Patient Rights & Policies

Georgia College & State University Health Services Staff are obligated to establish a climate of care that helps allay anxiety and establishes and encourages open and honest communication. Any discussion with a physician, nurse practitioner, nurse, technician, counselor, or other health care professional can be valuable to the client in terms of both health and learning.  Clients are encouraged to take an active part in the exchange.  If they do not feel that their concerns are being addressed or that their questions are being answered, they are encouraged to tell their clinician or restate their specific needs.  

Rights & Expectations

a)  Dignity:  The client has a right to have their dignity as an individual recognized and respected.  They have a right to the same considerations and respect as anyone else, regardless of their age, race, beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, and lifestyle.

b)  Privacy:  The client has a right to privacy whenever and wherever possible.  They should expect that their discussion, examination and treatment would be conducted in a private environment and that medical information be maintained in accordance with accepted medical records privacy and security guidelines.

 c)  Confidentiality:  The client has a right to confidential treatment of all communications and records relating to them.  Permission must be obtained before Student Health Center staff gives information to anyone not directly connected with the client’s case.  This requirement applies to parents, relatives, close friends, and college/university personnel.  There are limited exceptions required by law, such as reporting certain communicable/infectious diseases, parental or guardian permission to treat minors (under age 18), or situations which threaten the client’s safety or the safety of others.

 d)  Access:  The client has a right to access and utilize Health Services, but with this right comes the responsibility to understand the scope and range of available services and make appropriate use of these services and related provider time.  The client has a right to have reasonable access to information regarding diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.

 e)  Provider Change:  The client has a right to change providers. The Health Services has a right to assign clients to providers based on patient demand and staff availability.


As a consumer of a Health Services, the client has responsibilities as well as rights.  The client can help by being responsible in the following ways:

a)  By Being Honest: The client is responsible for being honest and direct about everything that relates to his/her needs for Student Health Centers.  The client needs to tell those who are helping him/her how they feel about the things that are happening to them.

b)  By Making Sure They Understand:  The client is responsible for the understanding of their health problems or needs to their satisfaction.  If they do not understand the treatment plan, test procedure, or patient education information, they should ask the interviewer or practitioner about it.  The client needs to be sure they understand -- ask questions!

c)  By Making Appropriate Use of Services and Staff Time:  The client has a responsibility to understand the scope and range of available services and make appropriate use of these services and related provider time. 

d)  By Following the Prescribed Plan:  It is the client’s responsibility to advise the Health Services staff trying to help them, whether or not they can and want to follow the prescribed plan.  If the client is in agreement with the plan, they need to follow it.  If they are not in agreement with the plan, they should be encouraged to talk to their health care provider about their concerns.

e)  By Reporting Changes:  It is the client’s responsibility to tell the Health Services staff about any changes in their health in relationship to the treatment provided.

f)  By Keeping Your Appointment:  It is the client’s responsibility to keep appointments at the scheduled time, or notify the Health Services staff if they cannot keep or will be late for an appointment.

g)  By Knowing Your Interviewer or Practitioner:  The client should try to know or remember the name of the personnel who serve them.  The Health Services staff will try to make this an easy task by introducing themselves and wearing nametags.  The client is encouraged to make a note of this, either mentally or on paper.  The client’s health is a shared responsibility with the Health Services staff.

h)  By Being a Participant: It is the client’s responsibility to become an active participant in decisions regarding his/her own care.

 A patient’s health depends on much more than the health care they receive. Patients are responsible for recognizing the impact of their lifestyle on their personal health.

Student Eligibility

Students must be registered for classes and have paid the mandatory health fee to be seen in the Student Health Clinic for the current semester. Students who have not paid the student health fee, either because of part time enrollment or online classes, will be required to pay the health fee in order to receive services at student health.

The Student Health Clinic operates on a 12-month basis.  Students who have completed fall semester and will return spring semester, may utilize Health Services after the academic end of the fall semester, up until the time the clinic closes for the holidays. In other instances where there are a few days between semesters, students returning for the next semester may utilize Health Services.

Returning students who are registered for fall semester but are not taking classes Maymester/summer can be seen in the clinic during Maymester/summer semester if they pay the partial health fee.

Students registered for on-campus Maymester class(s) but NOT any other summer course and /or fall semester, can only be seen during Maymester.

Students registered for on-campus summer courses but NOT Maymester and /or fall semester can only be seen during summer semesters.

Students new to Georgia College campus can generally utilize the clinic beginning the first working day of August or January. However students needing some type of health assessment (TB skin tests, physical examination, etc.) that is a requirement of their academic program may utilize Health Services, prior to the first working day in August or January.

Student who graduate and are living in university housing may utilize Health Services for a visit fee until the student vacates university housing.

Student eligibility or enrollment will not hinder completion of care rendered as a follow-up to last visit.

The Bobcat student ID card is required in order to be seen in the Student Health Clinic.

Attendance Policy

Although it is recognized that absences will sometimes be necessary, students are expected to attend classes regularly. It is the responsibility of students to be cognizant of their own record of absences and to consult the instructor regarding work missed. The decision to permit students to make up work rests with the instructor. At any time during the semester an instructor has the right to assign a grade of F for excessive absences when a student exceeds the number of allowable absences specified in the instructor’s attendance policy distributed to the student in the instructor’s course syllabus. If a student is representing the University in an official capacity, as verified on a list released from the Office of the Provost, the instructor will not penalize the student for those absences. However, students should consult their instructor before anticipated absences.

Students who wish to have their instructors notified of a medical or family emergency necessitating their absence from classes, or who wish to provide documentation in support of a request for excused absences, make-up work, or grades of "W" or "I" due to an emergency, may contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Life. The Student Life staff will inform students about procedures, assist with communication to instructors, receive and file documentation, and advise students regarding their own self-advocacy; however, the final determination of excused absences, make-up class work, and grading is determined by the instructor.

The Student Health Clinic does not provide excuses for missing class. In certain cases, students may be advised to be on bedrest due to fever, degree of illness or infectivity.

Privacy Policy

It is the policy of Georgia College Student Health Services that no medical information is shared with anyone other than the student except in cases of students who are under the age of 18, in dire emergencies, or in cases required by law.

Students may want their health information released to others for various reasons (to another health facility for example).  For health information to be shared with another party, the student must sign a release of medical information form.

In the event insurance claims are filed electronically, the necessary information must be transmitted to the insurance company.

We do not share medical information with parents unless we have the student’s consent (or they are under the age of 18), unless bound by law to do so or in the case of dire emergency. It is required by law to report certain communicable diseases and this will be done as required.

In the event of severe illness, surgery, or illness which will lead to a lengthy absence from class, the Dean of Students, with your permission, can be notified so that professors can be made aware of your situation and reason for your absence.

Medical records are confidential information.  All staff members who work with medical information in the Georgia College Student Health Center sign a confidentiality agreement, acknowledging that no medical information is to be divulged to anyone other than the student or in the circumstances described above.

If you have questions or concerns, please discuss them with Student Health Services personnel.

The privacy policy for the University System of Georgia, Board of Regents can be found here.

GC Security Breach Plan pdf