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The Importance of Sexual Health Services at Webster
“Let’s talk about sex, baby. Let’s talk about you and me!”
The words of the Salt-N-Pepa tune were sung by Rosie Jones, Warren Ferguson and Magie Hake as the introduction to their topic; comprehensive sexual health services at Webster University. The three presenters performed the 90’s hit in front administrators, faculty and students at the Spring 2015 Delegate’s Agenda Feb. 19. Amy Clarkson also contributed to the research but was unable to present.
Comprehensive sexual health focuses on a variety of services offered by college universities aimed at protecting students. These services range from providing young adults with a means to practice safe sex, affordable exams for women’s reproductive systems, and STD/STI testing on campus.
Seventy percent of Webster students surveyed that they do not feel that sexual health services available on campus meet their needs. Webster currently falls behind the University Of Missouri St. Louis (UMSL), Maryville University , and Lindenwood University in terms of services offered to students was said by Ferguson. Jones cited the Webster Mission Statement to emphasize the importance of more comprehensive care.
“Within the university’s mission statement, students are regarded as a core value. The expansion of health services would support this ideology by fostering a healthy and safe student life and campus environment. It would also open a dialogue as well as provide information and resources to the student population” Jones said.
The necessity of having a nurse practitioner on staff that would be available for students at all times was said by Ferguson. Nurse practitioners are medical personnel qualified to treat certain medical conditions without the direct supervision of a doctor.
Through Webster’s current sexual health services, students have access to male condoms, consultations with health service professionals, and comprehensive pamphlets. In comparison, UMSL offers its students male condoms, birth control, emergency contraceptives, and Well Woman Exams.
Well Woman Exams are tests offered to women to review elements of their reproductive health. The tests offered include breast examinations, pelvic examinations, and a pap smear.
To make Webster’s health services more comparable to other universities in the St. Louis region Jones outlined long-term requests and possible solutions.
“We propose the evaluation of the addition of a health wing in the new interdisciplinary building. We would like the investigation towards the hiring of a Nurse Practitioner which would allow for in house screenings. This is also beneficial to students interested in the field of nursing through internships and shadowing positions within the department.”
An increase in budget and a permanent station will take time, but Maggie Hake provided several short-term goals to be implemented as soon as possible. These requests include female contraceptives, lubrication, pregnancy tests, and better advertisement of service available currently. Hake also proposed bimonthly campus visits from a Nurse Practitioner in order to give services to students in need.