Factors Operating in the Situation
Being a middle-aged widow who identifies herself as a lesbian can be challenging as the individual faces psychological, biophysical, behavioral, sociocultural, and healthcare issues. The woman is aging, and her body is undergoing significant changes that affect her psychological and emotional states. Being a lesbian is often associated with depression and anxiety as these people often face hostility or lack of understanding (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2015). It is necessary to add that gay people may often face the lack of understanding and even certain hostility within the healthcare system. This contributes to the development of various biases concerning the way gay people are treated in health care facilities (Battle & Todic, 2016). Betty also has some prejudice as she thinks she will not get the tests she wants and needs due to her sexual orientation.
Actions to Take
Battle and Todic (2016) claim that healthcare professionals should acknowledge their own biases concerning minority groups and learn more about the life of these people. There is a significant bulk of literature on this matter, and a nurse should be aware of major challenges a lesbian, bisexual or transgender individual can face. This will help develop the necessary empathy. One of the most important measures to undertake is to make sure that the treatment provided to such a person is similar to the treatment provided to other patients. The nurse should not be excessively empathetic and caring as these people are equal to the rest of clients (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2015). When treatment is very different, the person may feel insulted and annoyed.
Health Concerns and the Role of the Community Health Nurse
Betty’s husband died of cancer at quite an early age (only 54). At the same time, Betty may have a predisposition as her mother died of breast cancer. Clearly, the woman is also at risk of developing the disorder, and her age enhances the chances if the disease development. The community nurse should provide maximum information on cancer focusing on particular steps the women has to undertake (having tests, addressing the corresponding healthcare professionals and so on). The nurse should also provide the information on sources containing more data on the disorder, treatment, success stories, online communities, and so on. The community health nurse can also initiate the launch of a number of events aimed at increasing awareness of cancer as well as diversity (with a focus on sexual minority groups). It is possible to address other healthcare professional who can take part in the events. It is also possible to participate in some events with a brief lecture on topics mentioned above.
Addressing the Problem
The information on HIV prevention and treatment as well as corresponding support can be provided in terms of effective interventions. Specific attention should be paid to sexual minorities and HIV in such population. The interventions may take a form of a community fair where all members of the community will participate. Another intervention can be held in a form of a discussion. Complete confidentially can be ensured for people through online participation and discussion. Following discussions can be held face-to-face. The interventions should also involve discussion of diversity-related issues (Kersey-Matusiak, 2012). This would be beneficial for the community as people would understand that disparities exist, and they can and should be overcome.
Additional Information Needed
It is essential to introduce some interventions aimed at raising awareness concerning HIV among members of the community. Nonetheless, additional information is needed to develop efficient interventions. It can be important to identify the income of the men as well as employment. This information will help develop effective intervention and understand what factors may affect those men’s health conditions. For instance, being unemployed is often associated with substance use that can lead to inappropriate sexual behavior (for example, having unprotected sex with strangers). Thus, the intervention will include a significant portion of measures aimed at improving awareness of appropriate behavioral patterns. It can also be important to identify whether all the men are fluent in English as many people especially in low-income communities speak English as the second language or speak only Spanish (De La Cancela, Chin & Jenkins, 2016). This may affect the way the information will be provided. It may be necessary to develop leaflets in Spanish or any other language.
Importantly, the interventions may involve the entire community (not just gay men). The community fair can be regarded as an example of such inclusion. All members of the community should understand the challenges gay men may face. People should also know more about HIV as this may diminish the discrimination and alienation of those diagnosed with HIV. Apart from that, it is essential to involve such institutions as the church and educational establishments. Thus, a local church can be a platform for sharing ideas and people may try to be more tolerant and supportive. A local college can be another efficient platform for the development of a community of supportive and knowledgeable people. This will help contribute to the decrease of the number of people infected.
Battle, B., & Todic, J. (2016). Cultural awareness. In P.A. Potter, A. Griffin Perry, P. Stockert & A. Hall (Eds.), Fundamentals of nursing (pp. 101-117). St. Louis, MI: Elsevier Health Sciences.
De La Cancela, V., Chin, J.L., & Jenkins, Y.M. (2016). Strategies and mechanisms for meeting the health care needs of communities of color. In V. De La Cancela, J.L. Chin & Y. Jenkins (Eds.), Community health psychology: Empowerment for diverse communities (pp. 31-57). New York, NY: Routledge.
Kersey-Matusiak, G. (2012). Cultural considerations when caring for the patient who is terminally ill. In G. Kersey-Matusiak (Ed.), Delivering culturally competent nursing care (pp. 115-143). Danvers, MA: Springer Publishing Company.
Stanhope, M., & Lancaster, J. (2015). Public health nursing: Population-centered health care in the community. St. Louis, MI: Elsevier Health Sciences.