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Authors

  1. Dickey, Lore M. PhD

Article Content

I 'm writing in response to the recent article "Meeting the Needs of LGBT Patients and Families" that was published in the February 2012 issue.

 

I would like to commend both Nursing Management and Ms. Kane-Lee and Dr. Roth Bayer for this important article addressing the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) patients in a clinical setting. LGBT individuals have been, and continue to be, an invisible minority with distinct healthcare needs. As a member of the LGBT community, I live in fear of the day when I'm unconscious, in need of emergency healthcare, and unable to advocate for my needs. The fact that my chosen family would be excluded from my healthcare decisions is unconscionable.

 

I agree with the authors' conclusions about the need for additional funding and data collection as called for in the Institute of Medicine's report "The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People." It's easy to ignore the needs of the LGBT community because the healthcare profession has done a poor job of collecting data that could be used to document not only the number of LGBT people in need of healthcare, but also their distinctive needs. In this age of technology, there should be few limitations to realizing these data collection goals. Research has validated methods for collecting data that can easily be implemented.

 

One of the major obstacles to receiving culturally competent care is ensuring that healthcare providers have received training about the needs of LGBT people. Studies have shown that little time is spent on this topic during training periods, resulting in a lack of awareness of patient needs. Kane-Lee and Roth Bayer outline some simple steps that providers cantake to ensure that their LGBT patients feel welcome. Providers are encouraged to implement these practices.

 

Thank you for addressing this important issue!