Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Medical clinic — physicians and nurse practitioners treat illness and injury along with a team that includes nurses, a dietician, medical assistants, laboratory technologists and pharmacists.

Counseling center — counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists provide brief psychotherapy, crisis management and psychiatric evaluation and care.

Health promotion resource — health educators work with Peer Health Advocates (fellow students) and other campus partners to promote healthy lifestyle choices and a healthier campus community for all of us.

Sports medicine center — athletic trainers and physical therapists provide treatment and rehabilitation.

Office Hours are:
8:00 am- 4:45 pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
9:00 am – 4:45 pm Friday

Call 229-4716 for general information and appointments

Business FAX number: (414) 229-6608,
Medical Record FAX number (414) 229-4161
Wisconsin Relay Service TDD 1- 800-967-6644

We prefer that you make an appointment in order to reduce your waiting time .
For a medical concern we have limited same day urgent care availability.
Walk -in service is available every afternoon for our mental health service.

The Health center does administer the allergy shots. The cost is $5.00 per visit. However, the health center does not do allergy testing nor prescribe treatment. Therefore students must bring their own medication from their private doctor. It is stored in the Health center and appointments are made for the nurse to administer the allergy shots.

If Norris Health Center is closed, you need to visit a facility specified by your health insurance plan. You are responsible for services obtained outside of Norris Health Center. It is a good idea to carry a copy of your insurance card with you in case of emergencies.

If you have the Student Insurance plan offered through the Student Association please review their brochure.

If you are covered by your parent’s insurance plan or spouse contact your insurance company to determine at what facility to seek care.

To report life threatening emergencies call 911

To be eligible to use Norris Health Center you must be currently enrolled for a class credit at UWM and pay the student segregated fee. You need a valid Student ID Card. Fees are charged for some services, such as outside laboratory tests, pharmacy prescriptions and injections. A summer fee is charged for students not enrolled during the summer. There are no services provided for spouses, family or domestic partners.

For the most part, the services available are prepaid as part of tuition and fees. However, Norris Health Center does not cover hospital inpatient, emergency room, or immediate care treatment provided outside our facility. You are not required to have health insurance to use our health center. If you are eligible for insurance under someone elses policy (e.g., parent, spouse), familiarize yourself with its terms and limits. For information about the health insurance policy for students call UWM Student Association at 229-4366.

Commuter students are welcome to use the health center. You can call and make an appointment or come to the clinic as a walk-in.

The Health Center does not require that immunization records be submitted when admitted to UWM. When a student is seen in the health center they complete a history form.

Norris Health Center does not do any third party billing. Students may take receipts from a health center visit and submit to their private insurance.

Norris Health Center is open between 8am and 4:45pm Monday through Thursday and between 9am and 4:45pm on Friday. A Norris Health Center counselor is on-call everyday during our hours of operation. For students experiencing crisis situations or who have urgent needs that are not life threatening, brief screening sessions (up to 30 minutes) are provided to help stabilize the situation and determine what further treatment may be necessary. An appointment is not necessary but there may be a wait to be seen if the counselor is occupied with another student at the time of your arrival.

For urgent matters that arise when Norris Health Center is closed, you may contact the Milwaukee County Crisis line at 414-257-7222. This crisis line is answered twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week (24/7).

In the event of a life threatening emergency;
call 9-911 from a campus phone
414-229-9911 from a cell phone
or go to the emergency room
Off campus, call 911

Cold and Flu

Colds and the flu can be very hard to tell apart. The symptoms of a cold usually come on gradually. The most common cold symptoms include a run-down feeling, scratch throat, watery eyes, runny nose and sneezes.

You may have a dry cough or headache, but fever in adults with a cold is rare. Colds seldom develop into more serious problems, but they sure can make life uncomfortable. Cold symptoms usually last about 10-14 days, the length of time it takes your immune system to fight the virus.

Flu symptoms often appear suddenly. The flu often begins like a cold, with a runny nose and a general run-down feeling, but more severe symptoms such as fever, body ache, headache, dry cough, sore throat, weakness or loss of appetite develop abruptly in 1-2 days. The flu usually lasts 7-10 days, but you may not feel completely recovered for up to 2-3 weeks.

Visit our cold and flu pages

Remember that most cold and flu viruses are transferred from the fingertips to the eyes, nose or mouth where they can enter your body. Washing your hands frequently in soap and warm water is probably the most effective way to keep cold and flu viruses out of your body.

