Endometriosis Foundation of America board member Dr. Karli Goldstein hosted a talk at the Yale School of Nursing. She talked about the importance of diagnosing endometriosis in its early stages. The audience consisted of future advanced practice registered nurses and certified nurse-midwives. Dr. Goldstein explained the 10-year delay in diagnosis that endometriosis patients face and ways in which doctors and nurses can better recognize and address the disease in order to decrease that timeline.
The role of nurses in diagnosing endometriosis
Nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives can diagnose, prescribe, and treat patients. This puts them at the unique advantage of being able to address endometriosis in its early stages. Nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives can be “gatekeepers” to the medical system and serve a critical role in identifying endometriosis in a timely manner.
Dr. Goldstein explained the importance of thorough physical examinations and thoughtful consultations in reducing diagnostic delays. Carefully listening to patients’ symptoms allows doctors to better understand a case even before a diagnostic laparoscopy is performed.
Dr. Goldstein believes that with a firm understanding of the complexity and prevalence of endometriosis, nurses and doctors can foster practices of timely diagnosis and proper treatment for endometriosis patients. Students left the lecture better equipped to address endometriosis when they first encounter it.