how do we change nurses opinions on male nurses?

  1. i guess this kinda goes along with my other post. I our discussion the topic came up that some older nurses do not seem to believe males should or can be nurses. especially in the ob areas. how could their opinions be changed or do you even think it is at all possible?
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  2. 103 Comments

  3. by   OC_An Khe
    Over simplistic response is to wait until they retire.
    Seriously it is a problem, not only in OB GYN. The perception of the role of the Nurse varies with gender, basic nursing preparation, and generational issues. These differences are deep seated and very difficult if not impossible to change. At the very least whether you approve of males in nursing or not you should accept them and not drive them out as I have seen done. It's really the patients choice who cares for them.
    Changing the name of the profession would also help, but thats not going to happen. -
    Last edit by OC_An Khe on Sep 28, '02
  4. by   caliotter3
    Unfortunately I witnessed a male nurse get ganged up upon by his female coworkers when he was newly hired. Two nurses went to the DON and accused him of sexual harassment. The DON called him in and after hearing his side, basically told him that she didn't buy off on the story the females told her. When a new DON came on board, she was told the story by the power monger and it was only a matter of time before the male nurse was wrongly terminated. To the best of my knowledge he never worked again as a nurse. BTW, he was a good nurse.
  5. by   Rustyhammer
    Mark,
    The best way to teach these older nurses is to know your stuff and set the good example. You KNOW you do a good job and you are working in the last vestion of womens nursing. L&D is no easier than any other field and getting flack from co-workers doesn't help.
    Do your job-do it well and may the force be with you.
    -Russell
  6. by   mark_LD_RN
    rusty thats what i do and i am blessed to have great support from my coworkers and manager. the topic just came up because one of my coworkers asked another hospital if they would hire me. she told them i was an excellent nurse and patients loved me. even though the hospital is working short staffed and using agecy nurses and according to some it is staffed at a dangerous level. the nurse manager will not hire me just because i am male.
  7. by   renerian
    My husband left bedside because of all the crap he took from the female nurses. He said they treated him like crap most of the time and some of them actually said it was because he was male he could not understand being a female RN. He is the director of a hospice and loves it.

    renerian
  8. by   NurseDianne
    My husband is also a nurse. He doesn't do OB but he is a bedside nurse. Due to the fact that we are a small hospital, there is not "different wings". If you work the floor you work, post-partum, med-surg, peds, etc......... Gary is an excellent nurse. I've never seen any of the other floor nurses give him a hard time. He has however, had a rough time from several of the charge nurses. He also had an incident about a dressing on a C-section once, that suspended him for 3 days. He was doing his rountine checks, and he did have a female CNA in the room with him. The patients husband, instead of saying anything to Gary, like.......I perfer a female nurse, went to the Charge nurse and complained. Of course, Gary lost his temper, w/ the charge nurse and how she handled it, so he was suspended for 3 days.
    It annoys me that our "head" nurses wll not back up our male nurses. We only have 3 male nurses at this moment, 2 RN's and 1 LPN. We do have several EMT-P's working the ER.
    My husband and I are currently going to RN school and I just wonder what kind of other roadblocks he will face?
    Ok, I know I rambled! Sorry!
    But, as I've said in other post. With my last child, I had a male OB nurse. He was HUGH.........and since I'm from the south, no offence ya'll, he was black. That's highly unusual, especially in the south. Anyway, I could not have ask for a more caring, wonderful nurse. I only wish I knew where he was now. He was a fine example of a nurse........period!!!
  9. by   MHN
    one of the problems is that we are called "Male Nurses" why is it necessary everyone can see we are men.

    Would any call a female police office a female policeman?
    No!!! so why should we put up with it.

    I may be a man but when I am at work I'm a nurse/midwife MHN.Nurse should be a gender neutral word.

    to solve the problem like some of the posters have said wait for the bias ed nurses to retire ,work hard prove yourself to your patients and peers and don't shake when you get your pay cheque at the end of the month.MHN
  10. by   fergus51
    I have never had that experience. All the nurses I work with seem to think that male nurses are the best thing since sliced bread, and I am in OB which is traditionally thought of as a tough place for men!

