Nurses, physicians, and other health professionals need the skills to respectfully provide culturally appropriate care for all patients. Although the drive to produce an increase in cultural competence has often addressed racial, ethnic, and sexual orientation minorities, the special differences and unique needs of transgender patients are rarely taught in professional school curricula. Having provider advocates has been extremely helpful in the development of materials and education on transgender health issues. Providers from the training serve as role models and are available to serve as consultants and mentors to both students and peers. Having provider advocates role model comfort with and necessary skills in working with trans people personifies the professionalism described by statements of inclusion by nursing, medical, and other health care professional associations and helps assure other providers that they too can care for these patients. It is likely that in health professions schools or professional communities across the country, similar provider advocates could be helpful in local program development about transgender care. Developing new providers to care for transgender patients will require curricular enhancement, something that does not require an excessive amount of curricular time but may require faculty development in the area of transgender care. Likewise, practicing providers may wish to improve their skills or increase their ability to care for transgender patients in their practices. Experiences from Arizona indicate that brief education endeavors can help expand the skills and attitudes of both students and practicing health care professionals. A multifaceted approach to building provider capacity in respectful and competent transgender health care helps produce a transgender care network that will improve the quality of health care for transgender patients and communities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing