You would think that University Health Services would want to prevent the spread of mononucleosis throughout the student body. Now, I’m not saying that I am single-handedly going to infect the entire campus with mono, but when I discovered that my boyfriend had tested positive for mono, I looked upthe disease online and immediately called UHS to schedule an appointment for a monospot test.

I requested to schedule an appointment for a monospot test, and the attitude on the other end of the phone replied “Why?” I told the receptionist that my boyfriend had tested positive for mono. She responded “So what?” and proceeded to tell me that UHS would not administer a blood test for mono until my symptoms were acute.

I wanted to take preventative measures. She did not explain any policies that they may have about scheduling blood work, requiring consultations or dealing with mono cases. After some explanation and convincing on my part, she conceded to schedule me for a consultation and forewarned that I would still probably not get tested.

Finally, in frustration I pointed out that I do have the right to make decisions about my health care. UHS is my primary health care provider and she cannot deny me access to their services. My statement was followed by a brief silence and finally “What’s your social security number?” I had an appointment two days later at the Medical Center UHS unit. The doctor that I saw there treated me with respect, explained the monospot test to me, discussed my options and likeliness of contracting the disease and then ordered the blood work at my request. Luckily, I am not sick yet.

Why should students have to argue with UHS to get the health care that we pay for and are entitled to? For almost all students on this campus, UHS is the only access to health care and this type of service can not only be aggravating, but can seriously affect your overall health. I can recall at least three other instances where I feel my health has been compromised because of poor service and I know that I am not alone in this. There has even been an instance where my medical records were miskept and my insurance company was unnecessarily billed for services never rendered.

UHS often claims that they are too highly trafficked to deal with all the students that come into the office. This is the university’s problem ? not mine. Students are often asked to schedule appointments only when symptoms are serious.

All students should have the right to request a consultation with a doctor to address any worries that we may have about our health. Students are not alien entities who need to be dealt with in a specific manner. We are young adults who need to learn how to take care of our health.

The disrespect and incompetence that students have to put up with from UHS has diverted many students from using their services. UHS cannot continue to turn students away ? their policies and attitudes had better change fast.

Brown can be reached at jbrown@campustimes.org.



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