The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Prognosis: You need someone to talk to
Wendy Gomez is one of two registered nurses in the Health Services Department at City College. Tony Wallin | [email protected]

No health insurance?

Students can walk to the Health Services department, located in Rodda North 125, where two full-time registered nurses are available to assist students, whether they are medically insured or not.

“I think [we’re] one of the key spots on campus right now,” says registered nurse Jeffery Christian. “Without health, it’s hard to be successful at whatever you are going to do, and we try to help students be successful by making sure their health is taken of.”

Registered nurse Wendy Gomez says that City College is the only college in
the Los Rios district to have two full-time registered nurses on staff. However, the department does not employ a general practitioner, whose job it is to diagnose and prescribe medication to patients who visit the office with problems ranging from strep throat to anxiety.

“We would love to have a physician or a nurse practitioner on staff,” says Gomez. “This is a small clinic, so our basic function is to help the students decide if they need to see the doctor or not, and whether or not they can do self-care and not need to go the doctor. It’s more of a consulting-kind of thing.”

Gomez says that the department keeps an archive of local clinics in Sacramento that can match the student’s healthcare provider, and offers a list of physicians
that accept patients who do not have health insurance, for a low-cost fee. The guide includes resources in mineral health, physical health, dental, and vision, Gomez says.

One of the most common procedures conducted at the Health Services office, according to Gomez, is tuberculosis testing, which is mandatory for staff. TB shots are given Monday through Friday. The shots cost $5 for students.

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Since the Health Services department can’t prescribe birth control to students, staff from Planned Parenthood visit City College every Tuesday between 10 a.m. and 3
p.m. Students are asked to make an appointment in advance to guarantee their visit. Planned Parenthood provides students with free HIV
and STD testing, pregnancy testing, contraceptive pills and the morning after pill.

Another big issue that students face on campus is having to cope with stress and anxiety they get from their classes, Gomez says. As such, it’s common for students to come into the Health Services office due to a recent panic attack.

Since the nurses on staff are not allowed to give a diagnosis to patients, but only give an educated guess based on their medical experience, Gomez says she physically assesses the student to make sure there is nothing seriously wrong with their heart, that would require immediate medical assistance. When a student comes in complaining of a panic attack, Gomez says she tries to talk them through the episode.

“Then [we] talk about coping mechanisms,” says Gomez. “What are you doing for your anxiety? How often is this happening? What is going on in your life that is making this happen? Then we determine whether or not they need some therapy, [or] medication from a psychiatrist.”

According to medical assistant  Pat Cousin, City College used to have a marriage and family psychologist on staff but what the health services department needs most of all, besides a general practitioner, is a clinical psychologist. The counselors on campus can assist students with a variety of differ- ent issues, but mainly they’re trained for “academic counseling,” says Cousin. “[The academic counselors] do some crisis [prevention], but people just need to be able to talk to somebody,” says Cousin.

“More than just once, more than just for crisis.”

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