Gender biasing by MD's

  1. Ever notice how MD's treat male and female nurses differently? Example: 2nd day on the renal ranch for me, see the renal guy around before so we knew who each other was, i had my assignment, he wrote some orders, asked me if i had that patiens, i said no such and such does, all this in front of the charge nurse, he says "well i just wrote some orders make sure they get done. "charge nurse, who has worked on this floor with this doc for years just gave this look, she was pissed, i thought it was humerous. Most docs seem to think that i am always the charge nurse (on evening we would take a full assignment plus charge). Not sure if it's because i am a guy or because they know i'll get it done or because some of the other nurses are totally inept. Residents think they are your buddy "hey we're going out fo beers tonight, want to come?" or "Hey such and such is pretty hot, do her yet?"or "hey you know dr. hotblondebabe", did her." or "hook me up with her" all thats totaly guy stuff which is expected, and it doesnt' bother me, but i know it pisses off a lot of the ladies. Most fo the females think your flirting with them, which isn't totally untrue, and they reciprocate sometimes, but do the same things the others do and assume i'm the charge nurse. Whats everyone elses take on this?
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  2. 35 Comments

  3. by   Q.
    Hmmm

    I have not experienced ANYTHING like that - but I am also on a unit that is completely all females (Labor and Delivery)

    The only thing our docs do is perhaps bias by age. Except for the docs who I have known for 4 years, new docs always look shocked when they are directed to me for charge nurses issues; apparently I don't look old enough.

    I've walked into patient rooms and have introduced myself as their nurse, and usually they ask - "my nursing assistant?" and I clarify, "No, I am your NURSE." (I WISH we had nursing assistants on L&D)
  4. by   Zee_RN
    Nope; have not noticed that at all in our ICU. As a matter of fact, things kinda happen the opposite way. Our docs seem pretty geared toward the female nurses...
  5. by   codebluechic
    In my ICU's the docs go to the nurse that is most FAMILIAR. The ones that they see or speak to every day get the most respect and trust. Just like the new docs have to prove themselves before we trust them.
  6. by   nilepoc
    I can say that I have definately seen this happen. One of my female colleages will go in a room with a doc and ask for something and the doc says no, I can go in the same room with the same attending and get what I want. There really is no quantifiable amount of gender bias, but it definately exists on my unit. I just think it is an extension of the old boys club. I don't think it is right though. I have also never tiried to use it to my advantage, unless it will help a patient in some way.

    Like last night with the guy that was in really bad DT's who the doc would not let have enough sedation. I convinced the doc to give five of versed and up the ativan to 18mg/hour. It worked well, but I asked for nothing more than the female nurse who had the assignment.
  7. by   peter73
    I have seen this happen many times. An attending that insisted that the female nursing staff refer to him as doctor. As in " doctor, John Doe has spiked a temp of 102" And would yell if they even suggested an order, I and the other male nurse were told to call him "Bob" and he would ask if we needed any orders for our pt.
    MDs I have worked with who are notorious for being rude and condisending to nurses never took that tone with me or the other male nurse.
    I have had doctors find me to give orders or question a pts cond. after speaking with the pts nurse.
    The ladies that I worked with on the floor always told me that I was given special treatment by not only doctors, but other nurses, admin. and pts. They said that I started the job with a higher level of respect than a female nurse recieves and I recieved more respect faster than female staff.
    Because of this I have always felt I have to be twice as good at what I do then expected, or I am only being treated this way because I am a man.
    peter
  8. by   thisnurse
    gender bias is a reality of the job. i see it all the time. i cant change it so i try to make it work for me.
    if a patient will not listen to me i send in whatever male nurse is available. he tells them the same thing. i never introduce him as a dr but they just assume he is and they comply.
    the docs are more friendly with the male nurses and seem to trust their judgement more. i have never had a problm with any docs refusing my requests (except one ******* surgeon who withheld sedation for his sadistic pleasure) but if i did im not above asking a male nurse to request the same meds from the same doc for the same pt.
    bottom line is to get what the pt needs regardless of how you go about it.
    its a mans world even still.
    i cant always swim upstream, sometimes its just easier to swim down....so long as you get to the same place what does it matter?
  9. by   SharonH, RN
    I haven't really seen this with the docs but definitely with the patients and visitors. The same patient that is giving me a hard time about this and that will shut up and do it if nurse Larry tells them to do it and thank him for telling him too. And don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean the male nurses are aggressive or anything like that but just by virtue of their maleness they get that respect.
  10. by   debbyed
    I haven't experienced this with any of our ER doc's, they treat you based on how they view your competency; however I do see it on occasion with some of the older attendings. As stated in another thread I think there has been a changing in perceptions about the proper way to treat all members of the health care team by the physicians to ensure the best possible care of their patients.
  11. by   Dave123
    In the ER with doc's and PA's, I say its broke, needs a film or it will take 6 or 7 sutures, or what about this or what about that. They say the magic word "OK". They ask "what do you think?"

    Is it because I am a guy, yes and no.

    I know I am going to get hosed here, but you asked.

    Nursing has always been a "Profession" to nurses. But it has only been since more and more men are getting into it that it is being VIEWED as a profession by Docs.

    I find the female doc's (residents) are the ones that are the worst offenders at this deference. But then again I do "smooze" them quite a bit so it may be related to that

    Just my opinion

    Dave
  12. by   KC CHICK
    Ortho surgeons LOVE it when they have all male staff in the room. Don't know why....maybe 'cause there's so much heavy limb lifting with ortho.
  13. by   fergus51
    Dave, I couldn't agree with you more about the "profession" label. Unfortunately I think we need more men to be considered a real profession.

    I work L&D in an all female unit now, but I do remember some very specific incidents of males being treated better before I worked L&D. Not just by doctors, but by other nurses and even by nursing instructors when I was in school. It can be frustrating, but luckily I don't really deal with it anymore. Men seem to be better received when they are assertive (no b*tch label for them) and they don't have a reputation for being catty like women do.
  14. by   nilepoc
    I had a nursing instructor tell me she was glad there were more men entering nursing, She thought it would improve the respect nurses received.

    I don't know if I agree with her, but there is definately a gender bias.

    Craig Copelin

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Gender biasing by MD's