LGBT as a Vulnerable Population in the USA
An analysis of the American vulnerable population shows that 4.5 percent of the populations identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). The population is vulnerable in the community due to social factors. Most of the people that identify with the population tend to be poorer than the general population (Trotta). The Williams Institute identified the population to stand roughly at 11.3 million individuals, with the state of Washington D.C having the highest numbers (9.8%) and North Dakota having the lowest number (2.7%) (Trotta). The LGBT population is also economically disadvantaged and face social stigma due to their sexuality, therefore making them vulnerable. Various issues affect the LGBT community. Apart from social stigmatization, they face social isolation as most norms and values of the community are not in line with the sexual orientation of the population. They also face numerous health issues as many have no access to healthcare facilities. 1 in every 5 members of the LGBT community fails to seek medical attention due to the fear of discrimination (Trotta). Other issues are the lack of sexual expression in the community, poverty, barriers to utilizing or benefiting from community services, and also a high risk of diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
The LGBT community does not advocate for themselves due to the fear of discrimination within the societies. Most communities view different sexual orientation as a vice or immoral thing in the community. The stigmatization and often physical violence associated with being a member of the community causes them to fear advocacy. Various ethical considerations are important when working with the LGBT population. One is that nurses and psychologists should understand the effect stigma on the population and various manifestations in the lives of the individuals. Healthcare providers must also know that LGBT sexual orientations is not a mental illness and are normal parts of human sexuality (American Psychological Association 13-25). The attitude of healthcare providers on LGBT issues should be considered during the assessment and treatment of the population. Nursing advocacy for the population will; ensure that the medical and health interests of the group are met while respecting the choice and values of the population. The advocacy also reduces the implication that stigmatization may have on the vulnerable community (Carabez and Kim). Nursing advocacy also ensures quality and safe care to patients belonging to the LBGT community.