Sam Houston State University’s Student Health Center has introduced a new online scheduling system through their website.
Director of the Student Health Center Erica Bumpurs spoke about the new service offered, as well as elaborated on the role of the SHC in the life of the average SHSU student.
“A lot of people don’t know about this resource or know how to use it, and that’s one of the things that I am really passionate about,” Bumpurs said. “I want every student at Sam Houston to know that we are here for them, that we are a valuable resource, that you have already paid to access this resource and I want to take care of as many Sam Houston students as we can.”
Students who live within 60 miles of campus have indeed paid an extra $75 on their tuition to access the SHC’s services.
The new online scheduling portal helps usher the SHC into the modern era. Visit the Student Health Center website and click on the “Patient Portal” tile. From there, students can choose from a variety of dates and the reason for their visit.
“They can still call and schedule, but we’ve found that a lot of students, if they’re not feeling well during hours we’re not open, they don’t want to wait to call and get an appointment because it just gets them further and further behind,” Bumpurs said. “We’re finding that a lot of students are using [the Patient Portal] on evenings and weekends to go ahead and schedule themselves an appointment.”
The Student Health Center’s schedule has some measure of flexibility, according to Bumpurs.
“If you’re trying to schedule an appointment and you’re feeling really bad, and online it says the next appointment is four days from now, if a student calls us and talks to us, we have other options we can offer them to get them in sooner if their condition needs that,” Bumpurs said. “Standardly, we can get students in within two to three days, sometimes same day, no problem. We’re going to work with them and do what we can.”
Bumpurs stressed that the SHC does not charge students a copay or the same fees as a regular doctor’s office would.
“One thing that I tell students when I’m talking to them at freshman orientation is whether or not you have money in your pocket, if you are feeling sick and you need to come to the Student Health Center, come to us,” Bumpurs said. “We’re not going to ask you for any money.”
Any charges incurred through the visit (lab work, stitches, etc.) will be billed to the student’s MySam account through the Bursar’s Office.
“We don’t want students to feel like they can’t afford to come to the Student Health Center when they’re sick because they don’t have money that day they can spend on a health center visit,” Bumpurs said.
The Student Health Center, however, is not an urgent care clinic, and should not be treated as an emergency room. Bumpurs stated that the average wait time at the clinic is less than average appointment-based clinics.
“The ability to get an appointment with us is much quicker than [students] would experience trying to schedule an appointment with a medical doctor outside of this campus,” Bumpurs said. “In comparison to other appointment-based clinics, we are getting our patients in much quicker than they would experience in another setting.”
To schedule an online appointment with the Student Health Center, visit the Student Health Center website, click on the patient portal tab and then click the appointment tab.