Saddleback Health Center: A small building with big benefits

Kristen Wilcox

Saddleback College offers its students many perks.  On this campus, you can get help looking for employment, utilize day care facilities for children, receive guidance on financial aid, and engage in free tutoring, just to name a few.  One service most students are under aware of is the student health office.

When you register at Saddleback you pay an $18 health fee per semester, $14 for summer sessions, which allows you to use the health center. Students are able to see California licensed healthcare providers which include six MD’s, along with five registered nurses, two licensed clinical psychologists, and eight counselors. Jeanne Harris- Caldwell is a registered nurse and the director of Saddleback’s Student Health Center.

Saddleback’s newly-remodeled health center includes two exam rooms, a trauma room that can hold a paramedic gurney, and several counseling rooms. Accommodating 40-100 students a day, the health center helps students with many different things. The newest service available is flu vaccines.

Other services include: Low-cost prescriptions, over the counter medicines, blood work labs, birth control, physicals, infections, std’s, sprains, rashes, acute medical care, emergency medical care, eye exams,  preventative care, immunizations, counseling, and health education.

If you are interested in the counseling aspect, the Health Center offers short term counseling for individuals, couples and families, as well as crisis intervention counseling.  Counseling sessions are generally limited to six sessions per semester, in half hour and hour intervals. Michael Saucedo, Saddleback art major, gives his view on counseling services at Saddleback.

“I was having a hard time keeping up in school and dealing with the loss of a close friend,” Saucedo said. “I had four counseling sessions and I feel the counselors really listened and helped me get through the anger and sadness.”

After using the health center myself for an infection, I received antibiotics for less than half the price of a regular pharmacy.  Talking to student Devin Hervey, he had a similar story of receiving health center prescriptions.

“I just came down with a cold and I’m going on vacation next week and don’t have health insurance,” Hervey said. “I tried calling my family physician,but just to be seen was $180. I came to the health center, and they gave me the same medicine my doctor was going to give, but for $9.”

There are bilingual staff members in the health center that can reach out to ESL speaking students.  A registered nurse is available during all operational hours. Appointments with the physicians must be scheduled at the front office or will be arranged by a Registered Nurse after assessment.

Located in SSC-177, the Student Health Center hours are Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (closed from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. every day). For more information, including a complete list of services, visit or call (949) 582-4606.