Cervical cancer is one of the commonest forms of cancer that affects the reproductive organs, mainly the cervix of a woman. More than 4000 women die every year in the United States due to cervical cancer. When we think that cervical cancer is one of the cancers that are curable completely, this comes as a surprise. Most cervical cancer is detected in the advanced stages due to lack of symptoms.
Now you must have already started wondering where the nurse fits in, in the prevention of cervical cancer. If you give it a thought, you will know that it is the nurse who does all the testing and administration of vaccination for cervical cancer. Much depends on the efficiency and expertise of the nurse as lab testing too is done by a registered nurse who has a certification in the procedure. A good nurse will be able to guide the patient in all the procedures and help her get the maximum protection from cervical cancer.
Pap Tests Done By A Nurse
When it comes to Pap tests, the doctor’s part is minimal as he/ she is only the advisor and not the executer. The testing procedure is undertaken by the nurse and hence he/she has to be very well versed with the procedure than the doctor in being able to remove the cervical tissues without causing much discomfort to the patient.
The nurse inserts a speculum inside the vagina and scraps off the tissues using a swab. An experienced nurse will help the patient relax and take deep breaths before the procedure. He/she must also be familiar with the procedure so as not to hurt the patient or cause damage to the cervical lining while doing the procedure.
The samples are sealed and sent to the testing lab where another nurse will do the testing. Lab testing requires patience and knowledge in order to give the correct diagnosis. Any inexperience in the part of the nurse will lead to wrong diagnosis and put the patient’s life in jeopardy.
Cervical Cancer Vaccination
Again, the doctor can only advise you in getting vaccinated. The rest of the onus falls on the nurse in administering the vaccination efficiently without causing complications to the patient. HPV vaccines are very painful and the nurse must tell the patient about it beforehand in order to avoid a surprise and non cooperation from the patient.
The responsibility of making the patient know what she is getting into and preparing her for the subsequent shots lie solely on the nurse. He/she will also advise the patient about natural ways by which the pain can be controlled like a cold or hot compress and taking OTC drugs.
It is also the responsibility of the nurse to check the expiry date of the vaccine before administering it and check if the patient is allergic to medications or is in proper health to take the vaccine. The nurse should also let her know the date of the next shot and dutifully enter it in the patient’s file to help the patient remember the date and keep the appointment.