What can I do if there's an emergency and the health center is closed?
In a medical emergency, call Campus Safety (X7911).
In a counseling emergency call ProtoCall, the on-call counseling service, at 610-526-7778.
What constitutes an “urgent” health problem?
An “urgent” medical problem (which would need a trip to the ER when the Health Center is closed) is one that could result in harm occurring or a significant deterioration of the medical condition before 9am the next morning when the Health Center opens. Usually these are conditions that are fairly recent in onset and quickly deteriorating.
Call Campus Safety.
If the person is unresponsive, requires substantial assistance to walk and/or cannot stand upright, call Campus Safety (X7911) and tell them there is an emergency situation. If it is apparent an ambulance is needed, let them know. Campus Safety is best able to contact emergency services to direct them to the correct location.
Our fee schedule is on our “Services” page. All Physician, Nurse and Nurse Practitioner evaluations for a problem or question are free of charge to all undergraduate students and to graduate students who have the college insurance. There is no charge for short-term counseling visits for undergraduates.
NO STUDENT IS EVER DENIED NEEDED CARE DUE TO AN INABILITY TO PAY!
Each student should have received information about the College insurance plan which describes the services covered by the student health insurance. The student health care plan is considered the primary insurance for the student.
We encourage students to come see us and we will work with them to overcome financial barriers to care.
COST SHOULD NEVER BE A BARRIER FOR A STUDENT SEEKING NEEDED CARE AT THE HEALTH CENTER.
Medical and counseling records are completely confidential. We cannot release any information to family members, a dean, or other college officials without a student’s permission. The only time we can break that confidentiality is if the student or others are in a life-threatening situation. We can also release information to other treating professionals.
Students sometimes worry about receiving care for some issues e.g. birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, drug and alcohol issues etc. because they do not want it to appear on their parents’ insurance. Is there a way around this?
We will gladly work with students on any issues of insurance confidentiality and/or cost. Please encourage them to come discuss it with us if it presents a barrier to care.
If a student is not on the athletic teams but suffers an athletic injury, can they see the athletic trainer?
The Athletic trainers can only treat athletes on Bryn Mawr athletic teams.
What is the relationship between the student EMS service and the Health Center?
There is no relationship. They work with Campus safety.
For both legal and ethical reasons Health Center providers cannot share any information with a parent, dean, friend, etc without the student's permission. Generally a parent is asked to contact the student to call the Health Center to tell us to give permission to talk to the parent. Occasionally the Health Center provider will try to contact the student and ask if the student wants us to share information with the parent.
We do tell parents they are welcome to share any concerns they have with us.
If a student is in an imminent life threatening situation, however, or if the student is physically unable to give permission (e.g. unconscious) it may be necessary to talk to the parent without permission. In such a case every effort is made to have the student be part of that conversation.
The Health Center has many common medications on site. They can be dispensed by the nurses at the time of your visit.
If the medication needs to be obtained from an outside pharmacy, the student may be given a prescription or the prescription may be called in to an outside pharmacy. Monday through Friday from 9 am-4 pm the nurse can work with the student to help them understand how to utilize their prescription plan. If their insurance is accepted by Merrick's Apothecary, it can be delivered to the Health Center for pick up by the student, usually the same day.
Charges from the Health Center will appear on a student’s tuition bill as a “Health Center charge”, but will not include information about the specific medication, test or other service which was provided.
Merricks Pharmacy serves as our Pharmacist Consultant and they make deliveries to the Health Center at least once a day. If you get your prescriptions filled at another pharmacy it is up to the pharmacy and you to make arrangements to deliver them to us. If they won’t deliver, you need to make arrangements to pick the prescriptions up.
Campus Safety is called to transport the student unless they have their own transportation or their condition requires an ambulance.
While people often refer to a variety of viral illnesses as "the flu", the medical term "flu" (or influenza) refers to a specific illness which is seasonal in nature and generally occurs in this area between December and March. Classically it is sudden in onset, almost always results in a cough, fever and body aches, and can have other symptoms such as sore throat, stuffy head, nausea and vomiting. The flu shot helps protects you from this specific illness.
When are flu shots available?
