By Krystal Kaufman
Student Health Services, previously located on the first floor of the Milo Bail Student Center, has moved to the first floor of the HPER building. The HPER building, which has undergone numerous renovations, is home to a new and improved Student Health Services office. The move is in part because the staff and students had outgrown the old office. It was also a decision made by UNO students. After student focus groups on the issue and touring many other facilities, the new building was made a reality.
The reception area showcases a modern theme, from the color scheme to the pictures, even the fabric on the chairs. Now there are flat panel TV’s, more seating and a full-service reception desk. The entire office is much larger than the previous one and is capable of offering more services. Some of the services offered by Student Health Services include OB-GYN, family medicine (including emergency medicine) and psychiatry.
Some new additions include an X-ray machine, two full-service restrooms (as opposed to the one restroom prior), four nurse work stations, several exam rooms, a procedure room, an alcohol and drug office, a clerical and billing office, a conference room, a physician office and even a graduate student office. The new equipment is also bariatric, so that larger people can be accommodated.
Another special addition to the center is the “quiet room.” It was designed to put the patients at ease when the doctor has to inform them of potentially difficult news.
Marcia Adler, director of Student Health Services gave some insight into the many changes that have taken place. Before, patients had to get their news while sitting in the exam room.
“This is a room where we can sit and talk with a patient,” Adler said. “[We wanted a room] more homelike and safe.”
There is also an interesting exam room that is a new addition.The room has a laminar air vent, which allows for air to circulate faster. This circulation decreases disease exposure to people who are less able to fight it off.
“[It is] off the beaten path for a purpose,” Adler said.
Another change designed to ward off bacteria is uncarpeted rooms. The previous space had carpet in every room and it wasn’t as sanitary.
“Before all my rooms were carpeted,” Adler said. “I had to trust that it got cleaned, but now I can see it.”
A fun addition to the new space is the call lights for the nurses and doctors. Each light is associated with a sound to alert the nurses and doctors that a urine sample is ready or an exam room is open.
The conference room will hold meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and the Alcohol 101 class.
The X-ray room also sports a door to the outside hallway. This allows an injured person to head directly to the x-ray room instead of going through the office to get to it.
Student Health Services will also be adding an orthopedics department. Previously the students had to go to doctors off campus to receive additional treatment, but now there will be in-house doctors, including Mike Walsh, an athletic physician.
The new space is progressive of the old space and the staff feels lucky to have a more functional office.
“We feel so fortunate,” Adler said.
Some students also feel the new office is an improvement from the old one. Keith Reagan, an employee at the HPER building, received a tour of the improved facility.
“My dad is a local physician and it is as up-to-date as his offices are,” Reagan said. “It doesn’t look like it belongs at a college.”
Bob Fleming, another employee at the HPER building, agreed.
“You actually feel like you’re in a doctor’s office,” Fleming said.
He said it is great that the new office can provide the students with more services. Reagan has seen more and more students using the facility. He thinks that once the construction is done and more classes begin that Student Health Services will be more visible to students.
Although the new facility might be out of the way for some, Fleming said it is easier to find than the last one. People shouldn’t have to ask where it is, since it is visible from right inside the doors.
“We pay for them [the services] already, so might as well use them,” Fleming said.
To make an appointment with Student Health Services, call (402) 554-2374.