Q: What are my healthcare options?

Every fall semester, thousands of young adults from all over the world descend on the campus, eager to embark on their academic journey. And inevitably, hundreds also come down with an illness.

For many students, not only is this their first time away from home, but it also the first time they cannot count on mom to serve up some good old-fashioned chicken noodle soup and a side of love to make everything better.

While the University may not have mom’s magic touch, it does offer a variety of services to meet students’ healthcare needs through the McKinley Health Center, 1109 S. Lincoln Ave.

From cold products and condoms to pregnancy tests and wound care packages, students can items free of charge from several of McKinley’s Health Resource Centers located throughout campus.

Each student is assessed a mandatory health service fee every semester upon enrollment at the university, which covers most services provided by McKinley.

Jan Phillips, assistant director of health information and systems, said some immunizations and medications may require and additional fee, but it is usually low cost.

Phillips says students can get most of the same non-emergency medical care at McKinley as they could from a private physician’s office, with a few exceptions.

She said that while doctors can take X-rays and diagnose patient injuries, they are unable to set broken bones at the campus facility, so students would need to seek outside care for those issues.

Anthony Levenda, a graduate student, thought he might be one of those patients, but said McKinley doctors determined his bone was not broken and they were able to treat him there.

While he said he received adequate care when he needed it, Levenda did not believe McKinley’s doctors could be much help if students required a specialist, like a dermatologist.

Sandra Olsen, a senior in FAA, agreed that while McKinley did come up short in some areas, she said she still liked the accessibility of care.

“I found the Dial-A-Nurse was useful because you can call at any time of the day,” Olsen said. “The people on the phone are calming and they make you feel comfortable.”

Phillips said students can also use McKinley’s online services 24 hours a day to schedule appointments, renew prescriptions, view test results and read educational brochures.

New students should also familiarize themselves with McKinley’s appointment cancellation policy in order to avoid racking up unnecessary fees.

The health center is open six days a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Saturday and weekdays throughout the year.

While McKinley does provide an array of non-emergency related services, students requiring critical medical care should call 911 (9-911 on campus), or go to the nearest local hospital.