Try to avoid putting your fingers to your nose or eyes, especially if you have been around people with colds or the flu.

Avoid sharing objects (pencils, towels, telephones, etc.) or beverages with people who have colds or the flu.

Maintain healthy habits (such as adequate rest, good nutrition and daily exercise) that contribute to good general health and well-being.

The flu vaccine is recommended as a way to prevent the flu, especially for people who are at high risk for developing serious complications-such as the elderly and people with lung disease, heart disease, or another chronic illness.

The vaccine is also recommended for individuals who work in health care facilities and are exposed to respiratory illness repeatedly.

The flu shot contains a weakened version of the influenza virus and prepares your body to fight this year’s influenza virus only. If you have a flu shot, you will be partially or completely immune to the flu, but you will still have no protection against colds.

For more information on the influenza vaccine see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention influenza vaccination information page.

Call 414-229-4716 and talk to the phone triage nurse when you develop a cold or flu, or call to make an appointment if any of the following apply to you:

  1. You have bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, heart disease, or any other chronic condition that is worsened by the cold or flu.
  2. You have a temperature of 102 or higher, and the fever has been present more than three days.
  3. You have white spots on your tonsils, the gland is your neck are swollen, and you do not have a cough. Or, if there has been a recent known exposure to strep throat.
  4. Your neck feels sore or stiff.
  5. You have pain along the side(s) of the chest or shortness of breath. (mid chest pain is common in colds and flu and can be treated with humidity.).
  6. You have pain over the cheekbone or above theyeyes, and you are blowing dark green mucus from the nose.
  7. You have severe ear pain.
  8. You note a change in mental status such as confusion, slow thinking, or excessive sleepiness.
  9. You have a cough that lasts a week longer than other symptoms, or you are coughing up bloody or dark green mucus.

Antibiotics kill or stop the growth of bacterial, but they have no effect on viruses such as colds or the flu. Antibiotics should only be used against bacterially caused illnesses like strep throat, bacterial pneumonia, and bacterial skin infections. There are many other reasons to avoid taking antibiotics unless it is necessary:

Side effects.
Your body contains both harmful and helpful bacteria. The helpful bacteria keep harmful organisms under control. Unfortunately, antibiotics don’t know the difference between harmful and helpful bacteria; they kill them all, permitting other illnesses or side effects to occur. Yeast infections and diarrhea are two of the possible side effects of taking antibiotics.

Drug-resistant bacteria
Bacterial become resistant to antibiotics after they have been exposed to them often enough. When you take an antibiotic, the organisms it affects struggle to survive. After repeated courses of antibiotic therapy, these organisms may successfully change their structure so that the antibiotic may no longer be effective.

Allergic reactions
Antibiotics sometimes cause allergic or toxic reactions that may be uncomfortable or even dangerous. People with allergies to antibiotics may develop rashes, hives, and in rare instances, may even die.

Unfortunately, doctors really can’t do anything for most cases of a cold or flu. However, you can usually take care of a cold or the flu without a doctor’s assistance. Often, simple home remedies can ease uncomfortable cold or flu symptoms. If you feel you need some kind of medicine, over-the-counter medications are usually adequate.

For home remedies or over-the-counter medications read our flu page

Counseling and Consultation

The Counseling & Consultation Services unit of the Norris Health Center consists of 8 licensed psychologists/licensed counselors, and two psychiatrists.

In general, the Norris Health Center does not prescribe drugs to be used as “study aids” and particularly the classification of drugs used for treating attention-deficit disorder. The medications used for attention-deficit disorder are “Schedule II” controlled medications. In the United States, the Controlled Substances Act was enacted into law by the Congress as Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 (21 USC 13), which created five Schedules (classifications) for drugs. Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse, a high incidence of physical or psychological dependence, and a recognized medical use. Schedule II drugs are only available by prescription and distribution is carefully controlled and monitored by the Drug Enforcement Adminstration (DEA). Schedule II prescriptions themselves are subject to special requirements of codified federal law: 1) Prescriptions cannot be given over the phone; 2) Computer printed prescriptions cannot be used, only those handwritten or typed, and must be signed by the physician; 3) Prescriptions must be presented for filling within 60 days of issuance; and 4) Prescriptions for Schedule II medications cannot be refilled.

