Student Health Services can help students prepare for flu season

Student Health Services provides care for any student enrolled in classes at UW-Eau Claire

More stories from Claire Schoenemann

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Photo by Leah Pflaum

Flu season is here! Student Health Services is here to help!

Student Health Services is an on-campus resource that works to provide health care options for UW-Eau Claire students at a low cost, and most visits are free of charge.  

However, despite the convenient location, staff members like Danielle McSharry wish students knew all that the clinic had to offer. McSharry, a nurse practitioner, is one staff member who shared some of the services the clinic has to offer.

“I keep telling people that we are kind of like family practice for college students,” McSharry said. “We see people for their physicals, women’s health exams, muscle and skeletal problems. One of our main services is helping with depression and anxiety.”

According to a survey, 53.3% of UW-Eau Claire students have visited or used SHS this fall. 

Ella Novak, a first-year elementary education student, said that her visit had exceeded her expectations and that the staff working there were kind, helpful and made the visit quick and easy. 

“Student Health Services definitely exceed my expectations for on-campus care. I’ve already had to go twice, and both times I was able to get in for appointments the same day,” Novak said. 

The survey also showed that out of all students who used SHS, 82.2% reported to be sick and only 17.8% had received a flu shot this year. 

One of the services provided by SHS is that any enrolled student can make an appointment for a flu shot free of charge. Appointments for immunizations can be made on the SHS login.  

For more information on the 2021-2022 flu shot and to get questions answered, consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s FAQ page.

McSharry said that the best advice she could give to stay healthy was that students should simply take care of themselves. Whether that’s getting adequate sleep, doing routine exercise, eating healthy or washing their hands often, students should take the time to care for themselves.

“Every year we definitely recommend the flu shot just to help keep yourself safe from getting the flu.” McSharry said. “You also want to get your flu shot this year just so you don’t end up getting influenza, as well as COVID-19, and getting more sick than necessary.“

You can still contract the flu even if you get your flu shot; however, symptoms won’t be as severe. Getting your flu shot also reduces both the transmission and spread to others. 

McSharry said that getting vaccinated and staying healthy this fall helps keep the community safe. This is especially important during flu season as the pandemic continues on.

In addition to flu shots, COVID-19 testing is free of charge to UW-Eau Claire students who are experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. 

If you have health concerns but don’t feel comfortable coming into the clinic, they also offer some virtual opportunities for appointments.

A full list of services, information, and scheduling instructions can be found at their SHS homepage. 

Schoenemann can be reached at [email protected]