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Medical Chaperones at Yale New Haven Health

Patients scheduled for sensitive exams, treatments or procedures at Yale New Haven Health (YNHHS) will have a medical chaperone in the room as a member of the care team.

What is a medical chaperone?

A medical chaperone is a healthcare professional who is part of your care team. They are trained to assist during a visit that includes an exam, treatment or procedure of a sensitive body area. The chaperone ensures that the patient and the provider are comfortable, safe and secure during these exams or procedures. As a member of the care team, the medical chaperone follows all privacy and medical confidentiality regulations and protocols.

 

While friends and family can be invited to stay in the room during the exam or treatment at the patient’s request, they will not be considered chaperones for patients who are ages 13 and older.

 

For patients who are under 13 years old, a parent or guardian may act as the chaperone. The patient or the provider can also request a chaperone in addition to the guardian.

When is a chaperone required?

YNHHS requires chaperones for any exam, treatment or procedure that involves a sensitive body area. This includes:

 

  • Pelvic examination
  • Intravaginal physical therapy
  • Examinations, treatments or procedures of or involving the internal or external genitalia
  • Examinations, treatments or procedures of the breast(s)
  • Rectal examinations, treatments or procedures

 

Patients cannot decline the presence of the medical chaperone during any exam, treatment or procedure that involves a sensitive body area.

When will the chaperone be in the examination room?

The chaperone will be in the room only during the sensitive part of the exam, unless the chaperone is also providing medical assistance to the care team.

Can I request a chaperone for visits that are not sensitive in nature?

Yes. You may ask for a chaperone during any visit, for any reason. If a chaperone is not available, you may reschedule the examination, treatment or procedure to include a chaperone.

Can I request a chaperone of a specific gender?

You may ask for a chaperone of a specific gender. We will try to accommodate your request. If we are not able to meet your request, you may choose to continue your visit with a chaperone who is not of the requested gender, or you can reschedule your appointment to a time when we can provide one.

What if I have concerns about what happened during my sensitive exam, treatment or procedure?

We want to hear from you if you have any concerns about your care. Please reach out to the Patient Relations team at [email protected] to share your concerns.

Why does Yale New Haven Health have a chaperone policy?

Many hospitals, clinics and practices include medical chaperones as members of their care teams. YNHHS, Yale Medicine and Yale Health adopted the practice in response to recommendations from the American Medical Association; the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; the American Academy of Pediatrics; the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses and others to ensure that our patients feel comfortable and safe during treatment.