Students with urgent medical needs will be seen on a first-come, first-serve basis, based on the nature of the concern during business hours. Please notify the receptionist of your concern when you arrive.
If the Colonial Health Center (CHC) is closed and you need emergency care or have a life-threatening condition there are different ways to find support:
- For after hours medical advice, call 202-994-5300 and press option 1 to speak with the after hours clinician.
- If you are on-campus, please contact the George Washington University (GW) Police Department at 202-994-6111 to coordinate transportation to the nearest emergency room.
- If you are off-campus, report to the nearest emergency room. The GW Hospital Emergency Room is located on at 900 23rd Street, NW. You should have a friend drive you, call a cab, or call 9-1-1 for an ambulance.
Always take your insurance information with you. Students are responsible for all charges incurred at the CHC and at any offsite medical facility, including the GW Hospital.
Students in crisis can call 202-994-5300 and press option 2 to speak to a counselor on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Colonial Health Center also offers walk-in hours to meet in person with a counselor for crisis intervention:
Monday - Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Mount Vernon Campus
Monday - Friday: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
In crisis situations, you are not required to schedule an appointment, simply come in during business hours and ask to speak with a counselor.
For after hours mental health support, call 202-994-5300 and press option 2 to speak to a counselor on call.
Signs of a Medical Emergency
How do you decide when a medical condition rises to the level of a medical "emergency?" The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) offers a list of warning signs that indicate a medical emergency:
- Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
- Chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure
- Fainting, sudden dizziness, weakness
- Changes in vision
- Confusion or changes in mental status
- Any sudden or severe pain
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
- Coughing or vomiting blood
- Suicidal feelings
- Difficulty speaking
- Shortness of breath
- Unusual abdominal pain
If you experience any of these symptoms and live on campus, please contact the GW Police Department at 202-994-6111 to coordinate transportation to the emergency room.
If you live off-campus, immediately report to the nearest emergency room. You should have a friend drive you, call a cab, or call 9-1-1 for an ambulance.
Emergency departments see patients based on the severity of their illnesses or injuries, not on a first-come, first-serve basis. With that in mind, ACEP offers tips to patients when they come to an emergency department in order to get the best possible care as quickly as possible:
- Bring a list of medications and allergies: What's the name of the medication you are taking? How often do you take it and for how long? A list of allergies is important, especially if there are many of them. Be sure to include medications, foods, insects, or any other product that may cause an allergic reaction. Bring a medical history form with you.
- Know your immunizations: This will likely be a long list for children; mainly Tetanus, flu, and Hepatitis B for adults.