This is a part of the Hot Topic podcast series from the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center on Sexuality and Intimacy After Burn Injury. Ashley Overturf, OTR, discusses when burn survivors want to talk about sex.

Ashley Overturf, O.T.

North Texas Burn Rehabilitation Model System

Parkland Memorial Hospital

It’s wonderful when patients ask about sex. I think it shows that there’s like an eagerness to get out of here and get back to living life. I think it makes it -

I think it’s wonderful when patients ask about sex. As a healthcare professional, it makes bringing up the conversation much easier when they’re already thinking about it. Oftentimes they don't ask in the beginning.

I don't know if it’s because it feels taboo or if it’s because they’re just like a little bit worried about what’s she going to think? But I think as you start to talk about it more, or to just mention it casually and say hey, if you’re interested, we can talk about it and if not, cool, bring it up later. Because it is something that really needs to be talked about early on.

I think I like to bring it up maybe more than once, a couple of times, to show that it’s not just like an uncomfortable conversation. It’s something that I as a therapist want to talk about because if I don't talk about it now, then there are other issues in the future.

So we often bring it up multiple times. On top of that, sometimes our thinking isn’t always really clear when we’re heavily medicated or we’ve maybe had some sort of brain injury on top of a burn. So I think it’s one of those things, it’s like, it’s not just a one and done; it’s an ongoing conversation.

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