Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Health options expand on, off campus

College is all about keeping up with assignments, exams and social life. Many students find it difficult to have time to keep track of their personal health and wellness. Health and health-related behaviors affect college students and their academic success, according to the 2015 College Student Health Survey of the Boynton Health Service of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, UMTC.

However, the PSUC Student Health and Counseling Center is now offering a mini self-care station on weekends. Also, Planned Parenthood of the North Country, located at 66 Brinkerhoff St., is now opening a Saturday Clinic from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for patients 21 and younger. This clinic is available every other Saturday and began this past Saturday, Jan. 28.
The mini self-care station provides students basic medication for cold care, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea and pain relief bags.

“What we did is we put out some self-care package,” Director of the Student Health and Counseling Center Kathleen Camelo said.

The common cold, flu and sore throats are prevalent across college campuses, especially this time of year. Camelo said students can help themselves by taking advantage of the self-care packages.

“If anybody starts to catch a cold, there are cold medications such as Zinc, which helps to decrease the duration of cold symptoms,” she said.

She also referred the self-care station as a mini version of the Health Center.

“On the weekends, sometimes people just feel sick,” Camelo said. “They don’t need to go to the hospital or emergency rooms, but they can use the over counter medications.”

She is also focused on the purpose of the mini self-care station, which is not only to help people feel more comfortable, but also to educate them about how to take care of their personal health.

“We are also trying to make people learn how to use the medical services appropriately,” Camelo said.

PSUC nursing freshman Ella Levasalmi supported the new services of the Health Center and referred it as a “wonderful idea.”

“It is very beneficial for students,” she said. “Sometimes, if you are sick, you don’t want to think about going to the store and getting medication.”

Levasalmi also believed that the new services could benefit students financially.

“It’s great that the mini self-care station is now open on weekends,” she said. “Running out of cough syrup during a busy weekend was awful before this was implemented.”

In addition, PSUC medical technology sophomore Tran Nguyen said the new service is a great idea for students to learn the basics for self-treatments. It would help students save time and money rather than go to the hospital, according to her.

Along with on-campus assistance, the Saturday Clinic has convenient office hours where people can now easily arrange an appointment on their day off, according Camelo.

Levasalmi said having the clinic open on Saturday can make it more accessible for those under 21 who might have school, work or other responsibilities.

“Also Planned Parenthood is such a good resource for many aspects of health that affect young women especially,” Levalsami said.

She also emphasized on the importance for students to learn how to take care of themselves and when to seek professional help.

“There is not always someone to look after you,” Levalsami said. “It is dependent on us, the students, to take initiative and to learn about how to take care of ourselves.”

Otherwise, Dr. Camelo recommended students to put their health first in order to function well academically and socially. She hopes the new services could help students catch up with their personal health and take care of themselves.

Email Hilly Nguyen at cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

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