low cost and free medication ranging from asthma inhalers to antibiotics are available as well as contraception including birth control pills and up to six free condoms.
The Health Center also offers a low-cost STD clinic, which is open Tuesdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The STD clinic offers HIV, chlamydia and gonorrhea screenings where students are required to watch an informational video and take an urine test, Conover said.
Students can expect their results to come in the following week.
Although many students and faculty feel the Health Center is a valuable resource, it is closed during the summer session.
“You feel helpless as a faculty that that resource isn’t there. (The debate) has gone on for ten years now and every year we keep beating the horse again,” Conover said.
Whether or not students would be willing to pay an extra health fee during the summer session along with the tuition increases is one of the determining factors in opening the Health Center in the summer, President Thomas Fallo said.
“Students have to want it,” Fallo said.
Free workshops including anger management, understanding depression, test anxiety, and positive psychology: the science of feeling good, led by campus psychologists Ruth Taylor and Sally Emery are available in the Health Center now until December.
Interested students may sign up in the Health Center 15 minutes before the workshiops take place.
The upcoming workshop on understanding depression will take place Tuesday at 12 p.m. in the Health Center.

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