Health Center offers assortment of services

Shannon Merrell

The Saddleback Student Health Center is a place of healing. Whether it’s for something simple like a headache or a sore throat or for a flu immunization, students have a facility where they can turn. Other services include treatment for infections, rashes, acne, minor injuries or general health maintenance.

“We pretty much function like urgent care,” said Monica Nelson, a registered
nurse at the center.

Most services are provided at no charge to currently-enrolled students taking courses on campus as they are paid for by the health fee paid each semester when registering for classes.

“I needed a TB shot for my child development class,” said Bree Shults, 19, human services. “I only had to wait two days for an appointment, and I was surprised that it was free.”

Staff members include registered nurses, physicians, a clinical psychologist and intern counselors. The health care providers are licensed and qualified to administer vaccines, treat short- term illnesses and make referrals to specialists.

“The Health Center is not supposed to replace your existing doctor,” Nelson said.

Medical services also include treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. They also have a supply of free condoms. For those conscientious about general health, they offer blood pressure screening, vision, hearing, and testicular cancer. There is gynecologist at the center on Thursdays available to give female patients a PAP smear.

Every student can expect his or her right to privacy will be protected. All discussions, examinations, and treatment of a student are in strict confidence, as are communications and records without written consent for release. The exception to this policy is for a patient’s protection, and required by law to be reported, including communicable diseases, threats of suicide or homicide, or suspected child abuse.

The center also offers educational pamphlets on binge drinking, birth control, abuse, stress, and other subjects. One publication available includes articles specific to a typical college student. “Student Health and Wellness” includes information about why it is important to get the proper amount of sleep to achieve good grades to tips for smart spending and how to manage personal finances.

In addition, students may take advantage of the on-campus mental health facility. Tina Freeland, who has a doctorate in psychology, works part-time at the center. Counseling is available acute, short- term sessions. One’s first meeting with a counselor is the time to identify the issue or problem and what treatment is appropriate. If necessary, the psychologist or counselor may refer the patient to a specialist or to an agency in the community who offers assistance in the particular area. Individual appointments are one-hour sessions.

All visits with the health office require an appointment. Students may make an appointment by calling the center’s main office at (949) 582-4606, or just drop by the office itself at Student Services Center, Room 177. Hours are Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Friday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.


If you or someone you know is being overwhelmed by life challenges
or is in crisis, confidential, objective support and help in
problem solving may be only a phone call away.

Alcoholics Anonymous
(949) 582-2697 (South County)
(714) 773-4357 (North County)
(714) 556-4555 (Santa Ana)

National Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse for local referrals:

Marijuana Anonymous
(714) 999-9409

Narcotics Anonymous
(714) 590-2388

Cocaine Anonymous
(949) 650-1011

Overeaters Anonymous
(714) 953-0900

Eating Disorder Support Group
(847) 831-3438

Child Abuse Hotline
(714) 940-1000

Domestic Violence Hotline
(800) 799-7233
(714) 992-1931

Planned Parenthood
(800) 230-7526

Rape Crisis Hotline
(949) 831-9110

Gay & Lesbian Center
(714) 534-0862 (OC)

Sexual Assault Hotline
(714) 957-2737

Centers for Disease Control
(800) 344-7432

Human Options: Battered Women
(949) 854-3554

Suicide Prevention Hotline
(800) 273- 8255 or
(310) 391-1253