Campus health care center needs better hours

Every week the editorial board reflects on a current issue in Our View. The position taken does not reflect the opinions of everyone on the Hilltop Views staff.

Our Health and Counseling Center is not open on weekends, a time when students are both free and realize that they should probably take better care of themselves.

Most St. Edward’s students lead pretty active lives with class, friends, and participation in organizations. Sometimes students even sleep.

So, when they are faced with the choice of going to the health clinic to get their fever checked or finishing the math homework due at midnight, they usually choose the latter.

The University of Texas at Austin not only has an Urgent Care Clinic which is open on Saturdays, but it also has a 24-hour nurse advice line where students can call in to ask how to treat an illness or injury at home, or assess if they need to receive treatment at the clinic.

St. Edward’s University’s insurance (Humana) is very cheap and absolutely wonderful to have, but the difference between cheap healthcare and free non-healthcare is the difference most financially unstable students cannot afford.

This summer, one of the Viewpoints editors witnessed a man limping down the street. Upon inquiry, she found out that the man had been hit by a car. He was a college student and had refused an ambulance due to the cost.

This man was risking internal bleeding and broken bones because hospitalization would add to his student debt.

We are not advocating for a hospital on campus. If someone gets hit by a car, they probably shouldn’t go to the Health and Counseling Center first. But the idea stands: students need to take care of themselves, which is easier for them to do during the weekend.

During the week, students are inundated with classes, homework, athletics, work and meetings.

It is not always practical for them to get to the clinic on weekdays.

This is why the Health and Counseling Center should open its doors during the weekend, offering students the chance to receive the medical attention that they need during a time that they have a brief reprieve from their overwhelming weekday schedules.

In order for students to function, balancing school and all of their other activities, they must be healthy and well. The weekends are the perfect time for rest and recovery, a process in which the Health and Counseling Center must sometimes be involved.

The Health and Counseling Center is often very busy. During the winter season especially, it may take two or three days for the nurse practitioners to schedule a student.

Opening the clinic on Saturday and Sunday would clear up a huge block of time for the nurses to see more patients.

Extending the number of days the clinic is open would also offer more jobs for new nurse practitioners and therapists. This would expand the job market for St. Edward’s graduates that need experience in their chosen profession.