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Transgender Healthcare: Caring for Trans Patients

Understand current issues in transgender healthcare and learn how to provide culturally competent care to trans individuals.

2,452 enrolled on this course

A medical professional wearing blue scrubs, stethoscope with a white tape roll on it, a transgender flag colour lanyard and two medical tubes with the trans blue and pink colour tops on them
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Explore how to effectively care for trans people

This course will help you gain a deeper understanding of trans people and the common challenges they face when accessing healthcare. You’ll learn more about the trans community overall, including terminology and trans rights in the UK.

Understanding transgender discrimination in healthcare

Trans people face discrimination in our National Healthcare System (NHS), a problem that can be partially attributed to the fact that there isn’t specific transgender healthcare training for healthcare professionals or healthcare students.

Healthcare professionals are often not aware of how best to approach and work with trans patients, which results in trans people receiving a lower standard of care.

Diving into this transgender healthcare training course

Alongside experts at St George’s, University of London, you’ll enhance your skills in different areas.

Initially, you’ll be exposed to common terms used by the trans community, exploring the process of transition from a social and legal perspective and analysing transgender healthcare in the UK.

You’ll learn more about specific issues in transgender healthcare and the various areas of gender-affirming healthcare.

At the final stages of the course, you’ll focus on consolidating your learning from the first three weeks to 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.


  • Week 1

    Introduction to transgender healthcare

    • Introduction to the course

      First, we will meet the course educators and get an overview of the learning objectives and content to be covered in the first week.

    • Key concepts and terminology

      Next, we will look at key terminology which will be used in the course, understanding the key concepts which underpin the care and support of trans individuals and the importance of using pronouns.

    • Social transition and legislation

      Now, we will explore the main components of social transition, and introduce where social and legal transition intertwine.

    • Health in the trans community

      Here, we will provide an overview of challenges trans patients face in society and how these can impact health outcomes.

    • End of the week summary

      Finally, we will review the week's activities and get a sneak preview of next week's topics.

  • Week 2

    Trans-specific healthcare considerations

    • Introduction to the week

      First, we will an overview of the learning objectives and content to be covered in the second week.

    • Diagnosis, pathway & non-medical support

      Next, we have a brief run-through of how gender dysphoria is diagnosed and managed and explore some non-medical support options.

    • Medications

      Here, we discuss the various medication classes used to help some trans patients.

    • Gender-affirming surgeries

      Now, we explore the gender-affirming surgical options available to trans patients.

    • Trans patients accessing services

      Next, we will look at some of the difficulties that trans patients may encounter while accessing services in the NHS.

    • End of the week summary

      Finally, we will review the week's activities and get a sneak preview of next week's topics.

  • Week 3

    Trans-inclusive communication and service provision

    • Introduction to the week

      First, we will an overview of the learning objectives and content to be covered in the third week.

    • Trans-inclusive communication

      In our case study, Hannah has recently changed her name by deed poll and has come into the GP surgery to request a name change on her records.

    • Fostering a trans-inclusive environment

      In our case study, Ilhan is a healthcare assistant (HCA) starting their first day at their new job at the hospital.

    • Confidentiality considerations

      In our case study, Jack has been admitted to the hospital for elective surgery and has been assigned to the men’s bay on the ward.

    • Trans-inclusive healthcare assessments

      Here, we discuss how to appropriately take a history from a trans patient and the issue of "trans broken arm syndrome".

    • End of the week summary

      Finally, we will review the week's activities and get a sneak preview of next week's topics.

  • Week 4

    Culturally competent clinical communication

    • Introduction to the week

      First, we will an overview of the learning objectives and content to be covered in the fourth and final week.

    • Supporting trans patients with disabilities

      In this case study, we meet a trans patient called Travis who has cerebral palsy and has been referred to the local community rehabilitation team for zir first assessment.

    • Supporting trans patients at first presentation

      In this case study, we meet a patient who presents to their GP to discuss their feelings of gender dysphoria

    • Supporting vulnerable trans patients

      In this case study, we meet Diana who has presented to a sexual health clinic to discuss some ongoing symptoms she's been experiencing.

    • Supporting trans patients in an acute setting

      In this case study, we meet Lauren who has attended the emergency department complaining of abdominal pain.

    • Supporting trans patients in primary care

      Now, we revisit James from an earlier case study. Some time has passed since James last saw his GP and he has now made an appointment to discuss a recent rugby sports injury.

    • End of the course summary

      Finally, we will review the week's activities and reflect on the course as a whole.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll 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 both effective and respectful.
  • Apply the knowledge gained throughout this course in the development of healthcare services that are more trans-inclusive.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for all healthcare students, as well as current NHS doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals within the UK. Non-UK based learners are welcome to join the course but should be aware, that this course reflects the UK healthcare context. Learners practicing outside of the UK are therefore strongly encouraged to source local policies and guidance.

Who will you learn with?

Niko is a junior physiotherapist working in central London.

They take a special interest in physiotherapy care for trans individuals and are looking to pursue a career in this area.

Pronouns: they/he

Bec is a junior doctor working in South London with a special interest in neurology and trans healthcare.

Pronouns: they/them

Edinburgh based SHO doctor currently at RIE, ED. An educator in trans health at St George's University, with special interests in Emergency Medicine & Young People's Health.

Pronouns: he/him

Junior Doctor in search of the career spark but has a keen focus on LGBTQ+ Healthcare.

Avid plant parent and lover of rhythm and blues.

Pronouns: she/they

Who developed the course?

St George's, University of London

St George’s is the UK’s only university dedicated to medical and health sciences education, training and research.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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