Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Injured? Hope it’s not the weekend!

Jessica Ramirez

Life is unpredictable: going for a walk may seem like a casual, normal outing, but it may result in a sprained ankle if not careful. Now, if you have a doctor and good health insurance then there is no need to worry. However, if you do not or cannot afford it, students are limited to the Augustana campus clinic, which may prove unhelpful. 

The campus clinic offers aid to students with minor injuries, bites and stings. While this is a great option for students to use when the unexpected happens, there are no options open for students on weekends. If they were to get hurt during this time, the clinic would be closed, with the exception of limited hours on Saturdays, resulting in students searching for other choices which may not be affordable. The current weekend healthcare options are insufficient for meeting the medical needs of students. 

Throughout the years that I have been a student at Augustana, there were a few times that I have had to go to the clinic. When I was a First-Year I had to go there for help with a sprained ankle I got by not watching where I was going. Upon arriving the medical staff were able to help me and told me what to do to alleviate the pain. The other time was when I was being tested for COVID-19. But, this all happened on a weekday. If it had been a weekend,I would have had to go to a local clinic in the Rock Island area and hope that the costs wouldn’t be expensive. 

The barriers students face demonstrate a need for Augustana to either extend the hours of the campus clinic or designate a group of medical staff to be on call during the weekends to help students. Having this option would help students immensely by possibly lowering their out-of-pocket costs and having someone to help when something unpredictable happens. This may be somewhat difficult to get started in the beginning when trying to figure out what students need, but having options, such as having a medical professional on-call or expanding hours, available to students will help them when they most need it.   

However, if hiring additional medical staff is not possible, another way to go about this is to extend the clinic hours not only for additional days on the weekends but also during the weekdays. The current clinic hours Monday-Friday are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with Saturday hours running from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Having the clinic open during these hours is great for students, unfortunately, the hours during the weekdays may not be the greatest for students. With the clinic closing at five during the week, from the student’s perspective, it does seem early. 

I also understand that the clinic cannot stay open 24/7 like a hospital does, but if Augustana were to have additional staff members outside the scheduled hours it would give students peace of mind and reassurance that if something does happen, there is someone who is there to help. Having an additional team of medical staff will help students when they most need it and may make it easier on their wallets.

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