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T.S. who is 14 years old came in to inquire about birth control options. What I didn’t know is although she was 14, under New York State law teens have the right to confidentiality when it comes to reproductive health care. This applies as long as the teen understands the risks and benefits of birth control. The staff assured T.S that they would not tell her parents about the serviced received at planned parenthood. I was impressed as an observer and saw no judgement.
I observed a Muslim couple who had four children. They were inquiring about a process called tubal ligation. This was very interesting, because from my knowledge, most forms of contraception and birth control are forbidden, especially if it’s not for medical reasons. I researched further and found out that this procedure goes against the teaching of Prophet Mohammed, and is thought of as selfish and impractical. They were very discreet and private about inquiring information and when to proceed with this procedure. Their secretive demeanor was understandable, based on their religious background.
As a family planning nurse you give contraception advise, advising client on sexually transmitted diseases, where to get tested and treated, counseling on termination and/or planning pregnancy, along with where they can get information from. Also, advise is given on contraception option/ use. Being a family planning nurse, you can’t be shy because clients tend to be shy and even dishonest when talking about sex.
Talking to one of the clients, age 17, I asked C.L. when did her parents talk to her about sex? She answered by saying she learned about sex through her friends. Her mother avoided the topic dealing with boys and sex. She continued by saying she grew up in church and was taught to be abstinent until marriage. Parents talking to teens about sex and relationships, statistically, is believed to increase better decision making on the teen/young adults part. If this conversation is avoided by the parent/s, the teen learns about sex through peers and more than likely, will be misguided.
Upon my visit to the Family Planning clinic at Kings County Hospital, I met F.H, a 16 year old female who became pregnant shortly after being intimate with her boyfriend of 6 months. The boyfriend was not present, nor was he supportive of her decision to keep their baby. She is the youngest of four siblings, raised by a single mother. She is 3 months pregnant and was advised by a family friend to get prenatal care. She expressed that she’s still in shock. Women and men, regardless of age or ability to pay, are welcome to public health family planning. No one is turned away because of inability to pay. They offer services such as birth control, pregnancy tests, yearly exams for men and women, counseling about pregnancy, adoption and abortion, and sexually transmitted disease screening including HIV tests. F.H through my questioning understood the importance of prenatal care and adhering to follow up appointments. I informed her about the teen clinic, which is school-based, that would teach her parenting skills. I found F.H.’s story to be very touching and wished her the best in the months to come.
Sharing my clinical experiences with you about my role as a community nurse