Please answer the below question in a minimum of 250 words with 3 scholarly sources with citation less than 5 years old, in APA format.
Pelvic pain can be acute or chronic and can be caused by any number of conditions. In primary care, nurse practitioners should be able to outline the basic approach to initial evaluation of and management of these disorders.
As you have learned in this unit there are many causes of pelvic pain. Select one of the causes of pelvic pain and describe the symptoms. Why and who would you refer this patient to for consultation? What are the steps to writing a referral and what is the NP’s responsibility for follow up?
Expert Solution Preview
Pelvic pain is a common complaint among women and can be caused by various conditions, which can be acute or chronic. Nurse practitioners play a vital role in the management of pelvic pain in primary care. Hence, it is essential to outline the basic approach to the initial evaluation and management of pelvic pain disorders. This essay explores the symptoms, referral process, and NP’s responsibility for follow up in managing one cause of pelvic pain.
Endometriosis is a common condition that causes pelvic pain in women, affecting approximately 10% of women of reproductive age. The symptoms of endometriosis include painful menstruation, pain during intercourse, fatigue, and pain during bowel movements. Patients may also experience heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain that worsens during periods, and infertility. Endometriosis is diagnosed through a combination of clinical evaluation, imaging studies, and laparoscopic biopsy.
As a Nurse Practitioner, a patient with suspected endometriosis should be referred to a gynecologist or an infertility specialist. However, referrals may also be made to a gastroenterologist or urologist when there is an involvement of the bowel or bladder. The referral should be written with the patient’s clinical history, symptoms, and examination findings. It should include the reason for referral, the urgency level, and relevant investigations.
After the referral has been made, the NP’s responsibility for follow up includes contacting the consultant to ensure the patient receives timely care. The NP should be in communication with the patient to confirm that the appointment was scheduled and attended, clarify any clinical queries, and provide support and counseling. If the referral is not meeting the patient’s needs, the NP should act promptly to adjust or make additional referrals.
In conclusion, diagnosis and management of pelvic pain require a systematic approach whereby, nurse practitioners should be knowledgeable of the multiple causes of pelvic pain, including endometriosis. The referral of such patients to the appropriate specialist is essential in ensuring optimal patient care. Additionally, proper communication between the NP and the patient and the referred specialist is critical in providing a comprehensive management approach.