Please reply to the following discussion with one reference. Participate in the discussion by asking a question, providing a statement of clarification, providing a point of view with a rationale, challenging an aspect of the discussion, or indicating a relationship between two or more lines of reasoning in the discussion. Cite resources in your responses to other classmates.
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Discuss any “take-away” thoughts from the articles.
Reading the two articles about the care and management of LGBTQ patients was very informative. The LGBTQ community experience particular stressors due to their status as a sexual minority group in the hostile social environment. LGBTQ are faced with various stressors such as discrimination, prejudice, and stigma. This increased stress has significantly contributed to major health issues, especially the major health needs. LGBTQ challenges are not only confined to their social environment but also in the health sector where they also have similar difficulties in seeking treatment. As mentioned in one of the articles, one challenge we have is that a female to male transgender who still carries the female reproductive organs will still need to be screened for cervical cancer. This is a significant problem in healthcare as the system does not allow one to order a PAP smear test on a male patient. Similarly, healthcare professionals have been unable to order PSA screening on a female patient. Also, the article by Paradiso and Lally highlight lack of available published evidence on transgender care, mentioning one of nurse’s disappointment when she could not find a research on caring for transgender patients (Paradiso & Lally, 2018). Reading the articles made me severely saddened by the huge disparity between the numbers of heterosexuals who committed suicide and gay lesbian or bisexual numbers. Due to discrimination in the society, LGBTQ population are likely to have high levels of stressors, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation (Landry, 2017). In view of this, it is important for healthcare professionals to become sensitive and create comfortably inclusive environment for their patients and work toward understanding their patients so as to provide the best care.
How do you plan to make a positive impact on the care of LGBT patients when you become a NP?
One way I plan to impact the care for LGBT patients is by meeting each patient with compassionate and judgement-free care. I will make this possible by creating a safe and comforting environment for all my patients to promote a healthy patient-provider relationship, which allows for open, honest, and trusting communication. Also, as an NP, I plan to show each and every patient their deserved respect and spend time with them to build a trusting relationship. Research shows that patients who trust their providers are more likely to open up about their feelings and insecurities, thus helping address their mental health concerns that often go undiagnosed and untreated (Greene & Ramos, 2021). Also, I intend to remain open and honest about any questions I may have so as to make the patients help me understand their concerns.
What attitudes/behaviors/communication/understanding is important for the NP to have?
The most important thing for an NP is to remain neutral and avoid judgmental and assumptive interactions. The NPs should consider asking open-ended and generalized questions so as to allow patients to openly share their experiences, preferences, and sexual identity. Nevertheless, the NP should be supportive of every patient’s sexual orientation and gender.
What specific screenings / interventions will you incorporate into practice when providing care to a LGBT patient?
The most important screening intervention for LGBTQ patient is to make sure you ask about their mental health and their moods. In particular, asking them if they feel safe at home or in their relationships will help give a clear picture of their feelings at home. This can help determine any signs of depression or anxiety and thus provide them with resources and support groups. Also, it would be important to screen them for alcohol and other substance abuse. Further, it would be important to assess and screen patients who may still have sex organs from the gender they do not identify with. In particular, a Pap smear test can be done on a trans-male, while a hernia exam can be ordered on a trans-female. It is of great importance to make the patients feel comfortable when performing these exams.
Greene, J., & Ramos, C. (2021). A mixed methods examination of health care provider behaviors that build patients’ trust. Patient Education and Counseling, 104(5), 1222-1228.
Landry, J. (2017). Delivering culturally sensitive care to LGBTQI patients. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 13(5), 342-347.
Paradiso, C., & Lally, R. M. (2018). Nurse practitioner knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs when caring for transgender people. Transgender health, 3(1), 48-56.