Gay / Lesbian patient resources for nurses? - page 4

are there any resources that you know of on the web that discuss care of glbt patients? how do you find gay / lesbian nurses are treated at work in the hospitals? is there any difference how how... Read More

  1. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from medicrnohio
    but a persons sexual orientation can have a lot do with things. consider these issues...visiting your partner in the hospital, making decisions for your partner if they are sick or injured, healthcare providers assuming you are heterosexual. .
    the biggest issue i see for same sex couples is the fact that they still are not allowed to legally marry in most states. it's fairly straightforward for heterosexual couples: either you're married or you're not. if you're married, you are each other's legal next of kin; if not, you're not. unless you've put the appropriate paperwork into place.

    same sex couples aren't allowed the option to marry, and unfortunately, many of them have not put the appropriate paperwork into place. in washington state, you can assign your partner legal power of attorney for health care just by signing the paper in front of two witnesses. no notary required. it's quick, easy, and any nurse can help you with it. in other states, it's not so easy.

    i have no problem with the patient's partner visiting, making decisions for them, asking for information, etc. as long as the paperwork is in place. and i'm the first to suggest that they fill out the paperwork. however, if the patient for some reason does not want to designate the partner as poa or give them any legal status, the patient's mother can come into the situation later, when the patient is intubated, sedated or otherwise unable to object, and banish the partner. and there's nothing i can do about it. as much as it breaks my heart to see the long term partner banished from the hospital, i can't countermand the legal next of kin's decision.

    now if we could just let anyone who is not already married marry the partner of their choice, a lot of these issues would be moot.

    ruby (happily married and wishing the same for everyone regardless of sexual orientation!)
  2. by   traumaRUs
    Interesting thread...thanks for the information. At our hospital, we do provide private rooms for the transgendered patients that have NOT undergone surgery to complete the change. This is for their privacy. As to gay and lesbian care, in the ER at least, especially if it is a code or some type of resuscitation event, we always ask who will be making decisions. If it is not the legal next of kin (IL does not allow same-sex marriage), we ask for POA paperwork. This is to protect us as well as provide for the wishes of the patient.
  3. by   devi
    Quote from Future_RN_Jess
    Discrimination based on someone's sexual preference is against the law...........doubt it is tolerated anywhere.
    Unfortunately, this isn't true in all states. In NC, sexual preference isn't added to the list of protections against discrimination unless a company adds it by free choice to their employment practices. I was fired 5 years ago from a job (not in healthcare) for being a lesbian.
    But the experience did at least teach me to research a potential employer's policies and history of such things before accepting employment.
    Now if we could just get more domestic partner benefits down here in the good ol' South.
  4. by   RN34TX
    Quote from devi
    Now if we could just get more domestic partner benefits down here in the good ol' South.
    Don't hold your breath.
    The South is fighting strong to keep us "in our place."
    Prop. 2 just passed here in TX and it looks like the mentality is only going to spread.

    Now as far as patient resources go, I don't know if someone already mentioned it, but way too many gay people do not understand how to protect themselves legally even in the face of gay marriage bans.
    POA, advance directives, etc. things get real ugly when someone's partner ends up in ICU on a vent.
    In walks the parents or siblings, and out goes the partner, as they often have no rights or recourse if things aren't handled before a catastrophic illness or event.
    Too many wait until after the event and then it's often too late.
  5. by   Jessy_RN
    Quote from devi
    Unfortunately, this isn't true in all states. In NC, sexual preference isn't added to the list of protections against discrimination unless a company adds it by free choice to their employment practices. I was fired 5 years ago from a job (not in healthcare) for being a lesbian.
    But the experience did at least teach me to research a potential employer's policies and history of such things before accepting employment.
    Now if we could just get more domestic partner benefits down here in the good ol' South.
    Wow, I am so sorry for such rotten experience. Hope you are at a better place now :kiss
  6. by   Tweety
    Originally Posted by Future_RN_Jess
    Discrimination based on someone's sexual preference is against the law...........doubt it is tolerated anywhere.
    Jess, I love you madly, but what planet are you living on? Sexual preference discrimination is alive and well, and legal.

