How Sexual Health Nurses Work With or in the Community

Sexual Health Nursing

Sexual health nursing is an area in community health nursing that has currently emerged. In this study, we shall discuss: how sexual health nursing is community nursing; analyze how sexual health nurses work with or in the community; describe the community nurse’s role in maintaining social justice and health equity; and how civil law impacts on the nurse’s professional practice. We shall then make a conclusion that summarizes the key points discussed.

How Sexual Health Nursing is Community Nursing

Sexual health nursing is community health nursing. So as to discuss this subject further, let’s consider the definition of sexual health nursing and community nursing in depth and examine the roles of the two nurses.

Sexual health nursing is one field of specialization in community health nursing that compels the practitioner to have comprehensive clinical information and handy skills in the field of sexual and reproductive health as well as HIV/AIDS (Gulland, 1998). Features of sexual health nursing are normally incorporated in other areas of expertise like reproductive health, rural and remote nursing and women’s health (Rew, 2008). The wide-ranging duty of a sexual health nurses incorporate employment of clinical expertise which entails taking patients’ history, clinical examination and test of patients (Tomlinson, 1999). They also perform screening and diagnostic assessment which entails pap smears and construal of pathology outcomes. The control of infections is another element of sexual health nurses’ usual tasks. Sexual health nurses also direct drug tests and carry out contact tracing. The task also entails the direction of education and health promotion plans and actions for the community and health experts.

On the other hand, community health nursing is a sphere of nursing that is a combination nursing practice, primary health care and public health nursing (Rew, 2008). A community health nurse performs an enduring and wide-ranging practice that is therapeutic, preventive and rehabilitative (Seedhouse, 1988). The value of care is founded on the idea that care provided to a person, family or group leads to the health care of an entire community. Involvement of all partakers of health care is buoyant in the construction of community actions that add to the support of, education on, and preservation of fine health. These actions require wide-ranging health programs that give particular interest to the social and environment pressures as well as definite populations at threat.

How Sexual Health Nurses Work With or In the Community

Sexual health nurses offer free and private services to the community by providing sexual health examinations, knowledge, therapy and offering family planning guide. Sexual health nursing, through the community based HIV/AIDS service, gives medical care together with continuing chronic ailment support and management for patients and their relatives (Canadian Public Health Association, 1990).

Sexual health nurses carry out their tasks as autonomous nurse practitioners in regard to the management and control of sexually infectious ailments such as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C (Stewart, 1994). Nurses entirely assess, carry out regular serology for pathological assessments and offer regular treatment and remedy to patients. They give topical cures, HIV examination together with counseling and are expected to make follow ups on their clients by maintaining contact with them and their families. Nurses offer education to customers and other specialized groups and chances are offered for continuing research and clinical experiments.

The community Nurse’s Role in Maintaining Social Justice and Health Equity

Community health nurses have several roles, responsibilities and obligations in advocating for social justice, preserving cultural safety and promoting equity and access to health resources for all. Some of these roles include: upholding respect and awareness; achieving cultural competence; creating an environment for care; and advocacy. Let’s look at each of these separately.

Upholding respect and Awareness

Awareness forms the initial step in the building of cultural aptitude and sensitivity. The community health nurse should be conscious of his/her own views of culture. Consciousness of cultural diversities and the capacity to efficiently care for cultures dissimilar with one’s own starts by having an open mentality (Rouse & Birch, 1991).

A community health nurse should appreciate the culture and the setting in order to be in a position to uphold healthy manners across diverse regions and to build community health policy that is in line with social controls of health in that particular region. Cultural aptitude forms a link between the family, the society, the care giver and the organization (UKCC, 1999).

Community health nurses should dedicate themselves towards learning how to serve diverse populations (Aylott, 1999). The nurse can use a cultural guide so as to learn more about the culture of the people that he/she is serving. Community health nurses must actually listen, respect, and honor the desires, partialities and the expectations of their communities and clients (Borwell, 1997).

