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Brandeis needs to promote awareness of campus medical resources

Unfortunately, we have been dealing with the coronavirus pandemic for over a year at this point, and we feel that the isolation it has brought about is beginning to affect campus life and culture. We have been isolated from each other through the closing of the dining halls and the library, online orientation and even through decreased involvement of clubs from the lack of an activity fair.

This isolation from campus life has even begun to affect students’ knowledge of the resources available on campus. While talking to some students earlier this week, The Brandeis Hoot learned there was a medical emergency where Brandeis Emergency Medical Corps (BEMCo) or an ambulance should have been called. Instead, the students walked to an emergency room a couple of miles away, which could have exacerbated any potential injuries that they have. 

For those who are unaware, BEMCo is a volunteer emergency service that is run by your peers. BEMCo volunteers are all HIPAA-compliant Massachusetts-certified emergency medical technicians (EMTs) who have completed over 100 hours of training. More information on their training and services can be found on BEMCo’s website. If you have a medical emergency or other emergency on campus, you can call public safety at 781-736-3333. Public safety will then send whichever service you require. If BEMCo is dispatched, one public safety officer will accompany the EMTs to the site.

BEMCo’s services are free for the Brandeis community. However, if a patient in a dire situation needs to be transported to a hospital, there can be costs. Students will need to pay for any ambulance and hospital fees but can choose to opt out of the ambulance ride.

The Brandeis Health Center is also a medical resource that you can use on campus if you experience any nonemergency medical issues throughout the week. You can also schedule an appointment if you need a vaccine update, or if you have any other pertinent health-related questions. Students do not have to pay on-site but do need their insurance card (if using insurance outside of Brandeis), as the bills will be sent to the insurance company. Co-pays, though, are covered in student fees, according to the Health Center’s Frequently Asked Questions page. Until recently, many of us thought that the health center was closed on weekends, especially since many health-related issues happen on Fridays and during the weekend. However, if you are in need of an urgent consultation, there is a nurse on call after-hours who can be reached at 781-239-1948. 

None of this information should be new to any Brandeis student. However, it seems that Brandeis has failed to properly inform students about the medical resources available to them. This should be information that is emphasized during orientation. Though these services are brought up, they are not focused on strongly enough, as many students do not know much, if at all, about these services. This year in orientation, these medical services were barely mentioned. 

Do not let your health decline. Your projects might seem like the most important thing in the world at the moment, but you will be glad for taking care of yourself in the future. You won’t always live on a college campus with easy access to medical professionals, so use these invaluable resources while you have them.

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