Student health centers provide opportunities for students

By Kayla Overbey

Friday, February 24, 2012

Top Story — Student Health Centers

  • For Danielle Qidmarrk of Orange Coast College in California, an on-campus student health center is necessary. The Coast Report Online says Qidmarrk believes that more people should take advantage of the services the health center offers. Likewise, University of Kansas students and health officials find that promoting the on-campus health center would be a good idea.

Need the transcript? Click here. Want to read the full article? Click here.

Skin and Sleep

  • BBC News reports that research has taken one-step closer to finding a medication to fight skin cancer. According to testing, patients treated with this drug, Zelboraf, are having “durable responses” and are living longer.

On-campus health centers provide benefits for women

By Kayla Overbey

Friday, February 24, 2012

University of Kansas senior Meredith Kurc recalls her last experience at the Watkins Memorial Health Center as uncomfortable and a little awkward. She visited for gynecology reasons.

“Gyno appointments aren’t exactly the most fun,” Kurc said.

However, Kurc remembers the experience as altogether positive, despite the circumstances.

“They made me feel comfortable in an awkward situation,” she said. “I was completely satisfied with the service.”

But when it comes to service, many women are clueless about the extent of what the KU campus health center can provide. They are unaware of the services and as a result, don’t benefit from the lack of cost.  Kurc admits to being one of these students.

“I am only aware of the gynecology services,” she said. “I have no idea what other services they provide.”

Watkins Registered Nurse Candyce Waitley says she doesn’t think enough information is publicized about the benefits of women’s health at Watkins.

“During new student orientation in the summer the services are talked about,” she said, but she doesn’t think that’s enough.  “A lot of patients we see, we see as a result of somebody coming in and then just spreading the word.”

Waitley believes the most opportune time for students to start using the health center is now.

“It’s extremely important in terms of current health protection,” Waitley said. “Also, for the future, for young women to get into the habit of having an annual exam, and being seen in a gynecology clinic, then they get in that habit for a life-long practice.”

Women’s Health Services

Waitley says it’s common for many students to have their first gynecology exam at Watkins.

“We do many, many first exams on young women. We start many young women on oral contraceptives,” Waitley said.

According to Waitley, many young women use Watkins as an alternative to talking to their parents about sex.

“Because they’re away from home, they aren’t comfortable talking to parents—I mean, many parents are really great about that, but not all parents, and so they come here, and they do have the freedom.”

Beyond physical exams—like Pap tests and breast exams—the gynecology clinic offers vaccines, treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, contraception distribution and more. It also provides counseling for a range of reasons such as fertility, preconception, pregnancy and unintended pregnancy.  Counseling happens in-person or over the phone.

“Sometimes students come in and they’re worried about their sexual relationships…They don’t necessarily need an exam or need to start on pills or anything like that,” Waitley said. “They just want to talk.”

Top Visits

The gynecology clinic sees students Monday through Saturday. Waitley says she and her colleagues see anywhere between 30 and 40 patients a day in the gynecology clinic.

“It just depends, we double-book often. That’s daily, Monday through Friday,” Waitley explained. “And on Saturdays we’re open from 12 to 4. It adds up to a lot of patients.”

The most visits to the gynecology clinic are for annual Pap smear exams and oral contraceptive counseling, says Waitley.

“With the annual Pap, often contraception is associated with that too, as is sexually transmitted disease testing. It all goes together,” Waitley said.

Affordability

The Watkins Memorial Health Center is a non-profit organization, and has discounted prices significantly for students in all areas of the clinic. To help keep it running, there is a $108.80 mandatory health fee included in each semester’s tuition.

Associate Director of Student Health Services Joe Gillespie says he’s surprised that students don’t explore what this student fee gives them access to.

Gillespie says the costs of some procedures such as x-rays and blood tests are reduced to ease financial burdens on students. Any visitor to Watkins is also exempt from copayments. He says that one of the top benefits is the time and cost savings when compared to travelling off-campus for healthcare.

“We continue to be surprised how some students are unaware of the benefits to which they are entitled by paying the health fee.  Along with that, many students are not aware of what we have to offer,” Gillespie says.

Meredith Kurc says she appreciates all that Watkins has to offer. “I could personally still afford health care without it, but it really saves a student like me money and time.”

