Dr. Gordon Rakita | College of Arts and Sciences | Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work
Existing literature on LGBTQ+ health reveals differences in mental and physical health outcomes and differences in health care utilization of LGBTQ+ people compared to non-LGBTQ+ people. While these differences require the urgent attention of medical professionals, research suggests that health care practitioners, generally, are underprepared to serve LGBTQ+ clients and contribute to underutilization of health care services through overt and covert homophobia and transphobia.
Because of their visibility in health care, this project specifically explores nursing students’ preparedness to serve LGBTQ+ clients. In this context, preparedness is defined as having knowledge of LGBTQ+ health topics, the development of relevant clinical skills, and having positive attitudes toward LGBTQ+ clients.
To collect data, undergraduate and graduate nursing students at four Florida colleges were asked to fill out an online survey that measures preparedness, educational experiences, and satisfaction with their LGBT-focused health education.
Preliminary analyses of survey data reveal that nursing students (n= 128) were largely unsatisfied with the LGBT-focused education they have received and report low levels of confidence in their LGBT-specific clinical skills.