I have a lot of concerns when it comes to performing pericare on a male. So far I have only done it on a maniquin (sp?). That didn't bother me because there was no real person attatched to the penis but in real life I know there will be a person at the other end. I'm very scared of the male getting an erection or saying something crude and sexual. Has this ever happened to you? As a female, you do pericare on a male by yourself (noone else in the room)? What is your centers policy on doing pericare on the opposite sex?
Keep in mind that "crude" remarks my just be the way the patient copes with an undignified situation- a defense against what feels like an invasion of very personal space. You are the professional. If it occurs, he is not going to club you with his errection and the less you make of it the more comfortable it will be for him. I find a steady banter of small talk and a brief clinical explanation of why peri care is needed helps the process go smoothly.
Last edit by suanna on Jul 25, '07
Jul 24, '07
I can add some male perspective to this discussion, rather "old" perspective at that.
Several female contributors here offer the advice that it takes substantial "stimulation" to produce an erection in a male, especially an "old" one. Sometimes this is true but often times it is NOT. The production of an erection is as much mental/emotional as it is physical even among older males. The physical appearance and demeanor of a female care giver and/or the condition or state of mind of the patient can produce an erectile response with little or no physical stimulus, again, even among older male patients. This can even occur in the presence of a male care giver and, no, it doesn't mean either is gay; only that the situation is probably very awkward and unfamiliar.
Female care givers should especially know that the erectile response tends to be much stronger and more sensitive upon waking and when the bladder is full; naturally both of these conditions tend to occur simultaneously in the AM so consider it.
A female care giver might consider an erectile response a "compliment" without implying encouragement or blame. I don't know any male care givers who feel uncomfortable if female peri-care produces an arousal response of some sort; why females would feel otherwise is not clear to most of us. It may be a function of comfort/experience level with the opposite gender so if you conduct yourself as if you've been doing it all your life, you're probably less likely to evoke arousal.
Most females have probably had to learn, consciously or unconsciously, to manage the effects their presence and appearance have on males long before entering nursing. Some of that same strategy could apply here.
But remember, it isn't entirely a matter of physical stimulation or even personal attraction; there is an element here over which neither party has total control in all situations and you should recognize, probably even acknowledge such to your patient as you perform your professional care. Some of these responses are hard-wired (no pun intended) into the male brain and nothing either party does may prevent them so you need to expect it to happen occasionally and recognize it as an unavoidable response, not necessarily something that you or the patient have any control over. A healthy and appropriate sense of humor can be useful in such situations.
Don't overlook the influence of waking and a full bladder. Most males of any age are far more likely to experience an erectile response under these conditions without any physical stimulation at all.
The more time you spend "worrying" about it the more difficult the situation will be for you.
Hope this helps.
Best of luck; you'll do just fine!
Last edit by aviator411 on Jul 24, '07