Ok, so you woke up this morning with a sore throat and a cough. You feel hot then cold.
You feel too crappy to go to class, and the cough drops and Dayquil aren’t cutting it. Thoughts of flesh eating strep, H1N1, and rheumatic fever flash through your mind. You see yourself moaning in a hospital bed and on dialysis.
Aha! The Wilce Student Health Center! What a thought! And you can get a note for missing class (and even better, that awful Spanish midterm)!
So you dial 292-4321 and wait. And wait. And wait. You put the phone on speaker and start doing the dishes. And wait. You use the bathroom. And wait. Oh, the Muzak is so awful.
What is taking so &%@# long!? You don’t want to wait on hold forever only to be told there are no appointments left. So what can you do to improve my chances of being seen at the Student Health Center on the same day!?
BE EARLY: Remember, the early bird gets the worm! Our phones are open at 7:30 am, and we reserve a large block of same day appointments for sick students every day. The earlier you call (before 10am is best), the better the chance that you’ll find an open spot that fits your schedule. Unfortunately, you can’t count on coming in at 2 or 3 o’clock and getting an instant appointment. By 3 pm the phones have been ringing for over 7 ½ hours with hundreds of sick students!
BE FLEXIBLE: We know your schedules are very hectic and often not under your control and we truly do everything we can to accommodate your needs. We’re now open until 7pm Monday through Thursday (5pm on Fridays) as well as 9am-1pm on Saturdays when there’s no home football games. But there will be times when our availability is limited and you may have to miss class to see a doctor. Most professors are pretty understanding when it comes to the flu.
BE SPECIFIC: Have a thermometer on hand and be specific about your symptoms. Don’t just call and say “I’m sick.” Check out our website for flu information and the University’s flu website for instructions in dealing with missed classes. There is just no way we can see every student who develops cold symptoms this time of year. The guidelines on these websites are designed to let you know when you need to be evaluated by a health care provider and when it’s OK to try some things at home first. but when in doubt, give us a call.
BE PATIENT: Thanks to H1N1, we are in the midst of an extremely busy flu season. We are being inundated with hundreds of students who are calling or walking into the Health Center every day and while we are doing our best to meet their needs, we realize that some of them are going to have a less than great experience. But hurling every four letter word you can think of at us won’t help. We do value your feedback, but please remember that there are appropriate ways for you to give it. You can fill out the patient comment forms near the main entrance of our building, or speak to our Patient Advocate.
We hope that you won’t need to see us this winter, but if you do, rest assured that we’ll do our best to make it as positive experience as possible for you!
Jonda Hapner-Yengo, RN (Student Health Services)