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J Sch Nurs. 2003 Apr;19(2):65-72.

Promoting culturally competent care for gay youth.

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University of Charleston, Charleston, WV, USA.


Gay youth and those questioning their sexual identity have been referred to as "hidden," "invisible," "stigmatized," and "marginalized." As a result, the unique safety and health needs of this subculture have been overlooked, or worse, ignored, placing these youth at risk. Because school nurses have been identifying at-risk populations of students and developing programs to promote youth and family health for years, they should be prepared to provide health care for the subculture of gay youth. However, nurses are saying they do not have the knowledge or skills needed to identify and address the needs of this group. Providing school nursing care for gay youth requires the school nurse to be culturally competent. School nurses need to be aware of, sensitive to, and knowledgeable about the subculture. They must also possess communication skills required to relate appropriately to this group. This article presents information and nursing strategies that will promote the safety and health of gay youth while enhancing the school nurse's cultural competence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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