Guys in Nursing...What's your Input?

  1. Hello fellow nurses.

    I'm a 21 year old male practical nursing student. I have worked in nursing for a little over a year now as a CNA and CMA. One think I have noticed is the very small percentage of males in this profession. I know the stereotype of male doctors have opened up to accept women doctors, but it seems that nursing is still an all women profession in many people's mind. Many of the ladies I take care of in the nursing home adress me doctor, only because I am a man (although it comes in helpfull when feeding sometimes "The doctor said I need to eat", but I always correct the patient when they refer to me as a doctor, don't need any felony charches for impersonating an MD, lol). The few people who are used to see guys in nursing always ask me if I am gay. (I am happily engaged and getting married next september .:roll )

    What I would like to know is your experiences with guys in nursing, is it this unusual for a straight guy to consider nursing as a profession. I really love being in nursing.
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  2. 93 Comments

  3. by   Vsummer1
    I know that in my RN program there are several male students. I don't know all of them well enough (we only started class a few weeks ago) to know their personal lives. The ones that I do know are either married or have a girlfriend. So, in my limited exposure to men in nursing, no they are not gay!
  4. by   RNinICU
    Our ICU staff is about 30% males. You will find that the men seem to gravitate to the high stress specialty areas like ICU and Emergency. I knew one male RN who worked in labor and delivery, and did a wonderful job. There are a few patients who are uncomfortable with male RNs, and we have one doc who insists that all male nurses are gay, but people are becoming more used to male RNs. I work with one male RN who is gay, all the rest are married or engaged. I also work with a few female RNs who are lesbians. None of this matters when it comes down to patient care. In my experience, it is not the person's sex, or sexual preference, that makes him or her a good RN, it is the person's heart, soul, and compassion for others.

    If you want to be a nurse, follow your heart. Throughout your career, I am sure you will meet many fine nurses of both genders.
  5. by   2ndCareerRN
    Many straight guys are in nursing. Many gay guys are in nursing. Many straight women are in nursing. Many gay women are in nursing. Many (insert whatever you want here) are in nursing. And on and on and on.

    I have never had anyone ask me if I were gay, as though it is any of their business anyhow!


    bob
  6. by   MarcusKspn
    I didn't mean to sound as if I have a problem with gay guys. I just have encountered that a lot of people have that perception, especially outside of nursing. If you are a male nurse, you are a gay nurse. I have worked with gay and straights of both genders, and both made great nurses and aides. I didn't mean to make the gay-issue the center of the threat lol. I was just wondering of guys in nursing in general.
  7. by   Rustyhammer
    WOW! Did I suddenly get transported back to the early '70's.
    Is this for real or just an Oklahoma issue?
    -Russell
  8. by   Rottie1
    None of the male nurses I work or worked with are gay. And being in the Airforce Reserves there are plenty of them there - no gay ones though. I work with several female nurses that are gay though. To each his/her own.
  9. by   brassdragon
    As a male I will give my 2 cents. I have just started as a new nurse on a teli floor, I also spent my time during nursing school as a CNA. Yes I find some females refuse me as their nurse but not too many overall. The good out weigh the bad. 1st iI am one of 2 males on the entire floor and I seem to get alot of attention from all the female nurses, I kid around and say I'm just one of the girls. I get a lot of grief but all in good fun, even my wife tells me I should shave my legs before I put my skirt on before I go to work (No i really don't wear a skirt to work they don't fit right around my but). 2nd I find those mean doctors that yell for no reason at the female nurses treat me alot better. 3rd the grumpy old men the give the female nurses alot of garbage give me no problem at all. The last point is my "female" supervisor seems to treat me better, almost like her little pet nurse (It never hurts to kiss up a little to the boss as long as my co-workers don't get upset.
  10. by   Glad2behere
    There is a stigma there, although it has decreased dramatically in recent years. I've been referred to as a wuss on several occasions. Didn't invite anybody down to a showdown at the OK Corral, but have never been called that twice by anybody. Know your stuff. That's the best advice. A well educated knowledgeable male nurse can use his gender and knowledge to his advantage especially if he possesses a good emotional infrastructure and is not easily intimidated. I will also say this, I've had fewer physicians of either gender lose it so to speak in my presence, and have been asked to intercede by my female co-workers more times than I can count. Keep everthing purely professional and never give any reason to doubt it and you'll do great.
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I believe if one is comfortable with his/her sexuality, it would never matter WHAT anyone else said or felt about it. Who CARES really? If this is a concern for you, examine why. It is an issue that transcends your career choice, if it bothers you enough to worry.

    Listen, I had people A$$ume I was gay way back when I was in the military cause I would not date the men I worked with and hung around "butch" looking girls. Heck, my best friend was gay. So what? I could not have cared less. I was comfortable w/who I was, who my friends were and did not worry what others thought. What a colassal waste of time.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Sep 23, '02
  12. by   mario_ragucci
    I don't mind the ranks. Sometimes women call me pet names, which I don't like, and feel should be reserved for someone else. Initially, men seem more withdrawn and introverted. Maybe they are afraid to make eye contact with another guy. After about a month though, most men i have seen in nursing are comfortable enough to look at me. From what I have seen/experienced, it usually takes several months for people to let their gaurd down. It's just funny how some people can call me "baby" and they don't know my last name. We adjust :-) I am male nurse, hear me roar, in numbers too big to ignore!
  13. by   IUPUIguy21nurse
    I'm a 21 year old male nursing student too, and I understand your pain! I get many women and men who also think i'm a doctor! This drives me INSANE... I have no desire to be a doctor. I'm often asked, "why didn't you go to be a doctor." Excuse me, but I find this so so rude! there is a very large difference in professions! I want patient care! I want to be the patient's advocate. Nursing is a profession, not a job!
    I've been a nursing assistant for over 2 years now, and I continue to love it! It's a great patient care position. I often feel I have more patient care time than the RN. I often have more time to talk and discuss their concerns!

    Also, as a nursing assistant I get many women who throw me out when going to give them care. "I WANNA LADY", I hear often. I get sick of hearing that, but i'm getting used to it... However, I do realize that when dealing with women of an older generation there is a sense of pride with them. I just wanted to add how
    often I get this. I guess I'll have to get more used to that... hehehe

    talk laterz,
    Brad
  14. by   sjoe
    Marcus--to get back to the questions you asked:

    Yes, it is statistically unusual for guys to go to nursing school. The percentage of guys who go into nursing as compared to guys going into MANY other vocational fields is VERY low.

    On the other side of the coin, it is also statistically unusual for nuring students to be guys, less than 8% instead of the 50% that would be statistically expected, and more than half of us quit the nursing field within 5 years of graduation. (There is a thread to this effect in this very forum.)

    Yes, male nurses are often called "doctor," and it is wise to politely correct those who make this small mistake, if they are coherent enough for the correction to make a dent, for legal reasons as well as for social ones. It is an honest and understandable mistake, after all, and certainly nothing to get huffy about. Just as we might call a female patient "Mrs. so-and-so," when the title is more accurately "Miss so-and-so." (Though hopefully we would be too tactful to ask "Why aren't you married?" in such an event.)

    IN MY EXPERIENCE at 8 or 9 jobs as well as in nursing school, about half of us male nurses are gay, though this is ordinarly not an issue (except when we are in the military and need to keep it a secret, even from people like Esther who might not personally object).

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