KU student women’s health center explains services

By Kayla Overbey

Friday, February 24, 2012

AUDIO TRANSCRIPT:

KAYLA OVERBEY, reporter: This is Kayla Overbey from “Live, Eat, Sleep: A view on health from the eyes of a student.
University of Kansas’ Watkins Health Center provides an array of services for minimal costs. The women’s health department is no exception.

CANDYC WAITLEY (Watkins registered nurse): My name is Candyce Waitley, I’m a registered nurse and I work in the gynecology clinic.

OVERBEY: College is a time for exploration. But this comes with responsibility, too. For many K.U. women, the services they find at Watkins are a first experience.

WAITLEY: We do many, many first exams on young women. We start many young women on oral contraceptives, that’s the most common method, there are obviously other methods. But because they’re away from home, they aren’t comfortable talking to parents… I mean, many parents are really great about that, but not all parents and so they come here, and they do have the freedom.

OVERBEY: They gynecology department offers physical exams such as breast exams and pap smears. They also offer HPV and flu vaccines. What many students don’t know is that they offer counseling, too.

WAITLEY: And sometimes, just, students come in and they’re worried about their sexual relationships and what’s going on in that area, so they’ll just come in and talk. They don’t necessarily need an exam or need to start on pills or anything like that. They just want to talk.

OVERBEY: And although it’s a “women’s” health center, the gynecology department is open to all students–even men.

WAITLEY: I know, gynecology, it sounds like, you know, female-only, but very definitely, yes, males. And we do see males, and we do treat males.

OVERBEY: Compared to a hospital, the student health fee of 108 dollars that’s included in tuition is extremely affordable.

WAITLEY: And, obviously, I’ve been out in the… outside of the university in terms of health care, medical care, so I do know what the costs are out there. It’s highly affordable [at the University of Kansas]. It’s really quite amazing.

OVERBEY: This is Kayla Overbey, with “Live, Eat, Sleep.”

University of Kansas contemplates other campuses’ smoking policies

By Kayla Overbey 
Friday, February 17th, 2012

As non-smoking policies become more popular on campuses across the nation, University of Kansas students and faculty weigh the idea of a campus without cigarette smoke in the air.

KAYLA OVERBEY, reporter: This is Kayla Overbey from “Live, Eat, Sleep”: a view on health from the eyes of a student.

Each day as students walk to class on the University of Kansas campus, they are exposed to the effects of secondhand smoke. Many campuses across the nation are enforcing new policies that could fine students and faculty heavily for smoking on campus, and students are having mixed reactions.
For some non-smokers, the threat of secondhand smoke is a mild inconvenience.

KATIE HOWARD (student, University of Kansas): I’m Katie Howard, I’m a senior from Derby, Kansas. I mean they’re going to find that anywhere, like, walking around downtown Mass Street or, I don’t know, I think you’ll find it anywhere so people just kind of have to get used to it and adapt.

OVERBEY: But K.U. senior Natalie Evans sees it as detrimental to her health.

NATALIE EVANS (student, University of Kansas): I think it’s gross and there’s nothing worse than walking behind someone that’s smoking. Nothing will ruin a day like that, in my opinion.

OVERBEY: The effects of secondhand smoke are dangerous, says K.U. Health Educator Ken Sarber

KEN SARBER (Health Educator, University of Kansas): Well, my name is Ken Sarber, I’m a health educator at the University of Kansas with the, uh, student health services department. It can add up over time very, very significantly. Devestating to someone who’s just breathing in secondhand smoke.

OVERBEY: Campuses such as the University of Arkansas, Iowa State and the University of Missouri are enforcing smoke-free policies. The University of California at Santa-Barbara’s policy includes a 75 dollar fine for those who break the rules. K.U. student and smoker Alex Hodges says he would be indifferent to a similar policy for K.U.’s campus.

ALEX HODGES (student, University of Kansas): Alex Hodges, I’m a fifth-year senior. I wouldn’t mind, I mean–I don’t–this is literally the only place I smoke on campus, outside the library, and walking on campus, it’s kind of annoying.

OVERBEY: Instead of going entirely smoke free, some campuses are creating designated areas for smoking. K.U. student Stephan Metzgal thinks that this strategy would not be effective.

