Affirmative Care for Transgender and Gender Non-conforming People Best Practices for Front-line Health Care Staff
Front-line staff play a key role in creating a health care environment that responds to the needs of transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) people. TGNC people have unique needs when interacting with the health care system. First and foremost, many TGNC people experience stigma and discrimination in their daily lives, including when seeking health care. In light of past adverse experiences in health care settings, many fear being treated disrespectfully by health care staff, which can lead them to delay necessary health care services. Additionally, the names that TGNC people use may not match those listed on their health insurance or medical records. Mistakes can easily be made when talking with patients as well as when coding and billing for insurance.
Issues and concerns from TGNC patients often arise at the front desk and in waiting areas because those are the first points of contact for most patients. These issues, however, are almost always unintentional and can be prevented by training all staff in some basic principles and strategies. This course was developed as a starting point to help train front-line health care employees to provide affirming services to TGNC patients at their organization.
This course is based upon material published by the National LGBT Heath Education Center, a program of the Fenway Institute, and is available as an open access article.
This course on affirmative care for transgender and gender non-conforming people is designed for social workers, professional counselors, psychologists, nurses, and substance abuse counselors, who do clinical work. This course is appropriate for beginning, intermediate and advanced level practitioners who wish to develop their understanding of caring for transgender and gender non-conforming people. The course material includes a review of background information on TGNC people and their health needs, as well as tips and strategies for creating a more affirming environment for them. It may also be useful for licensed clinicians who require clinical continuing education courses for license renewal.
Authors: National LGBT Health Education Center
Learning Objectives: This course will provide the practitioner with detailed information regarding affirmative care for TGNC patients. Specifically, a professional will:
- Describe health needs specific to transgender and gender non-conforming people
- Identify barriers to health care for transgender and gender non-conforming people
- Recognize customer service strategies that are affirming and inclusive
Citation: Affirmative Care for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People: Best Practices for Front-line Health Care Staff. National LGBT Health Education Center, a program of the Fenway Institute. Updated Fall, 2016.
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