Undressing for Group Sports Physical

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    Hello everyone. I've been nursing for nearly a year now. I mostly work assisting two doctors giving sports physicals to college students here in Calif. I would love to hear from other nurses experienced in assisting giving group sports physicals.
    The way the doctors I work with conduct the physicals, is to have the athlete to completely undress in the locker room then come to the gym where the physical exam setup is. The reason for this we're told is that it would be unsanitary to have the guys remove their underwear/boxers and lay them on the ground or on something. Us 7 nurses have to then take all the vitals info with about 150 athletes nude. I thought the standard procedure was to have the athletes in their underwear/boxers while taking vitals, then when the doc does the hernia & skin check for them to come off. This way of doing things seem more like a military physical than a college sports physical. A few of the young nurses are overwhelmed by this and the guys tell us they feel humiliated at this set up. Especially since they're already nude, the doctors don't use partitions or drapes for privacy when doing the hernia test and skin check.
    I know I can't tell the doctors how to run their show, so I'm asking for advice I can give to the young nurses who feel a bit uneasy with this. Also can you tell me something I can tell the guys to help them with feeling uncomfortable during this embarassing time for them? Thank you all very much.

    God Bless Nurses
    Sheppard
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  3. 9 Comments so far...

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    umm well even in the military we got to wear our underwear. That doesn't seem right. They shouldn't have to be humiliated in order to get a physical. I know I wouldn't feel comfortable in a situation like that. Sorry I don't really have any advice though.
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    I would not shed my underwear publicly, period. Like said above, even for our military exams, we wore our bras and underpants. The pap's were done in a separate room, with a doctor and chaperone, only.
  6. 0
    I realize I am still a student, but I can say with absolute certainty that I would NOT work in that setting.

    As other posters have already pointed out, this has NOTHING to do with military physicals.

    I have played sports at both the high school and college level, and I have never experienced or even HEARD of anything like this.

    College-age males will be the last to ever admit that they're uncomfortable with something, but this just seems so wrong. Heaven forbid any of them should have something they'd like to discuss with the doc.

    Also, as a parent, if my college student reported to me that this was the way physicals were being conducted, 1) my son/daughter would have their physical done by our physician, at our expense and 2) I would be raising this issue with the team coach, athletic director, and school administration. :angryfire
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    i am totally with mlos.... these poor fellows must be humiliated. i would definitely pursue this to the higher ups. this is not being treated with dignity.

    leslie
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    Why would HIPAA not apply in this situation? HUGGGGEEEE invasion of privacy, and potential lawsuit waiting to happen.
  9. 0
    Quote from IMustBeCrazy
    Why would HIPAA not apply in this situation? HUGGGGEEEE invasion of privacy, and potential lawsuit waiting to happen.
    EXCELLENT point crazy woman!!!
  10. 0
    Never heard of this. Even in the military we wore underwear...except when 7-8 of us were in the shower. Course we had soap on a rope! :chuckle
  11. 0
    Gimme a break! Do any of you really believe Sheppard’s story? To wit, beware of posters (read trolls) that have only a hand full of posts. In this case, this is Sheppard’s first post…...and probably his (not her) last.
  12. 0
    Even the Army physical is 1:1 with the MD and possibly a nurse. Patients were seen in groups but each behind a curtain. And yes I believe this person, I have seen even worse situations.


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