Sexuality Assessment

  1. OK, I realize that it is important to gather as much important information as you can for your assessment, and that sexual satisfaction is an important part of mental health, but I am having a difficult time assessing this with my patients. I feel that I am quite comfortable with my own sexuality, but I just don't know how to ask my patients their level of sexual satisfaction, especially when they are in for a knee replacement or something that seems totally unrelated to sexual functioning.

    How can I get this information without having my patients think I am nuts?
    Shannon
    Student Nurse
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   canoehead
    Ask "do you have any questions related to your sex life that you'd like answered while you are here?" Then work on whatever the patient brings up.

    Give post op/post illness sexual teaching as part of the list of things you need to cover- when they can start, and what care needs to be taken because of their illness.

    For those skittish folks acknowledge that lots of people don't like talking about sex but you are willing to answer whatever questions they have, or find out for them. They may say "no questions" at the time, but come up with something for you later. If you are a student just explain that some of these questions are part of your required assessment. Ask if they have any issues you haven't covered when you're done.

    Don't be embarassed. You won't get any useful information if you look nervous. Probably the other students have the same concerns, can you practice asking each other questions, and come up with the most outlandish answers you can. Anyone that giggles has to become the questioner until someone else breaks.

    This all becomes much easier with age, and after your OB rotation.
  4. by   Daytonite
    Shannon. . .in your other thread, "Gordon's DYS-functional health patterns..." I posted links to two websites that have questions you should ask patients with regard to Gordon's 11 Functional Pattern, one of which is sexuality. While they don't give you specific words to use, part of being a student is spending some thinking time coming up with tactful ways to elicit this information from patients.
  5. by   jov
    Quote from su_z1010
    I just don't know how to ask my patients their level of sexual satisfaction, especially when they are in for a knee replacement or something that seems totally unrelated to sexual functioning.
    now, this is just my opinion, but it seems to me that your nursing assessment should be tailored to each situation. Of course, in nursing school you have to "fill in the blanks" but in real life, I wouldn't ask a knee replacement patient about his/her level of sexual satisfaction, unless it were to make an offhand (read: exploratory here) remark about rehabbing back into "everything you did beforehand, including an active sex life." I don't see how it pertains, just as I wouldn't ask a patient being seen for erectile dysfunction how his knees were. Personally if I were a patient with a knee replacement and a nurse asked me about my sex life....that might warrant a little chat with the head nurse or complaint to my doc...

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