It’s A Tale of Two Hygienists’ monthly student roundtable episode, which means Andrew and Michelle have invited a trio of guests to educate student listeners on a chosen topic. This week, they are discussing human papillomavirus infection (HPV infection) and associated oropharyngeal cancers.
Spring Hatfield is a dental hygienist who educates patients on the oral-systemic disease connection. Kathryn Gilliam is a practicing clinician, author, speaker, as well as a clinical coach and consultant; she is the founder of PerioLinks, which offers specialized coaching programs to oral healthcare professionals. JoAnn Gurenlian is the graduate program director at Idaho State University and a 40-year veteran of dental hygiene.
In this episode, our guests break down what goes into a comprehensive HPV examination, discuss its sexual and non-sexual modes of transmission, and impress the importance of taking patients’ sexual histories.
Interview starts: 4:10
– Kathryn discusses how frequently the average person comes into contact with HPV throughout their lives and explains why tactility plays such an important role in examining patients for related cancers.
– Why the current trend in birth control among sexually active high school students does little to control the spread of HPV.
– Spring looks at how too few primary care physicians and physicians’ assistants are screening their patients for HPV-related cancers or even discussing the subject with them.
– Examining the non-sexual modes of transmission for HPV and why immune system-strengthening is so vital in preventing transmission.
– JoAnn impresses the necessity of continuing education programs that would help professionals perform more effective oral examinations and comfortably converse with their patients about HPV and sexual history.
– Kathryn examines the unfortunate pattern of passing the buck throughout the medical profession when it comes to discussing sexual history.
“It’s so critical to perform the extraoral head and neck exam because these cancers in the oropharynx are beyond our visual field.”
“I don’t think most hygienists/dentists have this discussion with their patients about the association of HPV with oropharyngeal cancer.”
“If you haven’t ever asked questions that seem this personal, it’s helpful if you practice.”
“With a little bit of experience and a little bit of focus on the patient, we can become very accomplished in this role of taking a sexual history.”
“We have to elevate our identities for ourselves so we can elevate our identities for our patients.”
“We have a huge responsibility for the lives of our patients.”
“We are the preventative oral health specialists, so go prevent something.”
Kathryn’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Spring’s email: email@example.com
JoAnn’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CDC Guide to Taking a Sexual History – https://www.cdc.gov/std/treatment/sexualhistory.pdf
THIS EPISODE COUNTS FOR CE! – but read the disclaimer below as it might not count for your state.
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