Module 1: Professional Accountability and Prescribing

Lesson 6

Stigma exercise

Which client population do you think has the most stigma?

Stigma is a form of social labeling, which affects one’s social identity and can impact health care delivery.  Healthcare providers are not exempt from social constructions that stigmatize certain client populations, so self-awareness and understanding of stigma is important (Engebretson, 2013).

  • This is a self-reflection exercise in which you will come to consensus within yourself.  A consensus as applied in this activity is a voluntary agreement that you can live with.  Consensus does not result from a vote, and in this exercise you must negotiate with yourself and come to a personal agreement.
  • Please read the list of client populations.  This list is in alphabetical order.
  • Prioritize them in order with the client population you believe has the most stigma to the one with the least stigma. Note your rationale in the corresponding column.
Client Populations
Priority Population group Rationale
1. Aboriginal person with alcohol odour.  
2.  Adolescent using marijuana presenting with STI.  
3. Drug dealer with a gunshot wound.  
4. Female who has taken benzodiazepines for 15 years.  
5. Male with schizophrenia wanting sleep medication.  
6. Medical doctor with an addiction to fentanyl.  
7. Person with mental disorder and substance abuse.  
8. Transgendered person addicted to cocaine.  
9. Senior taking temazepam daily for insomnia.  
10. Street-involved youth addicted to multiple drugs.  
  • Once you have completed this, consider what would happen if a client from each of these populations presented for care in your practice setting.
  • How would stigma compromise their access to health care?
  • How would you manage a situation requiring a psychoactive prescription for each of them?