LGBTQ+ specific health content in development for Queen’s nursing

Queen’s professors, PhD student create Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Nursing Education Toolkit

They filmed four virtual simulation games for students.
Supplied by Marian Luctkar-Flude

Two Queen’s professors and a Queen’s student are creating LGBTQ+ specific healthcare content for the University’s nursing program.

Marian Luctkar-Flude, associate professor (School of Nursing); Deborah Tregunno, associate professor (School of Nursing); and PhD student Benjamin Carroll are part of the seven-person research team developing the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Nursing Education Toolkit, an educational resource specific to LGBTQ+ healthcare.

“[We] wanted to develop some educational materials for healthcare educators, health professionals, to improve their understanding of cultural humility as it applies to interacting with individuals that are LGBTQ+,” Luctkar-Flude told The Journal.

The content will be integrated into the Queen’s Nursing program through the mandatory fourth-year course in community health.

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“It was probably touched upon in different places across the program, but now there’s a specific module that they can use, so I think that’s filling a gap,” Luctkar-Flude said.

Carrol received a grant in 2018 with two other then-grad students. They approached Luctkar-Flude, and together decided to use virtual simulation games as a way to engage students and nurses in their presented content.

The team created four games, each of which focuses on a different LGBTQ+ individual and the barriers to healthcare they might face. The team is currently working on the scripts for more games demonstrating different barriers.

In the games, the learner plays as a nurse interacting with a patient. Depending on how the player chooses to respond to the patient’s dialogue, they’ll receive either a positive or negative reaction from them.

“It’ll go through different issues depending on the game, and you see how the patient reacts to the way the nurse is addressing them and speaking to them,” Luctkar-Flude said.

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After the game, the player is directed to resources that can help them improve their delivery.

“Just based on the feedback we’re getting since we’ve opened up the course, people are telling us that this was a much-needed resource for educators,” Luctkar-Flude said.

Released last week, the SOGI Nursing Education Course includes assigned readings for each of the four virtual games and two narrated introductory presentations—one on cultural humility and another explaining terms related to sexual orientation and gender identity.

The toolkit also includes the SOGI Nursing website, a searchable database of curated resources for health educators and professionals to learn more about the realms of LGBTQ+ health and cultural humility.

“We need to improve how we deliver care to these individuals and part of it is that we weren’t educated about these issues,” Luctkar-Flude said. “So, I think it’s important that nursing students have the opportunity to think about these issues and to think about their own biases.”

Luctkar-Flude worked on other simulation games that focus on COVID-19 nursing care, which are scheduled to be released next week. She’s also working on a set of games that will teach nurses how to interact with BIPOC patients.

“I think there’s the intersection too of both groups that would be important to look at,” she said.

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