Where to Seek Medical Care as a College Student

As a college student, it’s safe to assume that you’re interested in two things above all else: getting your education and having a good time. While there’s nothing wrong with that, you won’t be able to do either unless you have your health. It’s easy to take that for granted when you’re young and relatively healthy, but you never know what the future will bring.

For example, you could get hit with the flu bug or a common cold during the winter months. Or perhaps you break a bone (or suffer some other type of sports injury) one night when a football game breaks out. All of these things happen. It’s part of life, especially when you are a college student.

If you require medical care as a college student, there are a variety of options to consider. Of course, it’s important to know where you can turn before you actually need help. This way, should the time come, you can take immediate action. 

After all, the last thing you need is to be searching Google for “cash doctors near me” or “how to treat a broken bone” when you’re in pain. With that in mind, here are several places to seek medical care as a college student.

  1. Student Health Center

This is often the fastest way to receive care, but of course, that depends on the time of the day. If you’re injured during daylight hours, you can stop by the student health center to be examined and treated. However, should your injury come about after hours, you’ll need to look into another option.

Regardless, it doesn’t hurt to have the contact information for your student health center nearby. This way, you can give them a call or quickly visit in person should the time come.

  1. Emergency Room

You don’t want to get ahead of yourself and rush to the emergency room for a minor injury, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. If you have any reason to believe that your injury or illness requires immediate medical attention, the emergency room is the best place to go. 

However, you may find that your condition is less serious than you thought, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just the same as your student health center, know where to find the local hospital. This allows you to act quickly in an emergency. 

  1. Urgent Care Facility

Urgent care facilities are more common today than ever before. These are great for those times when you need immediate medical help but don’t require emergency room attention. For instance, if you have a laceration or reason to believe that you’ve broken a bone, an urgent care facility can help. 

They may not be able to do everything on-site, but at the very least they can point you in the right direction. Then, if you have to seek additional treatment, such as at a local hospital or by seeing a specialist, you can do so. 

  1. Local Doctor

It’s good practice to have a doctor who is local to your college. You don’t have to see this person often, if at all, but you may need to make an appointment should you have questions or concerns about the way you’re feeling. A local doctor can examine you, diagnose basic illnesses, and provide medication if necessary. 

This is much better than having to pay for an emergency room visit or travel home to see a doctor. Try to establish a relationship with a doctor upon arriving at college the first year so you’re not trying to find one at the last minute.

Note: There’s nothing wrong with calling 911 if you need immediate help and cannot transport yourself to a local medical facility. In fact, this is preferred, as the responding paramedics can provide treatment at the scene. 

They can then transfer you to a local hospital where a medical team can take over your care. Don’t be shy about calling for help. It could be the difference between a permanent injury and one with which you can make a full recovery. 

Final Thoughts

From a dorm room fire to a party-related concussion, you never know what could go wrong when you’re in college. Since your safety and well-being is more important than anything else, you must know where to seek medical care should the time come.