Quote from fuzzywuzzy
If I had students at work you bet I'd be asking them for help with transfers and stuff like that.
It doesn't sound at all to me like ShawnieBoy is objecting to being asked to help with some of the more physical tasks such as lifting patients. It sounds like he's concerned that he's asked to assist with these tasks more frequently and/or in place of his female peers, and I think that
is a completely valid complaint.
Quote from countrygirl1987
I will admit if there was a strong man on my hall, student or not, I'd be all over him to help with some of the lifting.
I've often heard women in our profession say, "We need more men in nursing." When I ask them why they think we need more men, the top two responses I get are "you bring a different set of skills and views," and "you can help with the heavy patients." Few seem to be capable of elaborating on the "skills and views" statement, and even fewer seem to be aware of how insulting and demeaning "you can help with the heavy patients" is.
Statements like that devalue our role as men in nursing, implying that our primary contribution to the profession is muscle. Let me tell you something, I learned a whole lot more in nursing school
than patient transfers, and I've got a whole grab bag of tricks in addition to that from five years in emergency medical services.
Maybe this will help... let me tell you a little story that these situations always make me think of. When I was a firefighter we had six men and one woman in my house. Megan and I were both "rookies" at the same time, meaning that we were supposed to be learning still, much like ShawnieBoy. In fact, we had a long list of tasks that we had to demonstrate proficiency in by the end of our probationary year, or face termination.
Quite frequently when we had a patient who was either a crying child or a distraught adult, Megan was assigned to take the patient history. She had an uncanny
ability to calm people that no one else could, especially children, and get the information we needed. Some would argue that her gender, in addition to her superb communication skills, contributed to this talent.
Now, learning to effectively communicate with patients is an important skill, and one that Megan accepted she would be expected to perform... just not all
the time. While she was playing therapist at every incident I was extricating the patients from a crushed vehicle, or triaging patients at an MCI, or providing direct care, or any number of other tasks we were responsible for becoming proficient in.
She wasn't getting the same learning opportunities as me, because she got pulled away from other tasks to do this one thing that she was exceptionally good at.
I stood with her and supported her as she formally complained about the situation -- first to our Captain, and when that didn't accomplish anything, to our Operations Chief. Long story short, our Captain got royally
chewed out (as he should've been) and she got the learning experience she deserved, so that she could be proficient in all of her skills.
ShawnieBoy may be physically stronger than some or all of his female classmates, and that'll be an asset to his coworkers at times I'm sure. But, consistently asking him to interrupt learning other skills to use that one
strength when one of his classmates might be more readily available, is wrong. It's every bit as wrong as what my former Captain did.
I'm not sure what to tell you ShawnieBoy. If you were a woman in a man's profession, I think your situation would be taken more seriously. Unfortunately, many don't view discrimination against men in nursing in the same light as that against women in traditionally-male professions. I'd encourage you to discuss the matter when it comes up, one-on-one, with the CNAs you work with. Be sure they understand that you don't have a problem when it comes to being a member of the team and assisting with transfers. You just don't want people going out of their way to get you to help, because it gives you less time to learn than your female peers get.