Friday, September 22, 2023

Can A Nurse Practitioner Do A Pap Smear

Must read

Ontario Cervical Screening Program

Why do you need a pap smear?| As told by a Nurse Practitioner

The Ontario Cervical Screening Program is an organized screening program run by Cancer Care Ontario and the Government of Ontario. The programs goal is to reduce the risk of developing or dying from cervical cancer by increasing the percentage of women who get screened regularly and who have timely and appropriate follow-up of abnormal results. The program sends letters to Ontario women inviting them for Pap testing, advising them of next steps following a Pap test and reminding them when it is time to return for screening. The program supports doctors and nurse practitioners so they can provide the best possible cervical screening for their patients.

What You Can Expect After A Pap Test

Most women can resume your day to day activities immediately following the test if you have no physical strain or discomfort. However, you may need to take a few minutes to relax after the procedure before you go home if you experienced any pain. Scaping the cervix may cause a small amount of bleeding. For that reason, you may want to bring a sanitary pad for any spotting.

Alert your healthcare provider if you experience:

  • Bleeding
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Fever or chills

Pap test results typically take a few days to process. Your healthcare provider may give you other instructions after the procedure, based on your test.

You should remember that a Pap smear is a screening test, not atest. It cannot definitively determine if you have cervical cancer. But Pap smears can detect the majority of cervical cancers at a stage when they cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Increase Early Detection Reduce Risk

The best chance for preventing and treating cancer is early detection. Thats why its essential for women to have regular pelvic exams and Pap tests.

A womans primary care physician, internal medicine specialist, an obstetrician/gynecologist or another trained health professional, such as a physician assistant, nurse midwife or nurse practitioner, can perform the exam.

During the pelvic exam, the physician will check the health of the reproductive organs and may perform a Pap test . A Pap test is a way to examine cells collected from the cervix, or the opening of the womb , for the presence of infection, inflammation, abnormal cells, precancerous changes or cancer. This test offers a woman the best means of early detection.

You May Like: Colleges That Offer Associate’s Degree In Nursing

Get A Pap Smear Today

Because symptoms of cervical cancer can be mistaken for other common conditions, its crucial to get regular Pap smears to detect it as early as possible. It just might save your life.

Remind your mom, sisters, friends every woman in your life today! Our womens health team is standing by, ready to help you live a long, healthy life.

Youll Get Targeted And Trusted Referrals

What is a Pap smear (pap test)?

If your PCP does determine that you need to see a specialist, they can make sure you go to both the best and the right type of specialist. For example, you may actually need to see a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor rehabilitation, not a gynecologist. Your PCP will also make sure youre heading to a provider theyve worked with in the past and trust.

Recommended Reading: Do You Need A Doctorate To Be A Nurse Practitioner

We Want You To Meet Our Certified Nurse Midwives

Chapel Hill OBGYN is the only private practice in Chapel Hill that offers 24/7 doctor and midwife team coverage. Our certified nurse midwives offer safe, personalized care and support for you no matter what your stage in life, whether youre expecting your first child, having your first annual exam, or starting breastfeeding.

Contact us to schedule an appointment today and see the benefits of working with a health care team that includes certified nurse midwives.

Regularly Check For Breast Cancer

This is one of the most common cancers among women. Its also a leading cause of cancer deaths. In addition to a clinical breast exam, we suggest getting a mammogram on top of your regular self-exams.

How often you should get a mammogram depends upon your age and your overall risk. If you have any symptoms of breast cancer or changes in your breast, you should schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible, said Leigh Ann Joel, BSN, CNM.

Recommended Reading: Miami Dade Associates In Nursing

What Kind Of Doctor Is A Gynecologist

A gynecologist is a doctor who specializes in female reproductive health. They diagnose and treat issues related to the female reproductive tract. This includes the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries and breasts. Anyone with female organs may see a gynecologist.

Dont Skip Your Annual Exams

How to Perform a PAP Smear | FNP Education Series

We understand. Youre busy. Between work and home, you have a million things to do, and often, your annual appointment can fall by the wayside. However, please remember that health care screenings are an important part of your overall health.

Many uterine and cervical cancers are highly treatable when caught early, and thats one reason why we want to check-in with our patients at least once a year, or more if they are exhibiting troublesome symptoms, said Amy Dixon, CNW, MSN.

You May Like: University Of Virginia School Of Nursing

An Annual Exam: More Than Just A Pap Smear

For many years, Pap smears to check for cervical cancer brought women into health care clinics every single year. Now that recommendations have changed and not every woman needs a Pap smear yearly, women naturally have some confusion about the annual exam. Do I need to come in every year? The answer is Yes!

An annual exam can be performed by a doctor, a nurse practitioner, a physician assistant, or a nurse midwife.

So, dont skip that appointment. You are well worth the care that you will receive and that you give yourself in return.

