Medical exams

I found an article on the PTSD page the shares studies that verify that survivors of sexual trauma seek mediacal care more often than those that are not traumatized.  I figure I could have told them that for free. I persevered through the article.  Toward the bottom is a list of things a medical provider could do to help survivors feel less anxiety during an exam.  I also recommend bringing someone with you that is trusted.  Choose a doctor that you feel comfortable with, also interview a doctor if you get a choice.  The section that caught my attention gives suggestions on what to do if PTSD symptoms occur during an exam.

http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/treatment/women/ptsd-womens-providers.asp

If symptoms do occur

Despite your best efforts to provide a safe and comfortable atmosphere for your patients, posttraumatic symptoms may occur during an exam. If this happens, don’t panic. Try to use grounding techniques with the patient.

  • Speak in a calm, matter of fact voice and avoid sudden movements.
  • Reassure your patient that everything is okay.
  • Continue to explain what you’re doing.
  • If possible, stop the procedure.
  • Ask (or remind) the patient where she is.
  • Offer her a drink of water, an extra gown, or a warm or cold washcloth for her face.
  • Go with her into a different room to provide a change of environment.

The cool thing about these techniques suggested for doctors, works.  Becoming my own advocate in my medical are was a challenge.  If your doctor is willing to talk over these suggestions and use them during an exam, you have a great doctor.

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