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.
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