It could be hardly doubted that the healthcare system should comply with numerous factors of a different kind to provide proper adherence to treatment and medication for every individual who is seeking help. However, it also evident that it is difficult to provide an equal amount and quality of care for every particular person. It is determined by the set of different causal aspects, which include the qualification of a health practitioner, his or her ethical standards, and beliefs along with the patient’s attitudes. It should be mentioned that one of the most important factors which hurt the quality of care is the personal biases of a caregiver. For this assignment, it was decided to choose the LGBT population to analyze it in the context of clinical circumstances. This paper aims to conduct a literature review on the selected topic to retrieve possible conclusions, connections, and implications for further practice.
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Observation of the Problem
First of all, it is essential to observe the problem on a large-scale before dwelling upon particular scholarly articles. It should be noted the estimation of the LGBT community population differs in various studies. For example, Cornelius and Carrick (2015) assume that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people comprise ten percent of the United States population. However, the study by Mitchell, Lee, Green, and Skyes (2016) suggests that only 3,8% of American adults identify themselves as related to the LGBT community when asked about their sexual orientation (p. 21). It is estimated that this percentage translates into approximately ten million people among the population of the U. S. (Mitchell et al., 2016). Nevertheless, the numbers, in general, allow stating that the LGBT community is significantly present in contemporary America.
Further, it should be noted that it is inevitable for the majority of health practitioners to encounter lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people in their clinical practice. Many healthcare professionals, especially advanced practice nurses, are often significantly biased toward LGBT patients. It causes several implications for providing high-quality care for such patients. The following sections are dedicated to studying and reviewing scholarly articles on the determined topic to retrieve behavioral patterns of clinical staff toward LGBT patients and to establish possible policies to improve the situation.
The Importance of Cultural Competency
It is possible to begin the discussion with the observation of the cultural competency concept since it appears to be of critical importance for the profound understanding of the problems of the LGBT community. The article under consideration is a guest editorial for the Journal of Research in Nursing, which is written by Fish and Evans (2016). The authors begin with the observation, which states that the health conditions and received care is more inadequate for the members of the LGBT community. Further, it is argued that the primary reason for such an adverse state is the lack of cultural competency skills among healthcare practitioners (Fish & Evans, 2016). The authors indicate the critical necessity for providing specific knowledge in addressing sexual orientation issues.
The Gaps in Healthcare for the LGBT Community
The second article under consideration, written by Mitchell et al. (2016), is entitled “The gaps in health care of the LGBT community: Perspectives of nursing students and faculty” and it represents a vast observation of the problem. In the introductory part, the authors argue that, despite the growing social acceptance, anti-LGBT bias continues to adversely influence the quality and access to care of LGBT people (Mitchell et al., 2016). With that being said, it is also important to add that healthcare practitioners should be aware of specific health impairments that are common among the community under discussion.
The author’s research with the purpose to retrieve strategies for providing “culturally competent care” for LGBT individuals (Mitchell et al., 2016, p. 23). The researchers employed a cross-sectional descriptive method to explore the perception of LGBT-specific health problems among nursing students (Mitchell et al., 2016). It is concluded that there is a significant necessity for the inclusion of LGBT education into the curricula of nursing programs since it would improve the quality of caregiving in culturally sensitive circumstances (Mitchell et al., 2016).
The Improvement of Students’ Knowledge of LGBT Issues
The following article was written by Carabez, Pellegrini, Mankovitz, Eliason, and Dariotis (2015) and it is dedicated to the improvement of nursing education in the context of providing care for LGBT patients. It is argued that, even though advanced practice nurses work with a diverse population, the nursing education literature is insufficient in providing research and theoretical frameworks for working with LGBT individuals (Carabez et al., 2015). To address the given issue, the authors designed a brief course concerned with LGBT issues, which included readings and assignments for students. The participants of the research evaluated their experience, and it was evident that their perception of LGBT-specific health impairments was significantly improved (Carabez et al., 2015).
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Further, it is essential to mention the study by Cornelius and Whitaker-Brown (2017) since it is also dedicated to the increase in nursing students’ awareness of LGBT-specific health problems. The authors conducted their research to estimate the positive effect of brief learning experience on the attitudes of future healthcare practitioners (Cornelius & Whitaker-Brown, 2017). The survey, which was designed by the researchers, was applied to a sample of 41 senior nursing students (Cornelius & Whitaker-Brown, 2017). The authors indicated a significant increase in the students’ knowledge of LGBT healthcare issues, which was 84%, but the increase in positive attitudes was inconsiderable (Cornelius & Whitaker-Brown, 2017, p. 2). The authors conclude that there is a significant need for more profound and diverse teaching strategies to improve the anti-LGBT bias.
