Husbands or S/O's at routine exam - page 4

Wondering what your experiences or facilities policies are about husbands or significant others attending their partners routine gyn exams? I know it is fairly common for the husband to attend some... Read More

  1. by   txspadequeenRN
    i will never forget once when i was a gyn nurse we had this couple come to the office and the lady was there for her annual pap. the doctor had gone in before me and we the nurses carried these little buzzers in our pockets so when the doc was ready he just buzzed us instead of running out the room looking for the nurse. i got held up by a sick patient but did get in the room rather quickly and boy oh boy let me tell you.....the patient has naked as a jay bird, legs in the stirups butt hangin off the table, the doc was standing up and the husband was sitting in the chair getting a gyn lesson while holding the speculum .i kinda laughed and said .... "oh my what are we doing here" the wife said "well he never has seen the inside of a vagina and wanted to see all my innards" okie dokie then...

  2. by   CrunchRN
    Hi Walker,

    I do see that i was very unclear so please let me clarify. In offices I have worked it has always been totally up to the patient. If she wants the SO there then fine, and if not then they stay in the waiting room.

    The majority would step out of the room after the meet and greet with the doctor because they were uncomfortable being there during the exam.

    However, plenty of times they would stay and hold hands, or if they wanted view the exam. As long as it was ok with the woman it was fine. We just appreciated them letting us know if they wanted to be at the foot of the table so we could arrange them so that they did not impede us.

    It was never a problem, and we never had anyone who was wildly inappropriate. In fact it was kind of fun to explain things and see their amazement. My preference was to have them up against a wall or cabinet though because if my hands were full and they started to get that pale look I could just have them slide down the wall and put their head in their lap.

    It is totally reasonable to have your SO with you. As long as you explain to the provider that you want this then it should be accepted and fine.

    If they won't accomodate you I would really have to wonder about the provider and whether they were ideal for my care. I am not saying they might not be mildly surprised, but they should be more than willing to accomodate your wishes.

    All the best to you.
  3. by   mercyteapot
    I have no idea what the policy is at my ob/gyn, but my personal policy is no thank you. I realize it's nothing he hasn't seen before and all that, but some things are just not meant for sharing.
  4. by   CHATSDALE
    a lot of people work and really cannot readily take off everytime when partnet goes to md some use it as an excuse not to go

    my dtr ALWAYS goes with her husband..i don't believe that he has ever gone with her

    i have very rarely had anyone go to md with me...when i had a lumpectomy and f/u lymp node the surgeon always said i sould have smeone there
    they came to hospital when i had the procedures but not to md office
    i think that he thought that short people couldn't be trusted to take care of themselves
    if i had to have anything further done i will do it myself rather than go back to him
  5. by   walker shaw
    KellNY - again, THANKS for the words of encouragement - not only are you a breath of fresh air, but almost like a cheerleader - your input and supporting encouragement are much appreciated - "curious what my cervix looks like. He'd like to watch you perform the pap." LOL - Having previously been present during my prior exams, my DH would simply like to stand next to my doctors nurse to watch the pap - actually "seeing" my cervix sounds like DH is asking for a medical course (LOL) - He'd love to, but probably won't ask!

    Txspadequeen921 - Wow, talk about a cool, relaxed and personable doctor you worked for! My doctor has a lighswitch on the wall and when he's ready for the pap, he walks over the flips the switch - don't know if his nurse gets a page or if a light comes on outside the room or at her desk or what, but she's usually there in a few minutes - My DH isn't asking for that level of instruction, but we'd both be fine with it - DH would simply like to observe my exam, from my doctor's perspective - my DH would probably really appreciate it if my doctor explained step by step what he was doing, but neither DH or I expect my doctor to do so - it's enough if DH can simply observe

    CrunchRN - I can't thank you enough for stepping back in and posting your clarifying information - I really appreciate it, especially since you used to work in a gyn office and have first hand experience with this - You leave me with the definite impression that it was definitely not a big deal if a partner not only stayed for the patient's exam, but it still wasn't a big deal if the partner asked to watch - and that you or your doctor actually explained the exam - Wow, what wonderful patient treatment - I know that I and DH would really appreciate that response to DH asking to watch the exam, so I'm sure that your patients/partners must have appreciated your gyn office's willingness/openness also - Way to go!

    As someone pointed out earlier, yes, it's a vagina, but it's also simply a body part - I suppose??? that doctors simply view it as another body part, just as an arm or leg is, but that's hard for me to imagine - It's encouraging to hear that DH might not be the first person to ask to view an exam from the doctors vantage point - while my doctor has never had any problem with DH remaining in the room during the exam, DH has never asked to "watch" the exam, and that creates the fear of the "unknown" response from the doctor
  6. by   stillpressingon
    Quote from santhony44
    I don't see any problem with a 12 year old daughter. I did, however, just this week have to draw the line at a 4 year old male child!
    I wouldn't have a problem with a 4 yo male but there are times when mom comes in with older male children. Easy solution: I either pull the curtain or have the kid(s) stand by mom's head. Not usually a problem.
  7. by   stillpressingon
    I'm at an urgent care clinic and most times a woman comes in with somebody, whether bf, dh, whomever. All docs but 1 have always allowed the person to stay in the room. The one time one of the docs didn't, I think the woman's husband had requested not to be in once the vag exam started.
  8. by   elizabeth321
    Quote from KellNY
    [evil]I'm going to be a radical voice here [/evil] IMO, The partner's "place" should not be regulated to the 'top of the bed', it should be wherever he (or she) and the woman are comfortable with--as long as it does not impede the practitioners work or harm anyone. Yes, that includes by the foot of the bed, getting a birds eye view of the cervix during a speculum exam. (refer to above underlined disclaimer)

    Oh yeah, I'm all types of crazy with my wacky hippie talk.

