Guest Blog written by Emma Wilkes
I think it’s fair to say that most student nurses are nervous before starting a new placement, however LGBT students may feel extra nervous. Whether it’s awkward conversations about your love life, or a worry about what toilets it’ll be ok to use, it’s totally understandable. As a student nurse every new placement involves another coming out and this can be nerve wracking and emotionally difficult.
So here are five tips to survive coming out at placements:
- Don’t feel you have to out yourself immediately – there is no need to introduce yourself as Emma the lesbian and you shouldn’t feel under pressure to do so
- But also don’t feel you can’t come out, everyone talks about their partners and children and you should be able to do the same.
- You don’t have to tell everyone, it’s ok to just tell people in conversation and leave those who weren’t there to work it out for themselves
- If you have any problems or concerns talk to your AA, mentor or PEF, they are there to support you and you should never face any discrimination on the grounds of your sexuality or gender identity
- Don’t be embarrassed, be proud of who you are, you have a unique life experience which will be valuable to you in nursing
The University LGBT society have lots going on, although it won’t always be possible to make their Wednesday group they also have things going on in the evenings and weekends. In Manchester you’ll also find the LGBT Foundation who have lots going on and can offer lots of support.