LGBT+ Pharmacists’ Network Newsletter – December 2021

Welcome to this month's PDA LGBT+ Network update. This edition includes a look at pharmacy students' confidence levels in providing LGBT+ specific care and we also learn about the transition journey of a Locum Community Pharmacist.

Wed 15th December 2021 The PDA

In this issue:
  • Vice-President of the LGBT+ Network discusses discrimination in pharmacy
  • My transition journey
  • MPharm students’ confidence and comfort levels in providing LGBT+ specific care
  • PDA LGBT+ Network pronoun badges
  • Get involved
  • In case you missed it

Vice-President of the LGBT+ Network

discusses discrimination in pharmacy

By Lauren Keatley-Hayes (she/they), Clinical Pharmacist and Vice-President of the LGBT+ Network
 

 

I’m a Clinical Pharmacist working mainly in primary care. I have previously worked in community settings and in the hospital sector. I have a background in women-centred care from working in hospital, but I also have an interest in mental health and championing healthcare for transgender and non-binary (NB) patients.

I moved away from community-centred roles as I didn’t feel I had the opportunities to utilise my knowledge and skills as a pharmacist. Hospital pharmacy gave me new opportunities, but I found the structure too restrictive. Through my work with Ashburton Prescribing Ltd, I have had many opportunities to utilise my skills and had experiences in areas of pharmacy I never knew existed.

For example, I’ve been able to help with mass vaccination centres, mixing vaccines for clinics and working across a range of PCNs to improve outcomes for networks. My role as Vice-President of the PDA’s LGBT+ Network will hopefully improve care for trans and NB patients too and I’m proud of the various union projects that are already underway.

As a student, I wish I’d known about the diverse range of jobs and career options there are for pharmacists. We’re all out here carving our own path and writing new and emerging job roles due to the breadth of skills pharmacy professionals have.

READ MORE

My transition journey

By Jenny, Locum Community Pharmacist and PDA LGBT+ Network member 
 

 

I transitioned nearly 20 years ago when I worked in industry, in research and development. There were around 30 of us working in UK labs. The company I worked for was technically excellent about the changes, and I faced no ‘challenges’ from anyone. However, a year later, I was made redundant.

I was then incredibly fortunate to find a position with a small, independent pharmacy chain, which had very accepting management. My colleagues were amazing, and I encouraged them to ask anything, I’ve always been open because I think it’s important to enable others to learn.

I looked a mess as my hormones hadn’t kicked in and I couldn’t afford electrolysis. I had to use an epilator on my face every day. My initial customers were good, but I experienced problems with the teenagers from the local school. After I moved into the village, they found out where I lived and I faced over two years of daily abuse, which drove me to severe anger and depression. Three of the people who abused me now have criminal records due to their actions at the time.
READ MORE

MPharm students’ confidence and comfort levels in providing LGBT+ specific care

By Dania Al-Rekabi (she/her), Foundation Trainee Pharmacist
 

 

“We treat everyone equally at my place of work, it doesn’t matter what sexual orientation they are. This is not relevant to their health needs that I cover.”

This quote from a healthcare provider comes from Unhealthy Attitudes, a 2015 report by Stonewall on the attitudes of healthcare providers towards LGBT+ people. Although perhaps well-meaning, it fails to acknowledge the reality that LGBT+ patients experience health inequalities. When I first read this, I wondered how many of my MPharm peers might share this view.

For my fourth-year research study, I assessed MPharm students’ confidence and comfort levels in providing LGBT+ specific care. Participants demonstrated positive attitudes towards LGBT+ people but showed less confidence in actively discussing LGBT+ topics with their patients, as well as a lack of understanding of LGBT+ health inequalities. After completing a learning resource I designed, there was a great improvement in participants’ self-perceived confidence and knowledge, and they all expressed interest in receiving further education on the topic.

Although my study was small, I was encouraged by what I found. Students are willing to learn, but they rely on the MPharm course as their main source of training, and with a gap in the curriculum, many students may graduate with little confidence or knowledge in meeting the specific health needs of LGBT+ people. I believe that early introduction to the concepts of health inequalities and the needs of LGBT+ people is vital in preparing tomorrow’s pharmacists, and that means integrating these topics into the MPharm curriculum.

PDA LGBT+ Network pronoun badges 

Wearing a pronoun badge is a simple but effective way of signalling that you respect people’s pronouns and their gender identity. This can mean a lot for colleagues and patients who may feel invisible, or who may be struggling with their gender identity within the pharmacy context.

Pronoun badges can also help to open up conversations about gender identity and raise awareness of gender diversity. Thank you to all PDA LGBT+ Network members who have contributed to the design of the pronoun badges and the flyer that accompanies them.

Learn more

  • Find out more and place your FREE order here

Get involved

  • Take a selfie with your pronoun badge and share on social media using #PDAlgbt. Don’t forget to tag the PDA into your post. Click on one of the icons at the bottom of this email to follow us on social media.
READ MORE

Get involved 

  • Follow the PDA LGBT+ Pharmacists’ Network on social media using the hashtag
    #PDAlgbt
  • Please also feel free to share this mailing with a colleague that would like to read it
  • Pharmacists that are not yet members of the PDA LGBT+ Pharmacists’ Network can join here
  • Join the PDA LGBT+ Network Facebook group here.

In case you missed it

Below are recently published PDA news items relating to the LGBT+ Network.

The PDA LGBT+ Network would also like to say thank you to the Pharmacy Schools Council for circulating the campaign letter about more inclusion of LGBT+ education in the MPharm programme as part of the #LGBTplusMPharm campaign.

 

 

 

 

 

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