SHC works to improve

The Student Health Center, accredited since 1995, is the designated part of the University established to assist students with medical issues.

Open seven days a week, the SHC provides many services that cover almost every ailment a student may have. Staff members include dietary health consultants, mental health providers, technical and administrative staff and health educators.

“What I’m beginning to notice, and what a lot of students are telling us is that they’re coming here instead of where they used to go because out wait time’s better,” said John Maxwell, director of the SHC. “I speak with directors [from different institutions] day in and day out. Quite frankly, I think we’re the best student health center in country. We’ve got an ER physician, which is great because they work with speed. Speed is not as important as quality care, that’s number one. But, you can do quality care quickly sometimes too.

“Over the past several years, we’ve worked to get our lab and our x-ray and our billing and our pharmacy all working together so that the right hand knows what the left hands doing and we’ve been able to speed things up.”

As Maxwell said, all physicians can treat students with any concern with exceptions of GYN and ADHD patients. Students can go to the SHC for sicknesses ranging from allergies to sprained ankles.

With the increased student enrollment, the SHC has made adjustments and improvements to stay efficient. This semester the facility has been seeing many patients for the flu and upper respiratory infections. Wait time is a subject that the staff at the SHC has taken into consideration.

“We see a large number of students here,” said Tywann Avery, director of nursing. “We try to work on [wait time], we try to get them in and try to get them out. We try to be student friendly, student focused and student first. We know they’re excited to get back to class when they come here. So, we do what we can to expedite their services.”

According to Avery, the SHC is conscientious of wait time. The wait varies depending on the time of the day, and the staff has electronic charting that tells when a student has been waiting for a long period of time. On a busy day, a student may have to wait 45 minutes to an hour. To help with the wait time the SHC has hired more nurses and more physicians that will be able to see students quicker.

“[My visit] was really fast,” said Andy Gordan, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering. “It only took about thirty minutes for everything, so it was really fast. In the past I’ve gone to urgent care centers and it’s been crowded and taken forever. I didn’t think the SHC would be as busy and it’s convenient because it’s right here on campus.”

Gordan said he would advise students to take advantage of the SHC because of its convenience and speedy service.

Along with treating patients, there is a pharmacy located inside of the SHC where students can get prescriptions filled right on the spot. Having a pharmacy proves to be another convenience of the SHC.

The department of health promotion and wellness is one of the latest and greatest projects coming through the UA SHC, Maxwell said. As stated on the official website, the department is dedicated to promoting a healthy campus environment, enhancing student well-being and fostering student empowerment to achieve optimal health and academic success. Health and promotion offers individual and group education on different topics and hosts special health awareness events among other things.

“[Our health education and wellness] does alcohol.edu, mental health.edu; they have strategic teams for financial health,” Maxwell said. “You name it, they’re tops. They are really good.”

As a part of the SHC’s health promotion and wellness initiative, each Monday there is a booth set up on the quad giving out information on a number of different topics.

For more information on health promotion and wellness and the SHC visit the official website, cchs.ua.edu/shc/.

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