ACON’s CheckOUT clinic provides HIV/STI and cervical screening clinics for the LGBTIQ+ community.
Bec Cerio, Cancer Programs Officer at ACON, shares insights about the CheckOUT Clinic approach:
“CheckOUT Clinic runs on a model of trauma informed care, which we know is important for our communities. It is particularly important for trans and gender diverse patients who might experience dysphoria around genitals, as well as for patients with sexual trauma.” “Given many members of our community find cervical screening difficult we provide a lot of tips on ‘Getting through your cervical screening test’.
“We let patients know that they can use their phone to zone out during the procedure, and we also give patients the opportunity, via our registration form, to tell us if they would like:
- the nurse to stand slightly to the side of the bed
- to be propped up a little rather than lie down
- to nominate a Safe word to stop the procedure entirely
- to use a tap on the bed as a non-verbal ‘slow down’ signal
- to self-insert the speculum
- the nurse to go into detail about what they’re doing or stick to the basics (i.e. just tell you when they start and finish)
- the nurse to make small talk or let you drift off
- quiet time afterwards, on their own or with a peer.
We also provide a letter that people can give to their GP when requesting a cervical screening test. The letter allows the person to alert their GP that they have a history of trauma and to tell the GP ahead of time about strategies they would like used during the screening process.”
General practices who would like a copy of the CheckOUT registration form can contact firstname.lastname@example.org