Healthcare providers

Staff training and education

Honestly, once you don’t use that old name that was given at birth anymore, you don’t think of yourself as the person with that name. And so it’s a shock if they call out that name. And if you’re already stressed about going through the procedure it’s the last thing you’re thinking about. You’re thinking about dealing with the procedure. And then when you face a hurdle it’s more difficult. –Alf

Delivering culturally competent health care means having the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes to work effectively with diverse communities. Culturally competent health care for LGBTQ communities helps to address or alleviate barriers to healthcare and maximize healthcare access and health outcomes.

Culturally competent health care requires specific, in-depth and ongoing training for all healthcare providers, support staff and other staff members on homophobia/transphobia and LGBTQ health issues as they pertain to the services provided by the agency. Topics to include in a staff training program should include:

  • using appropriate language when addressing or referring to clients and/or their significant others
  • identifying and challenging discriminatory beliefs about LGBTQ people
  • basic familiarity with important LGBTQ health issues (e.g., impacts of homophobia, discrimination, harassment, and violence; mental health and depression; substance abuse; safe sex; partner violence; HIV/STDs)
  • basic familiarity with resources for LGBTQ clients, including LGBTQ-identified or -friendly providers

Rainbow Health Ontario is an agency that works in collaboration and partnership with other organizations, programs and individuals to provide LGBTQ training and education. You can find more resources for cultural competence in the Resources section.