Student Health Services provides limited help, informative handouts

Alicia Landrum

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Mercer’s Student Health Center, located in the Patterson Building, is available, free of charge, to all Mercer students, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00 and noon, and 1:00 and 5:00.
Students who choose to go to the Student Health Center will be evaluated by a nurse, but in order to meet with a doctor, an appointment must be made. This often proves difficult to arrange with any form of haste.
Many students have been disappointed with the treatment they receive from the Student Health Center.

Michael Dellapolla, senior biochemistry and molecular biology major, said, “I think that they don’t have enough rights. I don’t think they’re allowed to do enough, but the ladies who work there are so nice that I think they’d do more if they could.”

Senior creative writing major Rebecca Aileen Reed said, “Honestly, they aren’t up to date on treatment for things. I went there for bandages when I burned my hand. The nurse put sulfur it. They stopped doing that years ago. I’ve never had a good experience there.”

Liz Bibb, junior journalism and political science major, has had disappointing experiences at the Student Health Center. She had fallen in her bathroom and gotten a nasty bruise and cut on her forehead. She left work early and drove to the Student Health Center, because she began to feel nauseous.

Bibb said, “When I got there, the lady at the reception desk told me that there was no doctor in the building at the time, and that they did not have the equipment necessary to check for a concussion. To my knowledge, this equipment consists of a flashlight to shine in my eyes. She gave me a list of urgent care locations, told me it was good I had bangs to cover the bruise on my forehead, and sent me on my way.”

If a student is suffering from ailments that the Student Health Center is not equipped to treat, he or she is given a printout listing many local specialists. Specialists listed include ophthalmologists, gynecologists, neurologists, dermatologist and more.

Handouts are often used to distribute information at the Student Health Center.

The handout entitled “Student Health Center FAQs” explains the process of seeing a nurse or physician. It reads, “The nurse will triage/evaluate all patients; she will either treat you or refer you to the doctor, or to a facility off-campus. If you are here for a scheduled appointment, the doctor will see you after the nurse has screened you.”

Junior Brittany Dant said, “When I had mono, the doctor told me I had it by handing me an information packet called ‘So you have mono. What to do next.’”

For sore throats, the Student Health Center offers literature on a Central and South American cure-all for sore throats: eating raw pineapple.
Cameron Kunzelman, junior English major, said, “I felt like I was going to die and they gave me ‘magic mouthwash’ and told me I could see a doctor the next day… It was some kind of gargle stuff for a sore throat, and it actually worked. It really wasn’t that bad, and I didn’t die, so I guess they did their job.”

Former Mercer student Dustin Lee had a few unpleasant experiences at the Student Health Center during his three semesters at Mercer. He said, “After stumbling up the stairs to it with two broken toes, I waited for 35 minutes because the doctor was getting lunch. Also, he once told me I had ‘allergies’ when really I had a terrible throat infection that was eating me alive.”

The student health center does offer a variety of free goods, such as small packs of tampons, bags full of condoms and razors.
For students in need of medical assistance, call the Student Health Center during working hours at (478) 301-2696.

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