Staff Editorial: Is our medical access adequate?

As colder weather approaches, more and more people are frequenting the Buchanan Kiewit Wellness Center for medical attention. From seasonal allergies to roommates with unbearable coughs, students are finding Fall Term slowly growing harder as poor health complicates writing essays and studying for exams.

Despite having active health services and a regular campus nurse, there are many problems with medical accessibility at Lawrence. Right now the Landis Health Center offers weekday services between 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. However, these times can pose problems for students who are in class all day, or those who need medical attention during evening hours or on weekends. In addition, an outside doctor only comes for one hour in the morning each weekday, and students must be checked in at the Health Center no later than 8:30 a.m. for an appointment. Even if a student is checked in at the appropriate time, they may be kicked out of the waiting room due to overcrowding. The constrictions on time and space pose problems for students that have early morning classes or do not have the option or means to seek off-campus medical care.

In Fall Term especially, allergies worsen and flu season approaches with the colder months. There is pressure to start off the new school year with good grades. With this, students are more inclined to fight through their illness rather than take time to see a nurse. Students should be aware of their health and not prioritize academics over personal health and well-being.

Another issue that students have run into during visits is seeing other classmates. While the waiting room does provide some privacy from the rest of the Wellness Center, some students have a campus job as nurse assistants and are asked to check patient’s heart rates and blood pressure. This can lead to uncomfortable interactions and lead to issues of privacy.

While the Landis Health Center offers useful resources such as medical examinations, immunizations, counseling services and prescription transfers, the availability of these services could be made more apparent. Lawrence has been awarded for being a healthy campus, but the resources provided are not widely advertised. Yes, an ailing student may take the time to do a thorough search of Lawrence’s website, but the information presented can be unclear and inefficient. If the information is more readily available, then students can get back to being healthily studious even faster.

While fixing these problems could cost a lot of money, student health impacts every aspect of collegiate life. The university should take stronger action to ensure that all students on campus are living the healthiest lives possible.