Nurse Line Provides 24-hour Service for Students

Posted: November 15, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Megan McDonnell

Medical attention is available around the clock for George Mason students. When Student Health Services closes down for the night, the after-hours nurse line starts up, providing help for students with nonemergency health questions.

Mary Ann Braun, associate director, Health and Wellness Center, began the program in September 2003 after students and parents voiced a need for it. A student simply calls Health Services and is given the option to talk to a nurse. The program is run by Intellicare, which provides nurses to answer the phones and provide guidance.

In response to complaints such as, “I am having trouble breathing,” nurses pose a series of questions to determine whether the student needs hospitalization or home care treatments. The nurses also answer basic health questions such as, “How do I prevent the flu?”

Last year, Student Health Services averaged 10 calls per month to the after-hours nurse line, mainly on weekends. Intellicare notifies Student Health Services of all calls via fax the next day, and each call is reviewed by the clinic coordinator. If there was a recommendation to see a doctor or if the student lives on campus, the clinic coordinator follows up with the student.

The service is available for all George Mason students, including those who live off-campus. “I think it is a good service for students because sometimes they just want advice on what to do, and it gives them that permission to seek medical care,” says Carol Filak, clinic coordinator. The service also provides parents with the added security of knowing that even after hours their children can still reach a health worker without taking a trip to the emergency room.

The phone number for Student Health Services is 703-993-2831.

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