Nurses schooled in delicate procedure
Saturday, 5th November, 2011
By Emily Roberts
Nurses this week underwent training to learn how to screen women for cancer.
Family Planning NSW Nurse Education Co-ordinator, Catherine McGowen, and colleague Ann Hutching visited the city to teach ‘World Women’s Screening’ courses.
Mrs McGowen said eight nurses from four different practices and Maari Ma Health took part.
“It is better for the nurses and the practices if we can train them while in the area,” Mrs McGowen said.
She said the World Women Screening included pap tests and breast checks.
Ms McGowen said that women between the ages of 18 and 70 should have a pap screening every two years, and for those between 50 and 69 a breast screening every two years.
“Nurses are really good at looking after people. The reason we train nurses - it used to only be GPs - is it takes more time than a usual consult,” Mrs McGowen said.
“Nurses are good at breaking down barriers.”
Practice Nurse at the Nachiappan Surgery, Kathy Mitchell, said she found that women were often embarrassed about having a pap test and would avoid making an appointment.
“We are happy to have anyone for a pap test. Young women who don’t have a regular GP can come for a screening. It is open for anyone and you don’t have to see a GP.”
Ms McGowen also ran a contraception clinical update for doctors and nurses during the week.
She said the Cancer Institute provided partial funding for the training courses and liked to help country nurses and nurses who attend Aboriginal people.
Ms Mitchell said such face-to-face training was invaluable and the nurses who had taken part were “extremely lucky”.