Posted at 1 p.m. April 6, 2017
Academic health not the only focus
College offers free health, wellness screenings to students
Left to right: Tina Hartley, student nurse; Renee Middleton, student nurse; Dr. Michael McGlue, University of Wyoming Family Medicine; Karen Clark-Bond, nursing instructor, Rachel McConnell, student nurse; Elise Hilton, student nurse. These medical professionals are happy to assist any students during the health clinic’s open hours.
Laramie County Community College provides many services to help students with their academic health. And when it comes to their mental and physical health, students are covered there too.
The Counseling and Campus Wellness program, located in the new Pathfinder building, room 207, is a service paid for by student fees, available to students enrolled for at least one credit hour.
Mindy Falkner, coordinator of the Counseling and Campus Wellness program, and Amanda Brown, counselor, are both licensed mental health professionals available on campus. Falkner said students may see and talk to her and Brown about any mental health issues they may be experiencing, whether it be anxiety, relationship challenges, depression, time management, or stress.
“Any reason they (students) would like to come and seek counseling services, we are more than happy to help,” Falkner said.
Falkner said counseling services are generally provided on a short-term basis of 10 sessions or less with a student. If long-term care or medication, a connection with an appropriate provider and service in the community, such as the Peak Wellness Center, will be made for the student based on the individual situation and needs.
Falkner said counseling services are available in the office 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Pathfinder building, room 207 either by appointment or on a walk-in basis with Falkner and Brown sharing the on-call (after office hours) responsibilities. After hours, they may counsel students over the phone or meet the student in person, depending on location and need.
In addition to counseling services, LCCC also provides a health clinic for students to visit for physical ailments.
Karen Clark-Bond, nursing instructor and nurse at the health clinic, said it is similar to Cheyenne’s community urgent care clinics; offering treatment and testing for the flu, strep throat, mononucleosis, infections, pregnancy, sprains, strains, and other minor illnesses and injuries. This year, Clark-Bond said, flu shots were available free of charge to students from a community donation to the clinic.
The physicians that students will see at the clinic are from Cheyenne’s University of Wyoming Family Practice program. There are 18 physicians in the program, each volunteering their time on a weekly rotated schedule.
Upon checking in at the clinic, patients can expect a similar experience as they would at a community urgent care. Patients are first assessed either by Clark-Bond or a student nurse, who will take vital signs (temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, etc.) and ask the patient questions regarding their ailment or purpose for visiting the clinic before the patient sees the physician. Then the physician will assess the patient further and discuss and recommended treatment; which may include some over-the-counter medications available in the office, such as cough drops, ibuprofen, Tylenol, etc. The over-the-counter medications from the clinic are offered at no charge to the patient. If antibiotics are needed, the physician will write a prescription the patient can take to a local pharmacy to be filled. The physician may also refer the patient to another local physician or clinic for follow-up or continuing treatment if needed.
The student nurses in the clinic work under the supervision of the physician and Clark-Bond, allowing them to gain hand-on experience in their career field while also fulfilling their clinical and community project hours as required for the nursing program and licensure afterwards.
Clark-Bond said she is surprised the clinic is not used more than it is and encourages students to take advantage of the service, whether they have insurance or not. Patients are not asked for insurance information nor are they asked if they even have insurance coverage. Also, Clark-Bond said all information shared in the clinic is protected by HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
“Any kind of healthcare, even if it is on campus, is all protected information. If students want to come and talk about the most personal information, that information goes nowhere else,” Clark-Bond said.
Like the counseling service, the health clinic is paid for by student fees – no payment is required at the time of the visit and the patient does not receive a bill after treatment.
The health clinic is open 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays in room 129 of the Community College Center.