Letters to the Editor
I just wanted to send you this quick email to commend the editorial staff of the Johns Hopkins Nursing magazine. It was so well done, informative, and personal.
I really enjoyed reading it. I can really see why the school is ranked #1 for Nursing Schools. Congratulations to you and
Katsura Kurita, JD/MS
Associate Dean for Student Affairs
I read with interest the story “Hopkins Nurses to Learn LGBT Cultural Competency” in the Spring 2011 edition of Johns Hopkins Nursing. The article promoted three ideas worthy of comment. First, social and religious norms are not necessarily barriers that must be overcome. Norms provide a framework for interpersonal relations that is important within a society. They are not all bad, nor are they all good, but the student quoted in the article attaches negative connotations about these norms. This is counterproductive. Utilize your education as a force for positive change, but try and avoid castigating all of society and religions because they may not fit with your particular beliefs.
Second, the student respondent’s assertion that “health care professionals should be [the] most accepting of all [disciplines]” falls far short of the true spirit of nursing that I learned while at Hopkins. My acceptance of someone means far less than my ability to be empathic without regard to my views of a client’s personal belief or practices.
Last, the thinking that has an institution formulating specialized sensitivity or cultural competency training for a specific group as the LGBT community leaves open the possibility of other specialized groups petitioning for the same special recognition from the SON. Why is it necessary? Show me the research that supports the notion that the LGBT community should be classified as suffering a significant health disparity based upon the lack of cultural competence among heath care providers. My guess is that the Curriculum Committee, being eager to support students’ interests and a wider societal hot topic item, has adopted its position without having such evidence. Although well-meaning, this practice is ill-advised.
James H. Fuller, MSN, MSNA, RN, CRNA
Accelerated Class of 1997