Health Services - Medical FAQ's

Medical FAQ’s

Do I need a physical exam before attending Rutgers?

A physical exam is not required. However, all Rutgers students have immunization requirements that include two MMR’s (measles, mumps and rubella) and vaccinations for hepatitis B (three-dose series) prior to enrollment.  Students living in University housing must have had a meningitis vaccine within the last 5 years.

What do I do if I am not feeling well?

If you are not feeling well and would like to be seen by one of our clinicians, you should contact Rutgers University Student Health Services (RUSHS) to arrange an appointment. Appointments are usually available within 24 hours by calling (856) 225-6005 during office hours (http://healthservices.camden.rutgers.edu/hours).

Our acute care services include assessing and treating common problems. Examples of typical acute care issues that we see at RUSHS include (but are not limited to):

  • Cold or flu symptoms, sore throats
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea or abdominal pain
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Muscle or joint problems, sprains, strains
  • Allergies
  • Dermatological issues (rashes, acne etc)
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
  • Gynecologic/Women’s Health problems (GYN)
  • Evaluation of Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • Cuts, wounds, minor lacerations

Typically our acute care appointments are 30 minutes long. For appointments like a complete physical exam, an eating disorders evaluation, annual gynecology/women’s health exams or a travel consultation you may be asked to make a longer appointment.

Urgent Care

Students with medical illnesses or injuries which require urgent medical attention, may be seen at Health Services without an appointment.  Each student who comes to the front desk will be evaluated on medical condition and urgency.  Each student will be seen as soon as possible, or immediately, as a result of this evaluation.

Some examples of Urgent Problems are defined as follows:

  1. Acute illness.
  2. Injury or bleeding in need of immediate attention.
  3. Urinary tract infections.
  4. Asthma.
  5. Allergic reaction.

If you are not sure that your condition is serious enough to warrant urgent care, call 856-225-6005 for advice.  Waiting times can be lengthy, and calling ahead may save you an unnecessary trip to Health Services.   You may call the AFTER HOURS Nurse Answering Line if you have questions. Tel. 1-800-424-5090

What do I do if I am sick and I missed class?
How can I get a medical excusal from class in case of absence?

Medical providers at Rutgers University Student Health Services cannot excuse you from academic responsibilities (class, assignments, and exams). If you are ill, you must speak directly to your professors. Medical excuse notes will not be provided by Rutgers Student Health Services for minor or common illnesses. Clinical Staff may write medical notes for students with prolonged absences (>2 weeks) due to illness.  For this reason, it is not necessary to be seen "just to get a note".   If a professor is giving you difficulty with this policy, please let us know.

I think I might have an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection), what can I do?

Contact RUSHS (856-225-6005) and schedule a convenient time to meet with one of our medical providers. You'll be able to discuss your concerns, get an examination and have any lab tests (as recommended by the clinician) done during your appointment. Your care is CONFIDENTIAL!  For more information:  http://www.cdc.gov/std/default.htm

How can I get a prescription for birth control or have my prescription renewed?

A routine gynecological/women’s health exam may not be required prior to starting some hormonal birth control methods.

If an outside clinician provided prescription birth control, such as birth control pills, and a refill is desired through RUSHS, you will need to complete a health history form and meet with a health care provider. At that visit, your health history will be reviewed and risks and benefits of the hormonal method you selected will be reviewed with you. In many cases, a pelvic exam will not be required in order to get a prescription for hormonal birth control.  A brief physical exam may be done at the visit.   A pelvic exam can be scheduled, as clinically indicated, at a later date. For more information:  http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/UnintendedPregnancy/Contraception.htm

What services can I expect as an LGBTQ student?

Students can expect Rutgers University Student Health Services staff to be sensitive and knowledgeable about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) students' medical issues, and to provide appropriate screening, literature, treatment, and/or referrals for specific problems. We strive to offer an environment that encourages students to seek healthcare in an environment that is inclusive and supportive of diversity in the areas of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. Please call 856-225-6005 to schedule an appointment.

How can I get the "Morning-After Pill"-Emergency Contraception?

Morning-After pills/emergency contraception are available over-the-counter in most local pharmacies.  They can be taken up to 3 days after unprotected sex.  There is a prescription only emergency contraceptive that can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex.

The medical providers encourage students needing Emergency Contraception to make an appointment as soon as possible after taking Emergency Contraception for a women’s health or GYN exam, for counseling regarding reliable contraception, and screening for sexually transmitted infections, if needed.   Also, if a woman’s period is delayed, one should consider the possibility of pregnancy and make an appointment for further evaluation.

How do I set up a routine Gynecological(GYN) or women’s health appointment?

Call the health center to set up an appointment preferably about 1 week after menses. No douching, sex, vaginal products for at least 48 hours. For the initial GYN appointment, arrive 20 minutes before the appointment time, to complete questionnaires, and other paperwork.  The pelvic exam may not need to be performed at each GYN exam. A pelvic exam is not painful. The Medical Providers are very experienced in performing first time exams on patients and are sensitive to your feelings. Pap smears are routinely done beginning at age 21 and then usually every 3 years if the pap test is negative or normal, and yearly if the test result is abnormal.  Routine chlamydia and gonorrhea tests are done annually or more frequently as needed.

When do I need Travel Advice?

Students planning travel outside the United States, especially to foreign and exotic lands, or even closer to home, such as Mexico or the Caribbean, should obtain travel information and advice, immunizations and/or medications to prevent illnesses. Providers will consult with you on preventive measures regarding diseases such as hepatitis A and B, travelers' diarrhea, malaria, typhoid fever, and other endemic illnesses. Immunizations and medications are provided at a reasonable fee. Students are advised to initiate this visit as early as possible and at least 4-6 weeks before their departure date.

What should I do if I am sick when the health center is closed?

If the health center is closed, and the problem is a life-threatening emergency, call 911 for EMS service immediately, or if on campus, call 856-225-6009 or extension 6009 (if using a campus phone) for immediate assistance from Rutgers Police.

If you have an urgent problem, there are urgent care centers or your local hospital emergency room, or if on campus contact Rutgers Police at 856-225-6009 or extension 6009 (if using a campus phone).

Students may also contact our 24 hour nurse line at 1-800-424-5090 if they have medical questions or need professional advice regarding the best "next step" for a medical problem.

REMEMBER: Full time students should BE COVERED with a Health Insurance Policy. This insurance coverage should provide significant coverage for a true emergency room visit.