Front-line staff play a key role in creating a health care environment that responds to the needs of transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people. Everyone, no matter their gender identity or expression, appreciates friendly and courteous service. In addition, TGD people have unique needs when interacting with the health care system. Many TGD people experience stigma and discrimination in their daily lives, including when seeking health care.
Issues and concerns from TGD patients often arise at the front desk and in waiting areas because those are the first points of contact for most patients. These issues, however, are almost always unintentional and can be prevented by training all staff in some basic principles and strategies.
This document, updated in Fall 2016, was developed as a starting point to help train front-line health care employees to provide affirming services to TGD patients (and all patients) at their organization. Part 1 of this document provides background information on TGD people and their health needs. Part 2 provides tips and strategies to improve communication and create a more affirming environment.