Pharmacists Learn About Providing Better Care to Transgender Patients

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Attendees of a session called "The Community Pharmacist's Transgender Toolkit" got valuable tips from a third-year pharmacy student at the University of Washington.

Conference attendees at the PharmTalk: Innovative Pharmacy Services for Special Populations presentation on Saturday, March 23, at the American Pharmacists Association’s Annual Meeting & Exposition (APhA2019) in Seattle, Washington, learned about providing better care for transgender patients.

In a segment of the presentation called “The Community Pharmacist’s Transgender Toolkit,” Sam Miller, a third-year pharmacy student at the University of Washington School of Pharmacy in Seattle, said that there has been some distrust of the health care community by transgender people, adding that some of have been denied health care coverage or been subject to questions unrelated to the care being sought.

“Pharmacy isn’t exempt from this. Transgender people may be a little nervous that they don’t know what to expect on the other side of the counter,” Miller said.

One way that pharmacists can better serve transgender people is to ask about their chosen and preferred names and honor that name.

The best situation would be to enter 2 fields in electronic records: one for the birth name and one for a preferred name, Miller said.

Other ways to better serve transgender people is to be careful to avoid terms like 'sir' and perhaps include a write-in gender options on forms, Miller said.

In addition, pharmacies could offer flyers to resources for transgender patients, display a rainbow flag, or consider an all-gender restroom, Miller said. Employees could also wear pronoun pins.

“The most important things are to be a resource, be an advocate, and be kind. Sometimes, there’s no better medicine,” Miller said.

Reference

Miller S. The Community Pharmacist’s Transgender Toolkit. Presented at: APHA2019. Seattle, Washington; March 23, 2019.

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