1. People often get deeply embarrassed when we tell them what we do.
2. Our job really isn't for squeamish people.
3. You have to be totally unshockable.
4. You get pretty desensitized to genitals after a while.
5. People put some seriously weird things in their bums, urethras, and vaginas.
6. You'd be amazed at how long some people leave STIs before coming in to see us.
7. We sometimes take a look at our colleagues' bits.
8. Some men get erections during examinations.
9. We can't help you if you aren't totally honest with us about what you've been doing and with who.
10. We get asked some pretty daft questions.
11. Patients really open up to us.
12. We regularly deal with people who just found out their partner has cheated on them.
13. A lot of our patients are pretty young.
14. If someone is diagnosed with an STI, we can contact ex-partners anonymously on their behalf.
15. But some people get very angry when we call.
16. We see the same people back with the same STIs all the time, and it can get pretty frustrating.
17. And you can't help but wonder what possesses some people to behave the way they do.
18. Our job makes trusting our own partners a bit difficult.
19. We have special clinics for sex workers.
20. We offer all patients at NHS clinics a free HIV test.
21. We also offer counselling, advice, and support.
22. One of the greatest things about our job is how easy it can be to make someone better.
23. We get thank you cards (and gifts) more often than you might think.
24. But the best thing of all is when you turn someone's life around by convincing them to stay safe.
This post was put together with the help of a sexual health nurse based at an NHS genitourinary medicine clinic in central London.