Pride is upon us, the whole culture over. And as the Rainbow’s rays fall on societal facets, medicine isn’t left uncolored.
Take, for instance, a new course at New York University.
According to a June 2nd announcement, NYU’s nursing school has launched an “LGBTQ+ health course.”
NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing has created a new elective course focused on LGBTQ+ health to better prepare nursing students to provide culturally affirming and inclusive care to this population.
Clinical Assistant Professor Jeff Day — the addition’s developer and teacher — hailed a meeting of demand:
“It is rare for nursing schools to offer coursework dedicated to the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals, despite the unique issues they face and growing interest from students. Our goal is to empower new nurses to provide care for people across sexual orientations and gender expressions that promotes health and improves patient outcomes.”
How might the course cause different outcomes than has an approach unconcerned with sexual preference or self-perception? Perhaps the answer regards destigmatization:
LGBTQ+ individuals face barriers to healthcare, including stigma and discrimination, as well as longstanding health disparities—for instance, an increased risk for substance use, suicide, and sexually transmitted infections.
“Understanding” could play a part, too:
Nurses have historically been leaders in caring for this patient population, particularly in advocating for people living with HIV and AIDS, but many health professionals lack an understanding of LGBTQ+ issues in healthcare.
It would seem that “nurses have historically been leaders in caring” for all populations. Either way, NYU is upping its LGBT game:
Research shows that undergraduate nursing programs spend an average of only 2.12 hours teaching content about LGBTQ+ health topics. Some nursing schools have taken steps to add LGBTQ+ content to their curricula: At NYU Meyers, educators recently introduced an LGBTQ-focused simulation to prepare nursing students to create a safer healthcare environment for all patients irrespective of their gender and sexual identity. The simulation demonstrates the use of inclusive language during an imagined emergency room visit.
New York’s eponymous public university isn’t the first Big Apple institution to school healthcare workers in treating the ever-expanding Alphabet Alliance. Earlier this month, Columbia University brought news of a first-ever degree in “Transgender Non-Binary Health Care for Advanced Practice Nurses and PAs.”
The school pointed to unique needs:
Trans people may…need to undergo the preventive care required for their biological sex, for example prostate cancer screening for those born male.
A specialized market might indeed be emerging…
Check out this exclusive clip from our #STATHealthTech Summit panel: The future of buying medicine online
A.G. Breitenstein, J.D.
CEO and Founder, FOLX Health@folxhealth
And @erbrod pic.twitter.com/Alk3YbNfX1
— STAT (@statnews) May 11, 2021
As for the aforementioned “inclusive language,” America’s healthcare apparatus is certainly on the gender-nonspecific ball:
Medicine is increasingly aimed toward social justice, and such a boost begins in the classroom…
Medical Instructors May Soon Forfeit Tenure — Unless They Can Literally Prove Their Wokenesshttps://t.co/YyLCd4iKie
— Alex Parker (@alexparker1984) June 19, 2022
Back to NYU, the new Contemporary Issues in Health Care course is partly described thusly:
Embedded in the human experience of illness and health are rich sub-concepts with ethical and moral implications such as comfort and suffering, genetics/genomics, bioethics, addiction, culture and healthcare disparities, LGBT healthcare needs, interprofessional collaboration, global health issues, and policy. Ethics is an essential component of nursing practice and is inextricably linked to quality care. Students will be challenged to think critically and ethically about what society considers fair and just care as they explore factors that influence the wellness illness continuum of human experiences.
Professor Jeff looks forward to when LGBT-specific healthcare courses are mandatory:
“While ideally LGBTQ+ content would be woven throughout the entire nursing curriculum, we recognized that this amount of change takes time, so we developed an elective course to help fill the gap in LGBTQ+ educational content.”
Surely his ideal will soon be instituted.
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