Author: Daniel Minguez
On Friday Oct. 31 Emmons announced it would be having walk-in clinic hours at the beginning and end of each weekday. The hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. According to director Rick Youngblood, these hours are primarily to treat “acute episodic illness” such as sudden onsets of Streptococcus, other infections, or injury.
“I felt like we needed to be more flexible in accommodating the students,” Youngblood said. Currently Emmons Health Center has two nurse practitioners on staff. Regular appointments can still be made during the “drop in” hours with one of the Nurse-Practitioners, while the other fields walk in patients. According to Youngblood, several students have already begun taking advantage of the walk-in hours.
“It hasn’t been as busy as I thought it would be. We’re getting run of the mill stuff. Some people have used it for counseling as well as medical,” Youngblood said.
While Emmons will still ask that you make an appointment to re-fill birth control or have gynecological exams, the staff is prepared to dispense “Plan B” emergency contraceptives during these hours.
Walk-in visits to Emmons proceed exactly like regular appointments. Patients fill out the same paperwork and are billed the same fees and receive the same standard of care as a regular appointment.
“In the past there was no process when students came in and needed immediate care,” Youngblood said, “we would just try to squeeze them in wherever we could. This helps establish that sort of structure.”
Emmons has three counselors on staff, two of which are full time and available during walk in hours.
“We will treat anything that is within our scope of care,” Youngblood said. He also noted that many students seeking consultation at Emmons are looking for references to therapists in the area, beyond the consultations available at Emmons.
Regardless of these walk-in hours, emergencies brought to Emmons at any time in the day will be quickly assessed by the Nurse-Practitioner. Because Emmons does not have an X-ray machine and does not do sutures, students who need these services are referred to urgent care or ER facilities near by. Emmons has taxi vouchers for students who cannot find transportation, and can arrange for ambulance transports in dire circumstances.
Youngblood expects to have an understanding of how the walk-in clinic hours are being utilized at the end of three months. At that point the hours will be re-evaluated. As long as these hours persist Oxy students can expect them to be at the beginning and end of the day as these times mesh best with Emmons normal operation.
Additionally, beginning in the spring semester of 2009, Emmons will be hosting a counselor working on his PhD as well as several internal medicine residents. This staff, while gaining experience, will bolster Emmons capacity on campus.
Emmons Health Center is closed on weekends and all school holidays. Appointments can be made by calling: 323-259-2657.
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