Transgender Care and Health Care Professionals

Currently, transgender population is one of the most underserved groups. Despite the adoption of policies aimed at limiting discrimination, transgender people still face daily challenges in the aspects of employment, education, and healthcare access. Healthcare disparities are particularly dangerous, because gender dysphoria is considered to be a mental disorder and demands suitable therapy, which is impossible without regular access to high-quality care (Gupta, Imborek, & Krasowski, 2016). Therefore, there is a need for interventions able to change attitudes to transgender patients, avoid their discrimination, and provide them with high-quality care.

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Interventions to Change the Issue of Transgender Patients in Healthcare

Transgender individuals frequently face discriminative behavior, which is the result of sexual and social stigma (Lim, Brown, & Kim, 2014). Therefore, to provide equal access to healthcare services, it is necessary to change the existing stigma. One of the opportunities that can contribute to developing a less discriminated attitude to transgender individuals is educational intervention aimed at undergraduate nursing students. The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association together with the initiative Healthy People 2020 singled out training of LGBT cultural competence as a necessary component of nursing and medical education (Strong & Folse, 2014). Moreover, already practicing professionals should possess knowledge needed for care provision of LGBT patients. Thus, another intervention implies informing healthcare professionals about the peculiarities of care and health disparities of transgender patients. Gradually, these interventions are expected to increase the competence related to care for transgender individuals.

Ways to Avoid Transgender Patients’ Discrimination

There are three important aspects that lead to discrimination of transgender individuals in different spheres including healthcare. Evidently, the social stigma has a great influence on the situation. Transgender people are considered to be HIV-positive or have other STDs, which negatively influences general attitude in society. The second aspect is self-perception of transgender individuals. Thus, about 15% of transgender patients feel uncomfortable while discussing their specific health needs with the provider (Bradford, Reisner, Honnold, & Xavier, 2013). This situation is probably related to the third aspect, which is the lack of healthcare professionals competent in transgender issues. Consequently, to reduce and avoid transgender patients’ discrimination, it is necessary to address the mentioned aspects. Thus, to change the existing social stigma, it is important to inform the society about transgender individuals and their particular needs. Secondly, transgender people should be aware of their rights including that for access to health care. Changes in self-perception are likely to have a positive impact on the image of a transgender person. Finally, the way which is the most important in the context of health care delivery, is education medical and nurse professionals about needs and peculiarities of care for transgender individuals. Timely professional care is expected to contribute to self-esteem of these patients and be beneficial for their assimilation in society.


On the whole, the problem of health care delivery for transgender individuals is a burden of the contemporary medicine. Despite the existing interventions and policies, there is still much discrimination and lack of professional care for these group. Therefore, there is a need for changes in medical and nursing curriculum to include topics about culturally competent care for transgender individuals. Moreover, gradual changes in the social stigma and self-perception of transgender people are likely to positively contribute to health care availability for this population group and provide better health outcomes.


Bradford, J., Reisner, S., Honnold, J., & Xavier, J. (2013). Experiences of transgender-related discrimination and implications for health: Results from the Virginia transgender health initiative study. American Journal of Public Health, 103(10), 1820-1829. Web.

Gupta, S., Imborek, K., & Krasowski, M. (2016). Challenges in transgender healthcare: The pathology perspective. Laboratory Medicine, 47(3), 180-188. Web.

Lim, F., Brown, D., & Kim, S. (2014). Addressing health care disparities in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender population: A review of best practices. American Journal of Nursing, 114(6), 24-34. Web.

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Strong, K., & Folse, V. (2014). Assessing undergraduate nursing students’ knowledge, attitudes, and cultural competence in caring for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients. Journal of Nursing Education, 54(1), 45-49. Web.

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