Tuition charges pay the price for many services on campus, however, most students aren’t aware of what some of those services are. One of those services is located inside the John D. Rowlette Building: Student Health Services (SHS). The SHS helps students who require medical attention.
“We’re similar to the little clinic,” said Patrese Nesbitt, health services manager.
Nesbitt said she worked with the university since last September, and has worked at the SHS since July. She said she mostly works with the department’s programming, supervising faculty nurse practitioners and working on a brand new system for their website to help make scheduling appointments easier. The new system will also allow students to fill out forms needed for the SHS and submit them online so they won’t need to fill anything out when going to their appointment, Nesbitt said.
The primary purpose of the SHS, Nesbitt said, is to help students who have colds, flus and fevers. They also provide STI testing, physicals, check rashes and bug bites, allergy shots, tuberculosis testing, flu shots and have a women’s clinic. All of the services offered are covered by student tuition, Nesbitt said. Additionally, SHS doesn’t bill the student’s insurance company.
“They don’t have to worry about the test results going back to their parents,” Nesbitt said.
The only service offered that requires out of pocket payment would be blood testing, such as HIV testing which can cost up to $43. However, the price can be lower depending on what test is required.
When it comes to payment, Nesbitt said, SHS doesn’t accept check or cash only credit and debit. The charges may show up under “Eastern Kentucky Univ.” or “EKU SHS” but nothing that can be specified, Nesbitt said.
“We do keep all that information confidential,” Nesbitt said.
When it comes to the services offered, the only thing the SHS doesn’t provide are x-rays and allergy testing, Nesbitt said. The STI tests check for the same criteria the state looks for which are usually chlamydia and gonorrhea.
The tests for STIs and HIV are sent to a lab, Nesbitt said. Results for HIV tests take about a week. She added that the SHS is trying to do something more “in-house” when it comes to testing.
The Women’s Health Clinic also offers STI testing alongside pap smears and birth control, Nesbitt said. If students need a prescription when they are sick, one is written and sent to a local pharmacy.
Nesbitt said a list of $4 prescriptions can be found on their website. She added that they try not to prescribe anything more expensive, because they know students are on a budget.
Nesbitt said they have a few plans this upcoming semester with the SHS. One of their plans is to offer more services. She said they are planning on going to different parts of the university in October to provide flu shots, specifically in various residence halls.
“Especially if you’re living in close quarters, it’s important to get a flu shot,” Nesbitt said.
The SHS occasionally partners up with the Rec Center and Counseling Center to inform students on what SHS services are, Nesbitt said.
In addition to offering more services, Nesbitt said, SHS plans to change the outlook on the website, have electronic records instead of paper and make it easier for students to schedule appointments. She said they plan to make the site easier to use for students who live a little further off main campus, such as those in Grand Campus and Keene Hall.
The website has been mostly updated and now refreshes every 60 seconds and it’s quicker to make an appointment, Nesbitt said.
“We suggest students make appointments because walk-ins take longer,” Nesbitt said.
Appointments usually last 15 to 20 minutes depending on the reason for the visit, Nesbitt said.
To schedule an appointment, students can visit the SHS website www.healthservices.eku.edu, call 859-622-1761 or walk in. Students are also able to walk in and schedule appointments for later times and days.
SHS hours are Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. SHS is open on Fridays until 4:30 p.m. The Women’s Health Center is open only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the same hours as the SHS. On Tuesdays, SHS is open until 7 p.m.
Nesbitt said she encourages students to follow SHS on Twitter and Instagram for more information and to stay updated on SHS changes.