Share your Rx - Join the Podcast Revolution!
Hey! I see you out there, being awesome at the hard work you do. Interested in sharing your wisdom? Be part of an effort to improve effective patient communication on a podcast just for Sexual and Reproductive Health professionals called Share Your Rx. With your help, we can expand the scope of resources and the diversity of perspectives available to new professionals who want to empower their patients.
POV: You are a new nurse or clinician - your stethoscope is shiny, your scrubs are still antimicrobial. Your coffee is churning in your stomach alongside that wholesome breakfast you woke up early to eat… or is that nerves? You are finally here to do the work you’ve been dreaming of doing since you first sat in one of those windowless nursing school classrooms. Patient care! You have a notebook with all the evidence-based protocols and differential diagnoses burning a hole in your pocket. You reviewed IM injection sites 3 times on the bus ride to work and can recite postpartum hemorrhage medications (and contraindications!) in your sleep. You are here to advocate alongside your patients and affect change in a broken system, one human interaction at a time.
You step into the room with a patient, who asks you a question you aren’t sure how to answer in a straightforward, but comprehensive way. You fumble an explanation while your heart pounds in your ears. How is it that you were given mountains of resources for EXACTLY how or when or where to [insert common sexual/reproductive health topic here… diagnose pre-eclampsia, perform a pap smear, treat chlamydia, manage an induction, etc. etc.], but NOT for how to TALK ABOUT IT with the patient?
Speaking with patients is a majority of what we do… but this is not a major focus of our training. Typically, our clinical preceptors are the only models we have for scripts to counsel patients on common SRH topics.
Another scenario: You are a student, standing behind your preceptor, observing while they run a visit. You watch the patient’s face. The patient appears uncomfortable as they answer the social/sexual history questions. You also feel uncomfortable… it seems moderately unethical to be privy to a patient’s personal, sensitive concerns, simply for the benefit of your education. “Well, you should get an IUD If you don’t want to have another pregnancy mistake” you hear your preceptor stating as they glance at their watch. “You are too young to be pregnant AGAIN. It’s an easy procedure - you’ll be fine.” Alarm bells go off in your head. Alert! Alert! Does the patient feel as dismissed and shamed as you would, hearing those words? Is your preceptor going to talk about the side effects of an IUD? Or the risks and benefits of an insertion? “Go ahead and get undressed - my student and I will be back in to place the IUD in a minute.” It appears not! You follow your preceptor out of the exam room. “Phew! We are running so behind!” Your preceptor exclaims, gathering up supplies. “See one, do one, teach one… you can take the next IUD.”
The reality is - good, quick scripts for counseling patients with evidence-based, empowering, anti-bias language are HARD TO COME BY. And while we can use a variety of resources to look up clinical algorithms, there are not a lot of examples for how to communicate with patients WELL.
If you’re nodding along as you read this, or flashing back to some specific moments where you were the student or new provider (or preceptor) (or patient) in these little vignettes, I’m with you! As a newish nurse midwife, I have stood in all of these disagreeable shoes.
In order to expand our collective resource bucket and help fill this gap in training, I am compiling scripts for a sexual/reproductive health podcast called Share Your Rx. The podcast offers examples of scripts for health professionals that are sex-positive, anti-bias, trauma-sensitive, and realistic for the settings we work in. I’d love for you to listen, but even more, I'd love to include YOUR words!
Is there a sexual/reproductive health issue that is near and dear to your heart? Maybe you have a great way to explain something that is comprehensive but not condescending. Or you are awesome at distilling challenging information into the 7 minutes we have in an exam room. Or perhaps you have suggestions based on your own preferences/experiences? Please share them with us! You can fill out the survey link below or message me at [email protected].
Due to the nature of our hetero- and cis-centric, white supremacist, ableist, and capitalist systems of oppression, there are deep disparities in who holds power in health care education. I intend for this podcast to serve as a mechanism for uplifting voices/perspectives of BIPOC, queer, nonbinary, trans folks, and people who speak a language other than English. By creating a reservoir of script examples shaped by SRH professionals who care about communicating compassionately, we can improve the experiences of new providers and patients alike. It’s very easy and low-pressure to participate.
Fill out this 2-minute form to get started & feel free to share this with your networks.