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As we continue to navigate the current pandemic we wanted you to be aware of some changes to our way of working at SHS. 

We are open and available to you.

We still provide access to physical & mental health assistance for current UCD students.

 

Here are some points you need to know:

Our phone lines are open from 9:30am each morning and 2pm in the afternoon. 

There is often a high demand on the services which means that you may have to make multiple attempts to get through to reception. We will not arrange appointments via email.

There are a limited number of appointments each day.

Unwell appointments are still reserved for those ‘sick on the day’. If you receive an unwell appointment you may only be able to discuss the urgent issue with the doctor or nurse so that we can continue to offer as many appointments as possible each day.

ALL appointments begin with a telephone consultation. This is a medical consultation, therefore there is a charge for the telephone consultation. 

There is no charge to the student for a Covid telephone consult as the HSE are currently paying for this service, so please so not hesitate to contact us if you are concerned about covid.

We must limit face to face contact as much as possible, therefore you will receive a ‘call back’ from the doctor and ideally, you will not need to journey to UCD to see us. The doctor or nurse will be able to discuss your symptoms, medical history and concerns as necessary via the telephone. If the doctor or nurse needs to see you, they will arrange an appointment for you to come into Student Health. We cannot accommodate ‘walk-ins’ at this time.

We will need a contact number to phone you & you will need to answer.

The doctor, nurse or psychiatrist will attempt to phone you at an agreed time, on the number provided. If you do not answer, there may be a second attempt but will not be able to try repeatedly. It is essential that when you have an appointment for a ‘call back’, that you monitor your phone. Equally if you return a missed call, it is unlikely the doctor, nurse or psychiatrist will be free to accept your call as they have other patients to contact. If you provide an international number, we cannot guarantee that we can reach you.

We can send prescriptions digitally to a designated pharmacy via healthmail or simply drop them to the UCD pharmacy for collection.

Healthmail is a secure system for medical and pharmaceutical practices which we use to send prescriptions offsite. Almost all pharmacies have a healthmail address and if you ask your pharmacy for their healthmail address we can send your prescription to somewhere convenient to you on the day. Pharmacies are happy to provide customers with their healthmail address for this purpose. Alternatively, UCD pharmacy are happy to fill prescriptions for students and we can leave the prescription directly to them to avoid unnecessary trips to SHS. 

You will be asked to pay for your telephone consultation at the time of booking.

‘Call backs’ or telephone consultations are medical consultations and as such we must charge a consultation fee of €25 at the time of booking. We appreciate your cooperation and ask that you have your card details available when you ring to book an appointment. Any request to speak with a doctor about a medical issue will be arranged as a consultation and you may be charged €25.  Nurse appointments are also charged at the time of booking but may incur extra charges if further clinical work is required.

There is no charge to the student for a Covid telephone consult as the HSE are currently paying for this service, so please so not hesitate to contact us if you are concerned about covid.

If you must come in, it will be organised as an appointment by the doctor during the telephone consultation. You must wear a mask. We cannot provide masks for students.

The doctor or nurse will clearly arrange for you to come to the SHS at an appointed day and time. Upon arrival at the entrance to the SHS, please contact us for directions. We are practicing social distancing and have arranged seating and hand sanitiser to accommodate patients. Due to Covid 19, we aim for the minimum contact time possible. You will not be able to address anything aside from the reason for your onsite visit during this appointment. Do not bring friends or family to appointments.

There may be additional charges.

If there is additional clinical work, there may be additional charges which we request you pay before leaving the SHS. We no longer accept cash payments. 

Do not come to the SHS without first contacting us.

We cannot accommodate students who arrive without first consulting the doctor or nurse. This is for your safety, our safety and the global effort to combat Covid 19. If you are injured, we recommend that you contact your local injuries unit. There is a list available on www.HSE.ie

You may be asked standard questions about your exposure to Covid 19 at the time of booking.

There are certain scenarios where we must ask you about your potential exposure to Covid 19, your travel history or symptoms. These are standards questions for all patients.

 

We are here to help you. 

Remember, should you have concerns about Covid 19 you can call us to discuss and we will give you all the appropriate advice you need.

You can also log onto the HPSC website for current information on the Coronavirus (Covid 19).

 

The situation with Covid vaccination is complex and the parameters have changed several times in recent months therefore the information contained here is subject to change at short notice.Please follow this link for the most up to date information from the HSE   

All adults will be offered Covid 19 vaccination in Ireland following a strictly defined rollout plan.

It is expected that younger adults between 18-50 will be invited to register over the next few weeks and months in descending order of age.

  • People aged between 18 - 50 will be offered an mRNA vaccine. It is likely to be Pfizer but we cannot guarantee this as we have no influence on the vaccine supplied to patients.
  • Registered students in UCD will be able to register for vaccination once it is being offered to their age cohort. 
  • If you are traveling to Ireland from another country and have the option of taking a vaccine in your home country it is advisable to do so and ideally to complete your vaccination course before travel.
  • As it is likely that students aged 18-50 will be offered mRNA vaccine ( most likely Pfizer ) it is advisable to opt for this vaccine if it is available in your country as you may be able to complete your course of vaccination in Ireland once your age category is invited for vaccination.

