Student Wellness: Student Health 101

Student Wellness: Student Health 101

Some of you have probably been reading our column and wondering who exactly we are and what exactly we do. Well, WNMU’s Student Health Services provides a number of services to WNMU students, including medical, mental health, and disability.

The nurse on staff, Laura, provides students with a number of different medical needs, and when those needs cannot be met, a referral will be made by the nurse to seek outside medical attention. If you develop cold symptoms, like a running rose, coughing, fever, you can come visit the nurse, who will conduct a check up. The nurse is able to prescribe medications, or encourage you to seek over the counter medication at a pharmacy. The nurse can also give allergy shots, immunizations, TB test, UTI exams, and physicals. The nurse has a Title X Family Planning grant, which provides family planning and preventative services. This includes birth control methods, like IUD, pills, and implants. Students also have access to Plan B, but keep in mind you will have to take a pregnancy test before being prescribed Plan B. In order to avoid having to come in for medical issues, make sure you practice healthy habits on a daily basis, like washing your hands and covering your mouth during coughs. Prevention is always the best way to go!

Our counselor, Sarah, provides services for students for a number of different issues, whether on a short or long term basis. If you are struggling with relationship problems, anger, anxiety, depression, grief or loss, trauma, lack of motivation or concentration, eating problems, substance use, sexuality, stress, feeling overwhelmed, or just want to talk with an objective person, the campus counselor can help. If you are experiencing issues within your family, in a relationship, whether partner or friend/roommate, you can come in together. You can also come in for crisis counseling during the hours of operation if a situation occurs. If there is a crisis during nights or weekends, please call campus police. Campus police will call to inform the therapist of the crisis, and the therapist will give the student a call back to see them. The therapist can also be reached through the housing director. If you would like to be referred to someone else, the therapist can also refer you to someone in the area.

Finally, the disabilities coordinator, JoBeth, helps students get the support services and tools they need to access and participate in opportunities at the university. Types of disabilities include learning, psychological, attention deficit, medical and physical, and others. Support tools include getting tested for disabilities, providing letters for professors to inform them of any accommodations, and test proctoring. Students can gain access to disabilities forms through the WNMU website at http://health.wnmu.edu/accessibility/students/ by clicking on the Disability Services top on the top of the page. These forms include test proctoring, alternate text request, testing proctor form procedures, petition for services, authorization to release healthcare information, reasonable housing accommodation request, verification form for reasonable housing accommodation, and petition for services. DSS works with the housing department to allow students to have emotional support and service animals when warranted. For more information, check the DSS website for policies regarding emotional support and service animals.

Students, keep in mind that you pay for these services through your student fees, so take advantage! Students are allowed five medical visits and fifteen counseling visits per academic year, and once those are used up, they will only have to pay $15 for each future visit. If you are a new patient, be prepared to fill out some paperwork prior to seeing someone.

Student Health Services is dedicated to keeping a student’s information confidential per the rules of HIPAA. This means that anything you say to the nurse, counselor, or disabilities coordinator will be kept confidential. You can sign a release form letting them know of any person who is privy to your information, in case of an emergency. However, if they feel as if you are a threat to yourself or others, campus police, local police, and hospital services may become involved.

For more information on any of these services you can refer to the school website, call SHS at (575) 538-6014, or stop by at the Juan Chacon Building on the ground floor. Walk-ins are always welcome, but it is always better to schedule an appointment.