The office of Health Services has reduced its hours of operation and concentrated its staff scheduling this semester in an effort to better serve students at the College.
Health Services will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays and 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays. Prior to this semester, the office had been open until 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
However, despite this reduction in hours, the staff at Health Services is hoping to process students more quickly this semester.
After surveying students who had been scheduled for appointments at Health Services after 6 p.m. last semester, administrators found that it might be beneficial to provide students with more opportunities to be seen earlier in the day.
“The results of the survey showed that the majority of students preferred an earlier appointment, but none were available,” Janice Vermeychuk, associate director of Health Services, wrote via e-mail.
By cutting the evening hours and scheduling the evening staff earlier in the day, administrators hope to increase the efficiency with which students’ needs are met.
“More appointment slots would be available during the times of heaviest demand because more clinical staff is in Health Services,” Vermeychuk wrote. “Our goal is to see people within 15 minutes of their scheduled time.”
Other than schedule adjustments, no changes to the staff at Health Services have been made.
By cutting out the evening hours, the Health Services staff has also been able to eliminate dinner breaks and stagger lunch breaks to create more appointment slots. According to Vermeychuk, students now have a better chance of securing a same-day appointment than they had in previous semesters.
This change is also designed to help address another concern that had been raised with regard to confidentiality.
“During the evening hours, they had students working at the reception desk,” Magda Manetas, executive director for Student and Residential Development, said. “This created a problem of privacy and confidentiality for some students seeking care at Health Services.”
According to Vermeychuk, students seeking an appointment can now enjoy a greater sense of privacy as they are now no longer met with student workers at the front desk.
Vermeychuk sent a campus-wide e-mail informing all students of the new Spring 2007 hours, and Manetas announced the change in office hours at Health Services to the Student Government Association at their Jan. 24 meeting. According to Vermeychuk, they have received no feedback with regard to the change.
Vermeychuk proposed the reconfiguration of hours in August 2006. It was approved by Jim Norfleet, vice president of Student Life, as a pilot program in late December 2006.
At the end of the semester, student satisfaction surveys will be used to assess the effectiveness of the change. Students can complete the surveys year-round on the Health Services Web site (tcnj.edu/healthservices). An e-mail invitation to fill out the surveys will be sent to all students in March.