While many physicians in Monroe County are quickly running out of flu shots, the Student Health Center has hundreds waiting for students. Faculty and staff can also receive flu shots through the Better Me Employee Wellness program starting Nov. 5.
The Student Health Center, located in the August Center across from the Quarter Mile entrance to the Gordon Field House, has begun offering flu shots for students. According to Dr. Brooke Durland, executive director of the center, students should consider getting the flu vaccination.
“We recommend it in particular for college students even if they don’t have chronic health issues,” says Durland. “Students tend to be stressed, they don’t usually sleep as much as they should and their diets aren’t always optimal. All those things depress the immune system and the flu shot becomes an added measure of protection.”
Students’ physicians may be running low on the vaccine due to a distribution problem. According to Nancy Adams, executive director of the Monroe County Medical Society, physicians in the county are having difficulty re-ordering more vaccinations.
The health center still has plenty of flu shots available for students, with only about 120 of the 400 shots ordered having been administered. Shots cost $20 and students do not need an appointment, but Durland suggests getting there early in the day to minimize waiting time. The Better Me Employee Wellness program still has a large supply of flu shots available to faculty and staff. Employees do not need to schedule an appointment to receive the flu shot.
“Flu shots are free for all regular full-time and extended part-time employees,” says Mike Stojkovic, associate director of wellness. “The flu shot supplies are delivered through a partnership with Wegmans Pharmacy, so we have a plentiful supply.”
The Student Health Center staff includes three physicians, one psychiatrist, four nurse practitioners, one physician’s assistant and five nurses to offer a wide variety of services to students. These services range from general medical care to psychiatric care to health education.
Services are offered to full-time and part-time undergraduate students as well as co-op students. For full-time undergraduates, the student health fee charged at the beginning of the semester covers the majority of the cost for most services. Part-time and graduate students have the option to pay a fee for each service or pay the semester fee when accessing care.
Recently, the health center has implemented the use of credit card machines. It has also restructured the appointment system to allow more students to be accommodated with same-day appointments. Soon, a self-check in kiosk will be introduced to streamline the check-in process and reduce the amount of time students spend waiting in line.
“We offer a lot of services and we know students are very busy so we try to make it as convenient as possible,” says Durland.
The health center is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday to assist students. For more information on the hours, location and services offered visit http://www.rit.edu/studenthealth. For more information on the times and locations of employee flu shots visit http://www.rit.edu/betterme.