Excerpts from McKinley Mental Health Center
Jason Lee

    McKinley's main function is simply to treat the students who require medical attention of the University of Illinois of Urbana Champaign. According to one of the clerks, there are over 150 workers who keep McKinley functioning. Some of the workers include the student workers, janitorial workers, clerks, nurses, doctors, pharmacist, administration, record keepers, and more. Along with treating students who are sick, McKinley also provides information about sickness, medicine for sickness, and other medical related type things for students.

     When I was in the waiting area, I sat down on one of the many chairs and noticed that the cushions were faded and extremely soft probably due to the amount of people who sit on them. Looking around there are magazine and pamphlets for patients to read while they wait. Turning back to one of my observations, I even saw some students doing homework as they were waiting for their turn. Another thing I realized about the waiting area in this clinic was much like the waiting area for my family doctor back at home, which added a welcoming effect to the clinic. The office area where the clerks worked were organized in their own little fashion. Although everyone files were organized, the files at each desk were organized in a different way in each area. Another thing that was consistent from desk to desk was that almost all of the clerks had some kind of picture to remind them that there is something to look forward to after work.

    The McKinley Health Center is a friendly work place that is devoted to students. McKinley tries to listen to the students' problems and try to provide them with the best doctors possible so that student gets the best medical care he or she can get from McKinley. Furthermore, it may not be apparent to all the patients who use the clinic, privacy is extremely important to McKinley. They wanted to make sure everything I did had little effect on the patient and not to ask them questions. In fact, throughout my observations, I looked normal enough with the name tag that I was often confused as a worker. The areas in McKinley are clearly labeled and people are directed to the waiting area and told where to go when it is time to be examined by the doctor. The building is very organized as well. This is important because people seeking aid do not need to wonder the building does not need to look hard to get to the place they need to.

     It is also a work place that seems to get quite hectic at times. When it is hectic, the clerks try their best to move people as fast as possible while trying to be courteous with the long hours they work. But when the area is not so busy, the environment is very relaxed and laid back, just trying to have fun. This laid back experience could also be experienced just by looking at their work place. As I said before some people put pictures and one clerk even put a toy penguin by their computer. The change of attitude and decoration of their desk is probably necessary in the work place so the clerks can remain happy throughout the day and so they will not have any negative feelings toward the patients. In the end, McKinley seems like a great student resource in supplies and information and a terrific health clinic for students on mis campus with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

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