Hindrance to professional growth

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    I have this in the ER thread because I am in ER. Therefore with the acuity levels, "conveniences" are not, or shouldn't be a hindrance to patient care. I'll try to make this short, I a really quite depressed about this topic.
    First, I am a male RN. I realize that many/ most will not admit to what I am implying here.
    For one, always take the patients wishes into consideration, no problem, I am a professional, or at least id like to be treated like one. Why is it that female patients are always catered to? Pelvic exam, cath etc...??? Why am I immediately presumed "not qualified" to be involved with these procedures? I know what some of the "reasons" that will be stated.
    I have passed background checks, got my RN license, am a decent and respected individual, but I am presumed to be a danger? to female patients?? I say "I and me" meaning males in general.
    With the amount of males in nursing now, does anyone EVER assume that the guy would like to have a male nurse doing a cath? No. We "presume" and follow stereotypes. "Oh guys don't care..." etc. YET, we exclude males from certain care tasks when the female patient hasn't voiced an aversion at all. Again, "ask if the female would mind???" Really?? Does anyone ask the male "if he would mind a female being in there?" I'm sure some will say something like " well females have been nursing for a long time and the males just know that they have to deal with it..." Well, males are nurses now, where is the consistency?? Male trauma patients come in and no one hesitates in removing all clothing, just let it alll hang out and many times don't even get them covered up in a reasonable amount of time. Inversely, the female trauma comes in, and soon it's " oh it's a female, us girls will go in and do such and such" or they won't remove the clothing as quickly or as openly as they will on a guys, and sometimes I have seen them not remove pants because they "didn't want to ruin her clothes!" What?!?!
    And by the way, no one rushes in and saves granny from a male giving her an enema. DOUBLE STANDARS ABOUND. Makes me sick and depressed. How will I advance in professional practice with all the "assumed" problems with males and female patients?
    I will say, I don't care. The girls can do ALL the patients, male and female, caths enemas, pelvis, for all I care. But when the selectivity comes out it is just plain WRONG, and it IS discrimination.
    One more point; it is wise to avoid being alone with a female patient for the "private" tasks...reason being, all that it would take it 1 female making an accusation and my entire career could be over. Inversely, is a male patient made a complaint against a female nurse it wouldn't even be taken seriously.
    jtmarcy12 and SummitRN like this.
  2. 62 Comments so far...

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    I totally hear you. I am a female RN, and personally, I think we should ask the patient, whether they are male or female, what their preference would be and accommodate them when possible. Sometimes it isn't possible, like if a patient requests a female doctor but there are only male doctors on duty, etc., but to assume one way or another without checking in does a disservice to both the patient, who may or may not have a preference, and to the clinician, who is perfectly competent to perform the task in question.

    Now, it also should be understood that sometimes preferences cannot be accommodated, as this is the Emergency Department and our priority is preserving life and limb, and so preferences cannot always be accommodated.
    poppycat and SoldierNurse22 like this.
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    Yes- the dignity and preferences of patients should be considered.
    Yes- like others, the nursing field is slow to change.

    but, regarding how this effects you? I think you are over reacting.
    This is not going to have a negative effect on your professional development.
    bebbercorn, OCNRN63, and SoldierNurse22 like this.
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    Are you aware of the statistics that exist, which only represent a fraction of incidents actually reported, in regard to the physical, mental, and sexual abuse of women? It is a fact that many women are killed, raped, sexually abused, and abused mentally and physically by men. Many women are afraid of men and do not wish to be placed in a vulnerable position with a strange man, even if he is a licensed nurse. So as a male nurse, I would expect you to not be personally offended by the reality that many women, for the above reasons, as well as cultural, religious, generational, and other reasons, are afraid of receiving intimate care from a male nurse/doctor, and actually will feel traumatized if they are put in that situation.

    I do believe of course, that both sexes should be able to request to be able to receive care from a nurse of the gender that they prefer, and be accommodated if at all possible.
    Last edit by Susie2310 on Dec 1, '13
    OCNRN63, HouTx, Meriwhen, and 3 others like this.
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    So, which is it? Is this matter a hindrance to your advancement, or are you cool with the ladies doing all the work?

    I agree with the previous posters. It sounds like you're taking issues that are personal/cultural/religious/sociological very personally, which is always a bad idea.

    I have had men tell me that they want male nurses to perform their bedbaths. I have had men decline to be cathed by female nurses. I have had men request a male nurse for an enema. And yes--we had a policy in our hospital to ask patients (of either sex) if they were comfortable receiving assistance from nurses of the opposite sex when it came time to perform procedures that exposed private areas of their body. Anyone who doesn't take these things into consideration when rendering care isn't nursing in the 21st century.

    Are you a danger to female patients? Like you said, you're a decent human being who passed school and background checks, etc. So physically, probably not. But keep in mind that as a nurse, you don't just tend the physical--you tend to the psychological and emotional needs of your patients as well. Many women who have been assaulted or sexually abused in some fashion by a man/men harbor an innate fear of men for the rest of their lives, regardless of how good or honest they are. It's not fair, but it's true, and it isn't personal, so don't take it that way. Believe me, if it ever happened to you, you'd be careful not to let it happen again, too, even if it meant protecting your privacy in ways that some may deem excessive or unnecessary.

