Sunday, June 16, 2019

Eagle Butte

A guide to your annual check-up and well-woman exam

The Cheyenne River Breast and Cervical Early Detection Program offers annual well-women exams, which consists of a breast exam, pelvic examination, and a pap smear. The exam may include other procedures.

During the exam, you will receive a short physical and the provider will ask you questions regarding your nutrition, moods, medications, sex life and family history. You may be due for your pap smear, clinical breast exam or mammogram, which will be determined during the nursing assessment.

At the beginning of your appointment, a nurse will take you into a room to start the screening process. Your vital signs will be obtained as well as your chief complaint. The nurse will ask you questions related to your medications, nutrition, history, alcohol use, tobacco use, contraceptives, sexual, and reproductive history. Some questions are very personal but they help us to determine the best plan of care for you. Once the nurse completes her assessment, she will either discuss your case with the provider or have you prepare for the type of exam that is recommended. The nurse provides you with education regarding the types of services you will be receiving during your visit, so please, ask questions.

After the nurse’s assessment, a provider will come into your room and discuss the plan of care with you. It’s best to have your questions ready so that you can discuss them privately with your provider. If you would like to have the nurse present during your exam, please let us know- we are here to make your well-woman exam as comfortable as possible.

Once your exam is completed, the provider will discuss any lab tests or radiology tests she may need to complete your exam. The nurse will then return to the room to discuss any further issues with you.

Types of exams and tests during well-woman exam

A clinical breast exam is done by your provider. She will check your breasts for any abnormalities, and if the provider feels anything abnormal, she will recommend a mammogram. A mammogram is a common diagnostic test to screen for breast cancer. Regular mammograms are a key part to early diagnosis of cancer and treatment. If you’re 40 years or older, the American Cancer Society recommends mammograms every year. Women who are 20 years or older should have a clinical breast exam every 3 years.

Your mammogram results are usually read by a radiologist within 1-2 days. Should you have any abnormalities and if further testing is required, our case manager will work with you to schedule further diagnostic testing.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends women over 21 years of age have a pap smear every 3 years. Your provider will use a speculum to evaluate the upper area of your vagina and cervix which may cause a small amount of discomfort. Cultures may be obtained to screen for sexually transmitted diseases, depending on your age and other circumstances. The provider will then exam your uterus and ovaries.

Results from the pap smear are then sent into the state lab. We are able to receive the results back within 1-2 weeks. You will receive either a telephone call or a written notification of your results from our case manager.

One thing that stays the same, no matter how old you are, is building a good, honest relationship with your doctor or nurse. You can talk about healthy relationships and other parts of your emotional health during your well-woman exam. The more honest you are, the better care you will receive.

The Cheyenne River Breast and Cervical Early Detection Program is working diligently to remove all barriers for our women. We offer a variety of services, which includes transportation. If you are unable to come to the clinic, we would be happy to provide you with a ride. 

The CR BCCEDP encourages you to schedule your well-woman exam today. Please call us at 605-964-0556 to schedule your appointment.