After my investigation a few weeks ago on tuition fees, I decided to step inside the Student Health and Counseling Center (http://www.pdx.edu/shac/) to see what I am helping to fund. My experience in hospital waiting areas has always been somewhat chaotic with crying children and packed rows of uncomfortable chairs, but The PSU clinic was surprisingly quiet and calm. There were no loud children and only three people waiting for a doctor.
The young woman behind the check-in desk welcomed me (she preferred that I not use her name) and kindly answered my numerous questions about what kind of services a student can receive at the Health Center. Most of the services seemed a given, such as primary and emergency health care, birth control, etc., but I was surprised to hear there is no co-payment at the PSU Health Center (although services off-campus at participating clinics require a $20 co-pay).
Last year the big health buzz around campus was the H1N1 virus, but by September the hype had definitely died down. The attendant told me that while there is the occasional craziness that comes from being a downtown student clinic, most students needed doctors this year for the common cold virus and subsequent sinus infections. The Center provided flu shots for only $4 this winter, and she seemed excited to inform me that coverage includes Gardesil (HPV vaccination) for women’s cervical cancer prevention.
I am fortunate enough to have never been in need of health services since starting school at PSU, but I must say that I was quite impressed with what is available at little to no initial charge. My biggest disappointment over my visit was that nothing crazy or exciting happened while I was visiting. My darker side silently wished I had time to go hang out at the clinic on a full moon and watch the happenings. What kind of experience have you had at the SHAC?