Campus Spotlight on Health Services

Chance Hall, more commonly known as the Health Center, is the on-campus site for minor illness and injury care. Full-time students’ fees cover health services and there is no charge for the care, supplies, or medications received here. There may be times when off-site lab tests, x-rays, or emergency care is needed that require payment so student health insurance coverage is strongly encouraged.

The Health Center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with health care providers, medical doctors (MDs) and nurse practitioners (NPs), available three to four hours each day. Please call early in the morning for an appointment. Emergency contraception is available as a same day appointment when providers are here.

A nurse is available on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to answer questions and assist with self care and triage concerns. Health Center office assistants help with appointment scheduling and over-the-counter (OTC) medications so please call if you have any questions.

Acute care for ailments like sore throat, cough, nausea or vomiting, allergies or the flu is available.  Helping services are available for students concerned with possibly having a urinary tract infection (UTI) or sexually transmitted infection (STI). When OTC medications, a visit with the doctor, or referral to other providers (for example, x-ray, Urgent Care or hospital) is needed, students first meet with a nurse.

The staff will assess a student’s medical situation and help plan options. Often illnesses such as colds, “stomach flu,” or other viruses lack helpful antibiotics. However, there are many symptom relievers available at Health Services that can make students more comfortable until the illness is gone.  Particular symptoms may have many different origins and the nurses can do assessments and some simple tests to help discover the cause.

Some examples include “mono” tests, strep screens, pregnancy tests, urine dips to check for infections, and glucose monitoring to check blood sugar status for diabetics.

After triage, students will be given an appointment with a provider or will be suggested things they can try to relieve any pain or discomfort. If it’s something that can’t wait or needs more than the Health Center can offer, a referral to an Urgent Care, Fast Track or Emergency Room may be recommended.

Part of the function of the Health Center is to help students manage their own health concerns and to become knowledgeable health care consumers. Learning what common illnesses and injuries are and what self care is appropriate enables students to get well faster and avoid costly ineffective remedies and unnecessary doctor visits. Smoking cessation, drug and alcohol education, and STI prevention are just some of the topics the Health Center teaches.

Preventative health care is extremely important. The old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” comes to mind. Wound care and infection prevention is a common issue. Preventing serious illness or injury will help students avoid pain and disruption of their college experience.

Health Services encourages all students to visit the Health Center for more information.

All information was complied and submitted by Linda Wallace, Director of Health Services and a registered nurse.

Political Activism in the Era of the Sound Bite

The election season is upon us and this is by no means an ordinary election cycle. Anger and hatred have dominated our political dialogue just two years after hope and change reigned.

As James Carville said, “it’s the economy, stupid.” 10% of the country remains unemployed and that may well be driving the bizarre behavior of the electorate. Yet, despite the irrational and often psychotic movement that calls for religious, racial and ideological purity, a legitimate point arises – our government is broken.

The times when our elected officials would leave session and continue the debate over a beer are over. Instead, they leave session and go to separate war rooms to plot against the opposite party.

Now many point to our system – the 24 hour news cycle, cameras on the floor, primaries seeking idealistic purity… etc.. etc… And there is no question that our system has flaws.
But in an off year election, 50 percent of people show up to the polls.

In a poll conducted by the Economist last April, when asked how best to reduce Federal spending, 71 percent of Americans pointed to the Foreign Aid budget as the best area to cut. Foreign Aid represents less than 1 percent of the Federal budget. I am not a math major but I am certain that cutting 1 percent of a 3.5 trillion dollar budget won’t make a dent in a 14 trillion dollar debt.

My point is that our broken government is not the result of some structural problem or the greed of politicians (though both of those exist). It is broken because we can’t be bothered to pay attention until some moron is shouting “THEY ARE GOING TO KILL YOUR GRANDMOTHER” through a megaphone. And when we do, the only message we buy into is whatever short, alteration filled message scares the crap out of us.

The problems our country faces are massive. A bankrupt health care system, two wars, a growing immigration population, massive debt – but the problem that causes the rest, or at least the one that prevents solutions to the others, is our inability to engage in our political process.

Engaging in our political process means more then just voting. It means understanding the issues, discussing the issues, speaking with your representatives and working on campaigns. Too often people say things like, “well, I am not really political” or “I don’t understand politics” but politics just cannot be the interest of only political science majors.

Fortunately, it’s not too late. We are entering an election cycle, campaigns are looking for volunteers. Go, find a candidate you believe in and knock on some doors or make some phone calls. An hour or two a week and you can have a huge impact on an election.