Increasing Access for Women to Use Free Clinic Screening Services in North Carolina Research Paper

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Access for Women to use Free Clinic Screening Services in North Carolina

U07a1: Nursing Research Course Project- Part I

Marry Perry

Orientation to Graduate Nursing Study

All around the world, women are facing many difficulties maintaining their health and due to their lack of knowledge of the importance of regular checkups, the rate of deaths due to breast and cervical cancer are ever increasing. In order to decrease this, the North Carolina decided to take a step forward and find a solution that would save the lives of the women by early detection of diseases like cancer and by promoting awareness of the importance of early detection and regular screening.

North Carolina has over 79 clinics that offer free screening especially for women. Their goal is to provide health and well-being of the women and their families by providing proper health care to all individuals especially those who cannot afford it. By this means, all women are screened regularly for any symptoms or signs that may later be harmful to life.

Screening is an examination for people which who have not yet been diagnosed of cancer or any other disease that is life threatening and harder to cure once reached at a tertiary stage. Hence it is advisable to regularly screen yourself so the disease does not reach at a stage where it then almost impossible to cure. It is therefore, beneficial if the disease is detected at an early stage. There are various types of screening tests available for various diseases. (Jane, 2007)

For different types of Cancer the following kinds of screenings are carried out:

-Clinical exams: In this type of examination the doctor simply examines your body to see if any physical change has occur. For instance, he may feel your throat to see if there are any lumps which would be a sign of thyroid cancer

-Imaging tests: Here, pictures of parts inside your body are taken via x-rays, CT scans, MRIS scans or mammograms.

-Visualization procedures: In this procedure, the doctor uses instruments which he insterts into the body via any opening in the body.

-Laboratory tests: Samples of blood, urine etc. are taken and then sent to the laboratory where they are then examined.

-Genetic testing: This test is a different. Here, a blood sample is taken and tested for any gene mutation that may keep you at a higher risk of developing any sort of cancer. If the test results are positive, your pathologist will monitor you very closely and have you perform tests quite often. However, if the results come out negative then you are not such a high risk as predicted.

In North Carolina, specifically, the following clinics have taken the initiative of carrying out free examinations for the two most leading cancers found in women. I.e. cervical and breast cancer. (Reamer, 1991)

-- the American Breast Cancer Foundatin on provides absolutely free breast exams to women of all ages. However, they are first interviewed and according to their needs the examinations are provided. Cabarrus Health Alliance Breast Health Screening Program also provides the same facilities except that here, women under age 40 are preferred.

-"Cancercare" organization that instead of providing examinations, sponsors those who need treatment of Cancer by providing them funds to fulfill the expenses of chemotherapy, pain medications, transportation etc.

-Ashe County Free Medical Clinic-Jefferson is also a free screening clinic in Ashe county of North Carolina for those who do not have medical insurance.

-Bladen county Free Clinic -- Council gives health care to patients aged between 0 to 64 years

-Charlotte Community Health Clinic Inc.- Charlotte is also a free clinic providing effective care.

-Broad Street Free Clinic Morhead City- This is a non-profit organization for citizens especially residents of Carteret County.

-Communtiy Care Clinic Inc.- Albemarle- This provides free dental and medical services.

-Community Free Clinic Cancord-Situated in Cancord, this clinic gives access to the uninsured for healthcare.

The North Carolina Breast and Cervical Cancer Contol Program ( NC BCCCP) ensures that its members are regularly screened and if they are diagnosed with Cancer or any disease, all the funds required for the treatment are given by it.

The NC BCCP also provides breast exams, ultrasounds, breast and cervical biopsies and mammograms. Pap tests and medical consultations are available as well.

The Nurse's role is to educate and create awareness of cancer of all sites especially cancer of the breast. It is their duty to bring it to the knowledge of the people of the signs and symptoms which help in the early detection. They preach the people about the importance of self-examination of the breast and how to detect changes that may have occurred. The sooner an abnormality is detected, the more easier is the treatment. Similarly, for the prevention and early detection of cancer of the cervix, the nurse are responsible to convince young women to have pap smear tests done after their first intercourse and then regularly. (Lewison, 1965)

Screening is very important in order to diagnose a disease. North Carolina has therefore taken a step to ensure that those who cannot afford the services also have access to avail it. Free clinic screening services have been introduced and now thousands of people can take precautions concerning their health. (H.M.Malm).With reliable health services, patients are completely satisfied with their screenings. It has been noticed that more and more people are getting screenings done with great ease which would not have been possible without the North Carolina's Free clinic services. Moreover, with the increasing risk of diseases being spread so often among women, the screening tests become of more demand to the people. Having said that, it has been noted that the risk of Breast and Cervical Cancer is very high especially in women. If treated properly and given proper attention, it can be reduced to a large extend. Kindness and gentleness have always been an important characteristic of the doctors, which the Screening Services in North Carolina surely have. This thus increases the access to free screening services by a large number of people. Furthermore, there has been a drastic increase of knowledge among the local women about the free services in North Carolina and the news of this great service is being spread from person to person. Raising the awareness, there are now less women who are prone to different types of cancer and it has been observed that more women are now taking precautions than ever before. Thousands of lives are being saved. If diseases are taken care from before by getting screenings done, it not only saves their own life but is also a lesson to others as awareness about the importance of screenings is being spread quickly by telling stories of those treated. This in turn raises the demand of more clinics being made which in turn increases the chances of treatment of those who cannot afford the highly expensive screenings, especially in a recession situation as nowadays. The clinics of North Carolina encourage women to establish and maintain good health. The mission forever after has been to provide health care at ease to women who face financial barriers. Receiving treatment is not a headache anymore. North Carolina's clinics also provide prescription drugs to those in need to encourage proper treatment.

Away from the traditional form of treatment, screening tests detects diseases in its early stage from people who appear to be healthy. Although the access to free screening services has increased, there is undoubtedly the notion of whether these screening tests contradicts the person's belief. What doctors can do though, is encourage and convince people to carry out the screening tests as there is no harm in doing so. The ends justify the means as its only beneficial and no harm is done to the patient. (John,2007)

Therefore, it is extremely necessary for women to have themselves screened regularly by availing the facilities that the health care departments in North Carolina are providing. Providing the clinics which are located at suitable distances from residential area, it increases the possiblilties of people availing the opportunity. All these characteristics adds up to the women not ignoring their health and letting it get to a stage from where cure becomes very difficult. It is always better to take measures to prevent life threatening diseases.

The challenges faced by nurses in North Carolina is that there are not educationally prepared to practice at the level required. This makes the patients uncertain of who to rely on. If the nurses are not confident in what they are doing, the patients are bound to be unsatisfied. The people of North Carolina already have a lack of understanding of the value of regular screening and if the nurses cannot help in promoting awareness then there is surely a problem.

For this, a leadership role must be taken in forming nursing schools which help the nurses to be at the level required to satisfy the patients who are suffering from the diagnosed…

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