STD Clinic Visit: A Female Perspective
Author: Fabiola Cardenas
Despite the fact that I was doing this as reporter, I couldn’t ignore that I was about to go into a room and go through an experience which most teenagers would consider one of their worst.
I entered the back door of Salud Para La Gente and, “lucky me,” there was nobody there except the receptionist who was waiting for me, as if she knew
I’d be coming. I couldn’t figure out the words to tell her what I was there for, but when I finally did, she told me that an STD exam is not a walk-in exam. She
gave me an extension number to call if I wanted to make an appointment.
Nothing else was required to make the appointment but my name, age, and whether it was an emergency or just a regular check up. I was done with the first step six days later, I had my appointment at Salud Para La Gente at 8 a.m. to get an STD exam.
Finally, the day had come. I rode the school bus as if it was any other day, except that I did not go straight to school, but across the street to Salud Para La Gente. This time I entered the front door of the clinic and to my surprise, the waiting room was full. As I walked inside, the door closed behind me and I felt a cold rush of wind on my back. When the breeze was gone, I started feeling like I was on a 100-degree Fahrenheit deserted island. I walked through the waiting room to the receptionist’s desk.
The receptionist asked me if I had an appointment. Once I registered, she asked for my medical history, which would stay confidential. She then gave me a patient card for any future visits and asked me to take a seat and wait.
I sat in the hot, noisy, waiting room filled with kids who were running around,jumping up and down and going in and out of bathrooms. They didn’t bother me because all I could think about was what the doctor was going
to do to me.
“Angela Fabiola Cardenas,” the nurse announced. It seemed like she shouted my name through a megaphone. I grabbed my backpack and walked toward the male nurse waiting for me. He introduced himself as we walked to a peaceful, quieter room. Here, he took my blood pressure and weighed me. Despite the fact that I had gained about eight pounds, everything else looked fine.
He asked me a few questions such as why I was there, how I was feeling physically and if I noticed any problems. After he finished asking me these basic
questions, he gave me pamphlets about STDs. He then transferred me to a spacious room where I waited for the physician who would examine me.
I was looking around the room, which was full of health posters, when the doctor walked in and introduced herself. We had more than a questioning
session, it was more like a very personal conversation. She spoke to me about the risks of having premature sex and the different ways to reduce the risk of STDs and pregnancy.
Since in my case the risk of having an STD was very low, I didn’t have to strip down to have an internal exam. Although I have heard that they are not painful,
I have been told that they can be uncomfortable. All that was left to do was pee in a cup. I kind of got off the hook. (Tip: Drink a lot of water before you go
to the clinic, and if possible, bring your own water).
Everything was over. They gave me a doctor’s note to excuse my absence from school, and told me to come back in a few days for my lab results. On my way out, I realized how nervous I was when I first got there. I was so nervous that I thought I had seen a sign at the door that read “No Spanking.” Actually, it read “No Smoking.”
When I stepped out of the clinic, I felt so relieved to once again feel the cool breeze.