Consultation and clinical assessment for advanced clinical practitioners in sexual health
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McPhillips, H. and Wood, A. (2022) 'Consultation and clinical assessment for advanced clinical practitioners in sexual health', British Journal of Nursing, 31(9), pp. 478-481.
Sexual health is a very important aspect of patient wellbeing, but it is a topic health professionals still find challenging within patient consultations. The incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) continues to rise highlighting the need for all advanced clinical practitioners (ACPs) to understand the principles of a sexual health consultation as they may have to support patients who present with a sexual health concern, not purely those in specialist clinics and roles. This article provides a comprehensive overview of key points to include as part of consultation and assessment within this area. Effective communication is a key skill for obtaining a thorough, clear history, allowing for more accurate differentials and a smoother patient journey. The environment and body language are two other considerations when undertaking a sexual health consultation. As with all histories, a systematic approach is essential and having a solid knowledge of the foundations of sexual health will enable the ACP to focus this history to obtain pertinent information.