The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Student health services allowing in-person appointments if needed

Student Health Services is allowing in-person appointments only if necessary, while many other appointments such as mental health are being held virtually due to the pandemic.

Appointments such as having blood drawn, getting a physical, tuberculosis (TB) skin testing, sexual transmitted infection (STI) testing, as well as receiving birth control pills or any medication are being allowed in-person at the Student Health Services (SHS).

“All of our mental health appointments are online, but we are seeing people by appointments through the health center at this time,” Student Health Services faculty coordinator Susan Nilles said.

In order for students at El Camino to go onto campus they must first have a pre-scheduled online appointment.

Niles said students must make their appointments through the SHS patient portal by accessing the student health services tab on the El Camino Website. Students would then be scheduled by the SHS to have a virtual meeting with a nurse practitioner through telehealth.

While being assisted, the nurse practitioner will decide the direction that a student’s care should go.

“If an in-person appointment is needed, [the nurse practitioner] will make sure to make a schedule for [the student] to come in,” Student Health Services registered nurse Sandra Sloan said.

Sloan said students will then have to use their SHS patient portal in order to complete the COVID-19 screening, “to enter the SHS building.”

Once at SHS building, students will log in to their patient portal to check in for their appointment. Students can use the SHS QR code which is located in front of their doors for a faster way to the student health services patient portal log-in site.

After checking in, students will then wait outside until a registered nurse is able to welcome them in by checking their temperature and checking if students completed the COVID-19 screening online. Once their screening is checked by a registered nurse, students will then be assisted.

Nilles said that the student health services have taken COVID-19 precautions by having all employees wear a face mask while working, practicing social distancing with patients and co-workers and providing plexiglass protections around the SHS building.

Registered nurses such as Sloan are in charge of drawing blood, providing vaccines, TB skin testing and STI testing.

“The nurse practitioner will tell us our assignments for in-person appointments and we will carry them out as registered nurses,” Sloan said.

A nurse practitioner at the student health service is in charge of any in-person assessment as well as getting a pap smear, a physical, providing a specific doctor if needed and prescribing medication.

When receiving medication from the student health center, students will go through the same procedure as going for an in-person appointment.

“It’s super easy,” Sloan said. “I’ll explain the medication information, then they can pay [for] the medicine in our clinic, depending [on] if the medication is free.”

The student health center sells medications such as birth control pills or rash cream, and have prices that can vary.

“[Medications] can be around $5 or less and can be paid by card,” Nilles said.

For students like first-year psychology major Aleeza West, she will only visit the student health center if it’s necessary, but believes the student health services are doing a good job with their safety precautions throughout the pandemic.

“I hope, by this time of next year, all services can be in-person,” West said.

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