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Celebrating Pride Month: 5 Tips for Inclusive Healthcare

Concorde Staff

Concorde Staff

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Updated June 4, 2024. The information contained in this blog is current and accurate as of this date.
Stethoscope wrapped around rainbow pride ribbon with rainbow pride flag and pride flag hear cutouts on table

Pride Month is an opportunity to recognize and address the unique healthcare challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community. As part of our commitment to inclusive healthcare practices, we’ve gathered insights from research to provide actionable tips for healthcare equity for the LGBTQ+ community.

Understanding the Challenges

Research has consistently highlighted these disparities in healthcare for LGBTQ+ populations:

  1. Health Inequities and Mental Health Issues: LGBTQ+ individuals encounter unique mental health challenges that can lead to higher rates of substance use, risky behaviors, and STIs -- often due to minority stress and experiences like bullying and social rejection.
  2. Fear of Discrimination: Many LGBTQ+ individuals avoid seeking healthcare due to fear of discrimination and stigma.
     

Embracing Change for Better Health Outcomes

Creating an inclusive healthcare environment is essential. It ensures LGBTQ+ people get the care they deserve without fear or discrimination and be their authentic self. Healthcare providers can foster a more welcoming and effective care experience. Building on this foundation, let's explore five tips to improve healthcare for LGBTQ+ individuals.
 

5 Tips for Inclusive Healthcare


  1. Implement Cultural Competence Training

Develop and facilitate cultural competence training modules for all healthcare staff to ensure they understand and respect LGBTQ+ identities and healthcare needs.

Understanding the cultural context of LGBTQ+ is essential for providing effective care. Training programs focusing on LGBTQ+ health issues and cultural sensitivity can address this need.

  1. Foster an Inclusive Environment

Create a safe and welcoming physical space by displaying and promoting inclusive symbols and messaging.

Nurturing a welcoming atmosphere can significantly improve patient experiences. Display visible signs of inclusivity, such as rainbow badges and inclusive signage and encourage healthcare staff to use gender-affirming language.

  1. Enhance Access to Mental Health Services

Provide specialized mental health resources and counseling services tailored to LGBTQ+ patients, ensuring confidentiality and a non-judgmental approach.

Addressing barriers to mental health care for LGBTQ+ individuals is crucial. Create supportive services that understand and cater to the specific needs of LGBTQ+ patients.

  1. Engage in Continuous Feedback and Improvement

Establish a feedback mechanism where LGBTQ+ patients can anonymously share their experiences and suggestions, ensuring continuous improvement of care standards.

Listening to LGBTQ+ patients and communities helps refine and enhance care practices. Regular feedback allows for adaptive and responsive healthcare solutions.

  1. Advocate for Inclusive Policies

Partner with LGBTQ+ organizations to advocate for policies at local, state and national levels that support non-discriminatory practices and ensure LGBTQ+ healthcare needs are addressed comprehensively.

Supporting inclusive policies within healthcare systems is vital to fostering lasting change. Advocacy can help remove systemic barriers and promote equitable access to healthcare for LGBTQ+ individuals.
 

Concorde Testimonial: Making a Difference in Lives

Patient care goes beyond medical tasks; it's about making human connections that impact the patient and the caregiver. Brett Patten, Nursing Instructor at the Concorde Kansas City, Missouri Campus, exemplifies this commitment. Brett shared, "A memory I'm most fond of is being there for a young man who had just been diagnosed with HIV. He was scared and afraid his soon-to-be husband was going to leave him. As he was getting his labs drawn, I just sat there holding his hand and reassured him that his diagnosis was not the end. He'd still be able to get married to his partner and have a full life. Educating him on new medications and spending time with both him and his partner helped him realize this was just a bump in the road. The feeling I got from being able to help this person realize life is still full even after a life-changing diagnosis is one of the many reasons I became a nurse."

Brett leans on this experience to model inclusive practices for nursing students.

By fostering a culture of empathy and inclusivity in nursing education, Brett helps nurture healthcare professionals prepared to offer compassionate care and support to all patients they encounter.
 

How Concorde Embraces Inclusivity

Inclusivity is a cornerstone of Concorde's values. Our DEI Steering Committee plays a vital role in fostering an inclusive and engaging environment by organizing various campus activities and initiatives at campuses

These include DEI Trivia, which encourages participation and stimulates meaningful conversations. Additionally, the Committee coordinates a range of learning opportunities, such as workshops and walk-up booths, and resource flyers are distributed to students to ensure they have access to valuable information and support. Custom email badges promoting inclusion are frequently distributed to all campuses. Associates can show their support by adding these badges to their email signatures.

We work hard to create an inclusive learning environment while emphasizing the importance of practicing these cultural competence skills in the healthcare setting.
 

In Conclusion

Celebrating Pride Month at Concorde means committing to the ongoing effort to create a more inclusive and equitable healthcare system. By implementing these five tips, healthcare organizations can contribute to improved health outcomes for LGBTQ+ individuals.


 

  1. Health Inequities in LGBT People and Nursing Interventions to Reduce Them: A Systematic Review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8624572/

  2. Improving pathways to primary health care among LGBTQ populations and health care providers: key findings from Nova Scotia, Canada. https://equityhealthj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12939-018-0786-0

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