Patient care in the university setting is indelibly connected to college health care providers. College health care providers adapt to a specific set of circumstances unique to the university context in their patient care roles. The authors therefore sought to investigate the patient care phenomenon from college health care providers’ lived experiences. The patient care phenomenon was explored via in-depth interviews with 11 college health care providers at universities in the Midwest and Northeast regions of the United States. The phenomenological theoretical framework of the study revealed five themes of patient care during data analysis: health education, behavioral health, student advocacy, relationship management, and reputation management. The authors designate the multi-dimensional nature of the patient care phenomenon “student-centered care” and consider practical implications for other providers who treat young university-age patients.


Patient Care, Higher Education, Phenomenology, Health Care Provider

Author Bio(s)

Cheryl Ann Lambert is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the Kent State University College of Communication and Information, Kent, Ohio. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: clambe17@kent.edu.

Julie Donovan holds a master’s degree in Public Relations from the Boston University College of Communication, Boston, Massachusetts.

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