If you are currently seeing a Norris Health Center psychiatrist and have been previously treated with or are seeking to be treated with Schedule II controlled medications, especially for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, you must have acceptable documentation on record at Norris. Documentation can be obtained from your previous medical or psychiatric provider, which will be reviewed by the Norris psychiatrist. If the documentation does not meet the Norris Health Center standard of care, you may be required to undergo a diagnostic re-evaluation. This re-evaluation can be done either with a medical provider in the community, or the UWM Clinical Psychology Clinic (414-229-5521), for which you or your medical insurance would bear the financial responsibility of the evaluation/re-evaluation.

Services include short-term individual counseling; couples or relationship counseling; alcohol and drug counseling; eating disorder screening/treatment; crisis intervention; and psychiatry services.

Go to a place where you are safe from further violation.

  • Anywhere away from the perpetrator(s)
  • Anywhere where other people can assist you
  • Police Station
  • Health Center/Counseling Center/Hospital Emergency Room
  • Women’s Resource Center

Contact a professional, or someone you know who can help you.

  • A friend, housemate, family member, or Sandburg Resident Advisor (RA) who you feel can be supportive
  • A trusted member of your place of worship, community, or extended family
  • The Sexual Assault Treatment Center of Greater Milwaukee (call them at 414-219-5555, 24 hours) specializes in and offers safe & caring services to all survivors of sexual assault. They provide crisis help, medical and counseling services, medical and legal evidence collection, liaison services, and more. They are a local service provider.
  • The National Sexual Assault Hotline offers free, confidential counseling 24 hours a day at 1-800-656-HOPE. They are a national (not local) service provider, however, they can help connect you to local providers.
  • The police – 911 from an off-campus phone or -9911 from an on-campus phone (24 hours)
  • UWM Women’s Resource Center (call them at 414-229-2852) professional staff provide crisis counseling, information, referrals and on-going support to UWM students who have been assaulted and their friends and family. For students who want to talk about their experience and learn about their options for support and services at UWM and off campus in a non-judgmental setting, the WRC can be a good place to start. After hours (Mon-Fri 9-5), the WRC Director can be contacted for urgent student situations at 262-352-1890.
  • UWM Norris Health Center (call us at 414-229-4716) Norris staff provide medical and counseling services to UWM students during weekday business hours. If you are in crisis or have experienced a recent sexual assault, mention this to staff and they will prioritize you being able to meet with staff that day.

Students who are currently enrolled for class credits at UWM and have paid the student segregated fee are eligible for services at no cost. Students of all cultures, languages, religions, races, sexual orientation, gender, and ability are welcome to use the Counseling & Consultation Services unit.

Typical concerns students who seek counseling services have are: stress, nervousness, depression, worry, loneliness, anxiety, guilt, anger, shame, frustration, self-esteem issues, identity concerns, alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorders, sexual assault or physical abuse, and relationship problems.

With the exception of emergency situations, please phone or stop by the Norris Health Center to make an appointment in advance. Intake counseling or psychiatry appointments generally run an hour. In the event you cannot come to an appointment you made, it is recommended you cancel the appointment as soon as you possibly can so that some other student can have the appointment time.

Counseling provides an opportunity to explore and learn about yourself within a confidential, professional relationship. Increased understanding of yourself and your opportunities may facilitate your adjustment and lead to a more satisfying life. You may explore thoughts, feelings, hopes, fears, and wishes, as well as patterns of relating to others. You may reflect on past decisions or experiences and their consequences, or you may evaluate future goals and decisions.

Your responsibility in counseling is to reflect and share your area of concern. In the initial intake appointment, you will have the opportunity to discuss your needs and concerns as well as provide your counselor with important background information. Following this evaluation, your counselor will recommend how your needs might best be met, either through the Norris Health Center, or referral to an outside provider or agency.

Once counseling begins, your counselor will work with you to clarify and deepen your self-understanding, explore options for change, and develop a plan suited to achieve your goals. Counseling is an active process which requires work on your part and may involve exploration of painful events and feelings. Your counselor listens, asks questions, and offers comments. Together, you decide on a focus for your “work”.

Between sessions, you gather information: by observing yourself, by recalling or noticing events and relationships, by trying out helpful new behaviors. Counseling is not guaranteed to “solve your problem”, but success is most likely when you are an active participant and your communication with your counselor is open and honest.

