How students creatively cope with injuries

When the health center closes students must take their personal health into their own hands.


Grant Walter

Freshman Charlie Plump grimaces as Jeff Sholar, also a freshman, reenacts the same scene that took place in March. Grant Walter/THE CHIMES

Kalli Thommen, Writer

Freshman Charlie Plump grimaces as Jeff Sholar, also a freshman, reenacts the same scene that took place in March. | Grant Walter/THE CHIMES

Although the health center closes at 5 p.m., student medical emergencies occur around the clock. Among the many students who have chosen to take their injuries into their own hands after the health center closed, Charlie Plump and Cameron West decided to innovatively treat their injuries in lieu of receiving professional assistance.

Student Surgeon Society

Charlie Plump, a freshman biblical studies major, found himself in urgent need of his stitches removed late one Wednesday night. A couple weeks before, he discovered a cyst and sought medical attention. Having treated the cyst with four stitches, the doctors instructed him to return in two weeks for their removal. The night before the two-week marker, Plump had no appointment scheduled.

“I quickly decided to gather a group of seven or eight guys from my floor to get the job done,” Plump said.

One person held the desk lamp, another armed himself with a Swiss Army Knife and scissors, while a third lifted the stitch thread with tweezers to prepare for the cut.

Jeff Sholar, a freshman biblical studies major and Plump’s self-proclaimed head surgeon, saw his roommate in need and decided to step up to the plate.

“I didn’t really feel like qualifications needed to be met that night,” Sholar said. “I saw a brother in need and I knew that I fell short of qualifications, but he was in a desperate situation.”

Having sanitized every medical instrument with wipes and Neosporin on standby, the medical amateurs began their 30-minute surgical procedure.

“Even though they were amateurs, I trusted them completely,” Plump stated.

By the first incision, Sholar and his assistants decided that there was no going back.

“We didn’t want him to go back to the doctor with 3/4 of his stitches taken out,” Sholar said.

Kristin Phelps, director of student health services stated that the health center can take out stitches, provide follow up care, sterile strips and antibiotic ointment for students in situations similar to Plump’s.

“Here at the health center, we take stitches out at no charge,” Phelps said.

After the successful surgery, both patient and surgeon felt the procedure had bonded the floor and become one of their most memorable college experiences.

“It was definitely a night to remember,” Sholar said.

Yahooing and Glueing

At 11 p.m. on a Wednesday night, six hours after the health center shut its doors, freshman cinema media arts major Cameron West busted his chin open after a hard shove into the Gym floor. Because it was in the middle of an intramural basketball game, West played through the pain and put off getting help until the end of the game. Walking off the court, blood dripping from his injured chin, he finally took his first look at the open gash.

“I didn’t know how bad it was or whether I would need a Band-Aid or the emergency room,” West said.

Phelps advised students to hold out until 8 a.m. if they can in order to avoid paying the emergency room co-pay.

“We reserve 60 percent of the day for students who call or walk in,” Phelps said.

As he contemplated what to do, West sought the counsel of Yahoo! Answers and quickly discovered that supergluing his chin back together was the most viable option due to the late hour.

“I entrusted my life to Yahoo! Answers, and it didn’t disappoint,” West said.

Following instructions, West pinched the cut together, lined it with superglue, and waited for it to heal. The only worry in his mind was the aesthetic consequences that could result.

Reflecting on the situation, West would not have done it any other way. He rationalized his self-doctoring with the fact that the health center was closed and the ER would require an undesirable co-pay or an appointment in advance.

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