Nav: Home

New article identifies issues for transgender treatment in emergency departments

September 28, 2015

DES PLAINES, Ill. (September 28, 2015)?- A new article about a transgender patient's "freak show" experience in a U.S. emergency department, published online in the Journal of Emergency Nursing, is prompting the country's largest professional organization of emergency nurses to encourage transgender patient care awareness.

The study comes during the Emergency Nurses Association's (ENA) annual conference, Emergency Nursing 2015, September 28 to October 3 at Orlando's Orange County Convention Center.

The JEN article chronicles the experience of transgender patient Brandon James (a pseudonym) in an American emergency department. According to the case study, the patient's ED visit was filled with situations that a transgender person might experience wit healthcare providers who are unfamiliar with treating transgender patients. James, a masculine transgender man who transitioned using hormone replacement therapy five years before his ED experience in 2011, presented his driver's license which identified him as a female. His electronic medical records from previous medical visits also included female gender markers.

James said his emergency department check-in process was humiliating, with staff pulling in 2-3 additional people and debating his gender aloud. "It wasn't business-like at all. I was a spectacle. I was a freak show at the circus," said James. "It was definitely to draw attention to the fact that my outward appearance didn't match (my identification)."

After waiting several hours to be treated, a nurse who listened to James' friend recount the check-in experience listened, apologized and validated their experience.

"This patient's story identifies new implications for emergency nursing practice when treating a transgender patient. Emergency nurses are on the front lines of treating more and more transgender patients. All patients must be treated with dignity and respect. We want nurses and their ED colleagues to understand how to give these patients the care and respect they deserve," said ENA president Matthew F. Powers, MS, BSN, RN, MICP, CEN. "ENA fully supports the best practices outlined in this article and supports further research around transgender emergency care."

Takeaways from this study for emergency nurses treating a transgender patient include:
    1) Ask the person how they would like to be addressed?. In the case of Brandon James, many insensitivities might have been avoided if the ED staff member would have asked the patient how he would like to be addressed.

    2) Use the proper pronoun. ?When speaking to a transgender patient, nurses should use the pronoun that matches the gender to which they currently identify.

    3) Keep conversation clinical. ?Emergency nurses should only ask clinically relevant questions during their examination of a transgender patient.

    4) Be sensitive to shared spaces.?When taking a transgender patient into an area of the ED where they might share a space with another patient, keep the gender to which they identify top of mind.

    5) Lead by example. ?Because nurses are on the front lines of patient care in the ED they should take a leadership role in showing respect to transgender patients and step in to help defuse any sensitive situations they observe.

-end-
James' story is told in the article, "I Was a Spectacle...A Freak Show at the Circus: A Transgender Person's ED Experience and Implications for Nursing Practice", to prevent similar events from happening in emergency departments across the country. Full embargoed article from the Journal of Emergency Nursing available for review.

About the Emergency Nurses Association

The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) is the premier professional nursing association dedicated to defining the future of emergency nursing through advocacy, education, research, innovation, and leadership. Founded in 1970, ENA has proven to be an indispensable resource to the global emergency nursing community. With more than 40,000 members worldwide, ENA advocates for patient safety, develops industry-leading practice standards and guidelines, and guides emergency healthcare public policy. ENA members have expertise in triage, patient care, disaster preparedness, and all aspects of emergency care. Additional information is available at http://www.ena.org

MediaSource

Related Emergency Department Articles:

Patient race & gender are important in predicting heart attack in the emergency department
Researchers at the George Washington University published research finding that certain symptoms are more and less predictive of patients' risk for acute coronary syndrome, which includes heart attack, in patients of different gender and race.
What are trends in emergency department utilization, costs for shingles?
A new article published by JAMA Dermatology uses a nationwide database of emergency department (ED) visits to examine herpes zoster (HZ, shingles)-related ED utilization and costs.
Many cancer patients' Emergency Department visits appear preventable
As many as 53 percent of cancer patients' Emergency Department visits that do not require admission could be avoided with better symptom management and greater availability of outpatient care tailored to their needs, according to a new study from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Lawn mower injuries send 13 children to the emergency department every day
A recent study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine shows that, while there has been a decrease in the number of children injured by lawn mowers over the last few decades, this cause of serious injury continues to be a concern.
Cotton tip applicators are sending 34 kids to the emergency department each day
A study conducted by Nationwide Children's Hospital researchers found that over a 21-year period from 1990 through 2010, an estimated 263,000 children younger than 18 years of age were treated in US hospital emergency departments for cotton tip applicator related ear injuries -- that's about 12,500 annually, or about 34 injuries every day.
Regions with stronger gun laws have fewer gun-related pediatric emergency department visits
Regions of the United States with the strictest gun laws also have the fewest emergency department visits for pediatric firearm-related injuries, according to a new study by Children's National Health System researchers.
Intervention reduced suicide attempts among at-risk emergency department patients
Among suicidal patients, an intervention that included brief post-discharge phone calls significantly reduced the likelihood of a future suicide attempt, according to a clinical trial conducted at eight hospitals.
Study examines emergency department visits for patients injured by law enforcement in the US
From 2006 to 2012, there were approximately 51,000 emergency department visits per year for patients injured by law enforcement in the United States, with this number stable over this time period, according to a study published by JAMA Surgery.
Predicting a patient's future firearm violence risk in the emergency department
A new study, from researchers at Michigan Medicine, sought to provide emergency department physicians with a new clinical risk index tool to gauge firearm violence risk among urban youth.
Adolescents with autism four times more likely to visit emergency department
Adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) use emergency-department services four times as often as their peers without autism, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Related Emergency Department Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Jumpstarting Creativity
Our greatest breakthroughs and triumphs have one thing in common: creativity. But how do you ignite it? And how do you rekindle it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas on jumpstarting creativity. Guests include economist Tim Harford, producer Helen Marriage, artificial intelligence researcher Steve Engels, and behavioral scientist Marily Oppezzo.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".