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Navigating virtual appointments

With the announcement of an online summer & fall semester, The Student Wellness Center will be providing virtual and online support. The majority of services and programs are still available but delivered in an alternative format. Learn more below about how to navigate virtual appointments and programming.

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Yes! You can still call to book an appointment as you normally would. Reception will book the right appointment for you, either by phone, video, or in-person (if circumstances require so).  

 

If you need a prescription refill, please call us to make an appointment and we can schedule you with a doctor the same day to facilitate this.

The Student Wellness Center does not provide COVID-19 testing, but there are many assessment centers in Hamilton that do offer quick and easy testing. Testing is available by appointment at the following facilities in Hamilton; you can learn more about them here.

Due to provincial regulations and licensing some services such as medical and counselling services may be unavailable to you as an out of province student. For more information regarding the help you need, call us. If you can’t reach us right away, please call back or send an email to swc@mcmaster.ca regarding the appointment you need and a phone number to contact you.

Most health concerns can be discussed by phone or video to support physical distancing. Though meeting virtually may seem unusual, you’ll likely find that once it begins, it’s just like any other appointment.  

 

If your appointment is by video, your doctor will let you know if they’ll be using a specific videoconferencing app. Make sure that you have that app on your phone or laptop before the planned appointment time. 

 

While a physical assessment is always helpful, doctors are often able to adequately assess and address particular concerns based solely on the patient’s subjective, verbal history. The Student Wellness Center does have the option for patients to email, mail or fax images to their doctors.

In order to maximize online security and confidentiality, you may opt to protect your image using a password that you can provide to your healthcare professional.

If your doctor feels that an in-person assessment is necessary, they will arrange for it after the initial virtual appointment.

 

If your doctor thinks you need to be seen in person, they’ll help you stay safe during your visit. Please wear your own cloth mask or some other face-covering to the clinic as we are still experiencing shortages of surgical masks and need to preserve them for our medical professionals. You will be asked to sit away from other students while you are waiting and will not be able to bring in a friend or family member at this time.  

 

Students are required to bring and wear their own mask if they have an in-person appointment. There are many ways to make your own mask at home with simple household items. Check out this no-sew tutorial that you can easily do at home.

Make sure that you have confirmed your appointment and how you will be meeting with your doctor or counsellor. Ensure you can make your call in a private area with a secure WI-FI connection, especially if the information discussed is sensitive or private.

Yes! Our counselling services will continue throughout the summer and into the fall semester via phone or video calls. Our counselling team is here to support you with managing your worries, supporting you through grief, and other concerns that are impacting your mental health & well-being.

 

To book an appointment, call reception to find a time that you can meet with someone from our team through a video or telephone call. 

Yes! You can call and book your first consultation appointment. In this meeting, you will virtually meet one of our counsellors . Together you will explore the best support options for you and decide on a pathway. After that, follow up appointments can be booked. Here’s how you can book your first appointment. 

With quarantine in place, it may be more difficult for you to find the privacy you need. Telephone calls can often be more convenient than video sessions. Many Students will step outside or sit in their cars to speak with their counsellors or doctors by phone. Privacy is essential for people to be able to talk about what is bothering them without the fear that someone is listening in.

Internet connections can also be a problem if a session is interrupted by a bad connection. Be assured that your counsellor will call you on the phone if there is a disconnection in service.

Not everyone is a suitable candidate for phone or video counselling. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, psychosis, mania, are actively self-harming or are engaging in other behavior that compromises your safety, we may not be able to provide phone counselling. We can help you connect to support or suggest another meeting format. If you are in a crisis during a time that our office isn’t open, refer to our crisis resource page or go to your local emergency department. 

Regular programming, as well as new and improved programs, will continue through the summer and fall semesters. Our team at the Student Wellness Center is working to provide quality online programming to support you during a time of adjustment. For more information about our programming check out our programs page, and stay up to date on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.