BY WARREN HORTON
FEATURES EDITOR & PRODUCTION MANAGER
Class, work, eat, class, work, eat, repeat. What can possibly go wrong with that? A sudden illness can throw a monkey wrench into a student’s daily activities, including his or her class schedule.
COD students pay $19 every semester for health services. It is a service that is there for COD students, and this is the reason: 1. Students get sick or injured. 2. See #1.
At the Palm Desert campus, health services are located on the 1st floor in the Cravens Center. Although the Indio campus has health services, their services are somewhat limited. Elizabeth Goold R.N., assistant director of clinical service, says that the primary goal of the health center is to provide “support in physical and mental health” for the students to achieve their goals while at COD with an emphasis on “wellness”.
This service should not be considered a primary care facility in place of their own doctor. According to Goold it is for short-term issues such as: ear infections, colds, sprains, pneumonia, STD’s, TB testing, and pregnancy testing, The college physician is available one afternoon per week. Chronic issues can be evaluated but will be referred to the students own primary physician or to a clinic that will be able to provide treatment, whether the student has insurance or not. In regards to Obamacare, Goold says that this semester may be a little early to tell how many students actually are covered, and it is difficult to tell if the information they collect is accurate.
Help is also available in an online national magazine specific to COD at www.readsh101.com/collegeofthedesert.html. Goold points out that students can get information regarding stress, eating, time management, exercising, budget management, and other various subjects involving college life. “Wellness” is promoted to help students.
Goold says, Illness is not the only problem that can occur. With the health services fees, even accidents that occur on the campus are covered for registered COD students. Depending on a student’s insurance, health services may be considered as primary care or secondary care. There may be a $50 co-pay with a one year limit of care, in most cases.
Going beyond the usual illnesses and injuries, mental health for students is a very important issue to deal with. A method with scientific endorsement according to Goold is “mindful meditation” She says it is extremely effective in reducing stress. Various workshops teach students how to access online videos to help students with various mental issues.
One such method is an approximate 51ft by 40ft “Labyrinth”, located at the north end of
Rancher’s Park. (Not to be confused with a maze.) Goold is excited to use this labyrinth to keep students destressed, especially during midterms and finals. Currently, she has to go out and periodically repaint the lines. This project is being aided by the agricultural department maintaining the grass, but since grass grows and it gets cut, the labyrinth periodically becomes hard to see. The idea is to enter and walk to the end, turn around and walk out. According to the instructions, the labyrinth will “reduce stress, quiets the mind, grounds the body and opens the heart.”
Goold was kind enough to give The Chaparral a tour of the health services department. It looked and felt like being in a doctor’s office. It was clean, quiet, and the staff was friendly. There are two exam rooms, which are comparable to any doctor’s office. Students coming to Health Services should feel assured knowing that regardless of the reason they seek treatment, their visit to Health Services is confidential.