The reception staff are the first individuals you’ll meet when attending the Integrated Sexual Health department. Our reception staff will ask you to come forward one at a time and register your details with them. Once you’ve provided your contact details and created a ‘password’ (in-case you forget your patient number) you will be asked to take a seat in the waiting room.
The doctors will take a ‘sexual history’ from you. This involves asking about any sexual health problems you may be experiencing and they will ask some details about recent sexual partners. Don’t worry the doctors are very experienced, and will ask the questions in a relaxed manner, they wont be fazed by anything you say! Sian is one of our doctors, she is training to be consultant in Sexual health and HIV:-
Sian Warren (Female): Registrar
Dr Sian Warren MBBS MRCP Graduated in 2008 from King’s College London and spent her Foundation training in Severn Deanery before moving back to Wales to complete her Core Medical Training. She started training as a specialist in GU/HIV Medicine in 2012, and will be based in Cardiff until 2014. “I work in sexual health because I find the discipline really rewarding. Patients often come into the clinic scared and nervous, after some reassurance and understanding they open up and are willing to discuss their problems. Once I know what the problem is I can help them stop worrying and have a healthy sex life.”
Most of our nurses are Nurse Practitioners, this means they can take a sexual history and can treat common sexual health problems. They will always try to give you as much time as is needed to discuss your problems. The nurses are also trained in contraception, so if you need to discuss your contraception options please ask them. Kim Mitchell is one of our specialist Nurses and works in the community and central clinics:-
Kim Mitchell (Female): Specialist Nurse
Kim Mitchell RGN Cert Nurs. WNB Theatre Nurse. She trained at the Cardiff Nursing School in the 1970s. She has a varied clinical background including theatres, ITU, medicine, recovery, and urgent care. She began working in the Integrated Sexual Health Department 20 years ago. She works as a specialist nurse in HIV, Sexual Health Nurse Practitioner and Health Advisor. “I began working in sexual health at the request of the ‘Nursing Officer’. I enjoy my work because it allows me to see and treat someone in one visit (normally), its one of the few areas where I can really engage in health promotion and maintain practical skills. The patients are always diverse and interesting, often it’s nice just to reassure patients.”
Sexual Health Advisers
Sexual Health Advisers will see you discuss any specific risks you have been exposed to. They can also provide advice on how to inform sexual partners of an infection, Sexual Health Advisers are trained to discuss sexual health matters in a delicate respectful manner. Many of our health advisers are also trained in counselling and motivational techniques.
Sandra Smith (Female): Sexual Health Adviser & Central ISH Team Leader
Sandra Smith RGN, Dip CHS , FETC , M.Sc ,Dip FP , ILM , SCPHN. Trained at East Glamorgan School of Nursing in 1977, she was a staff nurse in Gynaecology for 7 years before going to work in the community as a District Nurse in 1988. While studying for her community qualification she did an alternative placement in Toronto in 1991 to see how they cared for people living with HIV and on return home became the first HIV link nurse in Wales. In 1995 became a Health Adviser with a special interest in HIV. “I began working in sexual health after seeing the care given to HIV patients at a Hospice in Toronto. I then returned to Wales and applied for jobs in sexual health. The thing I enjoy most about working in sexual health is the interaction with sex workers. Often sex workers can really forget about their health, so re-engaging them with the health service is most rewarding.”
Nursing Assistants or ‘Healthcare Support Workers’ help run the sexual health clinic, they will assist with examinations, take venous blood samples and process samples. They are trained in using the department’s computer systems, they can access results and co-ordinate appointments for patients.
Janine Bird: Health Care Support Worker “I have been working the sexual health department for the past 11 years. I find the close patient contact really rewarding, some patients can find the experience of attending a sexual health clinic very distressing, I like to reassure the patients and tell them it will be ok and we are very discreet in our service. I am currently studying for my foundation degree at the University of South Wales.”