 

The COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Strategy sets out a provisional priority list of groups for vaccination once a safe and effective vaccine(s) has received authorisation from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The Strategy was developed by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) and Department of Health, endorsed by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), and approved by Government on 8 December 2020.

This list and further information can be found here: Priority Groups for Vaccination

It would be really helpful if you have a PPSN number and we would encourage all students to apply for one but if you are concerned that you may have symptoms of Covid 19 , please do not hesitate to contact Student Health on 01 716 3134 for a referral for a free Covid 19 test.  

If  you do not have a PPSN you can apply for one here using this form. Non-residents can find information here. When filling in the form you need to tick the reason for getting a PPS number. You should tick STUDY as your reason. You will be asked to provide a letter confirming you are a student - you can download your Certificate of Attendance via your UCD SIS Web account and provide this with your PPSN application. Further information on how to access your Certificate of Attendance is available on the Student Desk web-page.

 

The Personal Public Service Number or PPSN provides access to a number of services in Ireland. More information on this, can be found here.

 

You have arranged to come to Student Health Services for an in-person appointment following the telephone consultation with the GP.

 

Please note the following:

The entrances to the Old Student Centre are locked. You can enter by the pool in the New Student Centre.

Please bring a mask. We will not be able to provide you with a mask. 

Do not bring anyone with you unless arranged by the SHS in advance. Non patients will not be permitted to stay.

Arrive at your designated time. 

Ring when you are outside the SHS door. The phones are very busy. You may have to make multiple attempts to phone.

Sanitise your hands before entering.

 

As a precaution we ask that you do not come in if you have or develop any of the following symptoms: 

  • fever
  • cough - this can be any kind of cough, not just dry
  • shortness of breath
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

 

We also will not be able to see you if: 

  • it has been less than two weeks since your return from a non-green listed country

 

If any of these points are applicable to you, do not come in to the Student Health Service. Call us to reschedule the appointment.

If you think you’ve contracted Covid 19 or have developed one or a number of symptoms you should immediately self-isolate and contact your GP.

Symptoms can include:

  • a fever (high temperature - 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 F) or above)
  • a cough - this can be any kind of cough, not just dry
  • shortness of breath or breathing difficulties
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

Once you contact your GP, they will ask about your symptoms and any contact with confirmed cases of Covid 19. If your doctor thinks you need a COVID-19 test, they will refer you for a test to Public Health. You will be sent your appointment details by text message (including the exact location and time of your appointment).

The test for COVID-19 is simple and usually takes 15 minutes (or less). If you cannot drive yourself to the test centre, you can ask someone from your household to take you. If you cannot attend a test centre, you may be tested at home.

When you arrive at a test centre, a healthcare worker will confirm your identity and contact details; give you a face mask to wear & explain what will happen next.

If you are at a drive-thru test centre, you will be asked to stay in your car. A healthcare worker will come to the vehicle and do the test through the window.

If you are at a regular test centre, the healthcare worker will take you into the test centre.

The test

The healthcare worker will use a swab (similar to a long cotton bud) to take a sample from the back of your throat and nose. You may feel some discomfort during the swabbing, but it is not painful. The healthcare worker will then send your sample to a lab where it will be tested for COVID-19.

 

When you'll get your results
Most people will get their test results back within 3 days, but it can take longer.

Continue to self-isolate while you wait for your results. Follow any advice your GP gives you.

Patients who are most ill and in hospital are being prioritised. They will get their results within 12 to 24 hours.

If you have not received your test results
If you have been waiting longer than 3 days for your test result please complete this form

Do not contact your GP for test results. Their phone lines need to be kept open for people who need help with symptoms.

If you have not received your test results you can stop self-isolating if both these apply:

you have had no fever for 5 days
it has been 14 days since you first developed symptoms

What your results mean

Your test results will be either:

  • SARS CoV 2 RNA detected

  • SARS CoV 2 RNA not detected

  • Indeterminate result

  • Invalid/inhibitory result

 

SARS CoV 2 RNA detected

This means you have coronavirus (COVID-19).

A member of the public health team will phone you with your result. They’ll answer any questions you have.

They’ll ask you for the name and contact details of anyone you’ve been in close contact with in the last 14 days. This is so they can let those people know that they will also need to self-isolate.

This is called contact tracing. It can help slow the spread of the virus.

They will also ask you if you have been using the COVID Tracker app. If you have, they’ll ask if you want to alert others you were in close contact with for the last 14 days. This is done anonymously, through the app. It’s your choice if you want to do this. Read more about the COVID Tracker app.

You’ll need to continue to self-isolate until both of these apply:

  • you have had no fever for 5 days
  • it has been 14 days since you first developed symptoms

 

SARS CoV 2 RNA not detected

This means that coronavirus (COVID-19) has not been found in your sample.

You will get your result by text message from the testing service.

This result does not mean that you never had coronavirus. It just means that the virus was not found in the sample the lab tested.

It’s possible that you had the virus and:

  • your immune system cleared it by the time you were tested
  • there were no viruses present in the sample

You could still get coronavirus in the future. You should continue to follow the advice to protect yourself and others.

