On a Tuesday afternoon, a small waiting room is busy with steady flow of students coming in and out for their doctors’ appointments. The consistent “How may we help you?” from the two staff members registering the incoming students breaks the silence, keeping the atmosphere warm. Not bustling, nevertheless busy, the University Health Service Center (UHSC) has aided a continuous train of students for more than 50 years.
Located at the basement floor of the Human Ecology Building, the University Health Center has strived to maintain a healthy campus for the past 50 years. It is a student welfare organization that provides students and faculty with health care, medical treatment, environmental hygiene of the campus and health education. The service is accessible to students who have paid the student health fee. Despite its small exterior, the UHSC is sufficiently equipped with a consultation room, pharmacy, dental department, X-ray room and more.
On average, about 190 to 200 students visit the UHSC every day. About 15 percent are foreign exchange students and international students.
“Usually, we see quite a lot of international students here at the center,” said Lee Young-joo, who consults the incoming students. “As for the international students, although some of them are fluent in either Korean or English, some of them are not comfortable with either. In those cases, we try our best to communicate with the students. At times, we even brought out Google Translators to understand each other.”
Ha Yim-kyung (alias), a Liberal Arts major, once visited the UHSC for scraping her knee on a table at school.
“When I visited the UHSC, I was a little intimidated at first,” Ha said. “Since the office looked so professional, I was embarrassed that I might have come with an injury that was too minor. However, the doctors made me feel very comfortable while treating me professionally.”
According to Lee, students commonly come to treat minor injuries like Ha. They also come to treat minor colds and intestinal problems or menstrual cramps. In these circumstances, the UHSC provides students with prescription medication or in more severe cases, injections.
As the spring is upon us, Lee had some precautions that she wanted to share with students.
“As the school is a communal space, interaction with a vast amount of people is inevitable,” Lee said. “In these circumstances, students really have to look out for infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. Illnesses like this are not a simple matter that can be prevented through management of personal hygiene.”
Therefore, Lee recommended students to take regular medical checkups at the UHSC, possibly at least once a year.
“A medical checkup would include body measurements, chest X-rays, basic blood tests and more,” she said. “I also recommend students to get adult immunizations for Hepatitis A, B, and Influenza.”