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Health Services

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.Does Health Services provide medical excuses?

Q.Does Health Services fill prescriptions?

Q. What do I do if I’m sick after Health Services has closed?

Q.Do antibiotics interfere with my birth control?

Q. Does Health Services sell the HPV vaccine, Gardasil?

Q.Are condoms available from Health Services?

Q.Is there a nutritionist on campus?

Q.Do I need to have a physical every year?

Q.How long does Health Services keep a student's records after they have graduated?

Q. How does confidentiality work?

Q.Do parents have access to health information?


Q. Does Health Services provide medical excuses?
A. Skidmore College Health Services recognizes that students are expected to attend every class. We advise students to contact their professors directly (preferably before missing a class) to make arrangements to accommodate their illness, if necessary. Health Services cannot vouch for past or present illnesses. As an emerging adult, we believe you, and feel strongly that your professors do as well. Therefore, the Health Services policy is as follows: Verification of medical illness notes are not given to document visits to Health Services.

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Q. Does Health Services fill prescriptions?
A. Health Services does not fill prescriptions written by outside providers. If a student has a prescription that needs to be filled, it may be taken to any of the local pharmacies. Be sure to check your insurance to see if there is a co-pay for medications and bring a copy of your insurance card with you to the pharmacy. Our physicians and nurse practitioners can write prescriptions that can also be taken to local pharmacies. We do have a fairly well-stocked medication room and dispense both over the counter and prescription medications to ill students for a nominal fee after a student is evaluated. Payment for medications can be by cash, using your Skid ID card (declining balance account) or by charging it to your student account which gets sent home with your tuition bill.                                                                 

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Q. What do I do if I’m sick after Health Services has closed?
A. There is always a nurse practitioner on call for medical advice after the office has closed. The on-call provider can be accessed by calling Campus Safety at 518-580-5566. The Campus Safety dispatcher will then call the nurse practitioner who will call the student back, it is not necessary to disclose your name or the nature of the call to Campus Safety. Wilton Medical Arts Urgent Care Center is approximately 3 miles from campus and the Saratoga Hospital Emergency Room is approximately 1 mile from campus. Please view the websites for each to help you decide whether to go to the ER or Urgent Care.

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Q. Do antibiotics interfere with my birth control?
A. The actual incidence of pregnancy in women who take antibiotics while on birth control pills is unknown. There have been few reports considering the huge number of women who take birth control pills each year. However, there is a risk. For example, the antibiotic rifampin will interact with your pill and other antibiotics may interact (Penicillin, Amoxicillin, Bactrim, Tetracycline, Minocycline, Flagyl, and Nitrofurantoin). Some women may be more susceptible than others to getting pregnant when taking both antibiotics and birth control pills. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to predict which women are at high risk. To help women avoid pregnancy while using an antibiotic and for at least one week afterward- it is generally recommended that a female use a condom or spermicide as a back-up method of birth control. Most women and physicians prefer to err on the side of caution when it comes to antibiotics and birth control. Despite the fact there is little evidence supporting a massive increase in pregnancies with antibiotic use, it is better to be safe than sorry. A partner taking antibiotics will not interfere with a woman’s use of birth control pills.

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Q. Does Health Services sell the HPV vaccine, Gardasil?
A. Health Services does offer the vaccine for students. Gardasil is currently recommended for females and males between the ages of 9-26 years. It is given as a 3-dose series:

   1st Dose: at first appointment    2nd Dose: 2 months after Dose 1    3rd Dose: 6 months after Dose 1

At Health Services, the cost for Gardasil is $150.00 per dose ($450.00 for the complete 3 shot series). This cost may be paid by billing one’s student account, using a Skidmore ID debit card, or paying cash at the time of visit. Receipts will be provided upon request to submit to the student’s private health insurance for reimbursement. More and more insurances are now covering the cost of the vaccine. No appointment is necessary to receive Gardasil at Health Services. If a student has received the first and/or second doses of Gardasil from another health care provider, we ask that a copy of that immunization record be provided before subsequent doses are provided in Health Services.

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Q. Are condoms available from Health Services?
A. Health Services sells condoms at a cost of 10/$1.00. The Center for Sex and Gender Relations also sells condoms for the same price and distributes dental dams at no charge. Non-latex condoms are sold there at a cost of 8/$1.00.

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Q. Is there a nutritionist on campus?
A. There is a nutritionist on campus. Her name is Joanne Nangeroni and her office is located in Health Services. She is here on a part-time basis and sees students by appointment only. There is no charge to see Joanne. An appointment may be made by calling Health Services at 518-580-5550.

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Q. Do I need to have a physical every year?
A. As incoming freshman, students are required to have a physical performed by their health care provider within 12 months of arrival on campus. For freshmen participating in intercollegiate sports, there is an additional sports history form that needs to be completed as well. Returning athletes are required to have a sports review that will be done upon return to campus, prior to the beginning of the season. The sports review provides an update on student athletes’ health status as well as a brief exam. There is no physical examination requirement for upperclassmen not participating on an athletic team.

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Q. How long does Health Services keep a student’s records after they have graduated?
A. We are required to keep medical records for a total of 6 years after a student graduates. After that, the records are destroyed and we no longer have access to that information. It is recommended that prior to graduation you stop by and pick up a copy of your immunization records.

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Q. How does confidentiality work?
A. We take your confidentiality very seriously. We will not disclose any information about you, including the fact that you have come to Health Services, to anyone without your permission. In rare and very specific cases, we may be ethically and/or legally obligated to break confidentiality. Exceptions to confidentiality include: if we judge that you are at imminent risk for seriously hurting yourself or someone else, if you tell us about any current instance of child or elder abuse or if we are court-ordered by a judge to disclose records. If you have more questions about confidentiality, we encourage you to ask your clinician.

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Q. Do parents have access to health information?
A. According to federal privacy laws (HIPA, FERPA), parents do not have the right to know if or why their son/daughter has visited Health Services. If you are 18 years old or older and have given us written permission to discuss care with your parents, we can talk to them about the issue(s) mentioned in the Release of Information form signed by you. We cannot accept long-term, blanket Release of Information forms. Written permission needs to be given each time a student wants us to discuss care with his/her parents. Federal law requires this level of confidentiality.

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