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Critical thinking and diagnostic reasoning for advanced clinical practitioners in sexual health

McPhillips, Hazel; Wood, Alison F.; Smith, Joanna


Alison F. Wood

Joanna Smith


This article provides an overview of key areas within sexual health examination, diagnosis and treatment options for advanced clinical practitioners (ACPs) working outside this field of practice, who may not often encounter consultations of a sexual health nature. ACPs require an understanding of appropriate and necessary investigations, alongside specific advice or education they can offer patients. Within a sexual health context especially, the consultation and subsequent steps can be challenging and distressing for the patient, and the ACP must consider their knowledge and experience when caring for a patient in this area. Increasing knowledge and awareness of common conditions and treatments, red flags, and referral processes can allow the ACP to provide reassurance and support to the patient and improve their healthcare experience. Having answers to a patient's questions regarding processes and time frames can strengthen the relationship between the ACP and their patient and help reduce a patient's anxiety and fear of the unknown.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 31, 2021
Online Publication Date Jun 1, 2022
Publication Date May 26, 2022
Deposit Date Oct 24, 2022
Journal British Journal of Nursing
Print ISSN 0966-0461
Electronic ISSN 2052-2819
Publisher Mark Allen Healthcare
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue 10
Pages 534-540
Keywords Sexual health, Advanced practice, Advanced clinical practice, Sexually transmitted infections, Contraception
Public URL