Achieving Cultural Competence

Cultural competence is a cluster of harmonious behaviors, approaches, and rules that are merged in an organization so as to enhance work in inter-cultural settings. Community health nurses should encourage individuals in minority groups to join community health careers. All community health nurses are supposed to observe inclusiveness, acknowledging the strengths and limitations of every person and group, irrespective of their cultural, racial, region or sexual orientation. Community health nurses should also act as role models, demonstrating the values of social justice and endeavoring to close holes in health effects that impact people significantly.

Creating an Environment for Care

Community health nurses have exceptional power in drawing plans and determining services to be offered in varied populations. The nurse is supposed to create and maintain a caring surrounding by evaluating, approving, managing and preventing aspects in the care surroundings as well as in the clinical and society interactions that can harmfully affect health. The caring surrounding is vital for the preservation of good relations with the society. A susceptible surrounding encourages persons, families and societies to participate in the care resulting in healthful manners and lifestyles.


Advocacy is described as the act of beseeching or contending in support of a cause, proposal, or procedures on behalf of another party, with the aim of improving the society, organization or individual’s capability to on their personal behalf. The community health nurse should advocate with an aim of guarding the rights, security and wellbeing of the people.

How Civil Law Impacts the Nurse’s Professional Practice

Civil law is one of the legal issues that may impact on the nurse’s professional practice. Nurses taking care of clients with sexual health needs have to fulfill their duty of care to the clients so as to evade from a charge of negligence (Gunn, 1996). The duty of care in this case requires nurses to work in a sensible manner adhering to the expected professional standards. For instance, a nurse directing clients on the employment of condoms owes a duty of care to the clients, which in this case may involve guarding the clients from abuse and harm by teaching the clients how to react boldly to the sexual looms of others.

Nurses are professionally required to seek consent before conducting any treatment. Consent is the legitimate criteria by which the client gives an official permission for care or treatment (Tomlinson, 1999).The rule on consent is based on three principles that should all be contented before any permission given by a client can be adequate: the person giving the consent must be of sound; the patient must first be provided with adequate; and the consent should be given without restraint. Nurses are not supposed to perform nursing care or cure that will involve bodily contact with a patient except when the patient has given consent. In case the nurse does not seek consent, the client could litigate her/him for damages, even though no harm happened. For instance, if a nurse injects a client without consent, the client could litigate the nurse despite the outcome being advantageous to the wellbeing of the client.

In conclusion, sexual health nursing is a specialized area of community nursing. Sexual health nurses offer free and private services to the community by providing sexual health examinations, knowledge, therapy and offering family planning guide. Some of community nurse’s roles in maintaining health equity, social justice and promoting culture include: upholding respect and awareness; achieving cultural competence; creating an environment for care; and advocacy. Finally, civil law is one of the legal issues that may impact a nurse’s professional practice in diverse ways.


Aylott, J. (1999). Preventing the rape and sexual assault of people with a learning disability. British Journal of Nursing, 8 (13), 871-876.

Borwell, B. (1997). Developing sexual helping skills: a guide for nurses. Berkshire: Medical Projects International Canadian Public Health Association (1990). Community health-public health nursing in Canada: preparation and practice. Ottawa, ON: Author.

Gulland, A. (1998). Professional nursing. London: Sage.

Gunn, M. J. (1996). Sex and the law: a brief guide for staff working with people with learning difficulties. 4th ed. London: Family Planning Association.

Rew, L. (2008). Community health nursing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Rouse, G. R. & Birch, C. P. (1991).Socialization and sex Education. Santa Barbara: James Stanfield.

Seedhouse, D. (1988) Ethics: the heart of health care. Chichester: Wiley & Sons.

Stewart, D. (1994). The protection pack. Cambridge: Learning Development Aid.

Tomlinson, J. (1999). Talking on sexual history of sexual health. London: BMJ.

UKCC (1999). Guidance on relationship between registered nurses, midwives and health visitors and their clients. London: UKCC.

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