Student Health and Wellness Center
The SHWC provides primary care and mental health services in an outpatient setting. Licensed, professional staff include but are not limited to: a Doctor of Osteopathy, Family Practice Physician, Family Nurse Practitioners, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nurses; and other allied health professionals.
Same day care is available for students with urgent medical needs during regular hours. A staff member will evaluate your medical complaint or injury when you call or come in. Acute conditions and injuries will be seen in order of urgency. If the problem is not urgent, you may be asked to return for an appointment. We know your time is valuable, and we will make every effort to serve your needs in a timely manner.
Our nurse can administer allergy desensitivity injections for students who have seen their allergist and provide their own antigen(s). Students must also provide the allergist's written instructions and dosage schedules, as well as the name and address of their physician. Any changes in the dosage schedule require written authorization from the allergist.
- Counseling: Students engaged in using alcohol and drugs may benefit from exploring personal dynamics in their life. Identifying stress sources and response patterns can provide insight into coping mechanisms that are supportive verses those that present threats to health, safety and academic success.
- Brief Alcohol Screening Intervention for College Students (BASICS)
- Drug and alcohol assessments
- Drug and alcohol counseling
- Referral for appropriate level of intervention needed
- Life skills workshops
- Medical evaluation for health implications due to substance abuse and dependence
- Recovery Support: CORE sou.edu/core
- Access to 12 Step Meetings at SOU — Meeting schedules available at SHWC
Tobacco and Nicotine
Smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to contract heart disease. Lung, larynx, esophageal, bladder, pancreatic, and kidney cancers also strike smokers at increased rates. Thirty percent of cancer deaths are linked to smoking. Chronic obstructive lung diseases, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, are 10 times more likely to occur among smokers than among nonsmokers. Smoking during pregnancy also poses risks, such as spontaneous abortion, pre-term birth, and low birth weights. Fetal and infant deaths are more likely to occur when the pregnant woman is a smoker. Nicotine is both psychologically and physically addictive.
Low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination needed to operate vehicles. Small amounts can also lower inhibitions. Moderate to high doses cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, and loss of memory and the ability to learn and remember information. High doses cause respiratory depression and death. Long-term consumption, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can also lead to dependence and permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and the liver. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol will produce the effects just described. Mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation.
(Marijuana, Hashish, Hashish Oil, Tetrahydrocannabinol)
Physical effects of cannabis include increased heart rate, bloodshot eyes, dry mouth and throat, and increased appetite. Use of cannabis may impair or reduce short-term memory and comprehension, alter sense of time, reduce ability to perform tasks requiring concentration and coordination, and impair driving ability. Motivation and cognition may be altered, making the acquisition of new information difficult. Marijuana, hashish, THC, etc., can also produce paranoia and psychosis. Longterm use may result in possible lung damage, reduced sperm count and sperm motility, and may affect ovulation cycles. Cannabis can also be psychologically addictive.
(Nitrous Oxide, Amyl Nitrite, Butyl Nitrite, Chlorohydrocarbons, Hydrocarbons)
Immediate effects of inhalants include nausea, sneezing, coughing, nosebleeds, fatigue, lack of coordination, and loss of appetite. Solvents and aerosol sprays also decrease the heart and respiratory rates and impair judgment. Amyl and butyl nitrite cause rapid pulse, headaches, and involuntary passing of urine and feces. Long-term use may result in hepatitis or brain damage. Deeply inhaling vapors, or using large amounts over a short time, may result in disorientation, violent behavior, unconsciousness, or death. High concentrations of inhalants can cause suffocation by displacing oxygen in lungs. Long-term use can cause weight loss, fatigue, electrolyte imbalance, muscle fatigue, and permanent damage to the nervous system.
Cocaine stimulates the central nervous system. Its immediate effects include dilated pupils and elevated blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature. Occasional use can cause nasal irritation; chronic use can ulcerate the mucous membrane of the nose. Crack or freebase rock is extremely addictive. Physical effects include dilated pupils, increased pulse rate, elevated blood pressure, insomnia, loss of appetite, tactile hallucinations, paranoia, and seizures. The use of cocaine can cause death by cardiac arrest or respiratory failure.
(Amphetamines, Methamphetamines, Crank, Ice)
Stimulants cause increased heart and respiratory rates, elevated blood pressure, dilated pupils, and decreased appetite. Users may experience sweating, headache, blurred vision, dizziness, sleeplessness, and anxiety. Extremely high doses can cause rapid or irregular heartbeat, tremors, loss of coordination, and physical collapse. Amphetamine injection creates a sudden increase in blood pressure that can result in stroke, very high fever, or heart failure. In addition to physical effects, feelings of restlessness, anxiety, and moodiness can result. Use of large amounts over a long period of time can cause amphetamine psychosis that includes hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. The use of amphetamines can cause physical and psychological dependence.
