Does your organization use gender inclusive forms? Nurses' confusion about trans* terminology.J Clin Nurs. 2015 Nov; 24(21-22):3306-17.JC
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
To describe nurses confusion around trans* terminology and to provide a lesson in Trans* 101 for readers.
Of the estimated 9 million persons in the United States of America who are identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, about 950,000 (0.2-0.5% of adult population) are identified as trans* (a term that encompasses the spectrum, including transgender, transsexual, trans man, trans woman and other terms). The Institute of Medicine (2011, The health of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people: Building a foundation for better understanding. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC) identified transgender persons as an understudied population with significant need for health research, yet the nursing literature contains little guidance for educating nurses on trans* issues.
This is a mixed methods structured interview design with nurse key informants. The scripted interview was based on the Health Care Equality Index, which evaluates patient-centred care to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients and families. These data were part of a larger research study that explored the current state of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender-sensitive nursing practice.
Undergraduate nursing students recruited and interviewed 268 nurse key informants about gender inclusive forms (capable of identifying trans* patients) at their agencies.
Only 5% reported use of gender inclusive forms, 44% did not know about inclusive forms, 37% did not understand what a gender inclusive form was and 14% confused gender with sexual orientation.
The study demonstrated a critical need for education in gender identity and sexual orientation terminology.
RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE
The lack of understanding of concepts and terminology may affect basic care of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients especially those who identify as transgender.