Community Spotlight: Sexual Health Quarters
No day is the same as any other day!
Q: Please tell us a bit about your practice.
A: As reflected by the name, Sexual Health Quarters is focussed on sexual and reproductive health. The clinic provides contraception, cervical screening, unintended pregnancy consultations and STI screening and management. Usually registrars feel very confident in these skills by the end of the six months here. The organisation also provides information through our website and helpline, community and clinical education, counselling, education and advocacy for sex workers, and education and assistance for people with intellectual disabilities, all in the area of sexual and reproductive health. It is a really delightful place to work, with a lovely collegial and respectful atmosphere. It is also a very convenient location. You can find great food and nightlife attractions in Northbridge and the bus and train stations are just a few minutes’ walk away.
Q: Who are you supervisors and practice manager? Can you tell us a little about each of them?
A: The main supervisors are Richelle Douglas (Medical Director) and Alison Creagh (Medical Educator). Richelle was a medical registrar in O&G, has the RACGP Fellowship, is on the WA Medical Board, is a superb clinical leader, and is a really skilled and passionate clinician. Alison has worked as a GP for a long time and at Northbridge Women’s Health and Family Services and absolutely loves her role as the SHQ medical educator.
Q: What does a day at Sexual Health Quarters look like?
A: There’s enough time for caffeine drinks, if required, before the clinic begins at 9.30am. Usually there is an informal catch up with the other clinicians and client support staff before we head into the clinic rooms.No day is the same as any other day! Clients may include someone wanting to talk about contraceptive choices who also needs a cervical screening test, a person wanting an STI test because their partner has told them they have Chlamydia or someone who is not sure what to do about their unintended pregnancy and wants to find out about their options.
Q: Why did Sexual Health Quarters decide to become an accredited training facility with WAGPET?
A: Our aim is to offer as many training opportunities in sexual health as we possibly can. As most people know, we offer a lot of interactive training here. Theory courses range from our short evening clinical update sessions to the regular Implanon and IUD workshops and the week long certificate course in reproductive and sexual health. We also offer clinical training for the certificate course, for upskilling in cervical screening and IUD clinical skills.
Q: Tell us about your best day as a training facility.
A: ALL of them! Seeing registrars’ skills and confidence continually grow throughout the semester is a joy!
Q: What can a registrar expect from a placement with Sexual Health Quarters?
A: For a registrar’s initial few weeks, the doctors and nurses provide direct supervision of clinics. As a training organisation (not just for GP registrars), each doctor and nurse has undergone specific training in supervising other clinicians and all have extensive experience working in sexual and reproductive health. At the end of the placement, registrars usually feel very confident in their knowledge and skills, particularly their communication skills, in sexual and reproductive health. Registrars can use the supervised part of their placement to meet most of the clinical competencies required for the FPAA Certificate in Reproductive and Sexual Health. We do have some requirements of registrars before they begin, in order to both provide the best possible patient care and to maximise their learning whilst with us. They need to have completed the theory part of the national FPAA Certificate in Reproductive and Sexual Health for Doctors, and to be comfortable to refer for abortions. We also prefer registrars who have done at least the basic GP term, so they have established some good primary care type consulting skills.