1. Yoo, Binnara DNP, RN, NP-C
  2. Vangrafeiland, Brigit DNP, RN, CRNP


Urinary symptoms, such as dysuria, urinary urgency, frequency, and suprapubic pain, are frequent complaints made in the emergency department (ED; M. D. Wilbanks, J. W. Galbraith, & W. M. Geisler, 2014). Although it is easy to relate urinary symptoms with a urinary tract infection (UTI), both UTI and sexually transmitted disease (STD) can share same urinary symptoms that mask each other from detection. It presents challenges for ED clinicians to precisely distinguish between two infections, causing misdiagnosis and mistreatment, resulting in patient morbidity and high health care costs. Clinician adherence to clinical guidelines for the treatment of urinary symptoms with presumed STD remains inconsistent in terms of culturing urine to rule out UTI but not for chlamydial and gonorrheal infections. Given the increasing prevalence of gonorrheal and chlamydial infections, an evidence-based education on STD-screening guideline among clinicians was implemented. A retrospective chart was reviewed before and after the implementation to compare improvement on STD screening among young adults with urinary complaints in the ED. When education was given to the clinicians, more patients with urinary symptoms were screened for chlamydia and gonorrhea (p <= 0.001) and more chlamydial and gonorrheal infections were detected (p = 0.042). Patients with a positive STD had concurrent positive urine cultures, which shows that patients can have both a UTI and an STD at the same time and urinary symptoms are imprecise in distinguishing between the two. An ongoing STD-screening education is essential in ensuring successful detection, treatment, and prevention of transmission.