Additionally, is possible to discuss the article by Lim, Johnson, and Eliason (2015), which is also concerned with the investigation of LGBT-specific knowledge provided by contemporary nursing education. The authors argue that “a dearth of information exists on how LGBT health is integrated into nursing programs,” specifically in baccalaureate (Lim et al., 2015). The researchers designed a survey, which was sent to a nonprobability purposive sample of nursing school administrations, and more than 1000 faculty participated in the survey (Lim et al., 2015). In general, the authors concluded that the readiness to promote LGBT-specific knowledge among nursing students is limited. Another principal finding is that the estimated time devoted to the health issues of LGBT people was only 2,12 hours on average (Lim et al., 2015, p. 5). The authors conclude that the results of their survey will help to develop more comprehensive educational programs, addressing the current LGBT health problems and priorities (Lim et al., 2015).
Palliative Care for LGBT Individuals
The last article under consideration is concerned with a significantly specific, yet highly important aspect of caregiving, which is palliative care for LGBT people. The item is written by the group of researchers from numerous universities, including Columbia University, the University of South Carolina, and other organizations (O’Mahony et al., 2018). The authors propose three primary objectives for their research. First of all, they argue that it is essential to understand the level of existential and spiritual distress, which is experienced by LGBT patients with severe chronic disorders (O’Mahony et al., 2018). Secondly, it is needed to access specific supportive tools for LGBT patients and their families (O’Mahony et al., 2018). Finally, the authors emphasize the unique needs of transgender patients who are receiving care from faith-based organizations (O’Mahony et al., 2018). One of the primary advantages of this research is that it is conducted by a transdisciplinary team, which is capable of a profound understanding of LGBT-specific problem in the context of palliative caregiving.
Findings and Conclusion
Finally, it is essential to synthesize a profound conclusion, based on the conducted literature review. The most critical finding of this research is that the majority of scholarly literature dedicated to the health problems of the LGBT community is preoccupied with the insufficient quality of contemporary nursing education in the area of LGBT-specific health problems. It is evident from the research that future healthcare practitioners need to acquire more profound cultural competency skills to provide quality care for diverse populations. Also, it is evident that the average curricula of nursing schools significantly lack the elaborated teaching program, concerning the health problems of the LGBT community. In conclusion, it is possible to state that there is a considerable necessity for improvement of the overall attitude to LGBT patients in the modern healthcare system.
Carabez, R., Pellegrini, M., Mankovitz, A., Eliason, M. J., & Dariotis, W. M. (2015). Nursing students perceptions of their knowledge of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues: Effectiveness of a multi-purpose assignment in a public health nursing class. Journal of Nursing Education, 54(1), 50-53.
Cornelius, J. B., & Carrick, J. (2015). A survey of nursing students’ knowledge of and attitudes toward LGBT health care concerns. Nursing Education Perspectives, 36(3), 176-178.
Cornelius, J. B., & Whitaker-Brown, C. (2017). A brief learning experience designed to increase nursing students’ knowledge of and attitudes toward LGBT health care. GSTF Journal of Nursing and Health Care (JNHC), 2(1), 1-4. Web.
Fish, J., & Evans, D. T. (2016). Guest editorial: Promoting cultural competency in the nursing care of LGBT patients. Journal of Research in Nursing, 21(3), 159-162.
Lim, F., Johnson, M., & Eliason, M. (2015). A national survey of faculty knowledge, experience, and readiness for teaching lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender health in baccalaureate nursing programs. Nursing Education Perspectives, 36(3), 144-152.
Mitchell, K. M., Lee, L., Green, A., & Skyes, J. (2016). The gaps in health care of the LGBT community: Perspectives of nursing students and faculty. Papers & Publications: Interdisciplinary Journal of Undergraduate Research, 5(1), 21-30.
O’Mahony, S., Jones, R., Mellman, W., Scott, B., Elk, R., Hinrichs, A.,… Kolieboi, A. (2018). A guide for palliative medicine clinicians taking care of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients using a whole person care approach (SA516) [Abstract]. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 55(2), 645-646.