Spring 2021 Policies and Procedures
WELLNESS CENTER OPERATIONS
The Wellness Center is open Monday through Friday between the hours of 8am and 5pm to provide consultation and support to all Dickinson students. Wellness Center staff will also provide Health Services, Counseling & Psychiatric Services, and Nutrition Services appointments, which will primarily be delivered virtually. In-person appointments will only be offered to students who are on campus when virtual appointments are not clinically appropriate.
The extent to which we are able to provide services to students who are not currently studying on-campus will depend on a number of factors, including the student's current location, treatment needs, whether these needs can adequately be addressed remotely, and whether it is possible for the student to access services at home. If accessing a treatment provider at home is possible, this will be the best option in most cases. A local provider will have a better awareness of other clinical services and emergency resources in their area, as well as the ability to schedule in-person appointments if there is a need to do so.
Even during typical semesters, we recommend that students establish relationships with providers in their area, so they can access treatment over breaks. Many states also place restrictions on out of state providers that will limit the services the Wellness Center can provide to students who reside outside the state of Pennsylvania. Wellness Center staff will consider all requests for services on a case-by-case basis and will assist any student who requires services with getting connected with a treatment provider in their area.
Please see the Spring 2021 Update on our main page for more information.
NEW PROCEDURES FOR IN-PERSON APPOINTMENTS
Wellness Center appointments will be conducted virtually whenever possible (with in-person appointments only being offered when virtual appointments are not clinically appropriate). The following procedures will be utilized whenever an in-person appointment is required.
- Students on campus should call 717-245-1663 to schedule appointments rather than coming physically to the Wellness Center (including when requesting Open Hours and Testing Tuesdays).
- All students will check in for appointments remotely via our Patient Portal (dickinson.medicatconnect.com) and then call the office to be admitted into the building.
- All students will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms (including taking temperature) and asked to wash their hands/use hand sanitizer upon arrival for in-person appointments.
- All students and staff will be required to wear face coverings at all times when in shared spaces at the Wellness Center.
- Only the first floor waiting room will be open, and seats will be spaced at least six feet apart. Any students presenting with symptoms of COVID-19 will be seen in our COVID-19 Tent or admitted through a separate entrance and not use the waiting room.
- Testing Tuesdays will be offered for students who require non-contact STI testing or a phone consultation to discuss STI testing. Please note that while students are welcome to call and ask for “Testing Tuesdays”, these services can also be requested any day we are open.
PROCEDURE TO ACCESS WELLNESS CENTER SERVICES:
Students on or off campus should call 717-245-1663 to schedule appointments between the hours of 8am and 5pm (M-F).
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN I CALL THE WELLNESS CENTER:
HEALTH SERVICES APPOINTMENTS
Students who require health services appointments should call and ask to schedule a virtual appointment with a nurse practitioner to discuss their concerns and options for treatment. In some cases, a nurse practitioner may first need to call a student back to further assess the student’s concerns. If further assessment is required in-person, our staff will ask the student to schedule an in-person appointment in lieu of scheduling a virtual appointment.
Please note that we are unable to provide any Health Services appointments or prescriptions to students outside the state of Pennsylvania.
COUNSELING AND PSYCHIATRIC SERVICES APPOINTMENTS
Students who require counseling appointments should call and ask to schedule an initial appointment with a counselor to discuss their concerns and options for treatment. Requests for scheduling regular counseling sessions will be reviewed after this initial appointment on a case-by-case basis. In most cases, we will follow up with the student requesting regular counseling sessions within a week of their initial appointment.
The Wellness Center utilizes a short-term, goal directed model of counseling to help students identify and address their concerns. Given the unique nature of the Spring 2021 semester, some students will be on campus for a relatively short period of time. In these cases, counseling will involve focusing on immediate concerns and helping students to create a plan for how they will continue to address these concerns once they return home. This may involve identifying relevant treatment options and/or other resources that they can access from home, as well as discussing steps that students can take on their own to continue making progress toward their goals.
While we will consider requests for counseling from students who are off-campus, if working with a provider in their area is possible, this will likely be the best option for treatment. If it is not possible to access a treatment provider off-campus and remote services are clinically appropriate, we may be able to offer counseling to students who are off campus. However, in most cases, we will not be able to work with someone residing outside the state of Pennsylvania.
Open Hours appointments are available to all students who require same day consultation with a counselor and can be accessed between the hours of 11am-noon and 2pm-3pm on weekdays. During Open Hours, students can virtually consult with a mental health professional on a first-come, first-served basis. Visits typically last 15-20 minutes and provide students with an opportunity to discuss immediate concerns and collaboratively identify solutions and receive recommendations for managing these concerns. The counselor will then make a plan with the student for follow up services if needed.
Open Hours are available to students who are on or off campus. However, if you are experiencing a mental health emergency off-campus and are concerned about your immediate safety, please call 911, your local mental health crisis center, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and will connect you with the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network.
To access Open Hours, students should call the Wellness Center and ask to speak to the next available counselor.
Virtual Groups and Workshops:
Please see our CAPS page for information about our virtual support, discussion, and skills groups and workshops, which are available to all students, on or off campus.
NUTRITION SERVICES APPOINTMENTS
Students who require nutrition appointments should call and ask to schedule an initial appointment with our staff dietitian to discuss their concerns and options for treatment. Requests for scheduling regular appointments will be reviewed after this initial appointment on a case-by-case basis. In most cases, we will follow up with the student requesting regular appointments within a week of their initial appointment. Please note that all nutrition appointments will be conducted virtually during the Spring 2021 semester.
While we will consider requests for nutrition appointments from students who are off-campus, if working with a provider in their area is possible, this will likely be the best option for treatment. If it is not possible to access a treatment provider off-campus we may be able to offer regular nutrition appointments to students who are off campus.
Students who are not on campus and are in need of additional services can also access the following options:
The Dickinson College Student insurance plan (UnitedHealthcare) has a telehealth service that is available to all students insured under the plan, which can be accessed here.
Students who are not insured under UnitedHealthcare may also access this service but will be charged a $40 co-pay.
Teletherapy (mental health) services are also free to students insured under the Dickinson College Student health insurance plan, and can be accessed here. UnitedHealthcare cannot provide teletherapy to students who are not on the plan.
Many other commercial insurance plans also offer Telehealth and Teletherapy services. Some are also waiving the co-pay fees. Students not covered under the student health insurance plan should check with their primary insurance company first to find out if these services are available.
Please also see our COVID-19 Resources page for additional support: Wellness Resources COVID-19.