Assuming it is a “normal” flu season, flu shots will be available after Fall Break. A campus wide announcement will be sent when the “flu shots” are available
Wait times are highly variable, depending on whom you are scheduled to see, how busy the providers are, and the severity of illness for you and of others waiting to be seen.
If you have an appointment in Gyn or Counseling, you will generally be seen very close to your appointed time unless there is an urgent situation which takes priority.
For appointments in the medical clinic, it is not uncommon to wait up to 15 minutes since there is tremendous variability in the amount of time needed to evaluate and treat a patient. If it is a busy day, an emergent situation occurs, or there is a patient with a serious or complicated problem, the wait can be longer. If a student is waiting 30 minutes or more for an appointment, and the cause for the delay is not apparent, it is very appropriate to ask when you will be seen. It is also appropriate to ask if the provider is running on time when the nurse first sees you.
Students with appointments will be prioritized over students with non-urgent problems.
Health Education and empowering the student to be actively involved in their medical care is an important part of our mission. If a student wants information about a medical issue, they can call and ask to speak with the nurse about a medical issue, or make an appointment with any of our providers.
What care can the nurses provide on weekends 9-2?
The nurse is able to provide treatment for basic routine problems such as uncomplicated colds, sore throats, and urinary tract infections. The nurse can also evaluate students with other issues and determine if care needs to be given before Monday morning and arrange for it.
Anyone can make a gyn visit for any reason, even just to talk. The recommendations for gyn exams have changed and you can discuss that with the nurse practitioner when you meet with her.
Can hormonal contraception be given to people with depression?
Depression is considered a condition in which it is safe to use any form of hormonal contraception.
It depends. When a student with migraine headaches wants to start birth control pills, they will be asked for more information about their headaches. For those who have an "aura" (i.e. a neurologic symptom that precedes the headache), a deeper discussion will take place about the risks of contraceptive use. While there is a very small risk of blood clots or stroke in all people who use hormonal contraception, studies indicate that risk may be greater in people with migraines with aura.
What are the costs for services at the Health Center?
All undergraduate students can be seen by the physician, nurse practitioner, nurse, and short-term counseling for free. There are charges for some services such as laboratory tests and medications. The fee schedule is on our website. However,
NO STUDENT IS EVER DENIED NEEDED CARE DUE TO AN INABILITY TO PAY
What Health Center costs are covered by the student health insurance?
You should have received information about the student health insurance program. Please note that it should be used as a “secondary” insurance. Family insurance should be used as the primary insurance. If part or all of the bill is not covered by the primary insurance it should be submitted to the college insurance.
PLEASE NOTE: THE HEALTH CENTER DOES NOT ADMINISTER THE INSURANCE PROGRAM. YOU SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED INFORMATION ON IT SEPARATELY.
How will I find out about my lab test results?
A provider from the Health Center may notify you of your lab results via secure message. If that happens, you will receive an email directing you to Online Student Health. The sender will be noreply and the subject line will be: Online Student Health: New Message. In Online Student Health, you will enter your college username and password in order to view your results securely.
If you have not received a message from the Health Center about your lab test results within a week, you can call the Health Center to request that information.
Return to the Health Center!
Ideally each patient should be told at the end of the visit that if they feel worse or there is no improvement in a reasonable period of time, to return or call.
The practice of medicine is a combination of science and art. We use the “history” of the illness which the patient tells us and the physical exam of the patient to develop a “differential diagnosis” – which is a list of possible illnesses the patient could have. Most of the time we use this information along with the knowledge of what is most likely to occur to make a working diagnosis and create a treatment plan. The “course” of the illness is another important diagnosis tool. If, for instance, it appears an individual has a “cold”, then symptoms should abate after a few days. If the symptoms don’t improve or additional symptoms occur it may suggest allergies or complications such as sinusitis, ear infection, mono or bronchitis. Could these illnesses have been diagnosed on the first visit? Sometimes expensive, inconvenient, and /or uncomfortable testing may have given an indication, but not always. Many times the course of the illness indicates the diagnosis more quickly than testing would anyway. It may also be that a new problem developed after you left the Health Center, e.g. when a viral illness (like a cold) sets up a great environment for bacteria to grow leading to the development of sinusitis or bronchitis which then needs antibiotics.