Cyber Monday 50% OFF SITE WIDE! Check it out now | Free Shipping + Financing Available!

Pharmacists Work to Support LGBTQ Patients

by Guest contributor July 21, 2016


Post submitted by Jennifer L. Mathews, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Wegmans School of Pharmacy, St. John Fisher College. Mathews recently worked with HRC Foundation on  two resources: “Providing LGBTQ-Inclusive Care and Services At Your Pharmacy” andThe LGBTQ Patient's Guide to Pharmacy Care.”

Over the past decade, we have seen many positive changes related to the pharmacist’s role in patient-centered care and the beginnings of conversations and training specifically related to care for LGBTQ patients.  However, most pharmacists still receive little or no formal education on LGBTQ patients.

Pharmacists are on the front lines of providing quality, affirming care, which is why training is so important. Within the Wegmans School of Pharmacy we begin this early, in the first year of the program. Students are introduced to terminology and provided with opportunities to interact with LGBTQ patients in an environment that allows them to ask questions and receive feedback from the very patients they may encounter later in their careers. We provide similar training for our community preceptors, the pharmacists who provide the hands-on training for our students out in the pharmacies.  However, this represents a small fraction of the pharmacy students and practicing pharmacists across the country.

A recent paper that evaluated LGBTQ health education in pharmacy school curricula found that less than half of the schools that responded reported having LGBTQ content in the required curriculum. When these topics were covered most programs had one to three hours allotted within the curriculum and the topics most frequently taught were HIV and STIs. Most programs reported that little faculty development was provided for teaching LGBTQ health content.

To help reach all the pharmacists who did not receive LGBTQ competency training in their pharmacy programs, I took a sabbatical last fall to work with HRC Foundation’s Health and Aging program to develop a resource guide for pharmacists and pharmacy staff on providing LGBTQ inclusive care and services. The guide provides information on creating a welcoming environment within the pharmacy setting as well and highlights healthcare barriers and disparities within the LGBTQ patient population.

Pharmacists have a unique role within the healthcare system as one of the most accessible providers.  However, many patients don’t always recognize the important role that a pharmacist can play as a partner in their healthcare.  That is why I worked with HRC to also develop a consumer guide to help LGBTQ patients utilize their pharmacists as a resource in navigating the healthcare system, proper use of medications and information on preventative care.

Pharmacists who provide affirming care to LGBTQ patients will naturally encourage an open dialogue with their patients.  I hope these guides help pharmacists and patients to foster a relationship to ensure the best possible health outcomes. 





Guest contributor
Guest contributor

Author


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Think

Oakland Space Described As “Genderqueer” Oasis Before Fire That Killed At Least 31

by Chris Bull December 04, 2016

  Spaces like this are the only way we have any sort of viable arts scene where anyone is making any money. There is virtually [no other] option for a thriving performance space in this city without occupying these spaces. [They also] offer the most support of trans and genderqueer folks. That’s a large part of [...]

Continue Reading →

What Is The Gayest ‘Hood In The World? You Decide.

by Chris Bull December 04, 2016

Continue Reading →

These Trump Memes Are Almost As Horrifying As The Thought Of His Impending Presidency

by Graham Gremore December 04, 2016

Behold the stuff of nightmares.

Continue Reading →