• Emilie Pfeiffer-Ross
  • Anders Emil Yttesen
  • Sidsel Hagen Rieder
4. term, Communication, Master (Master Programme)
The aim of this thesis is to investigate the experiences of healthcare professionals regarding LGBT+ patients in the Danish healthcare system. By doing so, we want to call attention to the problems associated with gender and sexuality through the initial nurse assessment.
In this thesis our investigated subjects are eight nurses working as practitioners in the capital region of Denmark. All eight nurses work in different sections of the healthcare sector, which gives an insight into different perceptions of the meeting with LGBT+ patients. The thesis examines the following problem statement:
What are nurses' experiences with LGBT+ patients in the Danish healthcare system, and what problems regarding gender and sexuality become apparent in the nurses' descriptions of the initial nurse assessment?
The thesis has a poststructuralist approach to knowledge, with a theoretical foundation in the fields of health, gender, and power. Our perspective on the healthcare system is viewed through Mol’s (2002) ethnographic study of the day–to- day diagnosis and treatment in the hospital practice. We also explore the meaning of gender, sexuality, and power through Butler (1990, 1993, 1997, 2004) and Foucault (1978, 1982). The combination of the two, makes it possible to view both historical and performative perspectives. The methodical approach of the thesis is qualitative and examines the problem statement through eight interviews. These qualitative interviews include elements of a semi structured interview and the think-out-loud method. Furthermore, the purpose is to conduct a thematic analysis. The interviews are the empirical basis of which we identify patterns and recurring themes through the nurses’ statements.
The thesis clarifies that the nurses operate within a heterocentric bias. The heterocentric bias testifies that the healthcare system, as an institution, is structured according to binary pairs of opposites. At an operational level, these structures affect how nurses navigate their practice when treating patients. If patients differ from the regular patient, which we have identified as cisgender and heterosexual, the challenges arise for the nurses in their stated goal of equal treatment. By contributing and reproducing the same standard for all patients, the aim to perform an individual and respectful treatment becomes overshadowed by regulating gender, repression, or excessive attention towards LGBT+ patients. Through their language we see that some nurses operate with a considerate terminology that integrates LGBT+ patients as part of normality. Whereas others demonstrate a limited repertoire rooted in a heteronormative understanding. We can therefore conclude that the LGBT+ patients’ gender and sexuality will be addressed differently, depending on which nurse they are treated by. The thematic analysis has clarified a paradox regarding the excessive attention and consideration towards LGBT+ patients. On one hand, it testifies to recognition and respect, and on the contrary, it determines that the LGBT+ patients differ from normality. From this we can conclude that the nurses are placed in a difficult position where recognition and attention towards gender and sexuality must be balanced if they want to normalize the patient.
Publication date10 Jun 2022
Number of pages105
ID: 472530828