To provide knowledge on the theoretical content and practical assessment of cervical cytology screening.
- Outline basic anatomy and physiology to recognise the features of a healthy cervix.
- Discuss the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) in relation to cervical abnormalities, as well as testing, vaccination and management.
- Outline how to safely and effective carry out a clinical examination.
- Discuss the importance of working in accordance with local policy and guidelines. This includes the Protection of Vulnerable Individuals policy, which assesses the patient’s capacity to consent.
- Outline how to take correct cervical samples, as well as how to prepare and dispatch the sample safely.
- Discuss common vaginal, vulval and cervical conditions and how to identify situations where specialist evaluation and advice may be required.
- Identify the correct manner of how to interpret and convey accurate results, and why this is important.
- Discuss treatment options for women with abnormal cervical sample results.
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At the end of the course delegates should be able to:
- Recognise and evaluate their own role in taking a cervical cytology sample as part of the national screening programme in accordance with national and locally agreed guidelines.
- Apply knowledge of basic anatomy and physiology to recognise the features of a healthy cervix.
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of the principles and criteria for screening, and apply them to cervical screening.
- Demonstrate awareness of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) in relation to cervical abnormalities, the vaccination programme and HPV testing.
- Draw on skills to carry out safe and effective clinical examinations, offering a chaperone and working in accordance with local policy and guidelines.
- Use a range of professional skills to initiate the effective health education of the patient, taking into account their personal beliefs.
- Apply knowledge, skills and critical understanding in demonstrating:
- The collection of accurate cervical samples across the established age range.
- The preparation of adequate Liquid Based Cytology samples and dispatching them safely to the designated laboratory for analysis.
- Skills required to undertake examination procedures and relevant specimen/sample collection required of role, while observing health and safety and infection control procedures.
- How to identify common vaginal, vulval and cervical conditions.
- How to identify and evaluate situations where specialist evaluation and advice may be required.
- How to interpret and convey clear and accurate results and findings to the woman and consult and refer as appropriate. Seek clarification in understanding the findings where needed e.g. laboratory, relevant colleague.
- An understanding of the current management and treatment options for women with abnormal cervical sample results.
- The interpretation of specimen results including sexually transmitted infections and colposcopy.
In order to attend this short course, applicants must be:
- Either currently employed in general practice as a registered adult nurse or are currently employed within secondary care in a colposcopy or CASH clinic.
- And be supported by employer and have access to completing 20 cervical samples.
Applicants are expected to name a supervisor for clinical practice. The supervisor must be trained in cervical cytology (either as a part of their professional training or from a recognised training programme) and should be a current cervical sampler (smear taker), having undertaken an update in the last three years (as per the recommendations within the Northern Ireland Standards for Nurse and Midwife Education Providers: Cervical Screening Sample Taking Final Version 02 December 2016).
In order for sufficient practice to be obtained, attendees of the course must check with their practice manager that there is an adequate volume of patients requiring a smear within six months from the course start date. This will enable the appropriate experience, and therefore certification, to be gained within the recommended time frame.
At the end of the course applicants will be required to undergo a formal clinical assessment in their workplace to assess their level of competence in cervical screening practice.