Resources and Expert Advice for LGBTQ College Students

Creating and sustaining a progressive, compassionate, and diverse world is a priority here at Confident Voices in Healthcare.   Nursing, Medical, PT, OT, SLP and all allied healthcare professional and paraprofessional students, please make this comprehensive guide created for LGBTQ students, allies, and other community members available wherever you can.

Compiled by the center for School, College, and Career Resources. It offers tips for knowing if a college is LGBTQ friendly and highlights the schools going above and beyond to welcome these students. It also explains the Campus Pride Index and includes an interview with Gary Howell, a staff member at Argosy University who works with AU Tampa’s Campus Pride group.


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Getting The Most Out Of Healthcare In The Modern Market

by Ashley Lipman

Multiple Strategies  

You’ve likely heard a popular saying about skinning felines, and the variety of ways in which this can be done. Well, not so many folks are doing that these days, but the lesson of the maxim applies to healthcare for sure. There is more than one way for you to go about insuring your health, and getting the most for the least may not look how you expect.

For example, the ACA, or Affordable Care Act, recently backhanded the American taxpayer in corporate and private terms. Everyone in the country has been compelled to pay for insurance, and as with almost any broad government initiative, this resulted in expanded costs rather than reduced ones—as well as expanded tax penalties.

For more information, you can find the Obamacare Penalty explained by; in a nutshell, the worst case scenario is this: “…some people may choose to pay the tax penalty, which, in many cases, is cheaper than buying insurance. Before you consider this option…it’s necessary to understand why having health insurance is important.”

See, that’s the thing: health insurance as a compulsion isn’t constitutional, and neither is the fine associated with it. Thankfully, jail-time doesn’t result from avoiding the program. That said, for many people in many stations of life, there really isn’t any sense paying between $250 and $1,000 a month for something they’ll never use.


If you’re a young person who stays in shape and eats right, you may be able to coast for a decade with a $1,000 emergency fund put away for those times you cut yourself or need other emergency medical attention at an Urgent Care clinic. If you pay in cash the day of your surgery, you could save $5k a year!

But this option isn’t suitable for many; especially those with young families. However, going with government-endorsed agencies may not necessarily produce the greatest discount, either. It may pay to go with fringe options like Medi-Share, which is reputed to reduce healthcare costs against traditional expenses by half.

If you can drop a $1k/month health insurance cost to $500 a month, that’s a yearly savings of $6k. But again, even that may be too expensive. Do you have a regular doctor that you work with to help you maintain your health?

Doctors are often more apt to be paid through an insurance company, than out-of-pocket. The result is, they often don’t really care where their patients are at financially, provided they have some insurance. Well, if you’re poor enough, you may qualify for certain programs that will remunerate healthcare institutions accordingly.

Ask Your Healthcare Professional

Ask your doctor or nurse leader about whether there are any options you can employ which will take full advantage of your financial situation. If you’re making $100k a year, $12k may not be an unreasonable expense in terms of healthcare. But if you’re only making $32k a year, you may not be able to enjoy a reasonable standard of living with those kinds of costs.

Your health care professional may be able to point you to certain programs designed specifically for families which experience such expenses. And this can be a much better tactic than “gaming the system”, as the saying goes.

That said, there are those who save on healthcare in just this way. The bigger the system, the more loopholes exist. As modern healthcare has become exponentially bloated and ineffective, people from all economic stations have begun looking for holes they can exploit. If it’s not illegal, it may be considerable—ask your healthcare professional.

You may do a few Google searches to see what options are available to you in this regard. And, finally, consider that if you don’t shop around, you’re definitely not going to get the best deal. So look before you leap, and leap the right direction! If you’re careful about it, you can save hundreds or thousands every month.

Author bio: Ashley Lipman

Ashley is a super-connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.


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Sylvia Moreau: A Nurse’s Story & Life Affirming Message

By Roy G. Mundheim, RN

From the time she was a child, Sylvia Moreau knew that she wanted to make a difference and help people. Both her parents were nurses and she admired their passion and commitment. Believing that people should do what makes them truly happy and to never settle for anything that doesn’t excite them, Moreau left her career in administration at age 36 to pursue what she really wanted in life; to become a Registered Nurse.

