UT Tyler Handles Sexual Health

The University of Texas at Tyler’s clinic provides educational sexual awareness through website references and exam tests.

As university students, some fail to go to the doctor to get their yearly checkup. More importantly, as university students, we meet new people every day and dating is not a stranger. We are only taught the basics of sexual health throughout middle and high school years.

“I went once…and they basically just told me how much the price for each STD test was and that was it,” Michael Meyer, an undergraduate student at UT Tyler, said.

As attending students, UT Tyler provides free consultations at the university clinic. A student can call, make an appointment, attend and consult with a doctor. Before meeting with your doctor, your blood pressure, height and weight are taken. That’s how far a free consultation goes.

According to UT Tyler’s clinic website, there’s a phone number, office hours, notice of privacy practices and vaccination information. For women’s health, there’s a short list on what the university offers, like contraception and pregnancy testing.

“I also thought there would be more condoms around but I didn’t see any when I went in,” Meyer said. He scheduled an appointment to get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which protects against this type of sexually transmitted disease (STD). Meyer describes his experience at the clinic as not the greatest place to consult.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say bad, but…It felt more like I was given the prices on a menu by a cashier than intimate advice from a health care professional,” Meyer said. He wishes that the doctor he met with would have been more open to questions on the topic of sexual awareness than just give a clipboard with all the prices of the exams.

On the university website, there’s a section that can be found called Student Health and Wellness. It’s an online page full of resources for violence, drugs, general health information, travel health and safety, nutrition and sexual responsibility. For sexual responsibility, there are three links for smartsex.org and an organization called Go Ask Alice!

Smartsex.org holds surveys for visitors to take if they are aware of basic sexual knowledge. Go Ask Alice! is a forum page where you can ask anything about sexual health and even about gay sex. The organization is a group of individuals that research the basis of the topic and give the client a detailed summary.

The third link for Parents Sex Ed Center leads to a page not found.

So I went to the university clinic to ask about contraception advice. I made an appointment through a phone call, and on the day of, I waited a minimum of 30 minutes before I was taken in. My blood pressure, height and weight were taken.

I sat down with a nurse for her to ask why I was there and took a survey. I requested a female doctor and the nurse easily complied with my request. When my doctor arrived, I asked about contraception advice. She listed the different types of contraception and how I could get them. She offered to have my blood tested to prescribe the best birth control pills for me if I wished, but the test will be charged full price. Overall, the experience for me was OK.

In truth, when I went out for check-out, the nurses did hand me a list of STD tests with their prices and informed me that some couldn’t be done at the university clinic, so I had to travel to another health care facility.

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