#WeStNs - Wednesday 10th March 2021 8pm (GMT Standard Time) How to talk to patients about sex as a student nurse?

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Hosted by WeStudentNurse using #WeStNs

This chat is guest hosted by @lucy_uo

Sex and sexual health can be a difficult subject to talkabout with patients, yet as health professionals who frequently engage with,and tend to have close relationships with patients, it is something we need tobe able to discuss.

Sexual health is one of the areas of improvement in the‘All Our Health’ framework which health professionals should be focussing on,as well as screening for (which includes cervical screening). Expressingsexuality is one of the 12 Activities of Daily Living (Roper, Logan andTierney, 1980). As part of our role of Making Every Contact Count (PHE, 2016)to improve public health it is something we should be discussing at everypossibility.

During a day based around sexual health on the@WeStudentNurse account several student participants said that they had littlecourse content on sexual health, and that often what was there was physiologybased. This is backed-up by a literature review by Pascale Blakey and Aveyard(2017).

This tweetchat will discuss experiences of speaking aboutsex and sexual health and how to talk to patients.


Focussed themes include:

  1. Whatdo you think are the advantages and disadvantages of broaching sexual healthrelated topics with patients?
  2. Howconfident do you feel about broaching sex related topics with patients?
  3. Howdo you think you can gain confident in speaking about sexual health?
  4. Whatexperiences have you had of discussing sexual health with patients?

  1. Whattips do you have when it comes to discussing sexual health with patients?
  2. TheEx-PLISSIT model of intervention (David and Taylor, 2006) suggests opening thechance for conversation by asking simple questions related to sex, for exampleabout relationship status. What topics do you think show openness to talk aboutsexuality?

Further Reading:

BatesJ (2011) Broaching sexual health issues with patients. Nursing Times; 107 (48),20-22

E-Learningfor Health (2019) All Our Health. Available at https://portal.e-lfh.org.uk/Catalogue/Index?HierarchyId=0_41737_42670&programmeId=41737(Accessed 15/2/21)

PascaleBlakey, E and Aveyard, H (2017) Student Nurses Competence in Sexual HealthCare: A Literature Review. British Journal of Nursing. 26 (23-24) pp3906-3916

PHE(2020) Population Screening: Applying All Our Health. Available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/population-screening-applying-all-our-health/population-screening-applying-all-our-health(Accessed 15/2/21)

PHE(2019) Sexual and Reproductive Health: Applying All Our Health. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-hiv-applying-all-our-health/sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-hiv-applying-all-our-health#taking-action(Accessed 15/2/21)

PHE(2016) Making Every Contact Count (MECC): Consensus Statement. Available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/making-every-contact-count-mecc-practical-resources(Accessed 15/2/21)

RCN(2020) Sexual Health. Available at https://www.rcn.org.uk/clinical-topics/public-health/sexual-health(Accessed 15/2/21)

Stonehouse D.P (2017) A Support Worker’s Guide to Models ofLiving and Nursing. British Journal ofHealthcare Assistants, 11 (9) , pp. 454-457. Avaliable at http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/46572/ (Accessed 15/2/21)

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