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Ask a Nurse

Do you have questions? We have answers! 

Do you have questions about sex, vaccines, stress or your health in general? If you do, chances are other students do as well! 

We've compiled the most commonly asked questions that Dal students ask our nurses, and provided the answers below. If you don't see the question you want or need to ask, please book an appointment with a nurse at Student Health & Wellness, and they will be happy to help! 

About accessing Student Health & Wellness

Who can access student health services?

As a Dalhousie/Kings student you have access to a family physician as well as many other health resources during your time here and for 142 days after you graduate.

Most of these recourses are offered through the clinic on campus at 1246 LeMarchant Street, second floor. 

To access these services, you can book an appointment.

What do I need for my appointment?

You will need an identification card and your health card (Dalhousie Student Union, Medical Services Insurance or other) for your appointment at the Student Health & Wellness Centre. 

You should also know your medical history. 

You can also request interpeter services before your appointment, if needed. 

About mental health 

I’ve been overwhelmed with school and feel my mental health declining, what can I do to feel better?

Struggling with mental health is difficult, but you are not alone! Dalhousie offers a wide variety of mental health supports. These include resiliency training, one-on-one counselling, group counselling, same day appointments, and on-going counselling. 

Learn more about the mental health resources available to you as a Dalhousie student.

Who should I make an appointment with if I have a concern about a potential Psychological Disorder?

Psychologists at Student Health and Wellness do not make formal diagnosis of psychologic disorders for formal records or medication purposes. However, they do make recommendations that are accepted for accommodation purposes within Dalhousie and Kings.

About sexual health 

What is the Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) testing process?

Student Health & Wellness offers confidential STI testing to students at the Student Health & Wellness Centre. 

Student Health & Wellness also offers mobile STI screening clinics available each semester at various locations on Halifax Campus. Learn more about upcoming dates, times and locations.

Domestic students have access to STI screening through their provincially funded health coverage. Please remember to bring your health card at each visit.

International students are allotted 2 STI tests for the entire academic school year (fall and winter) with their International Student Health Plan. Be sure to use the testing only when you really need it.

You can book an appointment or drop in for a walk- in visit to see one of our registered nurses who can provide confidential chlamydia and gonorrhea testing through swabs (vaginal, oral and anal) and urine testing. 

For further testing of STI’s such as HIV, Hep B and Syphilis, a blood work requisition is needed. Only the physicians can provide you with one, therefore an appointment is needed. 

Note - STI screening mobile clinics should only be used if you are not experiencing symptoms of an STI. If you are experiencing symptoms, or your partner has notified you they have an STI, you should book an appointment with a physician for testing and treatment as soon as possible.

I’ve never had sex before and was wondering if I should be tested before starting?

STIs are spread through contact with infected bodily fluids such as blood, vaginal fluid, semen, infected skin or mucous membranes. 

If you have never had sexual intercourse (vaginal, oral, or anal), there is no need to do STI testing. However, we never discourage testing and if you would like to do baseline testing, we welcome you to come in to see the nurse.

If you start having sexual intercourse, we recommend coming in for regular testing, especially 4-6 weeks after having sex with a new partner.

How can I get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine?

You can get your HPV vaccine, Gardasil 9, with the nurse at Student Health & Wellness.

The vaccination must be given in three doses to effectively protect you against HPV, the first dose can be administered whenever is convenient for you, the second is administered 2 months after the first, and the third is administered 6 months after the first.

As the HPV vaccine is not cover by Dalhousie student insurance, the cost of the vaccine is $205. If you have private insurance, you may be covered by your insurer. Make sure to call your insurance company to check your coverage prior to getting the vaccine and confirm if they will only reimburse you if you get the vaccine through a pharmacy.

The International Student Health Insurance Plan (Medavie BC) does not cover the cost of the HPV vaccine.