Clinic 281 | Sexual Health & Wellbeing
Sexual and reproductive health issues aren’t usually things you want the world to know about. That’s why Gippsland Lakes Complete Health has opened Clinic 281 – to ensure that your private business stays private. You are, of course, welcome to bring a support person or people to your appointments.
What services are available at Clinic 281?
Who is Clinic 281 for?
All young people OR those who live with complex needs or social disadvantage including:
How much does it cost?
If you fall into the categories listed above, then it’s likely your appointment will be free. There may, however, be some additional costs depending on what treatments or referrals are required. If you’re stressing about fees please have a chat with one of our friendly staff before you book your appointment, so we can try and work out some additional support for you.
Call: 5168 9639 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | eFax: 8692 9966
In an emergency please contact the Ambulance Service by telephoning 000, or for general medical advice contact Nurse-On-Call 1300 60 60 24.
Heather is an experienced Midwife with a long work history at Bairnsdale Regional Health Service, in all aspects of maternity care.
She has a Graduate Certificate in Sexual and Reproductive Health and has extensive experience in women’s health and continence including cervical cancer screening and health promotion.
Heather has worked with vulnerable families and teenagers and also has experience in adolescent health, having worked in the Secondary School Nurse program in several local secondary colleges.
Ashlea is a General Practitioner (GP) who has a special interest in sexual and reproductive health, as well as adolescent and mental health. Having worked in both General Practice settings, as well as working as part of the Victorian Doctors in Schools Program, Ashlea is passionate about providing quality health care to the community of East Gippsland.
- Pregnancy choices, information and support.
- Gippsland agency for gender equity, women’s health, prevention of violence against women and family violence system.
- Jean Hailes for Women’s Health is a national not-for-profit organisation dedicated to improving women’s health across Australia through every life stage.
I am under 18 – can I still attend the clinic?
Yes! There are no age restrictions.
If you are under 16, we may need to talk more to make sure you can make strong health choices by yourself to access certain treatments.
Can I bring my Friend/Partner/Parent for support?
We will need to talk about things you may want to keep private – It might be worth calling the clinic to talk about it first, or we can talk at the time- and negotiate how best to manage support.
How much does the service cost?
If you are under 35 or experiencing significant hardship – the service is free!
There may be some costs associated with accessing some treatments and ultrasounds. If you experience significant hardship, please let us know so we can see how we can help.
What will the nurse ask about?
- If we are discussing sexually transmitted infections, healthy relationships, contraception, or unplanned pregnancy we will need to know a few things about you.
- These things help us learn about you, and how we can help. What we talk about is confidential and we will plan with you on what you want to do next.
- The nurse and doctor will ask about:
- Any health issues you may have
- The medications you take (both prescribed and over the counter)
- Smoking, Drug, and Alcohol use
- Any problems you’re managing at home, school, work, your friends or with your mental health
- Any personal safety issues
- How you identify (gender, sexuality and culturally)
- Contraception use
- Periods, previous pregnancies, abortions, and miscarriages
- Your relationships
- Recent sexual activity (Who do you do this with, and what did you do)
- Any issues you may be experiencing:
- Pain during intercourse
- Any discharges or mucus from your genitals
- Discomfort, pain or burning when peeing
- New rashes, lumps and bumps
- Missed periods/unplanned pregnancy
What about my privacy?
All information is strictly confidential, and we want to make sure you can access help without others knowing. We are bound by laws to ensure that your health information is strictly protected. There are rare occasions that we do need to report significant safety concerns for young people; but we will talk about that with you – and provide you support.
If you want, you can call us anonymously to talk to a nurse about your concerns first; and we can speak to how we can assist. If we do see you and provide testing and support – we will need to know who you are.
What we talk about is not shared with any other services unless you clearly agree.
What are Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)?
- STIs don’t discriminate – and can happen to anyone who is sexually active. Regular testing for STIs is part of healthy and respectful relationships.
- There are many STIs: such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, herpes, genital warts, crabs, HIV (to name a few).
- Some people with an STI may have no symptoms at all (75% of people with chlamydia will not know!).
- STIs are mostly treatable. There is no shame in learning you have an STI, it is a normal part of being sexually active.
- It is possible to be reinfected by an STI, so it is important for your sexual partners to be tested and treated.
- STIs are infections that are spread from person to person during sexual contact. These can be spread via vaginal sex, oral sex, anal sex and sometimes just through skin-to-skin contact.
- The best way to prevent and reduce the spread of STI is to use condoms.
- If left untreated, some STIs can become problems: they can give you really bad pain or discomfort, can be spread to your partners, can be transmitted to unborn babies, may cause fertility problems, and on rare occasions become life threatening.
How are STI tests are done?
STI tests are mainly done via Blood tests, urine tests and occasionally swabs.
- The nurse and doctor can take your blood tests.
- We will explain how to collect your own urine sample.
- We will teach you how to collect your own swabs.
- There are times that you may need some help from either the nurse or doctor.
Can I choose who I see at the clinic?
- All our clinic team members will be able to provide care to you; and may be booked to see any of the nurses.
- We fully respect and are mindful of bodily autonomy. Beyond a health discussion – you will be in full control of how we complete your review.
- It does help us to examine what you, or occasionally to help with tests – but we can find ways to manage without an examination. For example: we can teach you to attend your own tests in the bathroom at the clinic.
- If you are really concerned, please call the clinic to negotiate a time – or bring a friend or support as an escort.
- Heather is the only nurse who will provide cervical screening.
Can I get a certificate for work or school?
- Yes – the nurse can provide a certificate of attendance, and the doctor can provide a medical certificate if you need more intensive support or treatments.
I think I am pregnant – Can I get help?
- Yes – If you are worried about being pregnant, we provide pregnancy tests here.
- If you are worried about unplanned pregnancy, we can talk about your options – and will support you with your decision. This may take a few appointments with us to ensure we attend all the tests, treatments and follow up required. You can call us to talk about your circumstances if you want.
How do I get my test results?
- It is best to come back to the clinic for your test results – this ensures your privacy – and we can provide support if you are stressed.
- You may need the doctor to prescribe treatment (which the nurse can administer) and sometimes further tests are required.
I can’t drive and get to Bairnsdale – what do I do?
- Call Clinic 281 at GLCH and we can talk about what you need and see if we can make alternative arrangements.
Can I just see the doctor?
- As our doctor is quite busy, the nurses make appointments on her behalf for sexual and reproductive health needs. Sometimes there are tests we can attend that would help the doctor with their work.
- Call Clinic 281 to talk to the nurse about your needs and situation.
Can I get Contraception at Clinic 281?
The nurse will discuss your needs and support you to engage with options that best suit your situation. If you want long term contraception options (Implanon, Mirena) the nurse will support you to see the doctor.
To make an appointment...
There are four ways:
- You can drop into 281 Main Street Bairnsdale, anytime Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday afternoon before 5.00 pm and ask to speak with someone from Clinic 281, noting that there may be a delay in someone being able to speak with you.
- You can get a referral from a GP, health service, allied health professional – you don’t HAVE to but if you do then your appointment will be prioritised in our booking system.
- Call Clinic 281 on 5168 9639
- You can book an appointment online using the button below.