Nicole was 22 years old with graduation and finals just weeks away when she contracted Bacterial Meningitis. Nicole had been fighting a cold and the stresses of finals and decided to take a night off and go out with her friends. By the next morning she was complaining of a severe headache. Her entire body was aching and she had a high fever. Within hours, her condition worsened and she had to be taken to the hospital. When Nicole was examined, she couldn’t breathe, she was in severe pain and had several red splotches all over her body. The diagnosis- Bacterial Meningitis. Within hours Nicole’s body was shutting down, her organs were failing, Nicole’s heart gave out. Doctors tried to revive her but she was already gone
College students are at a greater risk of contracting Meningitis because of their lifestyle. Many students live in close proximity to one another, they tend to share drinks or food and don’t get enough sleep due to late night studying or partying. All of these factors contribute to the weakening of their immune systems, which can be the catalyst for developing meningitis and other harmful diseases.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) the most common diseases among college students are upper respiratory infections, influenza, mononucleosis, gastroenteritis (stomach flu), conjunctivitis (pink eye) and meningitis. Risk factors such as sleep deprivation and poor dietary habits make college students increasingly susceptible to contracting disease. Students who choose to live in dorms are even more likely to become sick, due to closer than average living quarters.
When students visit the clinic they must bring a valid form of identification, such as a student ID, drivers license and any kind of insurance information. Students will be scheduled an appointment after a nurse determines whether the condition needs to be seen by a provider.
If a student’s condition does not need to be seen by a provider, the nursing staff and providers at the clinic can care for a variety of minor medical conditions that range from a simple cold or flu, ear infection, sore throat, or sinus infection to minor injuries including burns, sprains and minor wound care.
The services that are included in tuition ensure that there are no provider fees for medical visits, no fees for wellness programs or presentations, and lower costs for lab work and immunizations.
Student Health Services not only provides care for a variety of minor ambulatory medical conditions, but also provides immunizations, dental screenings, women’s health services, health education programs and lab work.
Students can also get screened for a variety of STD’s at the clinic. Young people ranging from 15 to 24 accounts for half of all newly transmitted sexual diseases, making unprotected sex especially endangering to a student’s health. The health center provides reduced fees on any necessary lab work for patients.
The clinic offers immunizations for multiple diseases including Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertusis, Meningitis, HPV, Hepatitis A and B, and Seasonal flu for a reduced fee. For uninsured UTSA students 18 and younger, the required meningitis vaccines are given for free through the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District’s Vaccines for Children program, upon eligibility.
Dental care is also equally important as many medical problems are a result of poor dental care. Early detection and prevention of dental issues are very important, which is why dental students from The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (UTHSCSA) perform dental screenings (by appointment only) at Student Health Services. If a student needs further dental care, an appointment can be scheduled with UTHSCSA or Health Services can refer you to a local dentist.
Student Health Services also has a Well Woman Program. Services provided by this program are by appointment only, and range from examinations and screenings for STD’s to contraception, pregnancy testing and women’s health education. Payment for these services is due at the time of the appointment.
In order to promote healthy living to all UTSA students, Student Health Services offers health education presentations and programs to all UTSA students for no charge. Students can schedule a presentation for a group of friends, fraternity, organization or can speak to someone one-on-one.