The scenario presents several significant challenges for a healthcare provider. The patient’s biophysical environment is critical to consider, as it provides a framework for further explorations of her well-being. The fact that Betty, the patient, lives alone indicates a potential challenge of coordinating the support for her health care. However, psychological issues are of significant concern when it comes to the patient’s situation. Losing her fourth husband is traumatic of the patient, which explains her feelings of depression. Becoming romantically involved with a woman may also be seen as a behavioral strategy for avoiding the stress associated with being with men. Betty’s fears of having cancer while refusing to undergo basic screening tests such as pap smears also point to the lack of awareness of one’s health and the implications of postponing diagnosis and further treatment. It is important to understand that Betty is highly vulnerable, which is why her treatment should be addressed with care and consideration.
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In order to provide sensitive and effective care to Betty and other LGBT women, it is imperative to involve relevant advocates with experience working with such a target population. In cases when nurses lack the knowledge and experience working with a specific group, the assistance of experts that could offer a perspective on the issue is fundamental. Reaching these specialists is possible through researching community organizations specializing in helping LGBT women. It is imperative for healthcare providers to educate themselves on the issues with which lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women deal on a regular basis in order to become their advocates and supporters throughout the complex process of health improvement. Essential considerations include women’s emotional stability, life and work conditions, relationships with friends and family, self-care practices (including medicine prescriptions), as well as key health concerns. According to the findings of LaVaccare et al. (2018), “there is a lack of healthcare provider training available for addressing the specific concerns and experiences of underrepresented lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women”, which is why healthcare environments should be transformed to fit their needs while further research is required to study the specific health experiences of marginalized populations (p. 131).
Based on the presented case, there are several health concerns for Betty. First, depression is a challenge for health care delivery because poor mental health may lead to the patient’s lack of engagement in the care process. Betty’s depression may prevent her from assessing her health from a logical standpoint and stall her efforts to seek diagnosis and treatment. The concerns of breast cancer should also be addressed because of family history, as proper screening may help in early diagnosis. The assistance of community nurse is highly needed in Betty’s situation because she requires support and guidance as well as advisory services associated with multiple levels of care provision. Community nurses may often take up the roles of advocates and educators in order to attend to the unique needs of the patient. A community nurse can refer Betty to a mental health specialist as well as engage her family in supporting her through diagnosis and recovery. As mentioned by Muntean, Tomita, and Ungureanu (2013), community nurses are concerned with preserving the aspect of human dignity in the care process, which is something from which Betty is expected to benefit from both on short- and long-term basis.
LaVaccare, S., Diamant, A. L., Friedman, J., Singh, K. T., Baker, J. A., Rodriguez, T. A., … Pregler, J. (2018). Healthcare experiences of underrepresented lesbian and bisexual women: A focus group qualitative study. Health Equity, 2(1), 131-138.
Muntean, A., Tomita, M., & Ungureanu, R. (2013). The role of the community nurse in promoting health and human dignity-narrative review article. Iranian Journal of Public Health, 42(10), 1077-1084.