Partnership Helps Student Health Extend Clinic Hours
The University of South Florida’s College of Nursing and Student Health Services (SHS) have joined forces in a collaborative effort to offer evening hours — three days a week — at the health clinic so students who are sick, injured, or managing a chronic health problem can see a nurse practitioner.
The after-hours clinic, launched on Nov. 13, will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday through Thursday nights. Currently, four nurse educators, Teresa Gore, PhD, DNP, FNP-BC, NP-C, CHSE-A, Brittany Hay, DNP, APRN, ANP-BC, FNP-BC, Rebecca Lutz, DNP, FNP-BC, and Kaitlyn Rechenberg, PhD, APRN, have signed up to volunteer and cover shifts.
The idea for the after-hours clinic began earlier this year when Dr. Hay and Susan Perry, PhD, CRNA, ARNP, FAAN, brought the proposal to the clinic’s medical director, Dr. Joseph A. Puccio, MD, FAAP. Dr. Perry and Dr. Puccio met over the past year to iron out a partnership between the College of Nursing and Student Health Services that would extend the hours of service to students.
“This partnership is just one tangible way we are connecting with the university community. It allows our teaching faculty to sharpen their skills as clinicians while providing students with access to health care on campus, when it’s convenient for them,” said College of Nursing Dean Victoria L. Rich, PhD, RN, FAAN.
The clinic is part of an overall push at the College of Nursing to collaborate with other USF departments as a way to expand and strengthen access to nursing care. For example, the Advanced Practice Provider Neurosurgical Fellowship began in July as a joint effort between the nursing school and the Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair.
While convenience for students is a main focus, the move also streamlines information for students who cannot always drop in at the clinic during its daytime hours. The clinic is normally open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during the Fall and Spring semesters.
“We know for a lot of students that, if they can only be seen in the evening, they wind up using resources in the community rather than using the university’s resources,” Dr. Puccio said. “We look at this as providing that service for the students, so they can be treated on campus, and the providers who are here in the daytime will know exactly what is going on in the evening.”
The extended hours also give the practicing faculty the clinical hours they need to maintain their certification requirements.
“It gives a practice environment for our advanced practice registered nurse faculty, so it allows them to maintain their practice while serving the university,” Dr. Perry said.
The USF Student Health Services Clinic is located within the SHS building.
Story by Alex Hooper, USF College of Nursing