If you are experiencing a true emergency, call 911.
Our staff of registered nurses and a physician assistant assess and treat illnesses and injuries. They dispense over-the-counter medications and can prescribe medications as needed. They can also schedule appointments with local providers as needed.
Details about what the medical area of SHAW has to offer. You can also review SHAW's FAQ's webpage.
Wellness and prevention
sexually transmitted infection testing — individual testing and STI event testing on campus
immunizations — limited at SHAW but will help with referrals
flu shots — Watch for flu vaccine clinics offered on campus in the early fall.
Free safer-sex supplies are available in the lobby; no appointment is necessary.
outreach and health education
urinary tract infections
upper respiratory infections
foreign body removal
contraception consultation and prescriptions
study abroad consultations/physical
education and assistance with insurance issues
Please call 641-269-3230 to schedule a medical appointment. After hours or on weekends, students can call SHAW’s main line, 641-269-3230, and follow the prompts to connect with our Need-a-Nurse line. Students may also leave a voicemail if they prefer to wait until SHAW’s normal business hours to consult with a SHAW provider.
Due to the high volume of appointments and COVID case management, web booking for medical appointments is currently unavailable.
In-person appointmentswill be in the lower level of the Forum. Please use the main entrance via the west door. You must wear a mask whenever entering SHAW, no matter the current campus mask guidelines.
COVID-19 Check-In Appointments
Students who are in isolation will check in with a nurse every day they are in isolation. Students can message the nurse through the online portal. If a virtual visit is needed, appointments can be accessed on the left navigation of the portal.
Before every medical appointment at SHAW, you will be asked to fill out a brief questionnaire. Your actual appointment may take between 10–30 minutes, depending on the nature of your symptoms.
We encourage you to ask questions and make sure you understand what you need to do to feel better. The provider you see will ask you questions about your symptoms, complete an assessment, possibly monitor your vital signs (temperature, pulse, blood pressure) perhaps conduct additional lab testing as applicable and then work to provide you with any additional treatment options needed including free over-the-counter medications, ice pack, bandages, crutches, etc.
If the provider feels that you may need more extensive or specialized treatment, you will be referred to a physician in the community or region, be referred to the local walk-in clinic, or to the emergency room at UnityPoint Grinnell Regional Medical Center. The nurse will help ensure you have transportation in these cases.
All students are asked to sign the SHAW consent for treatment upon arrival to campus as first years. This document allows our SHAW staff to communicate with our local medical providers to help facilitate your care needs if you are referred to services off-campus. The SHAW provider will ask for your permission to make that referral and then consult with those service providers about you. Consultation of this sort is the standard of care in the health and mental health professions.
Grinnell College Student Health and Wellness has a partnership with Virtual Care Group. Students can schedule appointments with a doctor at any time. Common issues that VCG doctors see students for include: cold & flu, cough, diarrhea, dizziness, fever, headache, nausea, sinus congestion, skin rash, sore throat, urinary problems, and more.
If you aren't sure if it is ok to wait until SHAW opens or if you should go to a walk-in clinic or the ER, this service is a good place to start. While it is a great resource, as they are virtual, they cannot do any diagnostic testing. Remember, SHAW provides free testing for things like strep, influenza, and COVID.
How to Access Services
To access VCG services you will need to activate your account. This is very easy to do and we recommend you do this as soon as you can so that you don’t have to do it when you feel unwell. You may remember seeing an activation email from NoReply@TheVirtualCareGroup.com. You can activate your account directly from that email. Another way to activate is to go to TheVirtualCareGroup.com/Grinnell and enter your last name, date of birth, and 50112 (this is the school’s zip code). Once this is activated, you can log in and access your free telehealth services. Physical health appointments can be booked online, by phone, or via the app. You can also download their app (via the apple store or google play) to register and make appointments. You can also call 866-533-1827 to be connected VCG's customer service line.
For medical appointments, VCG guarantees that you will be able to speak with someone within 2 hours for medical services. While most of the time the wait is much shorter (around 16 minutes), you should be prepared for the possibility of having to wait if you are trying to schedule right away.
While VCG does offer psychiatric services, Grinnell College does not cover them. We suggest you work with SHAW to schedule a telepsych appointment with our University of Iowa partner. If you do choose to use this service through VCG, you will be required to enter your credit card and be charged around $215 (initial) or $100. If you are interested in paying for VCG psychiatry, please call 866-533-1827.
Questions or concerns
VCG partners with many colleges and each has its own contract. You should know that as a Grinnell College student, you should not need to enter a credit card or insurance card for any of the basic services. This includes mental health counseling and physical health visits. If you have any questions or run into any problems, VCG and SHAW are here to help. We recommend contacting VCG directly. However, you can always let SHAW know about your experience.
SHAW works with a variety of other departments on campus to help students succeed while at Grinnell College.
Students may benefit from requesting accommodations. If a student needs support or accommodations for longer than a week, they are generally referred to this department as they are the experts at what is and isn't available for students. They regularly work with faculty, dining, housing, and more. Students do not have to meet with SHAW to obtain accommodations and can go directly to this department. However, they do have the option of signing a release to allow the two departments to work together.
SHAW knows that health can directly impact academics. Students who work with SHAW may also benefit from working with someone in Academic Affairs who work with students on nearly any academic concern. Support they proved can include study skills and time management, peer tutoring, support for managing academics while dealing with a personal challenge, clarify understanding of academic policy, or apply for a leave of absence.
SHAW and the athletic trainers have a unique relationship. Athletes sign a release that allows the two departments to discuss and work together on health concerns.
Note: These two options bill as doctor’s office visits to health insurance companies.