Nurses can help close care gaps for LGBTQ patients

Nurses need to know about health disparities affecting the LGBTQ population to provide adequate care and close care gaps, according to Caroline Dorsen, PhD, an assistant professor at New York University. NYU educators have incorporated LGBTQ patient cases into the curriculum; non-binary mannequins and LGBTQ actors are included in simulation exercises. Students learn about health disparities affecting the LGBTQ population, including increased risk of tobacco, alcohol and drug use, cardiac disease, suicide and mental health conditions. The complex reasons behind the disparities include stigma and marginalization, which can lead to lower rates of health insurance coverage and reduced care utilization. Nurses should ask patients about their gender identity and sexual orientation to be able to care for conditions more prevalent in this population. ( article, 6/5/23)