"Routine cervical smear experience"
About: General Practices in Grampian General Practices in Grampian
Posted by annonymous73 (as ),
I attended my GP practice for a three yearly cervical smear. It is not an appointment that any woman relishes, but it is a necessary and worthwhile screening test.
Naturally feeling a little anxious I was shouted through from the waiting room by a practice nurse. She did not give any type of icebreaking greeting, nor did she put me at ease.
After 3 perfunctory questions around my menstrual cycle she sent me behind the curtain to remove the clothing required. She then proceeded to ask the well woman questions loudly through the curtain. There was no eye contact and no holistic assessment of my wellbeing.
Perhaps I have been given the wrong message in the past, but I always thought these types of routine appointments would be an ideal opportunity to access people who may not visit the surgery often and offer a health promotion service as well as assessing the patient holistically. An example of this was when she asked about smoking I said I was considering giving up, to which she said, you can go pharmacy for that. No more detail was given and I would have suspected this was an ideal opportunity to access someone on the cusp of change and give them detail of routes they may wish to consider.
The only chit chat that occured was whilst she was actually performing the smear test she asked me about the weather.
Following this she weighed me and then took my blood pressure and pulse. My BP was 131/90 and my pulse was 124 when taken by the machine. As a woman in my forties, I would suspect these are quite high recordings. She told me it was fine and did not check anything manually.
The whole experience was I guess thankfully over in under 10 minutes. I felt undervalued and that I was a task to deal with as quickly as possible.
I usually find all staff from the G.Ps to the receptionists in this surgery very pleasant and helpful.
I had decided not to give feedback as I don't really like to make complaints, however this is is not the face of the NHS that I wish to see.
In a way I was fortunate that I am in my 40's and therefore have had smears before in the past. Had this been my first smear I probably wouldn't have returned again. I have decided to give feedback as it is now over 2 months since the event and I am still thinking about it as a really poor experience and I feel this nurse should perhaps have the opportunity to reflect on the impact she can have on her patients. Last week was cervical cancer week and a lot of hard work has been done to encourage women to attend for this screening test. I find it sad that my experience was so poor.