    And what did you mean by "...a fight or issue which so many are willing to create"?

    If people want to stay in the room...I am making the assumption it is to support the patient or comfort them....they will do so from the head of the bed. The doctor and I have a job to do....I don't need anyone standing in my way.

    That will not change. If the husband, 4 year old child, father in law etc wants to view the vagina/cervix that won't be happening while I am the nurse in the room.

  9. by   4nomark
    If people want to stay in the room...I am making the assumption it is to support the patient or comfort them....they will do so from the head of the bed. The doctor and I have a job to do....I don't need anyone standing in my way.

    That will not change. If the husband, 4 year old child, father in law etc wants to view the vagina/cervix that won't be happening while I am the nurse in the room.


    In that case I would insist that you NOT be the Nurse in the room. Yes, I'm there to provide support and encouragement to my wife but our relationship takes no back seat to your opinion of where I may stand as long as I'm not in your way. I've been present at my wife's exam's and never had I problem being at the rear of the bed off to the side of the Doctor and Nurse. The Doc even explained what and why she was doing what she was doing and asked if I had any questions. My wife and I decided prior to the Doc coming in the room that if there were questions she didn't want me to hear the answer to just wink at me or tell me to leave for a minute. I believe there are some situations where a teenaged son or other male family member may make ME uncomfortable with their presence but I understand that's my personal sense of what is appropriate and the PT may have a different perspective.
  10. by   KellNY
    Quote from elizabeth321
    If people want to stay in the room...I am making the assumption it is to support the patient or comfort them....they will do so from the head of the bed. The doctor and I have a job to do....I don't need anyone standing in my way.

    That will not change. If the husband, 4 year old child, father in law etc wants to view the vagina/cervix that won't be happening while I am the nurse in the room.

    That's really not your call to make. I specifically had the disclaimer that this was contingent upon the support person not getting in the way of the MD/CNM/NP/PA/RN/LPN/MA or other health care personel. Now, if there is an issue with space, and there is literally no room for a support person tpo be at the foot of the bed, then that is completely understandable.

    But there's no reason why someone couldn't stand behind the doctor and take a look, or why immediately before or after a pap (for example) was obtained, the support person couldn't take a look. We're talking about a routine exam, and such a situation wouldn't take more than 10 seconds. So, really, no reason to not allow this.

    And, no, "...that won't be happening while I am the nurse in the room" is not a reason, it seems more like a control issue, and not really your decision to make. Sorry, but it's really not. If it makes (general) you uncomfortable, that's your issue that you need to work on.

    No one here is advocating having a group of people sitting at the foot of the bed, stadium style seating, munching popcorn and asking medical personel to compromise their standard of care here. So please, lets not use examples that are not relevant to the conversation (fathers in law??) and stick to the topic.
  11. by   Spidey's mom
    I agree that it is up to the woman - not the nurse.

    But if the doc or the nurse is not comfortable with this kind of openness, then they have the right too. Just as long as this is stated up front so the woman can choose a different doc.

    Open disclosure is a good idea - prior to being put up in stirrups though.

  12. by   walker shaw
    I can't really think of any real reason why a doctor or nurse would be uncomfortable with a patient's DH/SO observing, other than perhaps the doctor is afraid that they are being set up for a malpractice claim - Also, I don't believe that it should be the nurses call on where the DH/SO stands - if the doctor is OK with the DH/SO observing from the foot end of the table, that should be sufficient.

    Also, again to clarify, my original question was asked regarding ROUTINE exams, and it was further clarified, (as have other's done above) that space is NOT an issue in the room - ie: there would be sufficient space

    I have to fully agree with 4noMark and KellNY in their comments - It's not the nurses decision, but rather the doctor's decision - thankfully, my doctor has never had a problem w/ my DH's presence in the room - this year though, DH wants to observe the "business end of things," but he won't be in the way, so I asked the question to get a feeling for whether such a request would be unusual or abnormal, or perhaps even viewed as DH being a pervert - and it now seems perfectly acceptable for us to ask for DH to observe at the foot end - summoning up the courage to ask the question may be another obstacle to overcome however!
  13. by   elizabeth321
    It isn't entirely up to the doctor....I have a job to do as well. No doctor that I work with in any area of my practise dictates how things will be done...esp during a gyne exam....I am the one that sets up, supports during and finishes up in the room long after the doctor leaves. I also had him swabs, makes sure equipment is accessible etc. This is in the er but often they are routine exams....

    Is it ok if I share my opinion or do I have to agree with everyone else to be given that priviledge?