Patients with genital and nipple piercings, also known as "intimate piercings," are best served by healthcare providers who initiate positive discussions about them, according to a new article in the journal Nursing for Women’s Health.
Yet, too often, such discussions do not occur, even when treating infections and other conditions related to the piercings, due to healthcare providers’ uneasiness over this increasingly common form of body art. An estimated 30 to 50% of youth ages 18 to 23 have piercings in places other than in their ear lobes, so it is highly likely that healthcare will encounter such piercings in their patients.
An article by Cathy Young, DNSc, APRN, BC, Associate Professor at Texas Tech University’s School of Nursing and Myrna L. Armstrong, EdD, RN, FAAN, Professor at Texas Tech University’s School of Nursing offers a comprehensive, practical overview of the clinical issues healthcare providers are likely to encounter related to intimate piercings. Issues range from why individuals seek and obtain such piercings to which medical procedures require such piercings to have been removed.
"Our goal is to help nurses be better informed about intimate piercings, so that they can provide optimal care to patients with piercings," the authors note. "When it’s clear that we’re knowledgeable and interested in a patient’s piercings, we’ll earn her trust."
The article, therefore, encourages healthcare providers to seek out opportunities to learn more about patients with intimate piercings.
(Source: Nursing for Women’s Health: Amy Molnar: Wiley-Blackwell: April 2008)