Growing up, Bethany Powers lived what you could call a comfortable life. She rarely got sick, but when she did, her mother was always there to take care of her.
It was right in the middle of midterms at Troy University, and Powers could not stop tossing and turning in her sleep. She woke up and checked her temperature, which was 102 degrees.
The next day, she visited Troy University’s Student Health Services Clinic and was greeted with warm smiles and a comfortable atmosphere.
“I was very surprised at how little time I had to wait, and how low the cost was,” said Powers, an education major from Ozark who was a junior in the spring.
The campus clinic may be the most affordable and accessible health-care option for many students.
“I never even knew that the clinic existed until this year when I came down with the flu and had to go to a doctor and my roommate told me about it,” said Kimberly Sausman of Westerville, Ohio, a biomedical science major who was a junior in the spring. “I went and was very pleased with how I was taken care of.”
The health care is provided on a fee basis. Registered nurses are on duty and are able to refer patients to the nurse practitioner or the university physician if needed.
Only students who are currently enrolled in Troy University can use these services.
“We try to take the fact that this may be the student’s first time going to the doctor alone into consideration, and we deal with that all the time because a lot of time freshmen have more issues with adjusting, and we are kind of geared to that,” said Dimple Gilbert, the director of Student Health Services.
“We don’t hesitate to call their mom if they want, and we give them guidance on where to go, such as referrals, and take it all into consideration.”
The Health Services Clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the first floor of Hamil Hall near the Trojan Center on Luther Drive. It is closed weekends and on university holidays.
“We’re conveniently located so you don’t have to drive, and we will file your insurance,” Gilbert said. “If you don’t have insurance, a copy can be filed on your student bill. Also, the wait is usually significantly shorter at the Student Health Services Clinic as opposed to other health care options in Troy.”
The clinic’s services include tuberculosis skin testing, physicals, blood work and seeing a doctor. However, to see a doctor you must make an appointment.
“There are other doctors in town that I have visited while I’ve been a student, but they had a very long wait and were very expensive,” said Bronte Pruiett from Oxford, who is undecided in her major and was a freshman in the spring.
“I eventually went to the clinic on campus and found it was the best and the most affordable. It seems like they really care about you and want you to get better.”
If the clinic is closed and you get sick or hurt, you can visit Troy Regional Medical Center’s emergency room. The hospital is on Highway 231 South.
Other options include private doctors and Southeast Alabama Rural Health Associates, known as SARHA, at 1412 Elba Highway.
It’s common to get sick in college.
“Try to get enough rest, eat right, try to consider healthy lifestyle choices like exercise and ways to cope with stress and the new environment and the new people,” Gilbert said. “Basically, it’s the things your momma told you to do. Drink lots of liquids, and wash your hands.
“Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep. Many students get so involved in other things around campus that sleeping falls last on their list of things to do. In order to avoid getting sick, you have to get your sleep.”