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NU6158 Evidenced Based Cervical Screening UCC Assignment Sample Ireland 

NU6158 Evidenced Based Cervical Screening is a course offered by UCC that focuses on providing students with a comprehensive understanding of cervical cancer and the various screening techniques used for its detection. The course is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to critically analyze the evidence surrounding cervical screening, understand the ethical implications of screening, and to develop and implement effective screening programs.

Cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths among women worldwide, and early detection through screening has been proven to be an effective way to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer. As such, this course is of great importance in the healthcare industry, as it seeks to improve the quality of cervical cancer screening programs by ensuring that they are based on the latest evidence-based research.

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Here, we will describe some assignment tasks. These are:

Assignment Task 1: Recognise the importance of the criteria for early detection of cervical cancer while understanding the reasoning behind cervical screening.

The criteria for early detection of cervical cancer are extremely important because cervical cancer is a highly preventable disease when detected early. Early detection allows for timely intervention and treatment, which can significantly increase the chances of a cure.

The primary method for early detection of cervical cancer is cervical screening, also known as a Pap test or Pap smear. Cervical screening is a procedure that involves collecting cells from the cervix (the lower part of the uterus) and examining them under a microscope for any abnormal changes. The test can detect abnormal cells before they become cancerous, allowing for early treatment and preventing the development of cancer.

Cervical screening is recommended for women between the ages of 21 and 65, with the frequency of screening depending on age and risk factors. Women aged 21-29 should have a Pap test every three years, while women aged 30-65 should have a Pap test every three years or a Pap test combined with an HPV test every five years.

The reasoning behind cervical screening is that cervical cancer is caused by a sexually transmitted infection called human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is very common and is usually harmless, but in some cases, it can cause abnormal changes to the cells in the cervix, which can lead to cancer. Cervical screening allows for the early detection of these abnormal changes, which can be treated before they become cancerous.

Assignment Task 2: Understand the anatomy, physiology and cytopathology of the cervix.

The cervix is a cylindrical structure that connects the uterus to the vagina. It is made up of various types of tissues, including smooth muscle, connective tissue, and glandular tissue. The cervix is lined with a mucous membrane that produces mucus, which helps to protect the cervical canal from bacterial infections.

Anatomy:

The cervix is divided into two parts: the endocervix, which is the inner part that is closest to the uterus, and the exocervix, which is the outer part that is closest to the vagina. The endocervix is covered by a layer of columnar epithelial cells, while the exocervix is covered by a layer of squamous epithelial cells.

Physiology:

The cervix plays a critical role in female reproduction. During ovulation, the cervix produces cervical mucus, which helps to facilitate the movement of sperm through the cervix and into the uterus. The cervix also helps to keep bacteria out of the uterus, which helps to prevent infections.

Cytopathology:

The most common cytopathological abnormality of the cervix is cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). CIN is caused by the abnormal growth of cells on the surface of the cervix, which can eventually lead to cancer if left untreated. Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women, but it can often be detected early through regular Pap tests and HPV testing. Other cytopathological abnormalities of the cervix include inflammation, infection, and the presence of abnormal cells.

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Assignment Task 3: Demonstrate competence in performing cervical smear tests.

A cervical smear test, also known as a Pap test, is a screening test used to detect abnormal cells in the cervix, which may lead to cervical cancer. The test involves collecting cells from the cervix using a small brush or spatula and sending them to a laboratory for analysis.

Here are the steps typically involved in performing a cervical smear test:

  1. The patient is asked to lie down on an examination table and place their feet in stirrups. The healthcare provider then inserts a speculum into the vagina to open it up and provide a clear view of the cervix.
  2. The healthcare provider then uses a small brush or spatula to collect cells from the cervix. The cells are collected by gently scraping the surface of the cervix, which may cause some discomfort or a mild cramping sensation.
  3. The collected cells are then placed onto a glass slide or in a liquid solution and sent to a laboratory for analysis.
  4. The healthcare provider may also perform a visual inspection of the cervix and vagina to check for any signs of abnormalities, such as lesions or inflammation.

It is important to note that cervical smear tests should only be performed by trained healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, or nurse practitioners. Additionally, the frequency of cervical smear tests may vary depending on age, history of abnormal Pap test results, and other factors. It is recommended that women begin getting Pap tests at age 21 and continue getting them every three years until age 65, unless otherwise directed by a healthcare provider.

Assignment Task 4: Demonstrate the ability to produce and document, with appropriate history, a quality laboratory sample and dispatch it appropriately.

Producing a Quality Laboratory Sample:

  1. Identify the appropriate sampling method based on the test requirements, sample material, and analytical method.
  2. Choose the appropriate sampling tools, such as syringes, pipettes, or swabs, to collect the sample.
  3. Follow established protocols and procedures to collect the sample, ensuring that the sample is representative and free from contamination.
  4. Store the sample in appropriate containers and conditions, such as refrigeration or preservation solutions, to prevent degradation or alteration of the sample.
  5. Label the sample with appropriate information, such as the date and time of collection, the type of sample, and any relevant identifiers or codes.

Dispatching a Laboratory Sample:

  1. Determine the appropriate transport conditions and requirements based on the sample type and test requirements, such as temperature, packaging, and documentation.
  2. Ensure that the sample is securely packaged and labeled with appropriate information, such as the sender’s and receiver’s details, the sample type, and any relevant identifiers or codes.
  3. Complete any required documentation, such as a chain of custody form or a shipping manifest, and attach it to the sample package.
  4. Arrange for appropriate transport or courier services, ensuring that the transport method complies with relevant regulations and standards.
  5. Track the sample’s progress and confirm its receipt at the destination laboratory.

It is essential to maintain accurate documentation and tracking throughout the process to ensure the integrity and traceability of the laboratory sample. Any deviations or anomalies should be noted and investigated to avoid compromising the sample quality and analytical results.

Assignment Task 5: Interpret laboratory smear test results accurately and apply screening recommendations as appropriate to each situation.

Laboratory smear tests, also known as cytology tests, are commonly used to screen for abnormal cells that may indicate the presence of cancer or precancerous conditions. Here are some key steps to interpreting laboratory smear test results and applying appropriate screening recommendations:

  1. Understand the test results: The laboratory report will typically indicate whether the test was normal or abnormal, and may provide additional details on the specific findings. Abnormal results may be categorized as atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS), low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL), high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL), or cancerous cells.
  2. Consider the patient’s age and history: The recommended screening recommendations for smear tests vary depending on the patient’s age, medical history, and other factors. For example, the American Cancer Society recommends that women with a cervix should start screening for cervical cancer at age 25 with HPV testing alone or at age 25 with cytology (Pap test) alone every 3 years, or co-testing (both HPV and cytology) every 5 years.
  3. Evaluate the risk factors: In addition to age and medical history, there are other factors that can increase a patient’s risk of developing cervical cancer, such as having a weakened immune system, being HIV positive, or having a history of exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) in utero. These patients may need more frequent screening or additional testing, such as colposcopy or biopsy.
  4. Determine the next steps: Depending on the test results and other factors, the next steps may include repeat testing, colposcopy, biopsy, or other diagnostic procedures. It is important to communicate these recommendations clearly and sensitively to the patient and ensure that they understand the rationale for the recommendations.

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Assignment Task 6: Describe treatment options available for women who return abnormal smears or who have cervical cancer.

Abnormal smears or Pap tests indicate abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix, which may be a precursor to cervical cancer. If the Pap test shows abnormal results, additional tests may be necessary to determine the extent of the abnormalities.

Treatment options for women who have abnormal smears or cervical cancer depend on the severity of the abnormality, the woman’s age and overall health, and whether she wants to have children in the future. Here are some of the most common treatment options:

  1. Observation: In some cases, if the abnormality is mild, the healthcare provider may suggest monitoring the woman’s condition for changes without taking any immediate action.
  2. Colposcopy: This is an exam that allows the healthcare provider to examine the cervix with a special instrument called a colposcope. During the exam, the healthcare provider may take a biopsy, which involves removing a small amount of tissue from the cervix for examination under a microscope.
  3. LEEP: Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) uses a thin, wire loop to remove abnormal tissue from the cervix. It is performed under local anesthesia.
  4. Cryotherapy: This procedure freezes and destroys abnormal cervical tissue.
  5. Cone biopsy: This procedure removes a cone-shaped piece of tissue from the cervix, which is examined under a microscope to check for cancer cells.
  6. Hysterectomy: In severe cases, a hysterectomy may be necessary to remove the uterus and cervix.

If a woman is diagnosed with cervical cancer, treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these treatments. The specific treatment plan will depend on the stage of the cancer, the woman’s age and overall health, and other factors. In some cases, a hysterectomy may be necessary to remove the uterus and cervix, but this is usually reserved for more advanced cases of cervical cancer.

Assignment Task 7: Maintain client comfort, safety and confidentiality.

Maintaining client comfort, safety, and confidentiality is crucial in any professional setting where people seek help or services. Whether you work in healthcare, counseling, social work, or any other field that involves working closely with clients, it is important to ensure that their needs are met and that they feel safe and respected at all times.

Here are some tips on how to maintain client comfort, safety, and confidentiality:

  1. Create a welcoming and safe environment: The physical space where you meet with clients should be welcoming, clean, and comfortable. You can also use appropriate lighting, soothing colors, and pleasant music to help create a calming atmosphere. Make sure that the space is free of any hazards or obstacles that could pose a risk to your clients.
  2. Establish clear boundaries: It is important to establish clear boundaries with your clients to ensure their safety and to maintain a professional relationship. Be clear about your role and responsibilities, and avoid overstepping boundaries or becoming too familiar with your clients.
  3. Practice active listening: Active listening is a technique that involves fully focusing on what the client is saying, without interrupting or making judgments. This can help clients feel heard and validated, which can in turn help them feel more comfortable and safe.
  4. Maintain confidentiality: Confidentiality is an important aspect of maintaining trust with clients. Make sure that you adhere to any laws and ethical guidelines related to confidentiality and that you only share information on a need-to-know basis.
  5. Provide clear information: Provide clear and concise information to your clients about what they can expect during their interactions with you. This can include information about your qualifications, the services you provide, and any relevant policies or procedures.

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Assignment Task 8: Initiate and develop effective communication skills to facilitate relationships with both clients and colleagues.

Effective communication skills are essential for building positive relationships with clients and colleagues. Here are some strategies you can use to develop and improve your communication skills:

  1. Practice active listening: When communicating with others, it’s important to listen actively. This means giving your full attention to the person speaking, avoiding distractions, and asking clarifying questions to ensure you understand their message.
  2. Use clear and concise language: Communicate in a clear and concise manner to ensure your message is understood. Avoid using jargon or technical terms that may be unfamiliar to others.
  3. Be aware of your body language: Your body language can convey a lot about how you feel and what you’re thinking. Use positive body language, such as maintaining eye contact and open posture, to show that you’re engaged in the conversation.
  4. Be empathetic: Empathy involves understanding and sharing the feelings of others. Show empathy by acknowledging their perspective, validating their feelings, and being supportive.
  5. Be respectful: Treat others with respect, regardless of their position or role. Use polite language and avoid interrupting or speaking over others.
  6. Be open-minded: Keep an open mind when communicating with others. Be willing to consider different perspectives and ideas, even if they differ from your own.
  7. Provide feedback: Provide constructive feedback to help others improve their communication skills. Be specific about what they did well and offer suggestions for improvement.

By implementing these strategies, you can develop effective communication skills that will help you build positive relationships with both clients and colleagues. Remember that communication is a two-way street, so be willing to listen as well as speak.

Assignment Task 9: Develop support and counselling skills in relation to client needs.

As a counselor or support worker, it’s important to develop a range of skills that can support your clients and meet their needs effectively. Here are some key skills and approaches to consider:

  1. Active Listening: Active listening means paying full attention to what the client is saying, both verbally and non-verbally. This involves maintaining eye contact, using open body language, and reflecting back on what the client has said to show that you have understood. By actively listening, you can gain insight into their concerns and feelings, which can help you to provide more effective support.
  2. Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. This involves putting yourself in the client’s shoes, acknowledging their emotions, and showing compassion. By demonstrating empathy, you can help the client to feel heard and validated, which can be a powerful tool in promoting healing and change.
  3. Rapport building: Building rapport means establishing a positive relationship with the client. This involves creating a safe and supportive environment, being authentic and genuine, and using appropriate humor and warmth. By building rapport, you can help the client to feel comfortable and willing to share their experiences and concerns.
  4. Problem-Solving: Problem-solving involves helping the client to identify and work through the challenges they are facing. This can include helping them to develop strategies for coping with difficult situations, identifying their strengths and resources, and exploring different options for moving forward.
  5. Reflection and feedback: Reflection and feedback involve providing the client with an objective and constructive assessment of their thoughts and behaviors. This can help them to gain insights into their issues and challenges, identify areas for growth and development, and work towards achieving their goals.

By developing these skills and approaches, you can provide effective and supportive counseling and support to clients in need. It’s important to remember that everyone’s needs are different, and you may need to adapt your approach to best meet each client’s unique needs and circumstances.

Assignment Task 10: Demonstrate knowledge of The National Cervical Screening Programme.

The National Cervical Screening Programme (NCSP) is a publicly funded program in many countries including Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom that aims to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer through regular screening.

In Australia, the NCSP recommends that women aged between 25 and 74 years undergo a cervical screening test every five years. The test involves taking a sample of cells from the cervix and examining them under a microscope to check for any abnormalities that may indicate the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells.

The NCSP in Australia has recently undergone a significant change, with the replacement of the traditional Pap smear test with a more sensitive and accurate test called the HPV (human papillomavirus) test. The HPV test looks for the presence of the HPV virus, which is the primary cause of cervical cancer. This change was made based on the latest scientific evidence, which suggests that the HPV test is more effective at detecting precancerous changes than the Pap smear.

In New Zealand, the NCSP recommends that women between the ages of 25 and 69 undergo cervical screening every three years. The screening test involves taking a sample of cells from the cervix and examining them under a microscope to check for any abnormalities.

In the United Kingdom, the NCSP recommends that women between the ages of 25 and 64 undergo cervical screening every three to five years, depending on their age. The screening test involves taking a sample of cells from the cervix and examining them under a microscope to check for any abnormalities.

The NCSP in all countries aims to increase awareness about cervical cancer and the importance of regular screening, and to provide access to screening for all eligible women, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

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