If your symptoms continue or get worse, phone your GP.

 

Indeterminate, invalid or inhibitory result

Sometimes your sample may not give a clear result. This is called an indeterminate result. An indeterminate result means that the lab cannot tell for sure if you have coronavirus or not.

Sometimes the lab will be unable to get any result when it tests your sample. This is called an invalid or inhibitory result.

Indeterminate, invalid or inhibitory results are not common.

 

If you get an indeterminate, invalid or inhibitory result

If you get an indeterminate, invalid or inhibitory result you will be treated as if you have the virus. This is to keep you and others safe because you had symptoms. You should ask your GP to arrange a new test for coronavirus for you.

Until you get your new result, you will need to continue to self-isolate until both of these apply:

  • it has been 14 days since you first developed symptoms

  • you have had no fever for 5 days

If your new test result comes back as 'SARS CoV 2 RNA detected' you will continue to self-isolate for 14 days. A member of the public health team will call you. They'll ask you for the contact details of anyone you’ve been in close contact with in the last 14 days. This is so they can let those people know that they will also need to self-isolate.

If your new test result comes back as 'SARS CoV 2 RNA not detected', and you have no symptoms, you can come out of self-isolation. Continue to follow the advice to protect yourself and others. But if you are a close contact of a confirmed case you should continue to restrict your movements for 14 days. This is because it can take up to 14 days for the virus to show up in your system after you have been exposed to it.

If your symptoms continue or get worse, phone your GP.

No evidence of immunity

Some studies have shown that antibodies develop soon after infection. These have been detected for at least two months after infection. But because it is a new virus, there is no long-term evidence that having coronavirus means you are immune to getting it again.

You may still be:

  • at risk of getting re-infected
  • able to pass the infection to others

UCD SHS cannot provide tests or referrals for the purpose of travel.

The GP cannot refer you if you have no symptoms or are not sick.  There are private clinics which facilitate coronavirus testing for travel. Examples are the Tropical Medical Bureau and Travel Health Clinic. These independent facilities charge a fee and do not do tests for symptomatic people. Further information is available on their websites.

Please note that Walk in testing centres can not be used for travel tests. If you are going abroad and need a negative PCR test, you will need to book an appointment with an independent facility who can provide you with the travel certificate you need. There is a charge for this service .

 

Currently advice on Covid 19 can be found from a number of trusted sources including:

HSPC

HSE

Gov.ie

Citizens Advice

What are the most common Covid 19 symptoms?

If you have fever, chills, cough or shortness of breath, you need to call your own GP or Student Health Service who will conduct a telephone consultation with you to decide if testing is indicated.

  • While waiting to speak to the Nurse or Doctor you should : 
  • Self isolate, stay away from other people
  • Take paracetamol for fever or pain. 
  • Make sure you have plenty of fluids.

 

Who to call if the Student Health Service is closed.

These are the contact details of the out of hours service that are available to you for emergency or medical care.  Please note there are charges for these services:

  • EastDoc Telephone Number: 01 221 4021
  • Doctor on Duty Telephone Number: 01 420 0880 | Opening hours 24/7

If you require advice regarding general health advice, please check out the HSE Under-the-Weather webpage

The new student HealthMatters App is also a useful source of reliable information for the student population. It is available to download on Android & iPhone.

 

I have been diagnosed with Covid 19 and I am at home in self isolation. My symptoms have worsened and I am having difficulty breathing, what should I do?

If you are having difficulty breathing, please call :

  • Student Health Service at 01-716 3134
  • Out of hours EastDoc 01-221 4021
  • Doctor on Duty 01-420 0880

In case of emergency:

Off campus, contact emergency services on 999 or 112

On campus emergency call 799 

Self-isolation means: Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people. Behave as if you have the virus if you have symptoms. If you have been diagnosed with coronavirus or have symptoms, the people you live with will need to restrict their movements. This is to prevent the spread of the virus to the general public, including vulnerable people in the community.

  • Do not go to work, school, religious services or public areas.
  • Do not share your things. For example, food, dishes, drinking glasses, towels or other household items.
  • Use a separate toilet if possible.
  • Do not invite visitors to your home.
  • Do not go outside unless you have your own outdoor space for fresh air.
  • Do not use public transport or taxis.

You should self-isolate until both of these apply to you:

  • you have had no fever for 5 days
  • it has been 14 days since you first developed symptoms

Restricted movement means avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. You will need to restrict your movements for 14 days if you are a close contact of a confirmed case of coronavirus and/or live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus, but you feel well.

  • Do not go to work.
  • Do not use public transport.
  • Do not have visitors at your home
  • Do not visit others, even if you usually care for them.
  • Do not go to the shops or pharmacy unless it is absolutely necessary - where possible, order your groceries online or have some family or friends drop them off.
  • Do not meet face-to-face with older people, anyone with a long-term medical condition or pregnant women

You will have to restrict your movements for 14 days even if your test comes back negative. It can take up to 14 days for the virus to show up in your system after you have been exposed to it.

Restricted movement means you can still go outside to exercise by yourself as long as you keep 2 metres distance from other people.