Last Tuesday, I woke up feeling awful. I had difficulty breathing overnight, which persisted into the day. My head ached along with the rest of my body
I called my mom and told her about my illness.
Immediately, she related the symptoms of the H1N1 virus and told me to go to the Health Center.
Once there, I read a pamphlet at the front desk describing the symptoms for the Swine flu virus, and I could identify all of them, except for the fever.
I told the lady at the front desk. Her reply was, “Make an appointment.”
Are you serious?
You tell me to make an appointment for a virus that if not treated on time can kill people?
Then she tells me that there is no available space on Wednesday but Thursday worked. All I wanted to know was whether or not I had the flu.
Then one of the nurses or assistants hears me, lets me in and takes my temperature. With no fever the nurse gives me medicine and lets me go, with an appointment on Thursday.
I was researching about Swine flu for a paper for one of my classes, and, as an interesting side note, fever, as a symptom, doesn’t necessarily appear.
The Health Center webpage explains how students testing positive are treated on Tamiflu or Relenza and how “these medications work best if started within two days of developing symptoms, so it is important to contact The Health Center as soon as symptoms arise.”
My appointment was scheduled for Thursday, which meant that if I had the flu, I wouldn’t be able to be treated.
Thursday arrived. I only had a cold. A doctor who was very nice, whom I have no complaints with, treated me.
However, what bothers me is how you let someone who has the symptoms of the H1N1 virus go out without even taking the prevention of at least taking a test.
I live on campus and went to class those days. From Tuesday to Thursday, how many other people could I have infected?
What’s the point of going “as soon as symptoms arise” as the web page says, if there is no immediate treatment?
Then there are the low human resources. The lady at the front desk was not nice to me and the other students there. I don’t know how qualified the people in the Health Center are (for the tuition we pay I hope they are very qualified).
When you give someone a job that requires plenty of person-to-person interaction (in this case with sick people) you don’t give it to someone who at four in the afternoon is already going to be pissed or tired or disrespectful.
There is nothing wrong in not having charisma. Not everyone knows how to deal with people.
What is wrong, is to put someone lacking charisma to work in a place where she would have to deal with people all day.
I’m concerned how the Health Center is going to make it through the flu season, when in at the beginning of school they were already scheduling appointments two days later.
Students need to react to this. Maybe some of the Health Center staff forget, as I did, that they are not doing any “charity” on treating us. We pay for care.
We deserve to be treated on time when we are sick. If they are incapable of receiving so many people in one day, they should not put potentially affected students back into classrooms and on a waiting list.
What good is medicating one student when they’ve roamed the campus and possibly infected others?
The Health Center should accommodate the students, not the students to the Health Center.
Carolina Olaya can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.