Texas Tech’s Department of Kinesiology and Sport Management is planning to implement a health screening clinic every semester starting in the Fall 2021.
Heidi Wiedenfeld, an instructor at Tech’s Department of Kinesiology and Sport Management, said this clinic will be available at no cost for all faculty and staff, as well as Ph.D. and master degree students, following the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) protocols.
“There is a health screening survey that participants have to complete on our department’s website,” Wiedenfeld said, “and based on the results, the teachers and students of the Exercise Testing and Prescription class, and myself, will be going through to analyze if the interested participant is eligible.”
The survey that interested individuals need to complete will focus on cardiovascular risk factors, said Wiedenfeld. After this, ACSM guidelines will be applied to check for the individual’s eligibility, based on how physically active the participant is. If eligible, participants will be tested on body weight and body composition, flexibility, cardiorespiratory, muscular endurance, blood glucose, blood cholesterol, heart rate and blood pressure.
“We are going to be looking at the low-risk individuals,” Wiedenfeld said.
The screening clinic is easily accessible for those who are interested because it is on campus, said Wiedenfeld. It is also beneficial to the participants: those who participated will be given exercise programs based on their results.
“If they want to work out at the Rec Center or wherever, they will have a baseline exercise program that they can follow,” Wiedenfeld said. “Hopefully, it can improve their health, in case they need to lose weight or reduce their cholesterol levels.”
The health clinic is also implemented as a mean to give students real-world experience in doing health screenings and clinic management. Audra Day, assistant professor of practice in the Department of Kinesiology and Sport Management, said that this health clinic allows students in the Exercise Testing and Prescription class to gain experience from evaluating health perimeters and designing an appropriate exercise prescription for participants.
“These prescriptions are designed to address any areas that might benefit from a change in activity or exercise,” Day said.
The clinic was planned to be launched during the Fall 2020 semester, but it was delayed due to complications of the COVID-19 pandemic. Regarding how the department will conduct this clinic while the pandemic is still possibly active by the end of the year, Day said they will continue to follow any requirement instituted by the university.
“We will be taking guidelines from the university: if we need to use masks or gloves, or we need to follow specific cleansing procedures, we will simply follow them,” Day said. “Other than that, we don’t think there will be any issues because we have already followed all procedures for our student-run labs here in our building, so students are already used to precautions to prevent spreading infectious diseases. We will provide equipment and make sure that everyone is protected.”
Since the health clinic is part of a course taught at the Department of Kinesiology and Sport Management, Day said the department will host this clinic every semester from Fall 2021 on. They will have bigger plans if this health screening clinic results in success.
“Eventually, our goal is to launch this clinic for the entire community as well,” Day said.
Staff and faculty members who participate in the health clinics can also find themselves an extra benefit on top of what is provided there. Ladonna Johnson, associate managing director at Tech’s Human Resources department that is involved with informing other departments of this clinic, said the Department of Kinesiology and Sport Management is also proposing for faculty and staff members who plan to participate in the clinic to earn up to four hours of paid time off.
“Once the Kinesiology Department lets us know that the employee has taken part or volunteered in this project that they are doing, they will provide the information to us and we can give them the paid time off,” Johnson said.
The health clinic will be conducted starting Fall 2021, and is now actively recruiting participants. Anyone who finds this interesting can find more information on the clinic and how to register at the department’s webpage at https://www.depts.ttu.edu/ksm/Health_Screening_Clinic/. Members of the Department of Kinesiology and Sport Management said they greatly encourage people who find themselves eligible to take the survey and participate in the clinic.