Having the sniffles is usually a sign that the seasons are changing, yet contracting an illness at Rider is also a result of living on campus and constantly being in contact with dozens of people. That’s one of the risks we take. In this environment, germs can be passed around very easily and it’s important to take the proper precautions.
Lucky for us, we have Health Services on campus available when we need it. Yet, sometimes it isn’t readily accessible to students, and other times it may not properly fulfill individual needs.
As a university, Rider should consider student health high on the list of priorities. It would help students if Health Services could look into extended hours, and hours on weekends.
Health Services, located on the first floor of Poyda Hall, is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., meaning that it is closed in the evenings and also on the weekends. Having established this, it seems as though we are allotted only a portion of our week and our days when we can be sick.
While Health Services may provide a variety of assistance to many, a student’s window of opportunity to make an appointment is rather small. The office closes at 4:30 p.m., yet many students have classes that run later, including night classes that may go as late as 9:45 p.m. Along with that, some students may have to work during the day. All of these factors decrease the possibility of seeking aid for their sicknesses.
Director of Health Services Lynn Eiding said that the health staff “felt utilization would not be there” on weekends. She explained that Rider loses a lot of the student population on those days, whether they are commuters or people who often go home on the weekend. Eiding also explained that weekend staffing would be difficult to arrange.
But, what about the large portion of students who stay on campus over the weekends and become ill? Eiding said that there is a list of off-campus clinics and health centers available to students at all times if the illness is urgent and Health Services is closed. The list can be found on the Rider website under the health services page. However, there are people who do not have a car on campus; that’s what makes having a nurse on Rider’s property so convenient.
When it comes to serving students, Health Services is always willing, yet the proposed treatments may not be exactly what the student’s illness calls for. Many times, when going to the nurse for cold-like symptoms, being given a box of Mucinex and a few cough drops is just the thing to help. However, some people who visit Health Services may have a more serious issue that a simple cough drop can’t fix, such as a virus or infection.
Eiding said that the nurses, “believe [Mucinex] is truly one of the best products.”
While they do not use Mucinex exclusively, they put a lot of faith in what the medicine can do to help students. Eiding explained that Health Services is equipped with licensed nurse practitioners to prescribe antibiotics when it is necessary, but they try not to do so.
The nurses should give more tests to get to the root of each patient’s individual problem to ensure the well-being of students, and not always rely on one type of medicine.
With the changing seasons, finals, work and other stresses students have going on, we can become even more prone to getting sick. It’s important that the resources we need to get better are easily accessible so we can weather the winter storm.
This weekly editorial expresses the majority opinion of The Rider News. This week’s editorial was written by the Assistant Opinion Editor, Kristy Grinere.