Culture Heritage – LGBT+ Community
One thing, many people pride themselves on is their culture heritage. Culture can be described as the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of indigenous or social groups that have been passed down through generations. U.S. Census Bureau has recorded that 11 % of people in America were not native born, which has created America to become a multicultural society (Black, 2017).
All culture are different when it comes to their beliefs and values. One culture that is rapidly building its members is the LGBT+ community. According to Tim Fitzsimons, it was recorded that 4.5 % or 11 million American adults identify as LGBT+ (Fitzsimons, 2018). Having so many different cultures, healthcare providers need to be properly educated on sensitive care towards people of different cultures.
My culture heritage similarly represents the cultural heritage of the south. I live in a city right outside of New Orleans called Metairie, Louisiana. This town may be slightly large and filled with thousands of people, but somehow one always seems to find a familiar face. I grew up with a typical southern family where we ate gumbo at holidays, the house was filled with jazz music, and we always had family over.
My age group is defined as Generation Z or Centennials because I was born in 1999. I was raised around the Catholic religion. My parents had me baptized at very young age, and I attended Catholic school my whole life. I would describe myself as adaptable, compassionate, ambitious, empathetic, and reliable. I’m always willing to take on a task and give my all towards it. I am extremely proud of the culture I live in because of the immense amount of hospitality shown to people of all cultures.
Growing up, I’ve had the opportunity to interact with people of different groups and cultures. For example, even though I attended Catholic school, we had some students that were not catholic. I was able to build friendships with them and learn about their cultural and religious beliefs despite not coming from the same background. Another example is, volunteering for Jojo’s Hope.
Jojo’s Hope is a nonprofit organization that helps teach special needs children and adults learn how to swim. I volunteered for this organization for over 5 years, and it has allowed me to learn about the special needs community. I’ve valued the time I spent volunteering with the children and adults because they have taught me many life lessons. Interacting with people of different cultures and groups for so long, has taught me that no one should be treated differently regardless of their culture or upbringing.
Knowing how to effectively work with people of different cultures is essential in the nursing profession. There are a few traits that I should be aware of when assessing people of different cultures, specifically the LGBT+ community. For instance, I need to be mindful of any prejudices. My prejudices could lead to inappropriate facial expressions or body movements that can affect the patient’s mindset throughout my assessment. Another trait I should be aware of is my mindfulness. Keeping an open mind allows for the patient to feel accepted and confident about their beliefs and values.
When the LGBT+ community seek health-care they anticipate facing barriers. It is the duty of healthcare workers to create inclusive spaces that acknowledge the LGBT+ identities and recognize how their experiences can affect whether they access treatment. Healthcare professionals lack knowledge and experience which can cause the patients to feel discriminated and reject further treatment from that provider or any provider. LGBT+ also face barriers that deal with limited access and past negative experiences (LSUHSC). A question arose during the presentation on the basis of transgenders and bathrooms.
The speaker from the presentation, Dillon King, stated that he uses the bathroom he identifies his gender with, but some transgenders do not have this convenience. In some communities, they deem it social unacceptable for transgenders to use the bathroom they classify their gender with. This situation contributes to the barriers LGBT+ face concerning limited access.
When thinking about disparities between the different cultures, LGBT+ face an immense amount that compromise their physical and mental status. In the American education system 74.1% of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, questioning or intersex are tormented throughout their academic career. Due to the bullying, the LGBT+ students received 30.3 % of the students were absent at least one day of school and 90 % stated they felt distraught while on their school’s campus (LSUHSC).
Studies done by LSU Health: School of Nursing have shown that 30.5% were more likely to have feelings of hopelessness and despair. There was also an overwhelming number of students that attempted suicide in result from being harassed at school. A percentage of 42.8 % of gay, lesbian, or bisexual students between the grades of ninth through twelfth had attempted suicide. The presentation stated that The National LGBT+ Cancer network found that patients worry about responses from healthcare providers and this may have a direct result for health disparities in this group (LSUHSC).
