Pap Screening in Primary Care

clinical topics gyn Aug 02, 2022
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Pap screening in primary care-- how can such a common primary care intervention cause so much confusion? How often to screen, how to understand any findings that are not black and white, how to advise your patient about next steps – you would not be the first NP to feel overwhelmed with abnormal pap results in your inbox.

How to Interpret and Manage Abnormal Pap Results 

Like so many other things in healthcare, the results – even when normal – can quickly become a confusing alphabet soup of abbreviations. Did you know that there isn’t even one universal definition of normal when it comes to pap results? It depends on the patient, their age, any co-testing you did, and more. Like a test in nursing school, there is never a YES/NO answer.

This week, we’ll take some of the mystery out of this challenging clinical topic, and help you understand the main points that will guide your treatment. We’ll talk about:

  • Current guidelines, and how they apply to your patient (and our favorite plug-and-play tool to make interpreting pap results super easy!)
  • The role of HPV in understanding pap results
  • Next steps for the patient with an abnormal pap result
  • Colposcopies, LEEPs, advanced sampling – what they are and how to explain them to your patient
  • Pro tips for interpreting results and guiding your patient

It’s true that even seasoned providers get stumped trying to navigate abnormal pap results. With time, practice, and a few tools in your toolbox, you will get more clarity on interpreting abnormal pap results and knowing the right next steps for your patient.    

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