Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it necessary to ask such personal questions?

The staff of the SHC is dedicated to providing the best and safest health care for you. Because of the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases as well as unplanned pregnancy, some symptoms of "other" student health problems can sometimes be linked to sexual health.

This means that, at times, you may be asked very personal questions about your sexual behavior. In order for providers to know the right diagnosis and treatment, it is essential that these questions be asked. All information obtained is strictly confidential. If you have any questions concerning this issue, you are encouraged to discuss them with our staff.

Where can I get copies of my immunization history?

Is a physical examination required ?

A physical examination is required by the UNCW Department of Health and Applied Human Sciences for students taking physical education courses. The physical form on the Immunization and Medical History Form should be filled out and signed by a health care provider, and returned to the SHC. Approval to participate in full activities, or limitations to activities, should be noted on the form. The SHC does not provide these examinations.

What does it mean when I am told I can just “walk-in” and be seen?  Does this mean I will be seen immediately by the doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant?

Students may walk-in without an appointment and be seen on a first-come/first-serve basis.  Peak hours are 11am-2pm; therefore there may be a wait to see a provider.  Student are encouraged to come in during morning hours.

If you are found to have a serious condition that requires immediate attention, you will be seen ahead of other students. 

Why is it best to come in to the clinic early, and especially before 4:30pm?

Clinic hours are 8:00am to 5:00pm daily except Thursdays when the clinic opens at 9:00am. 

Early mornings are generally not as busy, so you should try to come in then. When you come in after 4:30pm it may be difficult to complete your visit that day if you need lab work, special procedures, or a referral to an off-campus provider. In those situations, you may need to return the next day in order to complete your evaluation. You WILL BE SEEN however if you arrive any time before 5:00pm. 

We have found the busiest times in the clinic to be 11:45 to 1:45, so we encourage you to come early.

Is there a charge for my visit at the Health Center?

Your clinic visits are covered by the Health Services Fee you pay (part of your “tuition and fees”). You will only be charged when the provider prescribes lab work, a medical procedure, medical equipment, or medications. In those cases you will have a minimal charge (usually close to our cost). These charges can be paid for by cash, check, credit or debit card, SeaHawk Buck card or by putting it on your student account. The other service that we charge for is physical exams. These charges are based on the type of physical performed (ex. Nursing, Teaching, Work, Annual Women’s Health Exam).

When I have a lab test and they say there may be additional charges what do they mean?

This is known as a “reflex” charge and occurs when you have a test done that may require additional testing based on the result. One example is when a urine culture indicates there is abnormal bacterial growth; the lab will do an additional test to determine which antibiotic will work on the bacteria. We will inform you ahead of time if you are having a lab done that could have a reflex charge. These charges will automatically be put on your student account.

Why am I frequently asked if I am pregnant?

During your visit, the provider may need to order certain tests or prescribe medications that could be harmful to a developing fetus, so it is very important for us to know if there is a chance you may be pregnant.

I want to start on Birth Control.  What do I do?

There are a variety of contraceptive methods and each student is different in regard to how Birth Control (BC) may be started. We recommend a visit to discuss which method will best suit you and your lifestyle. If it is determined that you will need to schedule a physical exam and/or attend the Women’s Health Seminar before starting on BC, an appointment can be made during this consultation visit. It is important to understand that you possibly may not receive a BC prescription on the consultation visit. A “pelvic exam” prior to prescribing BC may not be necessary, depending on your specific circumstances. 

What happens if I need to see a specialist off campus?

A “referral” to a specialist can be arranged by our staff or by the student after being given a list of local specialists. If you think that you may need to see a specialist, it is very important that you bring your insurance information with you when you come to the clinic. Also, check with your parents to see if there are any restrictions on who can refer you to see a specialist. In some cases, referrals must be done by your primary MD, or your insurance company will not pay for the visit. In those cases, we can give you names of specialists in our area that you can provide to your primary MD.

When I am sick why can’t I just get an antibiotic?

Unfortunately, many illnesses are caused by viruses, which don’t get better by taking antibiotics.  Symptom relief and time are the primary ways to treat these illnesses. We know this is frustrating when all you want to do is feel better. Unlike the general public, one of the advantages of coming to the Student Health Center is that you are not charged for routine visits. If the illness diagnosed as a virus isn’t getting better, or you feel that something isn’t right, you can come back as many times as necessary.  This is much better for you in the long term than taking an antibiotic that you do not need. Remember, antibiotics are medications and, as with all medications, there are associated risks and side effects.

Why do I keep getting sick, and why can’t you just “fix” it?

In college, you may be exposed to more germs when you live with a lot more people, especially in the close quarters of a residence hall or apartment. Also, in college many students tend to get less sleep, not eat as well as they did at home, experience more stress, and experiment with alcohol or other drugs. All these things have a powerful effect on the immune system, making it less able to fight germs.

Wash your hands frequently; especially during the cold and flu season, after using the bathroom, before eating, and after visiting someone who is already sick. Get plenty of sleep, eat nutritious meals, do your best to keep stress in check, drink alcohol only in moderation (if at all), and never use illegal drugs. It’s your choice, your personal responsibility!  In those cases we can’t“fix it”, but you can help prevent it!


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