Alexis Rodgers, Contributing Writer
This fall, the Baptist Medical Clinic welcomed back Mississippi College students with new student hours. For the first time since the clinic’s establishment, hours for MC students have been extended to the regular clinic hours. The change was brought about at the notice of an increase in MC’s student population upon the school’s upgrade to Division II status. The decision was made in joint agreement of the administrations of Mississippi College and the Baptist administration. Steve Stanford represented Mississippi College alongside Elizabeth Mullins, director of clinical services for the Baptist Health Clinic. Receptionists of the Baptist Medical Clinic expressed that the hours were extended to better accommodate MC students.
Scott French of the Baptist Medical Clinic agrees. French is a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and the primary doctor who sees MC students at the clinic. French is also a graduate of the Mississippi College nursing program. Having deep pride in his school, French states that students should be welcomed into the clinic because it is not your regular college infirmary. The Baptist Medical Clinic is staffed by two physicians and one other nurse practitioner in addition to French. The Medical Health Clinic is able to host x-rays and full-on lab research with ambulances on call.
The new student hours are Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm with a lunch break from 12-1pm in hopes to match the class times of students.
The employees of the Baptist Medical Clinic also provided tips on how to avoid colds with the arrival of autumn. “Washing your hands is essential,” affirms Hanna Sexton, a registered nurse who works at the clinic. Sexton is also a graduate of Mississippi College’s nursing program and understands the endless desks and door handles of day-to-day student life. Making sure to wash your hands frequently would lower the risk to contact germs that could cause colds. Hand sanitizers are great to use if nothing is physically on the hands such as dirt or mucus, otherwise washing your hands is the best option.
French also related the necessity for students and staff to get their annual flu shots. “Flu shots do not contain the flu virus,” he voiced. Flu shots have been made synthetically since the seventies, making people healthier, not sicker. The clinic has already begun distributing flu shots for free for students and the general public. The students of the nursing school will be distributing flu shots as well in October or November.
French and Sexton also stressed the importance of students knowing their cold symptoms. If students only have the sniffles and mild coughing, coughs should be covered by directing them into the crook of the elbow and hands must be sanitized frequently. However, if a fever ensues, visit the clinic immediately. French confirmed there had been too many instances where students have ignored the health cues and had to be escorted to the ER via ambulance. Students have the available resources in the clinic to safely maintain their health and should take advantage of that.