What Doctor Do I See For A Physical And Pap Smear

Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

HealthTap doctors are based in the U.S., board certified, and available by text or video.

Similar questions

Also Check: Ucla Nurse Practitioner Program Requirements

Why Is A Pap Test Recommended

A Pap test, along with a pelvic exam, is an important part of a woman’s routine health care because it may detect abnormalities that can lead to invasive cancer. Most cancers of the cervix can be detected early if women have Pap tests and pelvic examinations regularly. As with many types of cancer, cancer of the cervix is more likely to be successfully treated if it is detected early.

The Pap test is useful for detecting not only cancerous cells, but also other cervical and vaginal abnormalities including dysplasia and inflammation. Inflammation may be caused by:

  • Yeast infections
  • Medications or other chemicals

Screening Letters Sent To The Public

Can You Get a Pap Smear on Your Period?

Cancer Care Ontario sends letters to eligible women ages 30 to 70 to book a Pap test through the Ontario Cervical Screening Program. We also send letters to women ages 21 to 70 to inform them of their test results and remind them when it is time to return for screening.

Letters Women May Receive

  • Invitation and recall reminder letters
  • Normal result letter

Read Also: How To Become A Nicu Nurse In Texas

New Formula Helps Screen For Ovarian Cancer

It’s an uncomfortable, invasive procedure, and ultimately, theres no data proving the exam has any value when done in women who are asymptomatic, says Dr. Jennifer Potter, director of the Women’s Health Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an associate professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School. Potter wrote in the journal article against annual pelvic exams.

While Potter says women should absolutely get cervical cancer screenings, or Pap smears, every three to five years, pelvic exams aren’t as useful. Though doctors assumed for years that the exam could help detect ovarian cancer in its early stages, she says studies show it doesnt work very well for that.

Related:7 health habits that can cut your heart risk in HALF

While the exam has much better odds of detecting uterine tumors, this type of cancer usually causes symptoms, Potter says, adding that the same goes for most sexually transmitted diseases.

Beyond the discomfort caused by the exam, there are more dangerous downsides, Potter says. For example, when doctors find something that feels amiss, women may get further diagnostics including surgeries they wouldn’t have had if not for the pelvic exam.

Benefits Of Nursing Practice And The Cervical Cancer Prevention Triad

More innovative and thoughtful approaches incorporating an in-depth understanding of womens cultures and communities are needed to decrease the incidence of cervical cancer in the United States. This understanding, in and of itself, is an essential aspect of nursing practice. Furthermore, health education, cultural competency, and collaboration of care are key areas of competency for NPs.21Collaboration of care emphasizes therapeutic partnerships that empower women with the information and agency to make informed decisions regarding their health.21

Considering the intimate nature of pelvic examinations, HCPs must provide psychosocial support and ample consultation time to establish a rapport with each patient and maximize her comfort level. In a 2010 study of cervical cancer screeningpractices of women in Appalachian West Virginia, Grube22 found the patientHCP relationship to be integral to a womans decision to pursue screening. Time dedicated to building a bond with a patient helps HCPs understand each womans unique circumstances and determine a realistic follow-up plan. Research indicates that patients who see an NP not only have longer consultations, but also benefit from the NPs distinctly applicable skill set to provide respectful, patient-centered care.8

You May Like: Misericordia University Nursing Program Reviews

Abnormal Test Results May Indicate The Cells Examined Are:

  • Atypical, but not necessarily cancerous
  • Precancerous
  • Cancerous

Patients who have abnormal results should undergoadditional testing for cervical cancer, including a colposcopy, so their doctor can further examine the cervix, vagina, and vulva and obtain additional samples for lab analysis.

It is important to note that the Pap smear is only used to screen for cervical cancer. It is not used to test for other gynecologic cancers such as ovarian, uterine, vaginal, or vulvar cancer.

Because cervical cancer develops slowly, regular Pap tests are important. Early detection of precancerous cells and treatment dramatically increases your chances of surviving cervical cancer. Protecting your health with a Pap test is advisable. You can also remind your family and friends they can prevent cervical cancer with regular Pap tests.

You can also lower your chances of getting cervical cancer by getting an HPV vaccine if you are 26 years old or younger. Most cases of cervical cancer are caused by a type of HPV that is passed from one person to another through genital contact. Typically, women never know they have HPV because it stays hidden.

If youve had cervical cancer, you need a different plan to check for cancer recurrence. Keep in mind, cervical cancer survival rates have increased tremendously in recent years, due to improvements in screening and treatment.

What Does A Gyno Check For

Cervical Cancer Screening | Pap Smears | Nurse Hlalis

Whatever your age, an annual GYN exam includes: A breast exam to check for lumps, skin changes, or nipple discharge. A pelvic exam to check your vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, rectum, and pelvis, including your ovaries, for masses, growths or other abnormalities. A Pap test to screen for cervical cancer.

