On Friday, Jan. 16, Keene State College students received an email from the Center for Health and Wellness that informed the students that new changes, including set walk-in hours, will be implemented beginning the spring 2015 semester.

Junior Rachael Levy, a nutrition major, said she felt students will appreciate the new walk-in hours.

“I know a lot of college kids who prefer having the ability to walk-in because going to the health center to make an appointment just to have to come back later can be irritating,” Levy said.

Kyle Bailey / Photo Editor

Kyle Bailey / Photo Editor

“But the set hours for walk-ins probably makes it a lot easier for the nurses,” she continued.

Taylor Murphy, an elementary education and english major, is in favor of the new changes.

“I like it,” Muphy said.

“I’ve always found it annoying when I go there for a cold or something small, and I’d have to wait, get evaluated, make an appointment and come back. So, I’m glad they’ve put together an organized system,” Murphy said.

However, both Levy and Murphy stated they were unsure of their feelings on the set hours for walk-in appointments.

She explained, “I think there’s a chance that not all of the students who walk-in during those hours will be helped.”

“The hours aren’t for that long,” Murphy noted.

Levy also said she worries for students that want to utilize the walk-in hours if they have a class during the allotted walk-in times.

Along with the new walk-in hours, the Center for Health and Wellness has also implemented an after-hours nurse support line for when the center is closed.

The director of the Center for Health and Wellness, Christine Burke, explained that the support line allows students to call in for medical advice during times in which the health center is closed.

Burke said that students will be able to call the support line and report their symptoms to a nurse who will then advise the students on what they should do next.

They might advise the student to seek further medical attention or an over-the-counter medicine.

Junior and nursing student, Jillian Marlowe, said that she believes the 24-hour support line is a great idea.

“Most illnesses come on at the worst times and not being able to access the health center until a certain time isn’t really effective, so the support line is a great step to better the health of everyone,” Marlowe said.

Both Marlowe and Levy noted that the 24-hour availability of medical advice may provide students comfort in knowing they are able to call at any time as opposed to having to wait until the next time the Center for Health and Wellness is open.

According to an email distributed by the Vice President of Student Affairs, Kemal Atkins, revealed that last semester, “the Center for Health and Wellness experienced a 20 percent increase in the use of its services.”

Atkins also noted that the changes were made with the student body in mind.

“We expect that the changes being introduced will not only help to meet your needs, they will also help to improve the use of our clinical resources and provide you with better access to the health education and treatment that you may need,” he stated in the email.

Claire Hickey can be contacted at chickey@keene-equinox.com

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