Philadelphia, Pa. (October 12, 2012)–Nurses are called upon to care for all patients including those with diversities that may be related to age, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. The Journal of Christian Nursing, the official journal of the Nurses Christian Fellowship, addresses this topic in the article, “Compassionately Caring for LGBT Persons in your Faith Community,” appearing in the Oct. – Dec. issue. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.
The article introduces nurses to some of the health issues and concerns specific to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender) patients, as well as information referrals and useful resources. For several reasons, LGBT persons are at risk of disparities in healthcare. For the most part an LGBT person will suffer the same health problems as other persons, but she or he may not be as likely to seek care, notes the author, Sarah Sanders, BSN, RN, CCRN a Faith Community Nurse in St Louis, MO.
According to the Institute of Medicine, LGBT patients may seek health and preventive care less often than other patients for fear of discrimination. When they do seek care, they may not disclose their sexual orientation to healthcare providers. In addition, like other minorities, LGBT people are at increased risk of violence and harassment.
This article encourages faith-based nurses to become familiar with the full range of health concerns facing LGBT persons- and not just those related with HIV/AIDS. In addition to information on safe sexual practices, LGBT patients need attention to problems including depression, smoking and substance abuse. Young LGBT patients are a group at particularly high risk for depression and suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
The author writes, “All nurses are called by our profession to welcome and care for anyone needing care. We must be aware of how our own “attitudes, beliefs, and stereotypes” may affect our clinical judgment. As a Christian nurse, we need to demonstrate the love God has for all people. We must ask ourselves, how would Jesus treat this person?”
In an editorial, Journal of Christian Nursing Editor, Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN, expresses the hope that the special article, “will help all nurses understand the needs of LGBT persons so we can provide compassionate care and be aware of how we interact with persons with sexual and gender diversity.”
About Journal of Christian Nursing
Journal of Christian Nursing is a peer-reviewed, quarterly, professional journal helping nurses integrate issues of faith with nursing practice and sustain excellence in nursing care since 1984. Our mission is to help nurses, students, and educators practice from a biblically-based, Christian perspective. JCN offers relevant peer-reviewed clinical and professional information, including original research, on current issues and trends, spirituality and spiritual care, ethics, values, healing and wholeness, faith community nursing, healthcare missions, nursing education, personal growth and self-care, health care for the poor and disenfranchised, and nursing care experiences which promote excellence and encourage nurses.
About Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
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