    It's so much better and much more isolated that it was.
  7. by   cymru60
    I would agree with dapototi.
    In the whole of my nursing career as a gay man my sexuality has never been an issue.As a profesional I treat patients,relatives and colleagues in a professional manner.
  8. by   newrn05
    I am so glad to see this topic up for discussion. First let me suggest that we see if we can get allnurses.com to add GLBT to the forums that in itself would be a great idea. We are a sub-culture. There are many things that we face that are different from a straight culture. Many of these things have been mentioned.
    Please bear with me I don't know how to do the quotes thing. Someone posted about seperating GLBT patients. That is segragation. Period. I can understand why believe me I do. Last year my daughter and my ex-gf were wrestling and my daughter headbutted her and knocked her out. I took her to ER. They admitted her to a unit. She is very butch in her appearance and mannerism. They were going to put her in with an older woman. This was the only bed left with a roomate. When we got to the floor I suggested to the Charge RN, whom I knew, that they give her a private room. This solved the problem of "freaking" out a roommate. Where there is a will there is a way.
    There are websites for all sorts of cultural nursing yet I have not found any for our culture. I would love to assist in setting this up as much as I can.
    I am not "out" at work. I am single but am very close iwth my ex. She is still my best friend. She has a crossover name so when talkiung about her its easy for me to let them assume what they want. I do this becasue the first hospital I worked at the nurses were so homophobic is scared me. I had a gay pt when I was in my last semester of nursing school and he was showing myself and the RN i was working with the magazines his friend dropped off ....they were local GLBT mags. I said something about that and the RN was like they are what. Let me see those. She was appaulled that they were brought into the hospital. Now these were not porn mags but lifestyle mags with articles such as keeping safe, etc.
    However we decide to come out to staff and patients its our choice. Kudos to those who have been fortunate enough to not have had any problems. I have not because I chose to stay in the closet. Although my former classmates prob wished I would ahve in school. Every paper and speech we had to give i did it on nursing and added some part of the GLBT culture. Many of them ahve since thanked me becuase they remembered some of my words and saw that I was just a person and not someone for them to be afraid of.
  9. by   newrn05
    I forgot to mention. Please pm me if anyone is interested in starting up some sort of web based site for such a topic I would be more then willing to help. Dawn
  10. by   rauls0112
    Hello everyone,

    Of the 23 yrs of nursing, I have never had a problem with caring for my patients. I agree with many of you, why should I disclose how I live or do outside the work place during work hours. As far as co-workers, there has never been an issue with orientation. There are the biased ones, but eventually they too come around and become a part of the practice team.
  11. by   nursemelani
    Quote from Tweety
    Jess, I love you madly, but what planet are you living on? Sexual preference discrimination is alive and well, and legal.

    It's so much better and much more isolated that it was.
    Amen. Unfortunately, those who would not dream of discriminating against someone because of their color, feel free to gay-bash because they think that it is a choice.
    I used to take care of a little boy with CP. He had a healthy 13 year old brother. His Dad was a police officer, and seemed like a really nice guy, until we got into a conversation one day, and he said "I would rather have my son grow up to be a heroin addict than a homosexual". WOW!! It stays in my mind to this day because it was such a rude awakening, that seemingly nice people can be deeoly homophobic.
  12. by   JohnBearPA
    As an "out" gay man, who happens to also be a nurse (and a damn good one at that), I have a few things to comment on here.

    First, sexual preference is NOT a choice. I have had many opportunities to enter into a "normal" heterosexual relationship with some very attractive women, but that's just not what feels natural to me. My "choice" was to not hurt someone's feelings, or try to be someone that I'm not.

    Second, I am out at work, as I am in the rest of my life. I have encountered closed-minded people making snide remarks behind my back, or even to my face, been denied promotions, and even been fired from jobs I liked because of this. If heterosexual people don't have to hide who they love, why should I? That's life, and I live it on MY terms. I have a gay pride sticker on my truck as well as a nurse sticker. I'm proud of who I am and my accomplishments.

    Third, I have seen people percieved as gay receive less-than-optimum care. I honestly don't think this is conciously done, it's just the nurse, CNA, or MD didn't want to deal with the pt's sexuality, and "cut corners". In that case, I would suggest the nurse ask a co-worker to take the pt and give the quality care the pt deserved.

    I have heard both male and female co-workers discuss things I was very uncomfortable with, whether it was the sexual liason they had last night, the cramps from their period, or their views on current events that might not necessarily agree with mine. It is MY choice to walk away, and not insert myself into the conversation, as it is theirs if a co-worker asks me how my significant other is and that makes them uncomfortable.

    I'm fairly fortunate, I "pass" for a straight male, am masculine in my appearance and mannerisms, but it's high time that society in general, and the nursing profession in particular, realize that prejudices don't belong here. Everyone should enjoy the same level of civil rights (gay discrimination IS legal), and be allowed to pursue whatever makes them happy, as long as it's legal. I pay the same taxes as my straight counterparts do, but yet can be fired if a homophobic DON happens to come into my facility. When these rights are equal, we will have taken a huge step in protecting everyone.

    As for any GLBT forums, I'd be happy to help start one, and look forward to both the positive and negative remarks this posting will probably bring. When it comes down to it, we're all the same under the skin, no matter who we love or sleep with, so let's make an effort towards equality! I doubt gay people want "special" rights, just EQUAL rights.

    Wishing everyone the realization of their hopes and dreams in 2006!
  13. by   pickledpepperRN
    I think nurses and students need training so we don't make the mistake I did in assuming a patient is straight.

    It gets complicated but for once I will be brief.

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