Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Assisting with an Examination and Diagnostic Procedures

April 11, 2024

Learning Objective: Examine the medical assistant’s role in examinations and diagnostic procedures for urinary and male reproductive diseases and disorders.
      As with other physical examinations, a careful history provides the physician with valuable information. The medical assistant should ask specific questions to gather important information on the patient’s chief complaint for the visit. For instance, if a patient states, “I think I have a bladder infection,” the medical assistant should focus on what signs and symptoms the patient is experiencing and not just document what the patient stated. For this type of situation, the medical assistant may ask the following questions:
                • What is occurring now? When did it start?
                • Have you had a history of bladder infections?
                • Are you experiencing pain or discomfort? Where? When?
                • Any urgency or the need to go “now”? Are you going more frequently?
                • Is there blood in the urine?
                • Any fevers? Chills?
Remember to start with more open-ended questions; in other words, use questions that encourage the patient to answer in more than just one or two words. To get specific details, the medical assistant can ask questions that are closed ended or those that require one- or two-word answers, such as yes or no.

Testicular Self-Exam
Learning Objective: Describe how the testicular self-exam is completed.
      According to the American Cancer Society, males at any age can develop testicular cancer. About 50% of those diagnosed are between 20 and 34 years of age. It is estimated that 1 in 263 males will get testicular cancer. If the cancer is found early (before it has spread), there is a good chance of a cure.
      The American Cancer Society recommends that providers perform a testicular exam as part of a routine physical exam. Some providers recommend that after puberty (around age 15), males should do a monthly testicular self-exam (TSE) after a shower (PROCEDURE 27.1). The medical assistant may be involved in coaching a patient on how to do a TSE. PROCEDURE 27.1 discusses how to coach a patient on the TSE. It is helpful for the patient to have a brochure and practice the technique on a TSE model during the coaching session.

Assisting with Diagnostic Procedures
Learning Objective: Describe the medical assistant’s role in diagnostic procedures.
      The medical assistant helps with diagnostic procedures by scheduling and preparing patients for these procedures. If tests require restrictions of food or fluids, the medical assistant should address the following points with the patient after talking with the provider:
                • Can the patient have water prior to the test?
                • Which medications should the patient take prior to the test, or when can the patient resume the current medications?
TABLE 27.4 describes common diagnostic procedures used for urinary and male reproductive conditions. The medical assistant may need to screen the patient for specific allergies, medications, and pregnancy prior to scheduling the procedure. For some procedures, a signed consent form is required. The patient should be notified of what they will experience during the procedure and any follow-up care required after the test. TABLE 27.5 lists common laboratory tests used for urinary and male reproductive conditions.