In order to assist the maximum number of students who seek counseling services or psychiatry medication management services, treatment is offered on a short-term basis only, usually no longer than a semester. Consultation and referral services are provided for students who may need longer term or more intensive treatment.

We do not provide ANY mandated services, or those that may require court testimony or reports/letters to be filed with any branch of city/county/state/ or federal courts; any District Attorney, City Attorney, or Municipal Attorney’s Office; any defense attorney’s office; any state department of probation and parole; or any state/ county department of social services where litigation is either involved or pending. Additionally, we do not provide comprehensive psychological test batteries to determine the presence of learning or vocational disabilities.

Health Promotion and Wellness

There are several national programs that the Health Promotion Department provides. There are National Screening days for eating disorders, alcohol abuse and depression. The American College Health Association
is the voice of College Health and provides ideas and data for the direction of Health promotion for college students. Another origanization that provides guidance for college health is the Bacchus and Gamma The Peer Education Network has programs , ideas and resources for awareness programs. If you are interested in a program with Norris Health Center, call 229-4716 and ask to speak to a health educator.

The Norris Health Staff provides a “personal profile”of alcohol use. Download further information about the BASICS program

The Health Educators provide programs including, but not limited to the following topics:
Sexual Health, HIV/AIDS, Stress management, Tobacco cessation, Wellness, Nutrition and Birth Control Options

Programs can be provided by the health educators and the Peer Health Advocates. You need to call two weeks before the program or presentation. You can call the main number at 229-4716. Programs are free of charge.

The health educators see students on an individual basis to assess and provide guidance regarding nutrition practices. The teaching includes guidance regarding weight management, diagnosis related nutrition practices and general eating practices. There is a dietician on a limited basis. Internal referrals are required to see the Dietician.

You may call the Norris Health Center at 229-4716 and make an appointment with a health educator. Link to Appointments

The Health Promotion Department has handouts and literature on a variety of topics. If you would like to speak with a health educator about a topic or presentation and need materials, please call either Laura Stuart, MPH at 229-2919, Colleen Bernstein RN at 229-4716, or Sarah Belstack at 229-5836.

There is no fee to see a Health Educator. Link to Cost, Link to Eligibility

HIV screening is provided at the Norris Health Center for a fee of $15.00 Please call 229-4716 and make an appointment for the test. A medical provider or a health educator can provide the assessment for the screening.

The Peer Health Advocates are students who work with the Norris Health Center. They are also a student organization. Some students have worked with the Peers as their Capstone experience, or service learning experience. You can call Laura Stuart, MPH, at 229-2919 for more information.


The Health Center does not fill prescriptions from private providers. Our providers must write the prescriptions. You need an appointment to see a provider.

Go to the cashier’s window on the first floor of Norris Health Center(NHC) to request and pay for your refill. The NHC pharmacy does not take refill requests over the phone.

You may purchase multiple refills if your prescription allows and if the NHC pharmacy has adequate stock.

No. The NHC pharmacy fills only prescriptions written by Norris Health Center providers. You can make an appointment with a NHC provider to discuss your situation. The provider may or may not rewrite the same prescription.

The NHC pharmacy only stocks medications that are listed on the NHC Formulary but will special order items (other than Class II narcotics) that are not on that formulary. The patient must have a prescription written by an NHC provider for the entire package amount of the drug and must pay for the prescription in advance.

NHC stocks Durex lubricated condoms both latex and non-latex. Neither contains a spermicidal ingredient. Condom purchases are limited to $5 supply of the lubricated condoms and $4.50 of the non-lubricated.

The cashier checks for student eligibility.

The pharmacy has contracts with various manufacturers and wholesalers. As contracts change, and prices go up, the pharmacy searches for alternate low-cost products.

You may have used a certain brand for years and now it is called another name or you find out the cost is more. Why? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows pharmaceutical companies to have limited patents on their product. When a drug goes off patent and generic becomes available, the original manufacturer may raise their prices to compensate for loss of volume due to the generic drug. A new product may very expensive if it can be marketed as having an edge over its competition or a new product may be a lot cheaper if it is a reformulation of an older drug and the company is pushing this product.

Your medical provider may suggest a different BCP to keep your prescription cost low. Here at Norris Health Center we strive to keep our pharmacy stocked with common brand and generic BCP. Please ask your medical provider or pharmacist if you have questions about your prescription.

