Gender Issues in Nursing

  1. I am a nursing student right now, and I am doing a project on Gender Issues in Nursing. I was wondering if any male and female nurses would be willing to let me know of some issues they've encountered in their career as a nurse related to their gender. Your stories would really help me get a better idea for my project. Thank you, Amy
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  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   sjoe
    Probably the quickest way would be for you to do a search of the MANY threads here where this kind of issue has been discussed. Probably using the words "men in nursing" "male nurses" etc. would give you a good start.
  4. by   fergus51
    There are a ton of threads that basically boil down to:
    1.men are used as physical labor and some suffer discrimination by those who think that men are less caring and should not be nurses (especially in obstetrics)
    2.nursing is in bad shape because it is run by women and women are catty. Therefore male nurses are needed to save the profession and are better leaders and team players.

    I think both are 100% wrong, but many nurses believe them.
  5. by   ChainedChaosRN
    The quickest thing I have always noticed: put a male in a predominately female environment and watch the flirting subtle and blatantly overt begin. I swear...some nurses actually salivate. It's a riot....until I have to start the sexual harassment inservices again.
  6. by   Tweety
    Originally posted by ChainedChaosRN
    The quickest thing I have always noticed: put a male in a predominately female environment and watch the flirting subtle and blatantly overt begin. I swear...some nurses actually salivate. It's a riot....until I have to start the sexual harassment inservices again.
    Meaning of course females are salivating over the males as well as males over females. I've had comments and physical contact from females that would have gotten any male immediately fired and perhaps arrested on sexual harrasment charges.
  7. by   ChainedChaosRN
    Of course the females are salivating over the males...sorry for the misunderstanding. I've found the males to be actually embarrassed and well behaved for the most part. Yes they could of definitely filed harassment suits...that's why the intensive inservices. Thankfully...I think, they have been more flattered by the females behavior than offended. I have to wonder what these same females would be like in a bar...scarey thought
  8. by   cokie
    i love the male nurses. the flirting is funny to watch also, but it goes on with any male who happens to walk up to the floor, policemen, firemen, emt's (most are my kids ages), the docs.....anyway, the only thing that bugs me is when the male nurse will say to me "i think she would like you to do the foley". i could see it if the female pt. actually asked for a female, but do males pt. ever get to pick a male to do their foley. oh i forgot, men ask for females also, that leaves females doing pretty much all the foleys. i'm waiting for the day when the male nurses will see themselves as unichs, not as males, but as nurses.....am i dreaming. one male ward clerk/cna pulls the same stuff..."she wants you to help her off the bedside commode"..guess i am rambling now.......and i do tell these men what i think of this when it comes up....of course i respect the pt. wishes, if the wishes are truly the pt. and not the nurses.....
  9. by   P_RN
    As long as "it" does the work and does it well I don't care HOW the plumbing is rigged. I have worked with some awesome men and with some awful ones.
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    sigh

    OH please don't let this degenerate ...please

    Good luck perusing the males in nursing threads...as sjoe says, your answers lie there. Best of luck to you. And welcome to the boards.
  11. by   bigjay
    Originally posted by cokie
    i love the male nurses. the flirting is funny to watch also, but it goes on with any male who happens to walk up to the floor, policemen, firemen, emt's (most are my kids ages), the docs.....anyway, the only thing that bugs me is when the male nurse will say to me "i think she would like you to do the foley". i could see it if the female pt. actually asked for a female, but do males pt. ever get to pick a male to do their foley. oh i forgot, men ask for females also, that leaves females doing pretty much all the foleys. i'm waiting for the day when the male nurses will see themselves as unichs, not as males, but as nurses.....am i dreaming. one male ward clerk/cna pulls the same stuff..."she wants you to help her off the bedside commode"..guess i am rambling now.......and i do tell these men what i think of this when it comes up....of course i respect the pt. wishes, if the wishes are truly the pt. and not the nurses.....
    Male patients don't usually get to pick a male to do their foley because there often ISN'T a male nurse on the floor to do it. I've never had a male patient actually ask for a female do their cath, you actually have?

    Believe me, while I have no wish to be a eunoch, I would love for the world to see me as just a nurse. I find very little in my job more frustrating than when I have to have one of my co-workers help me with a patient that doesn't want me to do care based solely on my gender. It doesn't happen every day but definately often enough to be a nuisance (I work on an oncology/gmed floor). If I never had to have this conversation again, I'd die a happy man....

    Me: "Hi Mrs. so and so, I'm J-P, your nurse for today. What did you need help with."

    Pt: "I need a nurse to help me to the bathroom."

    Me: "I'm your nurse, so here, let me help you up."

    Pt: (looking at me with slightly narrowed eyes) "You're a nurse?"

    Me: (quiet internal sigh) "Yes."

    Pt: "Really? But you're a man."

    Me: "Yes, nurses can be male or female but we all have the same training and do the same job."

    Pt: (thinks a minute) "I think I need a lady nurse."

    Me: "I'll talk to the charge nurse and see if I can switch with someone. In the meantime I'll ask one of the other nurses to help you."

    Doesn't happen every day by any means but often enough to be a bit frustrating. I've also worked with male patients who really weren't comfortable with having female nurses taking care of them but unfortunately they were stuck when I wasn't working (I'm the only guy on my floor).

    So anyway, I do take a bit of offense at the implication that male nurses try to use gender problems as a method of sloughing work off to our female co-workers. I never see my gender as an issue or a barrier but in my experience it sometimes is, particularly with middle-eastern cultures. The reverse problem (male pt's not wanting female nurses) is pretty much a moot point since in many areas there won't be a male nurse to do the care if the patient prefers a male.
  12. by   dabestrn
    Well, I am a nurse and I am a male. I can not stand the term "male nurse". My biggest pet peeve!!! You wouldn't call a woman doc a "female doctor". I always correct my patient when they call me a male nurse. A nurse is a nurse is a nurse. You don't call any other profession by their gender so why nursing. Ugh, it annoys the heck out of me!!! I also get the "is there any women nurses who can help me". I don't do it anymokre. I just tell them I am it, I am the nurse, your stuck with me. If they pull the "I need a woman to help me on the bedpan", I just tell them the female nurses are busy with their own patients and it may be a while till they can get in to help them. They generally need to go so bad they just let me do it. I will always get a female to put in a foley int the younger women if they request it only. I have also been asked by female nurses to put a foley in men so I have found it is pretty even for me on that area. I also don't like the gay steraotype that comes along with being a male in nursing. It is very frustrating. I am a travel nurse and find I do get accepted easier than some of the females that come on assignment. I am not sure if that is coz i am male or just easy to get along with. Can't think of anything else right now.
  13. by   caroladybelle
    Originally posted by dabestrn
    Well, I am a nurse and I am a male. I can not stand the term "male nurse". My biggest pet peeve!!! You wouldn't call a woman doc a "female doctor". You don't call any other profession by their gender so why nursing.
    Well, I have as friends, a female gastroenterologist and a female urologist, and both of them have encountered bias from male patients and been referred to as "chick docs" in my presence.

    You don't call any other profession by its gender?
    Actors - Actresses
    Stewards - Stewardesses
    Waiters - Waitresses
    Policemen - Policewomen
    Servicemen - Servicewomen
    Custodian - Maid
    Assistant - Girl Friday
  14. by   Wuiteroz
    You know, I have no idea why, but this question reminded me of the movie Meet The Parents
    lol the poor guy
    "..can you at least consider getting another profession?"
    lol did you watch it?!!
    Last edit by Wuiteroz on Apr 14, '03

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