LGBTQIA+ Specific Cultural Competency Resources

June 7, 2021 by Claire Higgins

In honor of Pride Month, throughout June the NATA Now blog will highlight NATA’s LGBTQIA+ resources to assist members in their pursuit of providing compassionate, culturally competent patient care to all.

To provide the highest quality of care to all patients, athletic trainers must also self-reflect and educate themselves on the LGBTQIA+ community. Patient identity and sexual orientation can influence not only their health and well-being, but the patient-AT relationship as well.

In addition to race, ethnicity, religion and socioeconomic status, identity and sexual orientation are a critical part of cultural competency.

It’s important for athletic trainers to consider patient values and identities of the LGBTQIA+ patient population during their clinical decision-making process. Culturally competent health care providers understand how these values influence outcomes and can positively or negatively impact the patient’s experience, care and treatment.

NATA provides cultural competency resources for athletic trainers specifically related to LGBTQIA+ patient care. From LGBTQIA+ terminology and allyship to self-reflection exercises and busting myths about the community, NATA’s LGBTQIA+ content is available to assist ATs regardless of where they are in their cultural competency education journey.

Here are some of the LGBTQIA+ specific cultural competency resources and where to find more information:

  • LGBTQIA+ Terminology 101
    • ATs can use the glossary of LGBTQIA+ terms to ensure clear and respectful communication between patients and the greater LGBTQIA+ community. This webpage is updated consistently to align with the ever-evolving terminology in the LGBTQIA+ community.
  • Patient-Centered Inclusion: Self-Assessment
    • This NATA Now blog from the NATA LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee encourages ATs to look internally at their own experiences as a heterosexual or LGBTQIA+ individual and their implicit and explicit biases. 
  • How to be an Ally infographic
    • The November 2020 NATA News featured an infographic created by the LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee and NATA Ethnic Diversity Advisory Committee on allyship, which is applicable to the LGBTQIA+ community and other marginalized or minoritized groups. This shareable graphic outlines the do’s and don’ts for ATs to consider when supporting the LGBTQIA+ community. The How to be an Ally infographic is available to download and share through the NATA Infographic Handout Library
  • Beyond the Binary
    • In the May NATA News, the LGTBQ+ Advisory Committee published an article on providing patient-centered care to gender-diverse patients. The article included action items for ATs to incorporate into their own practice. The authors, Lyn Meyerhoff, MS, LAT, ATC, Meredith Decker, PhD, LAT, ATC, and Amanda Tritsch, PhD, LAT, ATC, discussed the article during an NATA Chat on Facebook Live with NATA LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee Chair Rebecca Lopez, PhD, ATC, CSCS. Watch and share the recorded chat on NATA’s Facebook profile.
  • Documentation Considerations for the LGBTQ+ Community
    • Members from the LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee in District Five collaborated to share important considerations for ATs when treating an LGBTQIA+ patient or patients in this June 2020 NATA News article. The article encourages athletic trainers to respect and recognize their patients’ preferred pronouns, and consider how online forms or profiles/accounts, can also be inclusive of all available identifiers.
  • LGBTQ+ Myths and Misconceptions
    • In order to have healthy conversations about LGBTQIA+ issues and needs, as they pertain to health care, ATs must move past stereotypes, myths and misconceptions. In this February 2018 NATA News article, the LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee addresses some of these myths and misconceptions to help athletic trainers better serve as advocates for the LGBTQIA+ community.

For more information about, or to access more resources on cultural competency with the LGBTQIA+ community, visit NATA’s Inclusion webpage and the Cultural Competence webpage.