Women’s health is difficult!

speculum2That’s the class I’m currently in.  Normally an ‘A’ student, I’m floundering in this class.  Stop your snickering!  Just because I’m female doesn’t mean I understand everything about how the female body works!  I have a B, but it’s a borderline grade in my program; several programs I am familiar with require a B as a minimum passing grade.

The charting is part of what is killing me.  The SOAP format  (Subjective, Objective, Assessment, Plan) is so nebulous in many ways that what one instructor insists is the *one right true and only way* to chart will get you a failing grade from another.  Frustrating but I’m only the student so I don’t have a lot to say about it.

I am having a hard time getting my required number of pelvic exams as well; I am supposed to have 25 by the end of the program and most students get them during this class — I couldn’t get a women’s health preceptor so I am doing part of my clinicals with a family practitioner who sees a lot of young women with sexual health complaints — but it’s winter, and when it snows, they don’t show up for appointments.

I’m doing some extra clinicals with an OB/GYN also; one of my fellow students was kind enough to refer me to him and he was kind enough to accept me.  So I’m getting at least some of my pelvic exams completed.

They are difficult!  I have short fingers!  I just can’t seem to reach far enough to feel ovaries though I’m told by one of my preceptors you should be able to feel them.  Telling a forward flopped uterus from a rearward flopped one is a skill I just don’t seem to possess yet, and may never.  I just take my preceptor’s word for it.  I’m glad I wasn’t interested in pursuing women’s health as a specialty; I would have to choose another field if that was the case.

I definitely prefer the metal speculums (specula) to the plastic disposable ones.  Easier to insert, DEFINITELY easier to remove without pinching delicate tissues in the process, and more environmentally friendly.  And probably more cost effective as well, they last more than a lifetime with proper care.

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