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Sick students weary of Tang Center

As midterm stress continues to rise and students settle into their close living quarters, it’s typical during this time of year for an onslaught of sickness and illnesses to take place.

Many student’s seeking a health solution find themselves at the Tang Center or University Health Service in Berkeley, only to walk away frustrated.

However, according to Mills health services, students’ frustration may have more to do with students and less with staff and services.

Senior Maria Ear, says that her ordeal with Tang started with small sores on her legs that looked like bug bites. Like most students at Mills, she didn’t see enough of a concern to schedule an appointment with a doctor at Tang.

By the time the sores spread all over her ankles and became blister-like, she ventured to Tang in order to have someone look at them.

“The advice nurse at Tang told me it was chicken pox when I showed the sores to her, so I immediately went into urgent care,” said Ear.

Six days later, Ear finally received the results of the lab-work she had gotten done.

“They asked me to go back, because they don’t know what I have. I have a bacterial infection that they don’t know about,” she said.

“I’m upset because I have to make time to see another doctor when I don’t have that time.”

With a trained staff of over 200, University Health Service, or Tang offers all students primary medical and counseling services which are mainly paid for by student registration fees, yet students aren’t’ taking advantage of the services available to them.

As the liaison between Tang and Mills, Cynthia Turner, Director of the Health Program at Mills, works on getting health information out to students. Turner blames students’ unhappiness with Tang on students, saying that students negatively affect their health by the lack of preventative measures they take.

“I work with students with very different health issues, and with students who have histories of health problems, so I help them get in touch with information and contacts which are available to them,” said Turner. “I want to encourage students to use the services they’ve already paid for, and not wait until they’re so sick that they can’t put it off any more.”

Freshwoman Christina Skaar didn’t postpone her trip to Tang. Which may be why she saw her health issues properly addressed, when she visited urgent care.

“I didn’t wait to go [to Tang] because of the severity,” said Skaar. “My doctor was very approachable and took the time to explain everything, he was very clear and insightful.”

Skaar dropped all of her classes that day and had a friend drop her off in order to address complications resulting from a car accident she was in earlier this spring. She says that doctors did their best to not keep her waiting long.

“You obviously have to go fill forms, get your card, sit down and wait, but overall it was simple and worked out,” she said.

All Mills students are entitled to Campus Care, which includes primary care and various health measures, such as an annual pap smear. In order to help students fend of sickness, Turner has coordinated a Flu shot event, where all Mills students can get vaccinated for virus. As with most Tang Center related health services, there will be some charges for the work. Students not currently on SHIP should