STEPHAN METZGAL (student, University of Kansas): You know the analogy that’s always used is, uh, a designated area for smoking is like having a designated area in a pool for peeing. If somebody’s going to pee in a pool, the pee is gonna go everywhere. If somebody smokes in a designated area the cigarette smoke is not gonna be confined to that area.

OVERBEY: Ken Sarber adds that approximately 15 percent of the K.U. population smokes. According to the K.U. Institute for Policy and Social Research, that 15 percent is about four thousand people. With such a large number, Sarber says smoke would be unavoidable, even if confined to designated areas.

SARBER: And plus, where are you going to put the designated areas? I mean, everywhere on K.U.’s campus there’s people walking. So, there’s not really a safe place to put it to where you’re not going to have this cloud of smoke running over to the sidewalks or anything, so. I don’t think, for our campus, that would be a very good option.

OVERBEY: Sarber says that nationwide smoke-free campuses are inevitable. But for the time being, K.U. will not be changing its policy.

SARBER: I think K.U. will not be doing it anytime soon. I think in the future you’re going to see almost every university’s gonna be going that direction.

SIGN OFF: This is Kayla Overbey, “Live, Eat, Sleep.”

Non-smoking policies increase on campuses throughout the nation

by Kayla Overbey

Friday, February 17, 2012

Top Story — Smoking

Health

  • That very first after-date kiss can hold more power than you expect–according to CNN, kissing is as addictive as cocaine. Kissing creates natural side effects which we associate to falling in love: dilated blood vessels, quickened pulse and flushed cheeks.

Pennsylvania University uses vending machines to distribute emergency contraception

By Kayla Overbey

Friday, February 10, 2012

Health

 
Body
 

KU Professors react to Obama’s speech on education costs at the University of Michigan

By Kayla Overbey

Friday, February 3, 2012

Top Story

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KU Professors react to Obama’s speech on education costs at the University of Michigan

University of Kansas professors agreed with President Obama’s plans to increase federal grants and decrease interest on student loans after his speech on college affordability at the University of Michigan on Monday.

The total cost of tuition and fees for KU’s 2011-2012 school year approached $18,000, according to the University Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships. The rise in tuition costs has been a trend throughout the United States, and students everywhere are feeling the repercussions.

Obama stated that higher-education schools would have to either lower tuition costs and increase grant amounts, or lose funding. However, there are no plans for an increase  in grant amounts and scholarships at KU, Amber Teebles, financial aid peer adviser, said.

“The plans are definitely not to decrease. We don’t have anything set in stone,” said Teebles.

Obama outlined plans in his State of the Union speech on Jan. 24 to cut funding to universities that maintain high tuition rates.

“If you can’t stop tuition from going up, the funding you get from taxpayers will go down,” Obama said.  He echoed this statement during his speech at the University of Michigan.

Associate Professor of Social Welfare, Deborah Adams, agrees with Obama’s plan.

“Any proposals for new policies and programs that make higher education more affordable are worth the nation’s consideration,” Adams said.

Adams also said controlling tuition costs will put college within easier reach of a wider diversity of students.

“Tuition costs are too high for many children from poor families and families of modest means.  And we can’t forget the additional barriers to higher education for children who are in foster care or otherwise wards of the state,” Adams said.

William Elliot III, assistant professor of social welfare, says he initially agreed with Obama’s opposition to high tuition costs. However, he has doubts if the proposal has enough structure and thought.

“Lower costs sound good and we need to strive for them, that was my first thought. However, I quickly thought how do schools reduce costs? What do they cut or no longer provide? I thought, wow, we really need to provide schools with some guidance about how to do this,” Elliot said.

Adams believes that a lowering of tuition and increase of federal grants will increase well-being for college students and communities throughout the nation.

“The positive outcomes associated with college affordability today are similarly positive for individuals, families, communities, and the nation as a whole.”

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Other News

  • According to a recent study, students who perform badly in college can meet unpleasant consequences later in life. Some are questioning whether a college diploma is really a guarantee of a job after all.
  • A recent CNN article reveals that yoga can be potentially dangerous if instructors are not correctly certified. The health hazards include broken bones, nerve damage and torn cartilage.
  • The act of blogging can be therapeutic to those with unhealthy amounts of stress, The New York Times says. Researchers at the University of Haifa in Israel surveyed high school students to find results.