New pharmacists’ training: a prescription for gender inclusion
Research has revealed transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people in Australia experience unequal treatment in some pharmacy settings, but a new training program is helping to restore the balance.
James Cook University PhD candidate Mrs Swapna Chaudhary, supervised by Professor Beverley Glass and Associate Professor Robin Ray, considered the experience of pharmacists specifically trained in dealing with TGD clients.
She said it’s estimated that between 0.1% and 2% of the global population identifies as TGD.
“Challenges faced by TGD people in healthcare settings, including community pharmacy, are widely recognised. Even though pharmacies provide various pharmaceutical services to TGD people, many report encountering obstacles to receiving competent care,” said Mrs Chaudhary.
“A training program in TGD healthcare was designed to address this knowledge gap and equip pharmacists with tools for communicating with TGD people in non-judgemental and inclusive ways.
“Research findings confirmed that pharmacists’ awareness and knowledge about TGD healthcare significantly improved after completing the training program. After three months we examined the impact of training on pharmacists’ practice,” said Mrs Chaudhary.
She said most pharmacists found the training program valuable and relevant, with changes in their knowledge levels and attitudes noticeable.
“Interestingly, the most noticeable change in the attitudes reported by pharmacists was their perspective of how they view not only TGD people, but everyone. This training program enabled pharmacists to be introspective and observe their own attitudes, behaviours, and practices.”
She said however that the skills learned are perishable.
“So, providing training at regular intervals, summary communications, and printed materials, including new updates in gender-affirming therapies, may be necessary for pharmacists to retain the knowledge and skills learned.”
Mrs Swapna Chaudhary