Student Health Clinic – underused resource?
The U of R Student Health Clinic is for students, but how much is it really doing for them?
As the Fall 2023 semester draws to a close, academic success is at the forefront of students’ minds, and so too should be their health. At this point, while University of Regina (U of R) students are caught up doing cram sessions and late-night study sessions for the upcoming final exams, the importance of self-care and both physical and mental well-being inadvertently takes a backseat.
Recognizing the challenges that students face during this period, the Carillon wanted to look at the Student Wellness Centre (SWC). Located in Room 119 of Paskwāw Tower, the Student Health Clinic, housed within the SWC, is staffed by licensed nurse practitioners who provide primary health care services to registered U of R students.
This week, the Carillon on the Move series provided an opportunity for U of R students to voice their opinions on the effectiveness of these services. Are students aware of the different health services available to them through the Student Health Clinic? If so, how effective do they find the services offered and do they have any suggestions for further improvement? The Carillon spoke to several students to get their take on the matter.
Their website lists the primary health care services they offer, including care of “common infections, minor injuries, sexual health (contraception-including IUD and Nexplanon implant insertions, STI testing and treatment, pregnancy testing), health promotion and preventative care, PAP smears, general medical examinations, [and] prescription refills.” Appointments can be booked online, over email, and over the phone, with contacts on their website at uregina.ca/wellness-centre.
The clinic ensures access to a variety of services to address the holistic health of students. During the Carillon’s conversations with several students on campus, however, students gave diverse perspectives of the centre’s services.
A third-year Faculty of Arts undergraduate student highlighted the positive impact of having a Student Health Clinic on campus. “I’ve used the clinic for general medical exams, and the convenience of having it on campus is a plus. It just saves me time to commute to other clinics where the wait times are much longer.”
A master’s student emphasized the importance of accessibility, stating, “I didn’t know about some of the services until recently. I’d say having clearer information about what’s available would be really helpful.” They continued, “I don’t really notice the university actively promoting this service, but it’s only when I go to the website that I come to know of the details.” This observation underscores the importance of awareness campaign efforts that should further be endorsed to promote awareness and enhance visibility.
In addition, a fourth-year undergrad offered a suggestion for improvement, saying “It would be great if the Student Wellness Centre could organize informative sessions or workshops on campus to educate students and raise more awareness to encourage them to utilize the resources being offered.”
The responses highlight the significance of ongoing dialogue between the university and the student body when it comes to the services offered by the Student Wellness Centre’s Health Clinic. While it is a valuable resource, the students’ feedback show that there is still room for improvement.
Communication and awareness strategies may need to be improved to ensure that students are fully aware of the range of services available to support their health and well-being. After all, it is not just sufficient for the service to be available. It must be actively used by the students, and that can only be done if students know the services that are offered.