Back to the Past: Previous Health Center Policies Return


Yuki Layman

The hallway of the Health Center remains quiet as students wait to check in with nurses and counselors. The crevice of the door on the left gives a sneak peek into the freshman seminar health class.

Quiet hallways, empty chairs, and few students coming in and out, a sight that won’t be seen for a very long time. Now that Webb is slowly returning to its pre-COVID way of life, there has been an increase of students checking into the Health Center, making it difficult for nurses and counselors to accommodate every student. Pre-COVID Webb health policies are returning, which as a result has forced nurses to reinforce the pre-COVID Health Center rules. 

Students will have to check into the Health Center before 8:15 am, otherwise, they must check into their first block before heading up. Another rule students may need to adjust to is that they will have to communicate with their afternoon activity instructor before going to the health center if they do not feel well during afternoon activities.  

Now that Webb is beginning to operate as it did prior to COVID, the Health Center intends to change visits to only scheduled meetings and appointments.  

“To make the Health Center a more functional and efficient process, we needed to reimplement [these] rules,” said Ms. Bauman, Director of Wellness.  

Since the Health Center wanted to become more efficient, they had a change of policy that aims to help issues that occur on a daily basis, in order to create less stress for students and teachers as well as any attendance issues that may occur as a result. Students commonly visit the Health Center to take their daily medications before going to their first class of the day. On certain mornings, the Health Center is busier than usual – so attending to all the students can take a while. Once a nurse can attend to the student, classes may have already started, which in some situations might cause issues for the student in terms of missing class time or unexcused tardies. 

Siena Burke (‘25) about to enter the Health Center during her free block. “I was not feeling well so I went to the health center to ask for medication,” Siena said. (Yuki Layman)

“Something that was happening was students were showing up and saying, ‘I have to go to class now,’ but they were showing up three minutes before class started,” Ms. Bauman said. 

With the change of policy, the Health Center also aims to create more efficient communication between students and adults to address these issues at the Health Center. For instance, the policy regarding visiting the Health Center during afternoon activities was implemented to create fewer difficulties with afternoon activity attendance. It was also used as a way to build more communication between afternoon activity coaches and students.  

“The bottom line is we are trying to reinforce face-to-face interactions and communication.” said Steve Wishek, Director of Athletics and Afternoon Activities. 

These changes in health care policies have sparked several discussions from the student body. 

“I understand that they are trying to monitor the amount of people who come into the health center, but it does not seem to be catered for all situations,” said Frannie Hinch (‘25). 

As the new policies now conflict with numerous student routines, many students have found it challenging to adjust to this new transformation in the Health Center.  

“Though the new policies might not seem like a drastic difference, I feel like in a way it has changed my routine as to when I would usually visit the Health Center,” said Adrienne Xiao (‘25). “I find myself visiting the Health Center later throughout the day than before the start of classes.”  

“Another thing that was happening post-COVID was afternoon activities became yet another thing people had to do every day, and many people felt very overwhelmed with the pace of life returning from COVID,” said Ms. Bauman. 

The overarching objective of reimplementing the old Health Center policies is to enable students who are experiencing acute illness to visit and see a nurse before their sickness progresses. Doing so will allow other minor or less urgent medical and mental issues to be handled in a more timely and effective manner that does not cause difficulty. 

“The Health Center isn’t against supporting students in that moment, but it became not very healthy for students when we actually have people who are sick here,” said Ms. Bauman. 

As of this article, it has been around 3 weeks since the return of pre-COVID Health Center policies was announced for its comeback. 

 “It’s still transitioning, but there has been some noticeable improvement.” said Ms. Baron, the Health Center Director. 

With current and future student and faculty input, the Health Center intends to see how these policies will influence how students utilize the facility.