Middle Tennessee State University students are finding they can depend on Student Health Services and the Campus Pharmacy as the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19 alter the higher education landscape.
The pharmacy and Student Health Services, which are adjacent to one another in the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center on the east side of campus, are open and available to students residing in campus residence halls, living in nearby off-campus apartments or rental property or living in the surrounding communities.
Students remain on spring break this week. When classes resume Monday, March 23, students will be taking them online remotely.
“Students have been very understanding for the most part,” said Rick Chapman, Student Health Services director. “They are informed and compliant with our new procedures, and conscientious to not spread (anything they might have) to their friends and loved ones.”
On Monday, March 16, Health Services had seen 44 students, with a range of regularly scheduled appointments to students arriving with respiratory-related issues and subsequent evaluation to see if they meet CDC guidelines for testing.
“We are doing our best to maintain the standard of care our students have come to expect,” Health Promotion Director Lisa Schrader said.
One major change: All students will be screened in the recreation center atrium at a nurse triage station. Students who are ill or who think they may have had exposure to the coronavirus will have their temperature taken and a mask placed on them before entering the clinic and assessment by clinical staff.
Chapman notes they continue to monitor and adapt to any Center for Disease Control and Tennessee Department of Health updates and guidelines . Schrader said daily staff meetings keep everyone informed.
Student Health Services is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, with after-hours nurse advice available by calling 615-898-2988. For more, visit https://www.mtsu.edu/healthservices/ or call 615-898-2988.
The Campus Pharmacy is providing pharmaceutical care and advice for all students, plus faculty and staff.
“We’re still open for them, to take care of the students,” Pharmacist Tabby Ragland said of the message she wants to share with students. “We want to keep them as safe as possible. … Our students have never seen anything like this in their lifetime.”
Ragland, who has seen a spike in phone calls the past seven business days, said all medications remain in stock, and they are able to transfer prescriptions and receive transfers to meet students’ needs.
The pharmacy is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, with drive-thru open until 4:30 p.m. each day. Information: 615-494-8888 or https://www.mtsu.edu/pharmacy/.
MTSU has more than 300 combined undergraduate and graduate programs.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)