Addressing the health care needs of people who identify as transgender: what do nurses need to know?
Boucher, I and Bourke, SL and Green, J and Johnson, E and Jones, LK, Addressing the health care needs of people who identify as transgender: what do nurses need to know?, International Journal of Healthcare, 6, (2) pp. 14-22. ISSN 2377-7338 (2020) [Refereed Article]
Being transgender (TG) is part of the natural spectrum of human diversity, and its visibility has increased with societal change.
The TG population is comprised of individuals identifying themselves as the opposite gender to that which they were born. Adult
TG people are calculated as a part of Australia’s non-heterosexual marginal population; therefore, exact numbers are unknown.
As a result of not being recognised, TG people have faced multiple challenges, fairing worse in all socioeconomic and health
measures, including not being able to afford and access appropriate healthcare. Many of these challenges arise from a lack of
understanding resulting in social exclusion, bullying, and physical attacks. The isolation and physical assaults on this community
creates anxiety and mental health conditions, including self-harm, suicide, depression, personality disorder, psychosis, post
traumatic disorder, and eating disorders. To affirm a gender identity that is different from the gender a person was born to is
referred to as "transition". The lengths to which an individual will go to transition is varied with some people choosing to change
only their dress and mannerisms and others to undertake medical interventions such as hormonal therapy and/or surgery. In
Australia, there is limited capacity within the health system to support the needs of the trans and gender diverse (TGD) population.
Initiatives such as nurse-led post-operative support service need to be created as a way to address this. This service could provide
patients with nurse advocates working collaboratively with other health professionals to provide primary health solutions.
transgender, gender identity, gender dysphoria, nursing, mental health, cultural safety