Sexuality: assessment, challenges and way forward in nursing | 17108
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Sexuality: assessment, challenges and way forward in nursing profession


Adewole Abimbola D and Ojewale Margaret O

Sexual health is a major health need and concern for patients recovering from major diseases and disorders. Adequate understanding of patient’s sexuality can contribute to the period of time a patient spends on admission. Therefore, it is very important that health professionals especially nurses understands individual patient’s needs of sexuality to be able to give holistic care. Sexuality is therefore, a central component of all human functions that need to be fulfilled. The World Health Organization defined sexual health as “a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity” (WHO, 2012). In order words, sexuality is a part of who you are as a person. It is how you feel about your body, whether you feel masculine or feminine or somewhere in between, the way you dress, how you move, how you speak, the way you act and feel about other people, who you are attracted to and fall in love with, and so much more. According to WHO, 2012, the way people experience and express sexuality is different for each individual and can be influenced by biologic, psychological, social, cultural, and religious factors. When a patient is ill and on admission, the sexuality of the patient is altered especially, with patients that the illness affects their reproductive organs and damage or removal of a part of their body. However, nurses who are part of the health team and relate with patients more on the ward must be well knowledgeable and sensitive to determining the level of alteration in sexuality of the patient or clients they are treating. However, not all the nurses have adequate knowledge of sexuality and the nurses that have the understanding of sexuality do not put it to practice due to one reason or the other. The word sexuality have therefore been reviewed in order to broaden the knowledge of nurses on sexuality, assessment of sexuality, importance of assessing, challenges of assessment of sexuality and way forward in nursing profession.

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