(Barbituates, Methaqualone, Tranquilizers)
Small amounts can produce calmness and relaxed muscles, but somewhat larger doses can cause slurred speech, staggering gait, and altered perception. Large doses can cause respiratory depression, coma, and death. Combination of depressants and alcohol can multiply effects of the drugs, thereby multiplying risks. Babies born to mothers who abuse depressants during pregnancy may be physically dependent on the drugs and show withdrawal symptoms shortly after birth. Birth defects and behavioral problems may also result. The use of depressants can cause both physical and psychological dependence.
(PCP, LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Psilocybin)
Phencyclidine (PCP) interrupts the functions of the neocortex, the section of the brain that controls intellect and instinct. PCP blocks pain receptors, and users can have violent PCP episodes resulting in self-inflicted injuries. Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), mescaline, and psilocybin cause illusions and hallucinations. The physical effects may include dilated pupils, elevated body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, and tremors.
(Heroin, Methadone, Codeine, Morphine, Meperidine, Opium)
Narcotics initially produce a feeling of euphoria that often is followed by drowsiness, nausea, and vomiting. Users may experience constricted pupils, watery eyes and itching. Overdoses may produce respiratory depression, clammy skin, convulsions, coma and death. Addiction in pregnant women can lead to premature, stillborn, or addicted infants who experience severe withdrawal symptoms. Use of narcotics can cause physical and psychological dependence.
(Analogs of Fenatyl, Analogs of Meperidine, MDMA, Ecstasy Analogs of PCP)
Many "designer drugs" are related to amphetamines and depressants and have mild stimulant and depressant properties. Use can produce severe neurochemical damage to the brain. Narcotic analogs can cause symptoms such as those seen in Parkinson's disease: uncontrollable tremors, drooling, impaired speech, paralysis, and irreversible brain damage. Analogs of amphetamines and methamphetamines cause nausea, blurred vision, chills or sweating, and faintness. Psychological effects include anxiety, depression, and paranoia. Analogs of PCP cause illusions, hallucinations, and impaired perception.
Steroid users subject themselves to more than 70 side effects, ranging in severity from acne to liver cancer, including psychological as well as physical reactions. The liver and cardio-vascular and reproductive systems are most seriously affected by use. In males, use can cause withered testicles, sterility, and impotence. In females, irreversible masculine traits can develop along with breast reduction and sterility. Psychological effects in both sexes include very aggressive behavior, known as "roid rage", and depression. While some side affects appear quickly, others, such as heart attacks and strokes, may not show up for years.
U.S. Dept. of Education (1989). What Works: Schools Without Drugs. (Rockville, MD: National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information, 1989), pp 61-72.
National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIDA Capsules, (Rockville, MD: Press Office of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1986).
The Student Health and Wellness Center provides comprehensive birth control services to students. Students who are sexually active are encouraged to consider their need for contraception in advance of sexual activity. Whether you are seeking information about birth control or you need help selecting a method that is suitable to your health, lifestyle and relationship, one of our practitioners can help you make the decision that is right for you. Most methods of birth control are available including birth control pills, the Depo Provera injection, the patch, diaphragms and cervical caps. Emergency contraceptive (also known as the Morning After Pill) is also available. This is a hormonal method to prevent pregnancy if used within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse. For many students these services can be accessed free of charge. See below for more information.
We offer a nice variety of safe sex supplies in our "over the counter" drug store. These items include condoms, lubricants, foams, female condoms, spermicides, dental dams and vaginal contraceptive film. If the student is uncomfortable purchasing these items, we have forms to fill out and a staff member will fill the items in the back, place them in a bag and hand them discretely to the student.
Contraceptive Care (CCare)
formerly Family Planning Expansion Project) (FPEP)
SHWC is proud to participate in a publicly funded program called Oregon Contraceptive Care (CCare) that offers FREE contraceptive supplies and related preventive exams and medical visits for those eligible. Most SOU students who request this program qualify and receive this care at no cost. Hundreds of SOU students enjoy this free and easy program! You must have a valid Social Security Number to participate.
Separating contraceptive services and annual exams from SHWC's list of services covered by the health fee allows SOU students who are eligible to enroll in the free CCare program; however, it changes the billing structure for students who request contraceptive services and are not eligible for the program.
