Patient Safety and Patient-Centered Care for The Transgender Patient

Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy

This is part of a series from the Pulse Patient Safety Advisory Council

Objective: Learning the needs of transgender patients during their medical care and hospitalization.

Discovery: Transgender patients receiving medical care and hospitalization — whether for their transition or for other health care needs — have some concerns similar to those of the general population, but others that are distinctively unique.

Endocrinologists and the Transgender Patient

Transgender individuals from the Trans Solidarity Project, in Long Island, NY and around the country were asked to provide information via an anonymous online survey about their experiences seeking out hormone therapy and their dealings with endocrinologists. They were also queried about their treatment experiences, and about office staff.

Participants were chosen based upon their association with online social groups and are self-identified as transgender. This information was gathered to empower transgender patients with information on what to expect when seeing an endocrinologist. Additionally, this could provide a primer for medical providers who are looking to serve the transgender community.

The Elephant in the Room: Dispelling the Myths of Being Transgender is a Presentation for Health Care Professionals and Patient Advocates

In 2015 the U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS) examined the experiences of 27,715 transgender people in the United States.

The majority of respondents who were out as transgender or perceived as transgender while in school (K–12) experienced being verbally harassed (54%), physically attacked (24%), and sexually assaulted (13%) because they were transgender. 17% experienced such severe mistreatment that they left a school as a result. Because New York laws do not protect the rights of transgender people, we may never know how many people are transgender in New York.  Estimates say that there are 1.4 million Americans who identify as transgender.

Other facts from the USTS survey:

  • 39% of respondents experienced serious psychological distress in the month prior to completing the survey, compared with only 5% of the U.S. population
  • 18% said that their family was unsupportive, and 22% said that their family was neither supportive nor unsupportive
  • One in twelve (8%) respondents who were out to their immediate family were kicked out of the house, and one in ten (10%) ran away from home
  • One-third (33%) of those who saw a health care provider in the past year reported having at least one negative experience related to being transgender
  • In the past year, 23% of respondents did not see a doctor when they needed to because of fear of being mistreated as a transgender person
  • Forty percent (40%) have attempted suicide in their lifetime, nearly nine times the rate in the U.S. population (4.6%)

The Elephant in the Room: Dispelling the Myths of Being Transgender is a program developed for community members including high school and middle school students who are learning about sexuality and their bodies.

Presenters: 

Kyle is a paramedic, works in a hospital emergency room and happens to be transgender.  He has spoken throughout the Northeast about his journey and explains in plain language why the body and mind doesn’t always match up. He will help his listeners understand how best to be a friend and ally to the transgender community and to support people identifying as transgender.

Ilene Corina is President and founder of Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy, and a patient safety advocate. She has worked closely with the transgender community as many have gone through their transition. She has studied and written about the often unconscious bias toward people who are transgender.  She is a trained youth advisor and speaks to healthcare professionals and community members as well as young people about becoming involved in their medical care and overcoming obstacles to safe, quality care.

Together, Kyle and Ilene will open the doors for safe communication – addressing bias and helping us understand what it’s like being a transgender person in a world not yet understanding of people who are.

Contact: Ilene Corina (516) 579-4711 or icorina@pulsecenterforpatientsafety.org

www.pulsecenterforpatientsafety.org

Helpful Links

National Transgender Discrimination Survey

2016 National Center for Transgender Equality

​In 2016, NCTE completed a second iteration of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS), the U.S. Trans Survey (USTS), that measures how things are now and how they have changed over the past five years since the release of the NTDS. With almost 28,000 respondents, the USTS is the largest survey ever devoted to the lives and experiences of trans people. Read the report at http://ustranssurvey.org.

Probing The Complexities Of Transgender Mental Health  
March 2016
Experiencing the world as a different gender than the one assigned to you at birth can take a toll. Nearly all research into transgender individuals' mental health shows poorer outcomes. A study looking specifically at transgender  women, predominantly women of color, only further confirms that reality.

Injustice at Every Turn

2011
A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey