Student Health Center FAQs
New Health Insurance Requirements for Domestic Graduate & Professional Students Starting Fall 2013
In May 2013, the Graduate & Professional Student Association (GPSA) passed a motion to recommend that all fully admitted graduate and professional students taking 9 credits or more per semester, and all graduate assistants, must have health insurance coverage either through UNLV or their own carrier. In June 2013, the NSHE Board of Regents supported and approved this proposal. As a result, the mandatory hard waiver student health insurance policy is in effect immediately for the Fall 2013 semester.
- When is the Student Health Center open?
Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Pharmacy: Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Closed weekends and all university holidays.
- Where is the Student Health Center?
We are located on the first floor of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center building at the east end of the Thomas & Mack Center parking lot. A parking garage is available for student use.
- Are the health services at SHC free?
Admitted and enrolled students at UNLV who have paid the health fee are eligible to see any of the physicians, nurse practitioners, specialty providers, and registered nurses at the SHC for no charge.
- What is the student health fee?
The student health fee is charged to all admitted students at UNLV. The fee supports Student Wellness (Student Health Center, Student Counseling and Psychological Services, Rebel Wellness Zone and The Jean Nidetch Women’s Center).
- I do not have the Student Health Insurance (SHI). Can I still be seen at SHC?
All currently registered and enrolled UNLV students can be seen at SHC, regardless of insurance coverage, after paying the semester health fee. There are fees for some services.
- I am a spouse of a student/staff/faculty. Can I be seen at the Student Health Center?
SHC is for the exclusive use of registered and enrolled UNLV students. Spouses of students are not eligible to receive services.
The F.A.S.T (Faculty and Staff Treatment) Center is open to spouses and dependents of all UNLV faculty and staff members (ages 5 years and older).
- How do I make an appointment at SHC?
For your convenience, primary care patient visits are scheduled on a same-day appointment basis. Please call on the morning of the day you would like to be seen to reserve a time for your visit. If there are no same-day appointments available or you require immediate attention, please ask to see a registered nurse or go to the nearest urgent care facility.
Specialty clinics and laboratory services require advanced prescheduled appointments. Contact the appointment desk at 702-895-3370 for details. Clinic services offered by advanced prescheduled appointments include:
- Specialty GYN (colposcopy, cryotherapy)
- Sports Medicine
- Nutrition Counseling
- How do I cancel an appointment?
If you are unable to keep a scheduled appointment, please cancel by calling 702-895-3370. Failure to cancel an appointment will result in a missed appointment charge.
- Can I choose my health care provider?
Yes. You may specify which provider you would like to see when scheduling an appointment. If you have an ongoing health problem, it is usually preferable for you to stay with the same provider as much as possible, as they will already be familiar with you, and can best ensure a consistent medical plan.
- What if I need to see a specialist aside from those at the SHC?
Most of the common medical conditions can be managed by a primary care provider at SHC or by one of our specialists. However, if indicated, SHC providers can give you a referral to see other specialists within the local community. If you are enrolled in SHI, you must have a referral by SHC in order to maximize the coverage by your insurance. If you have private insurance, check your plan as some will require a referral by your private primary care provider.
- Is the Health Center accredited?
The UNLV Student Health Center is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). Accreditation shows that the UNLV Student Health Center has met rigorous nationally recognized standards for the provision of quality health care set by the AAAHC and is a reflection of our commitment to providing the highest levels of quality care to our students, to maintaining a safe work environment, and to performing at the highest level of conduct in our business practices.
The AAAHC is the leader in ambulatory health care accreditation with approximately 5,000 organizations accredited nationwide. AAAHC accreditation is recognized as a symbol of quality.
- Will details of my medical care be kept absolutely confidential, even from my parents?
The Student Health Center recognizes the right of privacy of each individual. It holds secure all protected health information (PHI) and because of this acknowledgement, the health center upholds the strictest interpretation of all laws regulating the unauthorized disclosure of any and all protected information maintained by it, except as regulated by Federal and Nevada law.
Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, all persons presenting for medical care at the Student Health Center will be asked to sign a statement indicating their consent for treatment and acknowledging receipt of the Notice of Privacy Practices. Information from a student’s medical records can only be shared with a third party if the student submits an Authorization for Release of Medical Information. Get additional information on the privacy of your protected health information.
- I notice that there are student workers in the clinic. Will they read my chart and know about my medical condition?
Medical records are strictly confidential. Student workers are not allowed to open or read any medical charts.
- What are the UNLV health admission requirements?
Find out what immunizations are required here.
- I can’t find my old immunization papers. What can I do?
You can try to obtain a copy of your immunization record from your high school or your health care provider’s office. If not obtainable, you may need to start the adult series of the vaccination over or elect to be tested for immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella by a simple blood test. You can walk in to one of the nurses in the clinic to discuss your questions, needs and options.
- What are the recommended immunizations for college students?
We most strongly encourage all students to be immunized against the major vaccine-preventable diseases that can disrupt their studies and may pose more serious complications.
Basic recommended immunizations are:
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR): most often given as a combined series called MMR. The recommendation is a series of 2 shots.
- Tetanus: The World Health Organization recommends a tetanus booster every 10 years. However, if it has been more than 5 years and a student has an injury that could pose tetanus risk, they will be encouraged to have another at that time.
- Pertussis: Pertussis, also known as Whooping Cough, is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. It is recommended that adults get a one-time booster with the Tdap vaccine. This is especially important for those in contact with infants younger than 12 months of age. This booster also includes tetanus and diphtheria vaccines
- Polio: completion of the childhood series.
- Hepatitis B: a series of 3 vaccines that is recommended for everyone.
- Influenza (Flu): 1 shot yearly. It is especially recommended for those with higher-risk health conditions such as chronic respiratory disease (such as asthma), diabetes, or chronic heart, kidney, or immune system disease. The flu vaccine is offered free to UNLV students each year.
- Tuberculin skin test: Not a vaccination, but if never tested or it has been many years, consider getting tuberculin skin test to check for exposure to active TB which is on the rise again in this country. To be effective, TB treatment needs to begin as early as possible.
- Can I get immunizations at SHC?
Yes, the SHC has all basic vaccines available and they are available on a walk-in basis. There are approximately a dozen vaccine-preventable diseases that can disrupt your college career. An RN visit and your immunization record is all you need to get your immunization status reviewed. SHC provides immunizations against the following contagious diseases:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- HPV (human papilloma virus)
- Meningococcal Meningitis
- Is the HPV vaccine available at SHC? How much does it cost?
Yes, Gardasil, the vaccine for human papilloma virus is available at the SHC. It is a series of three vaccines given over a six-month period, and protects against the most common forms of HPV which can cause cervical cancer and genital warts. It is recommended for females ages 9-26 and is also approved for use in men. Please ask a nurse for the current price. There are discount programs available through the manufacturer, and a nurse will be able to determine if a student qualifies for a reduced price.
- Can I be tested for sexually transmitted diseases at SHC?
Yes, the SHC tests and treats students for sexually transmitted diseases. Cultures can be collected for sexually transmitted diseases during a genital examination. Some diseases require urine or blood testing for diagnosis. Medication will be prescribed for any tests that are positive. SHC also provides education for preventing recurrence or partner transmission.
- Does SHC do HIV testing? Is it confidential or anonymous?
Confidential HIV testing is performed at the SHC on a walk-in basis. In addition students may have confidential testing performed as part of any clinical visit. The SHC offers free HIV testing clinics a few times each semester. Please call for dates.
- How can I get a prescription for birth control pills?
If you have never been on birth control pills, you may schedule a general appointment with any of our providers to obtain a prescription, or request a prescription at your annual gynecological examination if you are due for a PAP smear and/or STD screen.
- What if I forgot a birth control pill? What if I have forgotten 3 or 4?
If you forget one pill, and it has been less than 24 hours — take it when you remember, and then continue taking pills at your regularly scheduled time. You are most likely still protected as long as this only happens once during a cycle.
If you forget one pill and it has been more than 24 hours but less than 48 hours, take it with your next pill (i.e. take both pills together) and then resume your regular pill-taking schedule. You can take 2 pills together anytime, but it is best to take them as soon as you remember. Your protection is probably diminished so it is recommended that you use a back-up method of birth control until the end of your pill cycle. It is common to have breakthrough bleeding if you miss pills.
If you completely skip taking pills for more than 48 hours, do not try to catch up. Stop the pills. You will start your period a few days after stopping pills. It is best to talk to your clinician or an advice nurse to understand how to restart pills with the least interruption of your contraception. You are not protected and need to use a back-up method of birth control. If you had intercourse during the "missed pill days", call your clinician. You may benefit from ECP (emergency contraception pills).
If you have vomiting or diarrhea such as from the flu or excessive alcohol consumption, pills may not be absorbed, which is equivalent to missing pills. If possible, keep an extra pill pack just for these occasions. As soon as possible, take the equivalent pill from this extra pack. If this is not possible or you continue to vomit or have diarrhea, use a back-up method until the end of the cycle. Contact a health care provider at SHC if you are uncertain about illness affecting your pill use.
- When should I start having regular gynecological exams and PAP smears?
It is now recommended that women start having regular PAP smears (a test for cancer or precancerous changes of the cervix) at age 21. An annual gynecological exam at SHC consists of a general health history, physical exam, a breast exam, and pelvic exam. STD testing and a Pap smear may be done during the pelvic exam. Contraception may be prescribed during the annual exam. Annual STD screening is recommended if you are sexually active.
- How much does it cost to have a Pap smear?
There is no office visit fee. The Pap test is $45.
- Can I get a pregnancy test done at SHC?
Yes. You will need to see a clinician. Call for a same-day appointment. Check in at the main lobby reception desk. There is a $22 charge for urine testing and a $28 charge for blood test. If the test is positive, you will be able to discuss options and obtain necessary referrals.
- What is a yeast infection? What can be done for it? Can men get it from a girlfriend?
Yeast is an organism that is normally found in the vagina. Yeast overgrowth sometimes causes symptoms of itching and discharge, which is often referred to as a yeast infection. There are medications that can be prescribed after a diagnosis is made. If you are fairly certain your symptoms are due to yeast (you have been diagnosed with the same symptoms before), you may try an over-the-counter vaginal yeast cream. If your symptoms do not resolve after 3-5 days of using the cream, or if you have pelvic pain, bad odor, vaginal sores, fever or otherwise feel ill, your symptoms may be due to another type of infection and you must see your health care provider promptly. Occasionally yeast is transferred to a male through intercourse, but this is uncommon. Uncircumcised men are more likely to acquire a genital yeast infection.
- I need a TB test for my school or job application. How can I do this at SHC?
TB skin testing (PPD) is done through a nurse’s visit on a walk-in basis. The test involves injecting a very small amount of antigen just under the skin in the forearm, then a reading of the test results in 2-3 days. PPDs cannot be given on Thursdays, since we cannot read them on Saturday or Sunday. If you have had a positive PPD skin test in the past, you should not have another skin test done. Instead, a chest x-ray may be required to verify you do not have active tuberculosis. The nurse can order the x-ray for you if needed.
- My health care provider at SHC says I should take a medication because I have a positive skin test for tuberculosis. Why?
A positive skin test for TB means you have had exposure to the TB bacteria. If you have no evidence of active infection (confirmed by a review of your history, a physical examination, and a normal chest x-ray), you have what is a called a latent infection. You are not contagious to other people if you have a latent infection. There is approximately a 10 percent chance of people with latent TB of ever developing active TB in the future.
