4 Module 2 – Part 1, Gynecological Exam: Introduction and Objectives
Some aspects of this course include descriptions, depictions and illustrations of genitalia and gynecology related physiology and pathology. Some of the content included may be distressing to some. Please use discretion when accessing this content.
After completing the gynecological history, a physical examination with a focus on the genitourinary (GU) system might be required. There are several considerations to make note of when completing this aspect of the assessment. Communication, comfort and competence are three aspects that must be addressed each time you approach the patient. In regard to communication, letting the patient know what you will be doing, which physical exam maneuvers you will be completing and the purpose of the exam are important first steps. This can be followed by confirming the patients preferred pronouns if this hasn’t yet been determined. Equally important is asking the patient about their prior experience with gynecology exams. Asking the patient if they’ve had any prior concerns or difficulties will help you facilitate an optimal examination for your patient.
Ensuring privacy will be maintained is also an important aspect of ensuring comfort for the patient. Pay attention to the set-up of the room. Ensure proper position of the examination table to promote patient and clinician comfort and put safeguards in place to ensure the examination is not interrupted. Some clinics offer an “exam in progress” sign to place on the outside of the door to alert others not to enter.
Within the learning activities, there are several contemplation points included to help you develop excellent practice in your gynecological examination abilities. Module 2 Part 2 will provide you with information regarding competence in gynecology examination as well as an overview of sampling that is associated with gynecological assessment.
By the end of this module learners will be able to:
- Perform a focused physical examination of the patients reproductive system
- Demonstrate cultural sensitivity and safety with regard to completing gynecological physical examination
- Discuss the unique needs of two spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and transgender (2SLGBTQI+) individuals when completing a gynecological physical examination
- Describe the importance of completing a thorough gynecological examination