It should be noted that transgender individuals have to face different obstacles in almost any aspect of their daily life. Importantly, they are often stigmatized and discriminated, and their essential rights are frequently undermined. The same is characteristic of the healthcare system. Transgender patients come across different forms of harassment and do not have the same access to services as other people do. This inequity causes further complication of the setting and adversely affects the well-being of the transgender community. Moreover, these obstacles hinder the successful and gradual inclusion of this community in society. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the challenges experienced by transgender patients and assess the inevitable consequences of discrimination.
Challenges of Transgender Patients
The challenges faced by transgender patients are numerous, and they can be experienced at different levels of care provision. It is worthy of noting that not all specialists are aware of the peculiarities of communication with transgender individuals, and for that reason, they often feel confused or judgmental. Providers tend to use the names given to an individual at birth and disregard patient’s preferences.
These occurrences are rather frequently met; moreover, specialists can employ this pattern even in cases when a person has official documentation, and the new name is stated in the medical record. Apart from that, care providers often use inappropriate pronouns when addressing a transgender patient (Ignatavicius & Workman, 2015). These occurrences negatively affect communication between the patient and the provider; it can cause stress and negative representations in a person, and he or she will be reluctant to turn to a specialist next time when immediate assistance is needed.
Apart from that, certain challenges are related to the process of care. Providers are not always knowledgeable about the appropriate course of treatment since the existing research is not enough to practice evidence-based medicine (Ignatavicius & Workman, 2015). For instance, an endocrinologist might not know if the testosterone therapy in a transgender patient can be continued post-surgery and so on. Hormone treatment is a complex process, and not all specialists are certain of how to compile it with the required treatment. Moreover, the housing of patients is also an issue (Ignatavicius & Workman, 2015). Transgender patients can often be placed with the wrong gender since not all specialists specify the individual’s peculiarities, and it results in accumulated stress and discomfort.
The negative effects of poor care provision are reflected in the consequences to the transgender population. Bad experience received in the process of care causes reluctance to turn to healthcare professionals to obtain help. Therefore, such serious conditions as HIV become more widespread among the population and other dangerous diseases remain maltreated (Makadon, Mayer, Potter, & Goldhammer, 2015). In addition, unequal access to health services causes discrimination and an environment that is exclusive of certain population groups. This form of isolation hinders the successful inclusion of the transgender community in society and threatens their well-being.
Thus, it can be concluded that the efforts made by the government are not sufficient enough to ensure equal and inclusive healthcare system. Apart from that, specialists lack expertise in handling transgender patients, which prevents people from being health literate and leading healthier lifestyles. Therefore, a joint effort of the government, society, and transgender community is essential to improve the situation.
Ignatavicius, D., & Workman, L. (2015). Medical-surgical nursing (8th ed.). New York, NY: Elsevier.
Makadon, H., Mayer, K., Potter, J., & Goldhammer, H. (2015). The Fenway guide to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender health. Philadelphia, PA: American College of Physicians.