A Nurse’s Pioneering Tool to Navigate Contraceptive Counseling
Contraceptive counseling can be a complex topic for both healthcare providers and patients. There are many options available for women who are either trying to conceive or avoid getting pregnant, but each woman comes into a health setting with their own needs, health concerns and goals. And healthcare professionals are tasked with working with the women to figure out the best option for their needs in the short amount of time they are there in that health setting.
Enter Rachel Preiss, MS, RN, WHNP-BC, IBCLC, SANE – nurse practitioner at the Dimock Center in Boston, Massachusetts, nurse educator at The National TeleNursing Center, and 2016-2017 Fellow of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing’s Maternal-Child Health Nurse Leadership Academy (MCHNLA). Drawing from her experience as a nurse, her passion for women’s health, the concept of shared decision-making and her team in the MCHNLA program, Rachel developed an innovative tool to help healthcare professionals ask the right questions during contraceptive counseling to better understand and address the needs of the patient.
The Johnson & Johnson Notes on Nursing team recently spoke with Rachel to learn more about her tool, how it can help improve patient outcomes, how it feels to return to MCHNLA as a mentor and what she’s excited for in the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.
Utilizing the concept of shared decision-making in healthcare was the crucial component to developing the tool. For an intervention to be successful, patients need to be a part of the process. After asking a series of questions ranging from the patient’s desire to become pregnant, to their behavioral habits and relationship dynamics, the healthcare provider reviews how different methods are rated against their answers on topics such as efficacy, ease of use, privacy and side effects and suggests how specific contraceptive methods might suit their reproductive goals.
The goal of the booklet is to help patients find the right contraceptive choice by providing an easier way to understand the pros and cons of each method, therefore giving women more control over their pregnancy potential. When women feel more in control of their options, you are empowering them. They may be more willing to trust their healthcare provider and return to the clinic to receive other types of healthcare. Going through the booklet only takes about ten minutes, and the hope is that by finding the right contraceptive choice for patients, it could reduce time and costs required down the road.
Johnson & Johnson partnered with the Sigma Theta Tau International Leadership Institute to develop the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing's Maternal-Child Health Nurse Leadership Academy program. To learn more about Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and their new Nurse Leadership Academy for Practice program, visit here.
 Preiss, RM. Arterberry, K. & Tucker, J. (2017). Development and Evaluation of a Shared Decision Making Tool for Contraceptive Counseling. Poster, Sigma Theta Tau Biennial Conference, Indianapolis, IN. https://sigma.nursingrepository.org/handle/10755/623319
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