With her two children older and becoming self sufficient, Moreau entered North Island College’s BSN program with enthusiasm and vigour. She took great pride in acquiring nursing knowledge and skills. “I wanted to be that nurse who made a difference for patients and be the one who could help those that were scared, vulnerable, alone, or in pain.” Moreau became skilled in IV starts and assessments with a focus on minimizing pain and fear. Her excellent computer skills from her previous real estate job also made her the go-to class-mate when fellow students needed help with computer trouble-shooting. She was on her way and following her dream.

In the early part of her second year in nursing school, Moreau was met with a new challenge. Feeling things with her health were not quite right, she had a series of doctor’s appointments and diagnostic tests. By Christmas of 2008, she was diagnosed with Stage IV carcinoid neuroendocrine cancer, a slow indolent cancer that does not respond to chemotherapy or all that well to radiation.

Believing in “taking control of the things that you have control over”, Moreau continued her studies and proudly graduated from nursing school in April of 2011. She then began her nursing career in acute care at St. Joseph’s Hospital in the Comox Valley. Determined to enjoy her new career and advance her skills and knowledge, Moreau then followed her passion for wound care. She completed advanced high level courses in wound care through the Canadian Association for Wound Care travelling to both Vancouver and Halifax. Moreau became an even more valuable contributor to St. Joseph’s Hospital by assessing and treating wounds, not only on her own medical-surgical units, but also bringing her expertise and skills to the ICU and ER on request.

While her nursing career was going better than she had even hoped for, Moreau was dealing with ongoing cancer symptoms and physical decline, making her work increasingly difficult. Increasing fatigue, weakness, nausea, and pain caused her to cut back her hours and take on a modified role on the floor. Anemia requiring ongoing IV iron transfusions, regular bowel obstructions requiring surgery, and liver pain indicating advanced metastasis led to more time off eventually leading her to step away from her career in 2014. “My realization came when I had to ask a colleague to help me remove a patient’s compression stockings because I was just too weak. I couldn’t expect others to pick up my slack. It was so hard to leave when I was mentally and emotionally able to carry on but just couldn’t do it physically.”

While some days are tougher than others, she stays positive and leans on her family and friends. “I do not dwell in the future. I live in the now”, Moreau says. When asked about how she sees things now and how she has changed, she pauses, “My perspective on life and day to day choices has changed. I am continuing to learn and grow to become a better person….oh, I don’t put up with bullshit anymore!” she says with a wry smile. She now spends some of her time carving ostrich and emu eggs because it keeps her mind occupied and she says she likes being ‘unique’. 

I really miss nursing. It’s still my passion. If I could, I’d work a shift right now! --Sylvia Moreau Click To Tweet

Moreau has a message for nurses, nursing students, and those thinking of going into the profession. “Know and appreciate how difficult it is to be a patient relying on other people for your medication, your bathroom use, your nutrition…and appreciate what a privilege it is to be a nurse, giving back, and caring for people. Don’t look for short cuts in your work when you are starting out. You will be doing yourself and your patients a great disservice, which can potentially lead to a bad situation. Learn your role as a Registered Nurse, and learn it well! Respect yourself, your co-workers, and your patients! ”

Although she is no longer practicing nursing, her love for her profession is evident, “I still enjoy talking about nursing, getting together with colleagues, discussing the state of nursing and the medical system.” When asked about the current state of nursing and changes she would like to see, Moreau had no shortage of suggestions. “I’d like to see a better nurse to patient ratio, allowing nurses the time for full assessments and complete documentation. This would benefit doctors, nurses, and patients. Also, let’s stop pushing patients out before they’re ready in the name of money and bed space. While our healthcare is being run like a business, patient care is being compromised.”

Sylvia Moreau is now on disability and is a Registered Nurse non-practicing. She has undergone radiation for palliative debulking and subsequent pain control. She continues to remain positive enjoying and appreciating every day, “I have loving family and friends beside me which has made this chapter in my life worthwhile, alive, and manageable. I’m living the best I can and enjoying what is available around me. Every day I find a reason to smile and to laugh.”


Roy G. Mundheim: Norwegian-Canadian freelance writer and Registered Nurse living in Vancouver, Canada with his wife, Lesly. Roy currently works as an acute care nurse at Vancouver General Hospital. He also has extensive experience in geriatric long term and hospice/palliative care. You can find his ridiculous musings regularly on his blog where he writes about health, fitness, food, drink, mindset, lifestyle, travel and much much more. He thinks he’s pretty funny too!

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