Sick of Being Sick

Being sick is never fun. It’s even less fun at college, where illness means you lose out on dressing up for TNC, hanging out with your friends late at night, and, oh yeah, you might get behind in your classes too. Illness can even make Domino’s cheesy bread  unappetizing. But what’s even worse than that? The prospect of visiting Student Health Services.

As a senior, I’ve tried to stay as far away from SHS as possible. Aside from a few physicals for sports and study abroad, I have willed myself not to get sick at school, or bribed my roommate to bring me Tylenol, NyQuil and Gatorade when things looked really grim. I’ve heard horror stories about the place: some people have told me the practitioners always try to give you a pregnancy test, even if you go in with a head cold. I’ve had friends complain about misdiagnoses, refusals to test for certain illnesses, and general grumpiness. All of this made me a little wary about visiting, but after sweating through my clothes with fever, it was a necessary step.

When I walked in at 8:30 in the morning, looking extremely disheveled and generally unhappy, the front office staff seemed surly and told me to take a seat and wait. That turned out to be the least pleasant part of my day (other than being sick, of course). The nurse called me into one of the examination rooms, asked me about all of my symptoms, and promptly sent the doctor my way. His exam was thorough and professional, and I was not once offered a pregnancy test!

After the doctor wrote my prescription, I brought it over to the in-house dispensary, where I picked up all my medication in under five minutes. The women working there actually spent time making sure I understood when and how to take the pills, and were friendly and cheerful to boot.

I spent more time (three hours) at SHS than anyone should want to, but thankfully none of the horror stories I had heard about came true. Instead, the doctors and nurses were professional, helpful, funny in the face of sick kids, and generally wanted to help the students who came in with any number of ailments. Although I don’t wish that anyone should have to visit the Health Center, if you’re sick, it is an excellent resource on campus for most college illnesses.

Student Health Services is open Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 8AM-5PM, Wednesday from 8AM-7PM, and Thursday from 9AM-5PM. You can call 909-621-8222 to schedule a free appointment, or try your luck during walk-in hours (every day from 9-11AM and 1-3PM.  There is a $15 surcharge). The facility is located on the first floor of Tranquada Student Services Center at 757 College Way, just south of the library and bookstore. If you go, say hi to Martha, my favorite nurse.