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We pay a ridiculous amount of money a year for this school, so you’d expect ridiculously nice facilities. We have state of the art practice rooms, access to recording studios, and a media center that’s to die for. Our cafeteria doubles as a stage and is in a beautiful dorm. We have everything music students could want.
Except a nurse.
The first day of classes I knew I had a wicked cold, but I thought I might have an ear infection. I went on the trusty Internet to find our medical center, only to find we don’t have one. If I am ill or mildly injured, I’m expected to either treat myself or find my own medical care. And so that’s how I ended up taking the T half an hour to Massachusetts General to go to their walk in clinic. The stairs were a challenge because I couldn’t breathe, and I was blowing my nose every other minute. It was not an ideal situation.
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After a two-and-a-half hour wait, I got in to see a doctor.
He confirmed I had an ear infection but it was viral. Which meant no antibiotics for me. I left with a prescription for Sudafed, which I’d bought at Target before the school year had even begun. While it was good to know I was right about my ear infection and get his advice on medication, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was worth sitting in an uncomfortable chair for so long and having to get up to blow my nose on one-ply square tissues for a diagnois that took two minutes and minimal effort. And on top of that, the stress of the trip there actually made me feel worse.
A nurse would have been just as helpful. I didn’t need a prescription for the medication. All I needed was for someone to tell me how to treat my ear so it wouldn’t get worse. And I can’t help but think of how much easier it would’ve been to get this information at a school office. If I have any questions about my health, who exactly am I supposed to go to? Am I supposed to commute to a hospital or urgent care clinic every time I need a medical opinion on a cold? Every time I twist my ankle? Every time I get a migraine?
Getting to a clinic is already inconvenient, whether you’re sick or not. I’ve now traveled to Mass Gen via T and Uber, and both sucked. And on top of that, both cost money. Sure, the T is cheap, but not as cheap as a five to ten minute walk to a college office would be.
And on top of that, there was a copay on my visit. I paid twenty dollars for an overqualified doctor to tell me I was doing all I could. And on top of that, I spent 5 hours doing what should have taken five. And that would have taken five if I’d been able to just talk to a nurse.
Why don’t we have a nurse? The website doesn’t say anything. But I want to know why I have to go so far for so little.
I'm a singer songwriter from the suburbs of Chicago who's obsessed with marching band, writing poetry, words no one uses, and Pinterest.