Immune System as a Code for Safe Sex

Home Echo Discussions Module 6 Discussion Immune System as a Code for Safe Sex

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    The counselor seems to shy away from discussing safe sex practices and uses the immune system as the target of the conversation. She reminds the patient several times to think about her immune system. I feel she should have explored the patients current knowledge of the immune system. We all are guilty of peaking in our medical jargon in Front of lay people. The patient then provides one word answers or just nods in agreement. I would like to see the patient be provided with education on the immune system along with being asked open ended questions to encourage the open dialogue.


    I agree. Sometimes I find that I speak medical jargon when working with my patients, and oftentimes it is due to my inability to distill complicated jargon to understandable concepts. There is such a steep learning curve in psycho-oncology, and although I have definitely learned a lot, I still have a TON to learn. Open ended questions are always important in opening up communication and dialogue.


    I agree that open ended questions should have been used as well as lay-person verbage. The goal is to make sure the patient understands and complies as much as possible, and this cannot be done when we are using words that patients don’t understand. I agree that she was hiding behind the medical jargon a bit too. She seemed to be avoiding discussing specific details regarding safe sex and acceptable practices. This is not beneficial to the patient. It’s difficult to have these conversations, but they are so important to the patient’s safety and well-being.


    It felt as if the sex topic was kind of pushed under the rug in my opinion and the lack of questions that would prompt a thoughtful response from the patient only seemed to hamper the conversation. Unfortunately, this sort of interaction when it comes to sex is all too common. It seems as if everyone wants to skirt around this topic even though it is the epitome of how a species survives. When conversing with people, I like to find out their occupation and see if I can’t convey, in a metaphorical way, what is going on inside the body. Every cell, organ, structure etc. has a job in the body and sometimes it’s easier to convey the role if you apply it to every day life for the patient.

    I do like that the health care worker is the same sex as the patient though. I feel as if it is always easier to converse with someone that has the potential of having the same problems as you do. I always found it a bit more difficult to converse with a female about the more in-depth problems that could possibly arise, especially if that was the first time that I had met them. While men are necessarily the easiest nut to crack, I feel as if a male presence could definitely help open things up.

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