Sports Medicine

The Sports Medicine Department is located in:
Klotsche Center Sports Medicine Center
3409 N. Downer Ave. Suite 250
Milwaukee, WI 53211
414-229-6572 phone
414-229-6671 fax

You must receive a referral from a Norris Health Center provider, and then call to schedule at 414-229-6572.

Yes, therapy services are available in the Sports Medicine department.

Ice should be used for any acute injury, and can continue to be used in more chronic situations. For a new injury, such as a sprain or strain, utilize the “RICE” principle. Protect and support the area and ice at least 3-5 times a day for 20 minutes. This can be done in conjunction with compression and elevation to enhance edema reduction. To have an elevation effect, the injured area needs to be one foot higher than the level of the heart. Heat is generally utilized after the acute inflammatory response has resolved, or in more chronic injury situations.

An x-ray is needed to determine if something is broken. If you sustain an injury and feel you broke a bone, stabilize it with some type of material or splint, support it and have it evaluated

No, Sports Medicine services are covered by your segregated fees in your tuition payments, but you need to be a currently enrolled full-time student, and/or have paid your segregated fees if part-time or if between semesters in the summer.

Physical and athletic rehabilitation services provided by a licensed physical therapist and licensed athletic trainers for orthopedic type injuries. Services include evaluation, therapeutic exercises, therapeutic modalities, orthotic prescription and fitting, and video gait/running analysis to name a few.

No. We would recommend you to a personal trainer for these services. At times our athletic training students are personal trainers and may be able to help with this, but this is separate from our services in Sports Medicine. You can call our department to check on this availability, or check on the bulletin board at the Klotsche Center as there are advertisements for these services listed there.

We would refer you to the Exercise Physiology department in Enderis Hall where these services are offered along with cardiopulmonary function assessments including VO2 max and sub-max testing, resting metabolic assessment, and various body composition testing procedures. These services are provided for specific fees. Please call there department at 414-229-6717 for more information.

Yes, an appointment is required for each visit.

Let's Talk

Counselors at Norris provide ongoing therapy which usually consists of regularly scheduled 50-minute appointments. “Let’s Talk” is not formal counseling: it is a drop-in service where students can have an informal consultation with a counselor consultant to deal with a specific concern and to introduce them to what it is like to speak with a counselor. Your “Let’s Talk” counselor consultant can help you determine whether formal counseling at Norris would be useful for you and, if appropriate, assist you in scheduling an appointment.

When you come to the site, look to see if the office door is open. If it is, please come on in. When the two of you meet, the consultant will listen closely to your concerns, possibly ask questions and provide, support, perspective and suggestions for resources.

If the consultant is already meeting with someone, the office door will be closed with a sign indicating that the office is occupied. In this case, please have a seat in a nearby chair and wait for the consultant to come out and greet you. The wait is usually not long.

Let’s Talk is open to all UWM undergraduate and graduate students. Let’s Talk is the best fit for the following people:

  • Students who are not sure about counseling and wonder what it’s like to talk with a counselor.
  • Students who are not interested in ongoing counseling but would like the perspective of a counselor.
  • Students who have a specific problem and would like someone with whom to talk it through.
  • Students who have a concern about a friend and want some ideas about what to do.

Absolutely. The consultant will help you talk through your issues and help you determine the best way to get help. If you feel comfortable with the consultant, it is sometimes possible to meet with him or her at Norris in an ongoing way.

If you believe you need to be seen sooner than the appointment you were given, it’s best to call Norris directly and explain your situation.

Since regular counseling appointments are not available at Let’s Talk, following up with the referral is a good idea. Unfortunately, Norris does not provide open-ended counseling.

If your next appointment is not soon enough, it is best to contact your counselor directly to see if he or she can see you sooner.

The best thing to do in your situation is to attempt to talk directly with your counselor and discuss the problem. If you feel you cannot do this, you can call the Norris Crisis Counselor to request a counselor change. Counselors are eager to get your feedback, positive or negative. Often, an open conversation about your concern helps smooth out any wrinkles and helps get things back on track.

Although Let’s Talk consultants are professionals, Let’s Talk is not a substitute for psychotherapy or formal counseling and doesn’t constitute mental health treatment. Let’s Talk consultants provide informal consultations to help students with specific problems and to introduce them to what it’s like to speak with a counselor. Your Let’s Talk consultant can help you determine whether formal counseling would be useful to you and, if appropriate, assist you in getting connected to appropriate services.