There are multiple strategies presented in the lecture that LSU Schooling of Nursing presented to us that helps prevent crossing barriers and addressing health disparities. One strategy would be to ensure that the nurse is using the proper pronouns when addressing the patient. To maximize this strategy to its fullest potential the nurse could ask at the start of the assessment which gender and pronouns they classify themselves with. Other strategies would include avoiding stereotypes and predisposed judgments, allowing for good flow of communication, and providing an inclusive environment.
Proper education about LGBT+ should be provided in all hospitals to adequately train healthcare workers on how to treat patients that are LGBT+. There are a few considerations to keep in mind when creating an inclusive environment. Nurses are recommended to refrain from saying that the patients birth name as their real name. Nurses should also ask questions if they are unsure of the answer to avoid offending the patient’s cultural status or belief (LSUHSC).
Over the centuries the LGBT+ community have been maltreated by the church, state, and medical providers, which sparked the beginning of social movements to advocate for the rights and acceptance of LGBT+ (Morris, 2019). The first gay rights organization, Society for Human Rights, was established in 1924 by founder Henry Gerber. As time passes and more organizations start to form, Illinois becomes the first state to decriminalize homosexuality by abolishing sodomy laws in 1961(CNN, 2019). Not only does the LGBT+ community progress by the gradual acceptance of society but also through the medical field.
One of the first involvements of LGBT+ in the medical field was the AIDS epidemic in 1981. Five young gay men were showing symptoms of chronic immunodeficiency and were later diagnosed with the first people to have AIDS. After this initial diagnosis, many gay men were being treated because they were showing symptoms of AIDS disease.
Soon after in 1982 The Gay Men’s Health Crisis was founded in New York City (Avert, 2018). Medicine as we know is quickly evolving but the hospitals’ advocacy for sensitive care is not evolving as fast. A study done by pharmacy students concluded that, providing care for LGBT+ is beyond just clinical knowledge and requires awareness and acknowledgment of their culture (Maxwell, 2017).
One aspect that was not covered in the presentation by LSUHSC but is very controversial is allowing LGBT+ the right to adopt children. The debate that is presented is broken down into two categories; stability of the LGBT+ parents and child outcomes in LGBT+ adoptions. Maintaining a stable relationship with any person, nevertheless a child, it is imperative to have a good support system. In any family, support is the backbone of the relationship conferring between the child and adult. Support can be described as feeling loved and belonged (Black, 2017). Every person is capable of being a support system, so having this be a reason against LGBT+ adoptions is not realistic.
Research has shown that the outcomes of children coming from same-sex parents are just as well as children coming from different sex parents (Manning, 2016). Children from same-sex families were evaluated on their academic successes, brain development, social and physiological health, sexual activity, and substance abuse. The differences that were detected between the two types of families were due to interactions with society’s prejudices (Manning, 2016). Restricting the LGBT+ community from adopting could have a negative impact on their mental status.
Society is constantly assuming stereotypes for all cultures, but specifically for the LGBT+ community. There were many aspects that my assumptions concurred with what the presentation informed us about but there were also differences. My assumption fit with what the presentation had discussed about the different types of people in the LGBT+ community such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual. My assumptions and perceptions were changed when they talk about coming out as being a lifelong struggle.
To my knowledge I thought it was a simple process, but the LSUHSC informed us on the six stages that takes place when coming out as LGBT+. The process beginning with confusion, which is denying one’s inner feelings. Comparison follows by slowly started to question their sexuality. The third and fourth step are tolerance and acceptance which is characterized by breaking through denial and exploring one’s identity. The final two steps are pride and synthesis which is the feeling of pride and fulfillment of one’s new identity (LSUHSC).
As I progress through my nursing career it is essential to use the strategies we learned from the presentation to effectively assess patients of the LGBT+ community with sensitive care. Specific strategies that would help enhance a positive assessment would be to use inclusive and gender-neutral language, keeping an open mindset, disregarding any predisposed prejudices, and asking the patient questions about gender related issues involving their sexuality. As society, itself evolves so does the cultural heritages of people around the world. Having adequately known knowledge about dealing with patients from the LGBT+ community will help alleviate their barriers and disparities so they feel welcomed and comfortable when receiving medical attention.
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Culture Heritage - LGBT+ Community. (2021, Apr 30). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/culture-heritage-lgbt-community/
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