The student-run community news site of Vermont State University - Johnson

Basement Medicine

The student-run community news site of Vermont State University - Johnson

Basement Medicine

The student-run community news site of Vermont State University - Johnson

Basement Medicine

Meet campus nurse Andy Chase

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Sage As8bakw Selec
Andy Chase, RN.

In 2022, Northern Vermont University merged with Castleton University and Vermont Tech to become Vermont State University (VTSU). Out of that comes a positive change for the Johnson campus, the hiring of an on-site nurse to help care for the student’s medical needs.

The position has been filled by Andrew “Andy” Chase, RN. He comes to us with seven years of experience under his belt. With a desire to do good, he is is looking to make a huge impact on the Johnson campus.

Chase is an alumnus from Vermont Technical College, in Randolph. He attended Castleton University after graduating high school and was “feeling a tad aimless in life.” He decided to become a nurse partially because his family has been involved in the field, and ended up going to Vermont Tech where he received his Bachelor’s degree.

Chase is open about his own struggles as someone who takes anti-depressants, as someone with dyslexia, and as a person with a family history of substance abuse. Due to his own personal issues and his desire to help others, he wants people to not feel ashamed or alone.

“It shouldn’t be as stigmatized as it is … I’m hoping one person at a time, one step at a time, maybe one day we’ll all know that it’s fine,” Chase said. “I want to be able to provide even a little bit of health care knowledge so someone can really make a better and more informed approach for themselves.”

In his role, Chase can help guide students in navigating the health care system. He would like to provide a more open space for discussion and education regarding health care. Most importantly, he wants to be approachable and personal.

With Vermont State University still fine-tuning his position, Chase has already started to come up with ideas for improvements. One of the more notable aspects of Chase becoming a college nurse is that he hasn’t really been in a managerial position. Since he previously worked in busy hospitals with a lot of staff, he finds the freedom to implement more personal and specific changes to our system to be “exciting.”

Currently, he is able to provide what he calls “triage” to the campus community. He cannot formally diagnose a student with a medical issue, but he can begin to help students by guiding them towards proper treatment. He can provide first aid, CPR, pregnancy and urine tests, blood sugar tests, and general health care education. It is also worth mentioning that he can provide education regarding health insurance terminology.

If a serious and immediate medical concern arises, he would direct that person to the Emergency Room, at Copley Hospital in Morrisville. Technically, he can refer a person to a doctor, but since he currently does not work with one, he said he would rather encourage people go to a doctor immediately if he cannot provide the service. He does, however, have plans to eventually work in partnership with a doctor, making such referrals possible.

Chase stated that his help is not strictly for students. His services are completely free to everyone on the Johnson campus — students, faculty, and staff. His current goals include opening up a vaccine clinic, providing CPR training, and setting up an anonymous wellness forum.

Chase has already led a sex education seminar on campus, where students were able to submit questions for him to answer without feeling embarrassed. He said he is open to learning about minority groups, such as the LGBTQ+ community, and focuses on inclusivity and learning how to be more accommodating.

“Nothing is embarrassing,” Chase said. “I just want to make a place where people are comfortable to ask any question, and even if it sounds funny…We’ll have a laugh about it and then we’ll answer it in a way that makes sense for them.”

Chase is on campus on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Wellness Center, on the second floor of Martinetti Hall. He has expressed openly that he is completely fine with people approaching him to talk even outside of the office. While he currently does not have a phone number set up, you can reach him at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Sage As8bakw Selec, Staff Writer, Art Director
Sage "As8bakw" Selec (they/them) is an Indigenous and Bosnian artist and writer. They pride themselves on being critically honest and being passionate about their endeavors. They are currently living in Vermont, have a cat named Jiji, and enjoying being broke.