    While the issue is definitely more focused on women as they tend to be the victims of sexually based crimes more often, women aren't the only ones who request care from providers of a certain sex. And as a nurse, I might add that your ethical responsibility to your patients of either sex who don't feel comfortable with nurses of a certain sex providing aspects of their care is to respect and advocate for their preferences when safe/possible/reasonable.
    JBudd, puppyrunner, llg, and 5 others like this.
  7. 0
    Quote from SoldierNurse22

    So, which is it? Is this matter a hindrance to your advancement, or are you cool with the ladies doing all the work?

    I agree with the previous posters. It sounds like you're taking issues that are personal/cultural/religious/sociological very personally, which is always a bad idea. I have had men tell me that they want male nurses to perform their bedbaths. I have had men decline to be cathed by female nurses. I have had men request a male nurse for an enema.

    And yes--we had a policy in our hospital to ask patients (of either sex) if they were comfortable receiving assistance from nurses of the opposite sex when it came time to perform procedures that exposed private areas of their body. Anyone who doesn't take these things into consideration when rendering care isn't nursing in the 21st century. Are you a danger to female patients?

    Like you said, you're a decent human being who passed school and background checks, etc. So physically, probably not. But keep in mind that as a nurse, you don't just tend the physical--you tend to the psychological and emotional needs of your patients as well.

    Many women who have been assaulted or sexually abused in some fashion by a man/men harbor an innate fear of men for the rest of their lives, regardless of how good or honest they are. It's not fair, but it's true, and it isn't personal, so don't take it that way.

    Believe me, if it ever happened to you, you'd be careful not to let it happen again, too, even if it meant protecting your privacy in ways that some may deem excessive or unnecessary. While the issue is definitely more focused on women as they tend to be the victims of sexually based crimes more often, women aren't the only ones who request care from providers of a certain sex.

    And as a nurse, I might add that your ethical responsibility to your patients of either sex who don't feel comfortable with nurses of a certain sex providing aspects of their care is to respect and advocate for their preferences when safe/possible/reasonable.
    THIS.
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    To add: FWIW, I have been in an emergency/trauma situation as a nurse and as a patient; I have NEVER saw female nurses shy away male nurses from undressing a female; and they never shied away from cutting my clothes off; there is a job to be done; I say this to state that it doesn't happen, but that it works the other way as well.
    OCNRN63 likes this.
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    All points taken ��, thank you. The hindrance I speak of is this; we have had shifts where there is all male RN's, male PA, and a male Doctor. One of these days there will be a situation where a female has to be examed or whatever....I'd rather know what to do and have a few experiences BEFORE an emergent or urgent situation arises. Again, I am a professional RN, don't put chains on me unless someone voices a concern. This is a very lopsided issue. And forgive me but, I am a minority, literally, in the nursing field, and I believe that old habits die hard. So this is where I believe, please forgive me if I seem rude, a very large percentage of female nurses are oblivious to the male RN's struggle To be considered "A Nurse" without the unnecessary sexual identification tag.
    SoldierNurse22 and ~*Stargazer*~ like this.
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    Quote from LadyFree28
    THIS.
    This board is what I am trying to consider my "safe zone." I come here to talk openly with my peers. So don't be offended, as text is easy to read too much into and be offended :-).
    I do get the whole cultural etc thing.
    I understand the history of female abuses. But let's not run that too far up the tree so to speak. I, and others also have a history. What have I been through as a child? Spouse? Etc...
    And I assure you all, i have always considered and respected the female patient, and when THEY would rather have a female RN, and they aren't in a critical state, I always accommodate, and I have never been offended. My concern here is the UNSPOKEN actions and suppositions of my peers. I agree, I may be a little over reacting, but I may not be. I want to be a well rounded RN, and it bothers me if there is something I am not allowed to become an expert in...so to speak....
    SoldierNurse22, Altra, jtmarcy12, and 1 other like this.
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    Quote from exit96
    All points taken , thank you. The hindrance I speak of is this; we have had shifts where there is all male RN's, male PA, and a male Doctor. One of these days there will be a situation where a female has to be examed or whatever....I'd rather know what to do and have a few experiences BEFORE an emergent or urgent situation arises. Again, I am a professional RN, don't put chains on me unless someone voices a concern. This is a very lopsided issue. And forgive me but, I am a minority, literally, in the nursing field, and I believe that old habits die hard. So this is where I believe, please forgive me if I seem rude, a very large percentage of female nurses are oblivious to the male RN's struggle To be considered "A Nurse" without the unnecessary sexual identification tag.
    Regarding the underlined above- It's really not all that complicated. Cutting the clothes of a female trauma pt is very similar to cutting them off a guy, though there are bumps in different places. As far as foleys go, I assume you do them on elderly pt's, many of whom do not care whether it is done by male or female. I know because I ask.

    I know plenty of other guys in nursing, none of whom feel it's a struggle to be considered a nurse. Maybe you work in a really weird environment.

    All societies have cultural norms. Most involve significant differentiation in roles of men and women. Those norms change over time. The fact that you are in nursing is an indication of this change. You might be reading a bit much into the whole thing. There are both advantages and disadvantages to being a man in this field. I suggest focusing on the positives.


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