Particularly in a small town like Granville with limited access to other healthcare options, Whisler Health Center is the primary resource for healthcare services for Denison students. All around campus are promotions for people to take control of their health – posters inside the bathroom stalls discussing proper self breast examinations, groups like DASH who advocate for sexual health and other campaigns that occur through the academic year. But when students fall ill and need primary care, they are seriously disappointed in the service provided at Whisler Health Center.
The first problem is that they are majorly understaffed. Counseling services are hard to get, and on a campus where mental health is talked about as a value, this is a poor reflection on putting our money where our mouth is. Health services aren’t cheap, and we realize this, but if this is something we care about, then we need to prioritize it by getting more counselors and health professionals to meet campus needs.
We know they are looking for more counselors after losing one this past summer, but to the students it looks like our mental health is put on the back burner. It should be on the top of the school’s priority list to fill the positions. Not to mention the fact that most of the people working in Whisler are doubling up on space, making it harder for them to focus on the patients at hand.
Whisler’s staff isn’t always attentive. They’ve misdiagnosed individuals’ illnesses and some students have even been provided with expired medication. While these aren’t necessarily cases that occur often, there are enough stories circulating around campus that it makes us question the effectiveness of the care provided for students through the health center.
While these complaints aren’t representative of all care provided at Whisler, they are still valid concerns. Students are required to pay an annual health fee to Whisler, yet our expectations and needs are still consistently unmet. Students don’t expect a full blown hopsital, but at the least better resources for students to have at their disposal.
When students know that they may receive subpar health care or advice from Whisler, they may be more hesitant to visit Whisler when they actually need medical attention or counseling services.
It is not uncommon to call Whisler and have them tell you that the next available appointment is not for a couple days. This is beyond frustrating when you’re really sick and are unable to receive medical attention or appropriate medication.
We’ve all heard the running joke that Whisler hands out Mucinex for any and every illness, and it’s not completely false.
It’s not uncommon to hear about someone not receiving the proper medication for whatever sickness they’ve picked up. One student even reported receiving expired medicine for an infection.
Strep throat is making its way around campus, and by the time antibiotics come into play it’s already begun to make its way down the whole hall. Through proper precautionary measures, Whisler could potentially make a large difference in the prevention of diseases.
We understand that the small staff in Whisler does its best and we appreciate them highly. However, for the amount we pay for health services, more attention should be paid to the demand students have. In the future, might we suggest potentially teaming up with Newark or Heath’s health services, including those provided by Licking Memorial Hospital to alleviate the stress on our Denison staff and keep up with the demand of our students.