Written by Tatyana Phelps, Managing Editor
Once doors are locked and “open” signs are flipped to “closed” when 5 p.m. hits, services at the Student Health Center will only be a call away.
After SGA reached out to VSU’s Student Health Center, they are now providing an after-hours on call nurse service to students.
“Offering the service was a great opportunity for the health center to increase patient care for our students,” Lynette Lewis, Administrator/Asst. Director, said.
Nearly six years ago, the Health Center offered services for four hours on Saturdays to VSU students. However, according to Lewis, the Saturday visits declined from an average of 11 patients per Saturday in 2010 to only 3 patients per Saturday in 2015. Although patient visits were decreasing, costs were increasing.
“The after-hours on call service will increase the coverage hours and decrease costs while providing our students with assistance with making health care decisions,” Lewis said.
The current Health Center hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday. The on-call nurse service will be available during all other hours.
Students can utilize this new service for any health situation, and the nurse will advise them on which step they need to take next.
“The on-call nurse will inform the student when it is necessary to have immediate care or wait until we are open,” Lewis said.
Although the after-hours service will only be available over the phone, it will still be beneficial to students, and possibly save money and a trip to the emergency room.
“The benefit to the students would be the service will provide them a health resource option when we are closed, which will increase the student’s ability to make informed health care decisions,” Lewis said.
With this new system, Lewis says that the Health Center hopes to increase patient care and provide students will help, even when they are closed.
“The health center is hoping to accomplish Increase patient care and ensure that our students have a health resource when we are closed,” Lewis said.
There are no additional charges for this service, and any student who has paid his or her student health fee in need of medical assistance after the close of business can call the Student Health Center to utilize this new service. The after-hours on call phone service is provided by a national company, FONEMED, and the phone number is 229-259-2083.