Developing a culturally competent and compassionate LGBT+ curriculum in health and social care education
Evidence shows there is a need to ensure that health and social care professionals are capable to deliver care and support to a diverse population (EHRC, 2010). However, issues with professional conduct and discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT+) people in health and social care, continue to exist in the UK (Stonewall, 2015) and most probably in most EU countries.
This unsatisfactory position indicates the need to ensure that health and social care professional education includes exploration of LGBT+ issues, in order to enable health professionals to provide quality services which are free from prejudice to this population. However, there are numerous challenges which the educators must address and overcome in order to achieve this aim, including ignorance and fear, lack of confidence; negative religious, cultural and personal views; the lack of a learning culture that values diversity, and so on (Davy et al, 2015; Pezzella & Carr, 2016).
Research suggests that specific training on LGBT+ issues may result in better knowledge and skills of the health and social care workforce, which reduces the heteronormative and cisgendered (when a person’s sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex) communication between providers and LGBT+ people, as well as diminishing the feelings of stigma and discrimination experienced by LGBTQ+ people (Sekoni, Gale, Manga‐Atangana, Bhadhuri, & Jolly, 2017). Despite this, there seems to be a lack of covering in LGBT+ health needs in the health and social care curriculum. Hence, there are limited resources and teaching material on the LGBT+ issues.
The project “Developing a culturally competent and compassionate LGBT+ curriculum in health and social care education“ aims to enable teacher/trainers of theory and practice to enhance their skills regarding LGBT+ issues and develop teaching tools to support the inclusion of LGBT+ issues within health and social care curricula. The newly culturally competent and compassionate LGBT+ curriculum will be delivered though a MOOC which is aimed at health and social care teachers/trainers, workers, professionals and and learners across Europe and worldwide.
The main achievements of the project will be:
- To develop teaching and learning tools to be used by health and social care educators/trainers in order to improve their own knowledge and confidence in teaching LGBT+ issues;
- To develop the knowledge of health and social care professionals on how to support LGBT+ patients and meet their health care needs;
- To produce a best practice guides on how to develop an LGBT+ inclusive curriculum;
- To prepare and pilot a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to support the participants in developing an awareness of LGBT+ needs in health and social care across Europe and the world.
- The MOOC will help participants to acquire relevant knowledge, professional skills and key competences, including intercultural and social skills, as well as digital skills and become empowered with the capacity to establish positive communication, friendly environment and positive interaction and relationships with LGBT+ individuals.