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What Do I Say When My Patient Asks Me About Sex?

presented by Donald Kautz, MSN, RN, CRRN

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Donald D. Kautz, RN, PhD, CRRN receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Donald D. Kautz, RN, PhD, CRRN has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

Accreditation Check:

This course is designed for therapists (physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, recreational therapists) and nurses to help when patients and/or patients' loved ones ask you questions about their sexual function. The focus of this course is on patients who are living at home, but the information can be used for patients who are in acute, long-term, and other inpatient rehabilitation settings. This course will provide detailed information for the provider about common sexual and intimacy problems that patients experience, how to appropriately respond to questions, and how to find reliable patient information to give to patients and those they love.

Meet Your Instructor

Donald Kautz, MSN, RN, CRRN

Donald D. Kautz earned his BSN from the University of Northern Colorado, and his MSN and PhD in Nursing from the University of Kentucky. Don worked in many areas of Rehabilitation Nursing, including acute inpatient rehab on spinal cord, head injury, stroke, and general rehab units. He worked as a staff nurse in a pain…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Responding to The Patient

Therapists and nurses may be caught off guard when a patient or one of the patient’s loved ones asks: “Can I have sex?” or “Will I be able to love again?” or “How can anyone love me like this?” This chapter will provide options that healthcare providers can use to ensure that the patient’s questions and concerns are answered and their dignity is preserved.

2. Common Changes in Sexual Function and Sexual Relationships

This chapter presents common sexual function and sexual relationship changes that occur with various disabilities. Although the underlying cause may vary, changes are often quite similar between diseases. For example, fatigue and loss of desire occur with most disabilities and chronic illnesses, and the suggestions that a health care provider can give to help patients may work regardless of the underlying cause.

3. Health Promotion Activities May Increase Intimacy

At all ages, being healthy promotes sex and intimacy. The “first line of treatment” for erectile dysfunction, vaginal dryness, loss of desire, and fatigue include healthy eating, maintaining an ideal body weight (losing weight), stopping smoking, and regular aerobic exercise.

4. Resources About Sex for Those with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses

Pamphlets, videos, and websites have been developed specifically for those with various disabilities and chronic illnesses. This chapter provides a list of up-to-date resources for patients and their partners, and describes how nurses can incorporate the use of these resources into their practice.

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