By Denton Josey, Student Reporter
As spring break approaches, students aren’t the only ones who will receive a respite from the work that comes with being on campus. The University Medical Clinic has also been busy all semester.
The medical clinic has seen an average of 50-60 people a day in recent weeks. This is the time of year that nurse Angela Estes said is one of the busiest for the medical clinic because after Sing Song they “see a lot of respiratory illnesses.”
Estes linked the illnesses with students staying up late, not eating healthy and not getting enough sleep, as well as being in crowded groups of people.
“It seems like they are more susceptible to sickness when that happens,” Estes said.
Despite Sing Song no longer keeping students out late and in close quarters, health concerns still abound. With weather that changes frequently, abundant pollens and molds and wind affect allergies, Estes said.
Ranee Knox, also a nurse at the medical clinic, said that after spring break, the clinic is usually not as busy. She also said there have been instances in the past where students go on Spring Break Campaigns and get sick but aren’t treated until they return to campus.
The most common illnesses treated by the medical clinic include respiratory illnesses, such as influenza, gastrointestinal sickness and gastritis.
Students can help prevent such infirmities by remembering to wash their hands frequently and drinking six to eight glasses of water a day.
“Wash your hands a bunch. Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze,” Estes said.
Adequate diet and rest are also important to overall health, which Estes said “is more than two or three hours of sleep a day and a hamburger.”
As Abilene begins to steadily get warmer and see more sunny days, students must protect themselves from the sun.
“It’s very important anytime you’re outside to apply sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher,” Knox said.
She also said avoiding direct sunlight by staying in the shade when possible helps against sunburn, which is a cause of skin cancer.
For more information, students can look at the medical clinic’s Web site, www.acu.edu/campusoffices/medical.html. Currently it advertises flu shots for $15, and about 30 are left, Estes said.