A medication called INH, taken for nine months, is recommended for those with a positive PPD reading unless contraindication exists. The purpose is to treat the infection in its dormancy, thereby decreasing the chance of it becoming an active TB infection, a serious and contagious infection.
- How do I get my lab results? Can I get a copy?
The policy of the SHC is to call you if you have any abnormal laboratory results. At the time of your visit, please discuss with your clinician if you have specific requests such as a specific phone number for contact. You may also call the SHC to talk with a nurse, medical assistant or medical technologist in the laboratory for your results. After a provider has reviewed your labs, you can request a copy of the results from Medical Records on the first floor of SHC 702-895-0680.
- I was told I need to fast before my lab work. What does that mean?
Certain lab tests require fasting for accuracy. These include fasting blood sugar and cholesterol testing. Fasting lab work requires no food, drink (other than water), or gum for 10-12 hours prior to having your blood drawn. Routine medications may be taken with water.
- How can I get a cholesterol check?
Cholesterol checks are recommended every 5 years for males and females over 20 years of age. Testing may be recommended at an earlier age for certain people with a strong family history of high cholesterol, or those with certain other conditions such as diabetes or hypertension. Checking cholesterol levels requires fasting for 12 hours prior to having your blood drawn. You will need to make an appointment with a health care provider to have your cholesterol check ordered.
- My private health care provider has requested I get lab work done. Can I have it done at SHC?
Yes. You will need a written lab order from your provider that includes the tests to be done and the frequency (if more than a one-time order), related diagnosis, the provider's name, address, phone, and fax number and a copy of your insurance card if applicable. Call to schedule an appointment with our laboratory at 702-895-0280.
- I take regular allergy shots. Can I continue to get my allergy shots at SHC?
Yes. For those students who are on a maintenance schedule of injections with an allergy specialist (antigens provided by the patient) arrangements can be made to give those injections by our staff (for a fee) to those who qualify for this service.
If you desire this service please contact a nurse at 702-895-3684 to discuss your case further. There are forms that must be completed by your allergist and you must be on a stable dosage schedule prior to administration of allergy shots at SHC.
- What is SHI?
The Student Health Insurance Plan (SHI) is a comprehensive health plan that provides a full range of medical coverage, including in/out patient services, specialty care, emergency care, hospitalization and mental health care, as well as dental and pharmacy coverage. The plan is available to students formally admitted and currently enrolled taking six or more undergraduate credits or graduate students taking three or more credit hours. This plan is not to be confused with the student health program fee that all registered students pay for fall, spring, and summer sessions.
The Student Health Insurance provides services beyond those available through the Student Health Center for eligible on and off campus medical services. You may sign up via the web for the Student Health Insurance or by picking up an enrollment packet at the Student Health Center or Bursar's Office prior to the beginning of fall, spring, and summer sessions.
- Can I use my insurance to pay for prescriptions?
Students enrolled in SHI may use their insurance to purchase prescriptions at the SHC pharmacy. There is $20 co-pay for medications on the insurance formulary. If you purchase your prescription at an outside pharmacy, you will have to pay for it in full, and then submit the bill to SHI, which will then only reimburse at 25 percent of the cost.
SHC is unable to bill outside health insurance plans. Students not enrolled in SHI may purchase medications at the SHC pharmacy, and submit the bill to their own insurance for reimbursement. Students not enrolled in SHI may also purchase medications at any community pharmacy.
- I declined SHI because I have private insurance. Can I still use SHC?
All students who pay full registration fees are entitled to use SHC, regardless of insurance. There is no charge for physician and nurse practitioner visits. However, students who are not enrolled in SHI may incur additional charges for labs, x-rays and prescriptions. SHC does not bill private insurance.
- I am not insured under SHI but have private insurance. Can I be seen at SHC and have SHC bill my insurance directly?
We do not bill your insurance carrier. You would have to submit your receipt to your insurance carrier for reimbursement.
- How can I get more information about SHI?
Please see the insurance section for more information.
Student Health Center
Blood Draw Appointments