Educational Strategies to Help Students Provide Respectful Sexual and Reproductive Health Care for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons

Kelly Walker, Megan Arbour, Justin Waryold
Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health 2016, 61 (6): 737-743
Graduate medical, nursing, and midwifery curricula often have limited amounts of time to focus on issues related to cultural competency in clinical practice, and respectful sexual and reproductive health care for all individuals in particular. Respectful health care that addresses sexual and reproductive concerns is a right for everyone, including those who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). LGBT persons have unique reproductive health care needs as well as increased risks for poor health outcomes. Both the World Health Organization and Healthy People 2020 identified the poor health of LGBT persons as an area for improvement. A lack of educational resources as well as few student clinical experiences with an LGBT population may be barriers to providing respectful sexual and reproductive health care to LGBT persons. This article offers didactic educational strategies for midwifery and graduate nursing education programs that may result in reducing barriers to the provision of respectful sexual and reproductive health care for LGBT clients. Specific ideas for implementation are discussed in detail. In addition to what is presented here, other educational strategies and clinical experiences may help to support students for caring for LGBT persons prior to entrance into clinical practice.

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