Read Also: Accelerated Nursing Programs In Charlotte Nc

Misconception #: They Only Assist Pregnant Women

These professionals can provide care for women throughout their lives, starting at the first period, addressing the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, and preconception preparation. They can help women who are having problems with irregular periods and menopause symptoms.

They also offer extensive educational information related to health, including nutrition and exercise.

Where To Get Screened

Make an appointment with your doctor or nurse practitioner. If you do not have a doctor or nurse practitioner, you can register for Health Care Connect at 1-800-445-1822 or visit the Health Care Connect website.

Some public health units and community health centres also provide Pap tests. Women in the North West and Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant regions may be eligible for screening in one of our mobile screening coaches.

For information on healthcare services in your community, visit

You May Like: Nursing Schools Near Harrisburg Pa

Misconception #: A Doula Is The Same Thing As A Certified Nurse Midwife

No. This is another common misconception about the role.

Doulas have volunteer training, but they are not medical professionals. The role of doulas is primarily to provide physical and emotional support during the labor and delivery process, such as massage, partner support, and 1-on-1 time, but they do not monitor the health of the patient or baby.

Doulas are also not able to administer pain medicine or discuss medical decisions.

Pcps Know Womens Health

Having a smear test

Any primary care curriculum devotes a great deal of time to womens health. Why? Women represent more than half of the patients in doctors offices today. Regardless of the type of PCP you see, whether its an internist, family medicine doctor, or family nurse practitioner, theyve usually had considerable training in womens health. PCPs routinely address urinary tract infections, yeast infections, diagnose and treat sexually transmitted diseases, and help manage menstrual disorders. They also have expertise in fertility and birth control counseling, first trimester pregnancy complications, and perform IUD insertions and Pap tests.

You May Like: Carleen Nursing School Palm Bay

Does A Nurse Do A Papsmear Instead Of A Doctori Have Blue Advantage Insurancenever Had A Nurse Do A Papsmear On Me Only A Doctor Talked To Dr 1 Min

Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!

HealthTap doctors are based in the U.S., board certified, and available by text or video.

Understanding Barriers To Screening

As detailed in a white paper from the CDC, there are certain demographics of women who are statistically less likely to utilize screening services, particularly for breast cancer. Examples include, women from low income backgrounds, women with lower levels of education, women in rural areas with less physical access to health care and women of color. The organization therefore recommended that providers be cognizant of these barriers and alter their screening awareness strategies accordingly. For example, in the case of patient groups with low health literacy levels, FNPs are encouraged to deliver information about the importance of routine screening in a way that is comprehensive yet easily understandable. This may be achieved with the help of written materials, videos or other kinds of media.

In any case, all FNPs should deliver information to all female patients about the importance of cancer screening, covering in some detail why screening is important and when and how it will be conducted.

Read Also: Azusa Pacific University Nursing Requirements

Misconception #: Nurse Midwives Dont Need Extensive Education

Actually, they have comprehensive training and have to pass certification requirements to be able to practice in North Carolina. All midwifery programs involve graduate-level courses and extensive education.

Some programs require that you be an RN or have a bachelors degree in nursing before starting the program, while others require that you take an accelerated nursing course to earn a bachelors degree in nursing before commencing with the midwifery part of the degree.

Midwifery programs are generally three to four years long, and all must pass a comprehensive national certification exam. Like all other medical practitioners, they also need to do continuing education annually in order to maintain their certification status.

Changing Nursing Practice: Formalize And Normalize The Apn Role In Cervical Cancer Prevention

Pap Smears Prostate Exams | FNP school

Enabling more NPs to provide the full triad of cervical cancer prevention services may not only be cost effective and ensure greater access to care for women everywhere but may also address barriers to reaching unscreened and under-screened women and those lost to follow-up. To achieve this goal, the APN role in diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer needs to be formalized through inclusion of relevant skills in the standard APN curriculum. In the current state of colposcopy education, an APN is advised to wait for 2 years after graduation before entering a short-study colposcopy program, which lacks both a standardized clinical component and a mechanism for determining safe practice upon completion. No data were found supporting the need for 2 years of clinical practice before undertaking colposcopy training, and positioning this education after graduation from a formal APN program might decrease the likelihood of enrollment. Placing colposcopy skill training on a continuing education level suggests that this service or skill is not fundamental to practice. Of note, though, courses on intrauterine contraception and endometrial biopsy that were initially offered as CE sessions have now become solidly integrated into basic graduate curricula, resulting in more widespread student comfort in clinical skills.


Don’t Miss: Forensic Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Programs

Your Pcp Knows You Best

One of the key components of primary care is continuity of care. With a PCP, you build a relationship that may last for years. Your PCP becomes familiar with both your health goals and your health progress. Because your PCP has been tracking your health over time, they are the most likely to recognize early signs of issues and counsel against an invasive test or treatment that is unlikely to benefit you, given your unique health history.

More articles

Popular Articles