Faculty research results in male health clinic on campus
Contact: Elise Doster
HAMMOND – After research conducted by Southeastern Louisiana University nursing faculty revealed the need and desire for a clinic geared toward men, the university has opened a male health clinic.
Results of the study were published in the August regional edition of “Advance for Nurses” magazine, an industry publication for health care managers and providers.
Designed to meet health care needs specific to college men, the clinic was established after surveys completed by Southeastern male students revealed the need. The research, conducted by School of Nursing professor Barbara Hyde and instructor Michele Ellis, found that college males often neglect their health in large by ignoring yearly physicals.
“Male college students do not usually come to the university Health Center unless something is wrong like the flu or unless they are an athlete who is required to get a physical,” said Hyde, a nurse practioner. “They do not get yearly check-ups like they should, even though a person’s health can change a lot from year to year.”
The Health Center, which has had a Women’s Health Clinic for several years now, is open for male physicals on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. by appointment.
“We would like to see our male students experience the benefits of regular contact with a healthcare provider such as the nurse practioners available at the Health Center,” Ellis said.
Like females, college men are at-risk for a number of serious health problems, including cancer, cardiac conditions and sexually transmitted diseases that require timely treatment.
Ellis and Hyde’s research also showed that typical masculine traits like dominance and strength play a significant role in why college males forgo yearly checkups.
“Sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to get them to the doctor,” Hyde said. “What they don’t realize is that they need the same medical attention as women.”
The survey, which covered a variety of topics, including health care frequency, preventive practices like testicular self-exams, and dangerous behaviors, provided Hyde and Ellis with insight into the specifics of male health needs and the future of Southeastern’s health education.
“We also want to focus on health promotion that reaches students even if they never set foot in the Health Center,” Hyde said. “We all need to start educating students on how to keep themselves healthy. College students who are on their own for the first time have to learn to make time to take care themselves, and that starts with a yearly physical.”