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Yolanda Bogert. Photo: Supplied

How to avoid ‘trans broken arm syndrome’: nurse talks supporting gender diverse patients

Gender diverse people report experiencing barriers to quality and comprehensive health care, and show poorer health outcomes compared with the general public, across almost every area.

Registered nurse, author and activist Yolanda Bogert will address some of these issue at the Australian College of Nursing’s National Nurses Forum.

Her presentation will look at the concepts of inclusion and patient dignity. Other themes will include how nursing perceptions of gender can hinder or help the recovery of transgender patients and the issue of 'transgender broken arm syndrome'. Coined by Naith Payton at publisher Pink News, the term describes the tendency for clinicians to quickly put medical issues down to a person's trans identity.

Bogert's understanding of these issues were bolstered through her experience with her son, Kai.

“Kai came out as trans in 2014. He walked into my study one day and said, ‘You know how you have a son and a daughter? Well you actually have two sons',” Bogert said.

“I said 'Ok so you're trans, yeah?'"

Bogert felt her son’s response of “I think so, yeah,” was worth celebrating, so she put a tongue-in-cheek birth retraction in the newspaper that went viral.

It read: "In 1995 we announced the arrival of our sprogget, Elizabeth Anne, as a daughter. He informs us that we were mistaken. Oops! Our bad. We would now like to present, our wonderful son – Kai Bogert. Loving you is the easiest thing in the world. Tidy your room."

This subsequently led to a book called How I Met My Son, which then led her into the world of advocacy for gender diverse people in healthcare.

Nursing Review spoke with Bogert about the ways nurses can develop stronger relationships with transgender patients and ensure they respect individuals' dignity.

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