AMIGAS Message Cards
The AMIGAS message cards were made with information learned from Latinas about their feelings, ideas, and experiences with cervical cancer screening tests. On the front of each card is something that a woman might say about screening. On the back of the card is an example of what the community health worker could say in response.
How to Use the Message Cards
The lesson plan for an individual session gives instructions for how to use the message cards. The instructions tell the community health worker to ask the woman to choose the cards that express feelings similar to her own. The community health worker will talk with her about each card she chooses, using the information on the back of the card as a guide. After you become familiar with the cards, you will find other ways that they can be helpful in your conversations.
The lesson plan for a group session does not use the message cards. Instead, the group session has something similar called personality cards. The personality cards are part of the game called Three Friends. If the community health worker does not have time to play Three Friends, she could use the message cards with a group. We encourage her to be creative!
The message cards can be used in two ways—
- Print the Microsoft Word or PDF version and clip each card.
- Open the message cards below electronically.
Stage in the Cervical Cancer Screening Process
I understand that you haven’t thought about getting screened. I’d like to help you start thinking about it.
I’m happy you’re thinking about getting screened. I’d like to help you make a plan to get screened.
It’s great that you’re planning to get screened! What steps have you taken? I’d like to help you make and keep an appointment.
Feelings About Cervical Cancer Screening
Getting screened may make us feel uncomfortable. It will just be for a short time. It is worth it for the sake of our health.
Many of us feel embarrassed about getting screened for cervical cancer. The test does not take very long. The clinic staff are professionals, and they see women’s bodies every day.
Many of us feel nervous or afraid to get screened. The clinic staff can answer any questions we have. It can help us to know what is going to happen.
Sometimes screening can be a little painful. The test will only take a few minutes and the pain is usually very little. It is worth it for our health.
Screening for cervical cancer is something doctors do all the time. They are trained to do these tests and they do them frequently. We can trust the results we are given. It’s OK to ask questions. They will explain the results to you.
In fact, we may die faster if we don’t get screened. The Pap test can find cervical cancer early so it can be treated. The HPV test can tell us if we have the virus that may cause cervical cancer.
Sometimes it can be hard to make time for screening when we are very busy. It’s important to make time to take care of ourselves. Our health depends on it!
It can be hard to understand why screening is important when we don’t feel sick. Until we have had a test, we won’t know for sure if we are healthy.
Some of us think that we don’t need to be screened if cancer doesn’t run in our family. Most women need to be screened for cervical cancer, even if no one in their family has had cancer.
Most women need to be screened up to at least age 65, because the HPV virus can remain in a woman’s body for years. Talk to your doctor if you are 65 or older to see if you should be tested.
Most women need to be screened. This includes women who are no longer having sex, because the HPV virus can remain in a woman’s body long after having sex.
There is no guarantee with screening. But it’s more likely that we could die from cervical cancer if we don’t get screened. That is because a Pap test can find cervical cancer early, when treatment works best. An HPV test can tell us if we have the virus that may cause cervical cancer.
Getting a test once is not enough. Getting screened should be a regular part of a woman’s life so she stays healthy!
It’s important that we take care of our health, even if we don’t have encouragement or help. We will stay healthy for our families.
There are clinics that give low-cost or free screenings. Other clinics can set up a payment plan. I can give you information about those clinics.
Some of us like to take a friend or family member with us to the clinic. It’s OK to take someone with you if that will help you.
Clinic staff can give us health information if we ask them. It’s OK to ask questions. I’ll also give you some information about cervical cancer and cervical cancer screening today.
An easy way to remember that it’s time for a test is to choose a date we will remember, like a time around our birthday. Make sure to get screened regularly. Let’s review when we should get screened.
This is a problem for many of us. So, you are not alone. There are clinics that give screenings even if you don’t have insurance. There are also clinics where you can get a low-cost test and set up a payment plan. I’ll give you information about those clinics.
Sometimes the waiting time can be long, but not always. The screening doesn’t take very long. It’s important to make time for ourselves and our health.
Many of us find it difficult to go to the clinic because it isn’t open when we can go. Some clinics have weekend or evening hours. I’ll give you information about those clinics. Also, some employers allow us to take time off to see a doctor. So don’t be afraid to ask.
It can be hard to know what the test results mean. If we don’t understand the test results, we can ask the clinic staff to explain them.
Some of us prefer to have a female doctor when we get screened. Many clinics have female doctors. We can ask for one when we make our screening appointment.
Some of us prefer to have a male doctor when we get screened. Many clinics have male doctors. We can ask for one when we make our screening appointment.
Many of us want to go to a clinic where they speak Spanish. Many clinics have doctors and staff who speak Spanish. We can ask for someone who speaks Spanish when we make our screening appointment.
Many of us don’t have a way to get to the clinic. It’s important for us to find a way to get to the clinic so we can get screened. Some clinics are easy to get to by bus. I can give you information about which bus to catch. You could also ask a friend or relative to give you a ride.
Many of us have trouble getting screened when we have children to take care of. Some clinics have child care. I’ll give you a list of those clinics. We could also ask a family member or friend to care for our children while we go to the clinic.