UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN MEDICAL FOUNDATION
CLINICAL POLICY AND PROCEDURE
TITLE: TEACHING TESTICULAR SELF-EXAMINATION (TSE)
Effective Date: August, 2002 Approval: See Authorization
Supersedes Protocol: None Contact: Clinical Staff Education
Reviewed October, 2003 April, 2005 November 2007 May 2009 March 2012
PURPOSE: To provide guidelines for teaching testicular self-exams at UWMF Clinics.
DEFINITION: Because testicular cancer may produce no symptoms in
early stages, it is important for young men (ages 15 to 35) to examine their
testicles once each month. It is best to do this examination in the shower.
The heat causes the scrotal skin to relax, making the exam easier.
POLICY: The clinical staff will utilize the following guidelines to teach
testicular self-exam to male patients.
SUPPLIES: Provider’s order, Patient education teaching materials
1. Wash hands and gather equipment.
2. Introduce yourself and identify the patient by full name and date of birth.
3. Assess patient to determine:
Learning needs: What does patient need to know about testicular self-exams?
Readiness to learn: Does patient want to learn to perform this skill? or
Current knowledge: What does patient already know about procedure?
Ability to learn: Developmental stage, cognitive status, and physical attributes.
Learning environment. Choose setting where patient can focus on learning.
4. Explain exam/procedure to the patient.
NOTE: Explanations may need to be in a simple step by step format.
5. Provide good light for instruction and privacy while teaching.
6. Have the patient wash his hands with soap and water.
NOTE: Soap increases the sensitivity of the fingers.
7. Steps in teaching the testicular self-exam (TSE):
The total exam takes about 3 minutes.
Start by having the patient hold the scrotum in the palm of the hand.
Take one testicle at a time and apply a small amount of pressure.
Slowly roll the testicle between the fingers.
Examine the testicle for hard, painless lumps.
8. Next have the patient examine the epididymis.
Explain that this is the comma-shaped cord found behind the testicles.
Explain that this may be tender when touched.
Slowly roll it between the fingers.
Examine it for hard, painless lumps.
NOTE: This is the site of most non-cancerous lesions.
9. Next have the patient examine the vas deferens.
This is the sperm-carrying tube running along the epididymis.
Explain that this tube normally feels firm and movable.
Have the patient examine the vas deferens on both sides.
10. Documentation in the Progress Notes section of patient’s chart in
patient teaching completed
patient's response to the teaching
WRITTEN BY: Ronnie Peterson, R.N., M.S., Manager of Clinical Support
REVIEWED BY: Donnette Kelly, R.N., Department of Urology, 2012
Carol Decker, RN, MSN, Clinical Staff Educator, 2012
Perry, A.G. & Potter, P.A. (2009). Fundamentals of nursing. (7th ed.). Hall, A. & Stockert, P.A. (Eds.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby
Department of Surgery, Urology Date
Medical Director Date