This article by the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists and The My Body Back Project provides tips for healthcare professionals to make cervical cancer screening attendees feel as comfortable as possible during their appointments. Cervical screening can be very daunting for some women, and for those who have experienced sexual violence it can be triggering and cause emotional distress. The article provides the following tips, with more detailed guidance:
- Communication – language and listening - build trust by listening and acknowledging rather than downplaying any concerns.
- A sense of calm – how can you can make the environment feel calm and safe?
- Share control – Consider how you can demonstrate shared control within the consultation and examination.
- Position – a good position can make all the difference to their comfort and your ability to visualise the cervix.
- It’s about time…. Offer a double appointment so there is time to check in, build trust and for the woman or person with a cervix to feel ready to be examined.
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