Health Services ready for sniffle season

By Joseph Guzy | Photo Editor Health Services on the second floor of the Union is open Monday through Friday.
By Joseph Guzy | Photo Editor Health Services on the second floor of the Union is open Monday through Friday.
By Joseph Guzy | Photo Editor
Health Services on the second floor of the Union is open Monday through Friday.

By Brandon Addeo | Asst. News Editor

Duquesne students might have walked by the Health Services office tucked away in the back of the second floor of the Student Union, not realizing they can have that sore throat that’s been bothering them checked out — at no cost.

Health Services offers free evaluations and treatments for all “acute illnesses,” such as strep throat and viral or bacterial infections, Health Services Director Dessa Mrvos said. They also provide treatment for injuries not requiring stitches, X-rays or CT scans.

“I want students to know that we’re accessible, we’re here for them,” she said. “We want them to call, come, visit.”

Health Services does charge a service fee for “starter packs” of medication prescribed to students, Mrvos added. Students can also pay Health Services for a physical exam.

If a student comes in with a more serious illness like pneumonia or a serious injury such as a concussion, Health Services will send the affected student over to Mercy Hospital.

“Because we’re medical practitioners we can provide a quick assessment of something … and do what we can in terms of our limitations,” Mrvos said. “We’re fortunate to have Mercy Hospital next door.”

In this situation, a Duquesne police officer or a paramedic would escort the student to the hospital, she said.

Junior Duquesne student Matthew Voggel set up an appointment at Health Services after he tore a muscle in his abdomen one day.

“They weren’t sure if it was appendicitis so they told me to go over to Mercy and make sure,” Voggel said. “They did a good job making sure that, even if they weren’t sure about something, a more expert opinion was sought out.”

Health Services treats upwards of 50 students each day, and they most commonly treat “upper respiratory illnesses” such as strep throat, the common cold and the flu — illnesses which spread quickly due to “communal living” on campus, Mrvos said.

Students who have come down with an illness like a cold or flu may walk-in or set up an appointment via phone with Health Services, Mrvos said.

According to Mrvos, symptoms of the flu include fever, sore throat, headaches, body aches and fatigue.

“Most people describe their symptoms as, ‘I feel as if I’ve been run over by a truck’,” she said.

Mrvos added that if you missed your flu shot: “It’s still not too late!” Health Services works with Duquesne’s Center for Pharmacy Care to administer flu shots, which are administered by Pharmacy Care personnel in the Health Services clinic.

Students interested may call the CPC to set up an appointment for a flu shot, which costs $30, according to the CPC website.

Students can visit the Health Services clinic from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays.

Health Services employs a full-time staff of nine — consisting of five registered nurses, two family nurses, a medical assistant and an office manager. Employed part-time are an allergy specialist, a dietician and a physician assistant from UPMC’s Children’s Hospital Division of Adolescent Medicine, according to Nancy Generalovich, staff nurse and campus relations coordinator for Health Services.