My Opinion: Students need to use the health services they pay for
November 08, 2011
By Dominique Mayes
Your Capital Bureau
This time of year is when doctors’ offices and clinics are swamped as the change in weather brings the flu season and other sicknesses.
College students can find it difficult to maintain their health and juggle an academic schedule at the same time. What many students do not realize is that they pay a $59 health fee along with their tuition each semester at Florida A&M University.
This health fee guarantees students treatment at the campus health clinic. The only eligibility requirement is that the student is currently enrolled for six or more credit hours.
The student health fee entitles students to free office visits. The charges for services that are not covered by the student health fee are discounted and a reasonably priced. Students do not need insurance to be seen in the clinic or receive these benefits.
The problem is that students are not taking advantage of what they are already paying for. Student health services provides the same clinical services as any other medical office or urgent care facility.
However, the number of students who come to the health clinic to take advantage of its benefits are fewer than expected according to Director of Student Health Services Tanya Tatum.
“Not enough students take advantage of our services, and our sole goal is to raise awareness of the clinic,” she said. “Our biggest problem is that our facility and the staff are small, which causes longer waits when students do come for services.”
The only time the clinic holds presentations is during orientation for the incoming students and parents.
Keziah Orr, a third year business administration student is one of the students who don’t use the clinic.
“I have never used the health clinic because I was unaware of the services provided and I didn’t know how qualified the staff members were.”
Not every student is aware of what health services are available or where and how to receive this care. Perhaps one answer might be greater advertisement of services.
Students could be notified regularly about the campus health service facility and what it has to offer to its student body.
The health clinic could also benefit with a larger facility and, as it grows, with more staff members on hand to assist students and their needs.
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