CCare Clients: contraceptive care services, including annual exams are free of charge. If you have private insurance it will be billed first before CCare is billed. You will never personally be charged a fee, a co-pay, or a deductible for any contraceptive services or supplies. Free, free, free!!!
Non-CCare Clients: if you have private insurance, and you have no objection, your private insurance will be billed for contraceptive services and supplies and annual exams. If you do not have private insurance, if you do not want services or supplies billed to insurance, or if you have a deductible which makes you responsible for direct payment, charges will be placed on your SOU student account. The SHWC has a Financial Assistance Plan that can greatly reduce cost of services to you. Please ask for an application at the Front Desk.
Sexually transmitted disease testing at non-CCare visits will be charged to the student account.
Nurse practitioners and general physicians are available for the assessment, monitoring, and treatment of ongoing or chronic conditions--to the extent to which the clinicians are trained, and as long as it remains in the best interest of the students. More complex conditions may require the consultation of, or the referral to, an off-campus specialist. Off campus treatment and evaluation is the financial responsibility of the student. Coordinated care with the outside clinicians can help keep expenses to a minimum.
Immunizations are available to the Student Health and Wellness Center for hepatitis A & B, measles (necessary for admission to the university), mumps, rubella, diphtheria/tetanus, influenza, chicken pox and other vaccines.
The lab at the Student Health and Wellness Center is licensed by the federal government as a moderate complexity lab. For most common medical problems, we perform rapid tests, which enable clinicians to use the results right at the time of the patient visit. For less frequently required or more complex tests, samples are sent to reference labs at least daily. The time when results will be available depends upon the tests ordered. Contracts with the reference labs reduce the costs of testing, and enable us to charge less than standard fees. Except in unusual circumstances, charges are put on the student account, and the students with insurance submit the claim themselves.
Sexual health problems of men may include concerns about sexuality, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, urinary tract infections and prostate conditions. Men need to be as concerned about their sexual organs as women. We encourage male students to do regular monthly self-exams of their testicles to check for abnormalities or lumps that may indicate a serious condition. Testicular cancer occurs most commonly in young men, so regular self-exam and early detection is critical. You may request to be scheduled with either a female or male practitioner if you have a preference. For information on free services, see CCare.
Clinicians are available to repair lacerations, remove or biopsy skin lesions, treat ingrown toenails, as well as to perform other minor outpatient surgical procedures. Usually an initial brief visit is used to discuss options, which is followed by a later appointment for the procedure itself. Referrals are made to outside practitioners for more complex problems. Liquid nitrogen freezing treatments are available once a week for warts and similar skin conditions.
Many nonprescription medications and supplies are available to students without an appointment. These include common pain relievers, vitamins, bandages, thermometers, vaginal preparations, cold remedies, etc. Charges are referred to the students' SOU accounts.
Physical exams are available for travel, employment, school transfer, athletic participation, or for personal reasons.
Many commonly used prescription medications are stocked at the Student Health & Wellness Center for students. A consulting pharmacist insures that proper procedures are maintained. Costs for medications are usually lower than retail, and special order medications are available. Only prescriptions written by SHWC professionals can be filled within the SHWC. Charges are referred to the students' SOU accounts.
The staff at the Student Health and Wellness Center are sensitive to the health issues and concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, inter-sexed and questioning individuals. We welcome you to use our services and encourage you to openly discuss your concerns.
Counseling and screening for sexually transmitted diseases are available through a combination of examination and laboratory testing. Treatment for STDs is available for students and their partners. Confidential screening for HIV is available by appointment for a nominal fee. Feel free to schedule an appointment to discuss the risks and exposure routes of HIV to help you decide if testing is right for you.
We provide services for students with musculoskeletal problems or those who sustain physical injuries. Referrals can be made to the training room in the physical education department for treatments when necessary.
Liquid nitrogen is available for wart treatments one day each week. It is available less frequently during summer sessions. Other types of wart treatments are routinely available.
An "annual exam" is recommended for all women. This exam includes an assessment of general health as well as sexual health. The exam includes a thorough breast exam, pelvic exam and Pap smear, and a laboratory screening for cervical cancer. Women will be taught how to perform the practice of breast self exam (BSE). BSE is an important first-line of defense against breast cancer. Pregnancy testing and counseling is available. When an unplanned pregnancy occurs, all options are discussed with the student. The Student Health and Wellness Center does not perform abortion or adoption services, but referrals for these services are routinely made. Follow-up is maintained. Obstetrical care is not provided, though students may continue to take advantage of all available services unrelated to the pregnancy. Students will be referred to local practitioners for pre-natal care. For information on free services, see CCare.