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TJC offers free clinic on campus

More than 13 positive flu cases have already been confirmed at Tyler Junior College’s campus clinic.

“Flu season typically begins in November, but it’s already started now because of H1N1,” said Dr. Stephanie Eijsink, ETMC First Physicians Clinic, TJC.

Flu shots are now available and all students are encouraged to get one.

TJC offers a free clinic to students because a fee of $30 is included in each student’s tuition. Students simply walk in the office with their student ID and a need to see the doctor. Appointments are never necessary.

Hundreds of students have already been treated since the beginning of school.

“The clinic stays busy. We have had over 60 people a day since school started,” said Angie McCullough the clinic’s medical assistant.

Considering the clinic is fairly small with one doctor, one nurse and one medical assistant, the wait time can be long. Many students don’t even know the clinic is available.

“I had no idea there was a free clinic right here on campus that I could go to,” TJC student Jaleesa Goss said. ” I will definitely be going for that flu shot.”

When the semester began, physicals were the number one reason for clinic visits, but according to Eijsink, sick visits have increased tremendously.

The clinic offers treatment for something as simple as a headache, to clinic referrals for young women for the fairly new Gardisil vaccine. The clinic will provide students with prescriptions when necessary. Eijsink goes out of her way to make sure the medicines she prescribes are affordable for students.

“Unless it is a very unusual medicine, all the medicines I prescribe are available at Wal-Mart for $4,” Eijsink said.

TJC student, Christy McDonald, was in the office for a sick visit. This was her second visit to the clinic. She appreciates that the clinic is on campus and the fee was already included in her tuition.

“It’s great for people who don’t have insurance,” McDonald said.

The clinic also treats injuries, providing X-rays if needed. While lab tests and X-rays aren’t free, they are offered at a reduced price.

The clinic offers preventative treatment as well. Vaccinations are provided and free TB testing is available for all Allied Health students. The clinic is even concerned with the mental health of TJC students.

A psychologist is available for half a day on Monday afternoons for students who need any type of counseling. The clinic can be especially convenient for students who are away from home and away from their primary physician. Students have an alternative other than going to the emergency room where they will have a bill and possibly an even longer wait.

The clinic is also available for the faculty and staff. They have a $75 co-pay that is good for the entire year.

The clinic is located on the second floor of the Rogers Student Center and is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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