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Thread: Female nurse present during total body skin exam

  1. #1
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    Female nurse present during total body skin exam

    I am male and recently had a total body skin exam done by a female dermatalogist. I was asked to completely disrobe and given a gown. The dermatologist gradually removed my gown and gave me a thorough exam, including buttocks and genitals. What bothered was that the dermatologist has a female nurse present througout the exam who observed everything that was done. Is it that a normal practice? It was embarrassing to be watched by someone else

  2. #2
    Senior Member Robert F's Avatar
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    Re: Female nurse present during total body skin exam

    Yes, you can of course ask that another male witness the body check in place of the female. However, I am sure that the female that was witnessing the body check was doing so as a professional and nothing more.

    There are some things in nursing that hospitals require to be witnessed. For instance, if I were to pull up a narcotic in a syringe during a trauma and didnt use it all, I would be required to have another nurse or physician witness me disposing of the remainder of the narcotic down the sink. In order to avoid lawsuits and situations of the like, some hospitals require that another provider be present during a sensitive exam such as a Pelvic or a breast exam in order to ensure that the provider performed the exam in a professional manner. Usually with males, they will have a male provider perform the exam, just as with a female pelvic; I will typically find a female nurse to do the exam. However, sometimes we just do not have that extra male or female around given our patient loads.

    It is absolutely your right to ask for a male to witness rather than a female. However, I am sure that this female had nothing but your health on her mind and there is nothing to be embarassed about.

    Speaking as a nurse, I can tell you that once you have spent time in nursing school, you start seeing the human body in terms of anatomy & physiology rather than something sexual. I wish you good health and the best of luck. If you have any more questions feel free to ask. We have a wealth of nurses here on the site that would be more than happy to share some of their knowledge.
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  3. #3

    Re: Female nurse present during total body skin exam

    Robert I think you missed Gordons point. He never asked what the caregiver thought about seeing him nude it was about his right as a patient. If a male Dr. is giving a pelvic to a female do you bring in a male to observe/chaperone ? Of course not. But it seems to be fine for a female Dr. to give intimate exams to a male with a female observer/chaperone. Most men are to embassed to complain.But I think you need to remember its about the patient, his feelings about him being nude not your feelings about him being nude.

  4. #4
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    Re: Female nurse present during total body skin exam

    It is totally appropriate and for liability purposes sometimes necessary for there to be a "witness" in the room during intimate examination. However, the doctor should first ask the patient for permission.

    A similar situation is when a nurse asks if nursing students can observe a procedure. It is usually fine, however they have to ask and get consent from the patient.

    You'll run into the occasional situation where there is only a male or female available, in which case that has to be explained to the patient.

    The patient is allowed to have a preference, and it needs to be acknowledged, if not accommodated.

    Andrew Lopez, RN
    http://www.nursefriendly.com

  5. #5
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    Re: Female nurse present during total body skin exam

    I totally disagree with you that another nurse had to be there, he is an adult after all. It was a stupid, unnecessary of this guys's privacy , which happens all to often to men.

  6. #6
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    I don't mean to seem disrespectful, and I don't mean to offend anyone, but this thread bothers me. I agree that a patient uncomfortable with the exam situation should voice their concerns, and I agree that the medical providers involved should disclose all pertinent information so the patient is both informed and aware.

    I am a male over 50. The first time I was examined by a female provider, I was probably in my early 20s. I was certainly pensive, but I wasn't posing nude at the mall. I was being seen by a medical professional for a medically related necessity. For the protection of that provider, and for me, she had a chaperon. The chaperon was also a female. She was also a professional medical provider.

    In subsequent years, I have been examined by many female providers, most of the time with female chaperons. I have had a couple of female doctors that did not have a chaperon at all. Most recently a couple of full body exams by a female dermatologist with a female assistant. My focus was thoroughness and accuracy. I was greatful that my doctor could focus on my well-being, while the assistant could take care of documentation. I am greatful that my skin cancer was found and treated, and I don't care that my professional provider team was female, or that I was fully naked in view of them both.

    I would ask you to consider the situation and then focus on what really matters. If you are so uncomfortable with the potential that you may have a provider of the opposite sex perform an exam while you are in some degree of naked, seek a different provider. Your health should be and is what's important.

    My GP, my dermatologist, my gastroenterologist, my urologist, my neurologist and any and all other female providers I've seen were there for my good, were (and are) professionals and were providing me with the healthcare I needed. I sincerely appreciate the services they have provided.

    Finally, it is not, in general, the fault of our medical providers that there is a very real need for chaperons. It is more the ridiculously litigious nature of todays society at fault. So is there a need for the chaperon - absolutely! Should the chaperon be same or opposite sex - I just don't think it matters, but would say the patient has every right to be comfortable as long as their preference is available.

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