By Jordan Beach
College may be time to prepare for a career, but it’s also the time to prepare for the future. While priorities remain in academics, the holistic education students receive at Reinhardt University goes far beyond the textbooks, often translating into a busy schedule of researching, athletic practices, performance rehearsals, extra hours in the laboratory, student organization meetings—not to mention squeezing in a moment to attend a campus event to make lifelong memories with friends.
It can be a challenge for students to find a healthy balance amidst rigorous schedules, and that’s where the Student Health Center steps in. Reinhardt’s Student Health Center offers a number of services provided through the campus nurse, Kristy Hough, and the campus counselor, Adam Powell.
Both Hough and Powell offer their services confidentially, a valuable resource for students to openly and honestly discuss their needs. Nurse Hough treats minor illnesses and injuries, assessing and referring more serious problems to other health care resources, checks blood pressure and administers over–the–counter treatment, and Powell offers a variety of counseling services to individual, couples and groups. As part of the University, they also work to educate students on a healthy lifestyle.
Hough said her position at Reinhardt is unique because her job description is broader than past nursing positions, and she’s able to collaborate with other offices on campus to teach students, faculty and staff what it is to be well.
“I embrace the ability to make a difference on campus and enjoy showing students how to take control of their own personal health and wellbeing, something I hope will stick with them throughout their lives,” said Hough. “I enjoy being able to teach and watch students grow and learn instead of the ‘treat and street’ mentality of the hospital. You can actually see what your seeds have sown in the community.”
Due to the size of Reinhardt’s campus, Powell is also able to see the difference he’s making in the lives of students.
“I appreciate the close-knit atmosphere of the campus as well as the opportunity to make a noticeable impact. The small community feel extends from departments across campus and with the students,” said Powell. “This also allows you the chance to see how you’ve impacted others.
That impact often comes in the form of education, especially in terms of the choices students make and how those choices allow them to take control of their personal health.
“I try to include teaching in all aspects of your time in our health center,” Hough said. “Whether it is blood pressure, blood sugar, strep testing, healthy eating, sleeping habits, I try to help the student understand what exactly is going on in their bodies and why. Everything we teach at the Student Health Center is backed by American Nurses Association best practice standards. We also provide students with fun activities throughout the year to help engage them in conversations about their health.”
One event that engaged students in conversations about their health included the Health Fair, where local health resources joined Hough and Powell in the Bannister Glasshouse to raise awareness and provide information on a variety of topics. Opportunities like the Health Fair contributes to Powell’s favorite part of his job, which he said is “the chance to engage with students and assist them towards achieving their goals and overcoming obstacles.”
“I love helping others to reach their optimal ability, realize their potential and make improvements towards a healthy lifestyle.”
In addition to education, Hough also feels she is learning alongside the experiences she has with students.
“I love how the students will challenge our thinking and make us strive to be the best in our professions. I am learning new things every day, not only in the field of nursing, but in all fields we offer on our campus,” said Hough. “My heart is so full here at Reinhardt.”
Hough wants students to know that all Student Health Center services are free and confidential, and that students’ health is her number one priority.
“I want to be here in every facet of college life to give our students the knowledge to make good, healthy choices. I want our students to know no matter what they are facing with their health, whether a new diagnosis or not, they can overcome and conquer.”
This semester, Melissa Sharp joined the team as an additional campus counselor to meet the needs of more students.