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Social Work


Tina Jaeckle


Social work cultural competence within a hospital setting has gained importance due to the various changes to how health care is delivered within the United States hospital system. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) individuals seeking care have reported negative experiences and discrimination, adversely impacting their treatment in a hospital setting. Those experiences have resulted in decreased use of medical treatment. Researchers have established the need for increased levels of cultural competence from social workers within hospital settings to develop rapport with LGBT individuals when delivering social work services as a part of the hospital treatment team. With cultural humility and cultural competence serving as conceptual frameworks, this study examined the relationship between social work perception of cultural competence and cultural humility in practice with LGBT individuals within a hospital setting. Data were collected using an individual interview setting. This qualitative study utilized data collected and analyzed from interviews with six social workers. The participants were recruited via various social media social work professional groups. Analysis of the data consisted of reviewing transcripts to the study to establish final themes for the study. A total of three themes for the study were identified, which included, lack of formal educational opportunity/preparedness, cultural humility as a preferred approach, and continual learning essential to social work practice. These findings provide insights for social workers working with LGBT individuals in hospital settings. The utilization of cultural humility, when combined with a client centered approach, can positively impact the social worker’s cultural competence with LGBT individuals in a hospital setting.

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