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Find out about the current issues in transgender healthcare with physio Niko Brenner and colleagues

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Course participants will have plenty of opportunities to share ideas and meet other learners


Physiotherapist Niko Brenner is one of four clinicians behind a four-week course, titled Transgender Healthcare: Caring for trans patients, that is scheduled to start later this month (28 February).

Niko graduated from St. George’s University in 2021 and currently works in a central London NHS Trust. They are pursuing a career and further research in the field of physiotherapy care for trans individuals.

The course, which was developed at St George's, University of London and is promoted by FutureLearn, will be open to students in the healthcare field and more experienced healthcare practitioners.

Those signing up for the course are told they will gain an understanding of the current issues in transgender healthcare and learn how to provide culturally competent care to trans individuals. The course advertisement claims that trans patients currently receive a ‘lower standard of care’, in part because healthcare professionals are ‘often not aware of how best to approach and work' with them.

Niko told PhysioUpdate: 'A recent Australian study has found that physiotherapists are not adequately prepared to provide culturally competent care to trans patients. Trans patients experience discrimination and hostility in physiotherapy encounters and physiotherapists alongside other healthcare professionals should be encouraged to take steps to develop their skills and knowledge to work with this patient group.'

Niko’s collaborators on the course are medical student Caspian Priest and two junior doctors: Bec MacGregor Legge and Chloë Rogers. 

Participants will spend three hours a week on the course, at the end of which they will be able to

  •        identify common terms used by the trans community and be able to apply affirming language while working with trans people
  •        explore the concepts of social and legal transition in a healthcare setting
  •        summarise current recommendations for the treatment of trans patients
  •        identify specific barriers that trans people face when accessing healthcare
  •        explore the health concerns of trans patients in a way that is effective and respectful
  •        apply the knowledge they have gained in the development of healthcare services that are more trans-inclusive 

Develop effective and sensitive ways to communicate with trans people using affirming and inclusive language ... as well as identifying ways to make the organisations you work and study in more trans-inclusive [course advert]

Learning approach

Participants can follow the self-guided course and learn at their own pace. 'On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments,' the advertisement states.

For more information and to find out about payment options, visit: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/transgender-in-healthcare/1

FutureLearn, which has links with many universities and other organisations based in the UK and overseas, offers a range of online courses and degrees. It was launched in 2013 and claims to have attracted more than seven million learners around the world. Source: https://www.futurelearn.com/partners

This article was updated on 22 February to include a quote from Niko and to make several minor amendements.



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