I didn't start my nursing degree knowing exactly what sort of nurse I wanted to be. I became passionate about sexual health nursing about 2 years into my career. I have always had a passion for "women's health," but little did I know where that would take me! I started my Masters of Public Health and fell in love with the microbiology of sexually transmitted infections and STI control theory, but mostly the social determinants at play in who was getting STIs and why.
While I still love the microscopic details of how a bacteria gets into a cell and the way treatments work, the best part of my job is being able to normalise and destigmatise sex and sexuality. To take the shame and secrecy out of sex. To support people who may never have been able to discuss something with anyone else and give them that time and respect.
My favourite part of the job is the talking. I've seen enough genitals, heard enough details about symptoms and types of sex, that none of it phases me. It's talking to the person and helping them feel good about their sex and sexuality that has the biggest and best impact.
Sex is supposed to be fun and enjoyable and connect people - otherwise people wouldn't do it. It's about enjoying ourselves safely and with care for each other and ourselves. STIs are gonna happen - so let's take the blame, shame and secrecy out of it.
I've been a qualified sexual health nurse for almost 5 years now and I can't see myself doing any other job!