    MHN, it is just like "female doctors" we have! I hear that all the time.
  11. by   ICUBecky
    pettiness...

    i think that it is a generational issue too, and guys just have to wait until the perpetrators retire. i think a lot of the older nurses, may be under the impression that male nurses are homosexual too, so which starts another generational cycle of uncomfortableness.

    honestly, i love working with nurses that are male, gay or straight. i would much rather work with all males, than put up with the petty BS of female nurses, every day, all day. i think it would be a much happier workplace, with more male nurses. they break up the monotony!

    now everybody...i am not putting down female nurses (as i obviously am one myself), but i just think it is our nature...to be petty at times. i have witnessed it with all the female nurses i have worked with, whether we are friends or not.

    just my opinion!

    becky
  12. by   caliotter3
    I totally agree with ICUBecky about preferring to work with male nurses. They are there to take care of the patients and I have yet to meet one who conducted himself like MANY of the females I have worked with. It's too bad, but that behavior is a small part of why it is so hard to get nursing properly recognized as a profession. To be regarded as a professional, it helps if the majority act like professionals. Just my observations and opinion.
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    it's not just limited to NURSING you know. When I was military, I was referred to as a "female" troop. ( all us "FEMALES" were, like dogs or cats).......never hear the term "male" troop. In the olden days, before my time, women in the Air Force/Army Air Corps were called " WACs" ...I guess "female" airmen was an improvement, but still I bristled. like i was somehow INFERIOR ...so Mark I know pretty darn well how you feel and I have no simple answers except to continue doing what you do......garner respect in the superior care you render your patients and the professionalism you model. Slowly, minds change. But small ones never seem to ......better to ignore them if you can. And keep on keeping on, like I did when I was in the military. Eventually, you do rise above it.
  14. by   mario_ragucci
    I went through a similiar hazing when I became a CNA and started working in a hospital for the first time. I have only had two negative "run ins." Admittedly, I am enthusiastic about my vocation, and encourage on topic conversation. Because I am male, I can sense this is too new a thing for some females, who may have only been exposed to a handful of guys in their entire life.
    One time I floated to a critcare unit, and the nurses there totally despised my presence. They made up things and sent lettters/negative write ups to my manager. That shocked me, but luckily, I had worked on my home unit many weeks enough to have a leg to stand on. Three RN's wrote me up in a single day; Talk about pack-mentality. It was obvious. I can trace it back in my memory when one of the nurses made suggestive movements in front of me, and I ignored them. From then on, she ignored and rejected me with loud non-verbal cues. Just to make me extremely uncomfortable while i floated.
    Another time i gave a bedbath to a woman >70 yrs old and she complained that I inappropriately touched her. That got me suspended for a day, and I had to meet with HR to clear myself. This all happened several months ago while I was on probation, and it made me quite nervous.
    Now, there are just two female staff that show extreme disliking of me. When ever I see them, they frown and totally ignore me. By nature, I make eye contact with eveyone, especially if we have worked together before. But these two women refuse eye-contact, which is confusing to me because i have no idea why they would want to make me feel uncomfortable around them. So when I am coming near them, now I don't look at them, and pretend they are not there, like you would act like you are walking past a bee hive.
    It should be told however, 98.5% of the staff I have worked with, male or female, have been excellent to work with. Of course, some note my gender, but I have come to accept that.
    If you can make it passed 6 months, I'd say, your all right. Males will surely encounter varying degrees of malicious behavior from women, and it will continue to go on, simply because there ARE mostly women in nursing. What are ya gonna do?
    If co-workers disrespect me or embarrass me because of my gender I always think of ways not to react to that. Occasionaly I will assert myself and let them know that their attempt to make a specticle of my gender is really embarrassing and harmful to the profession, but still, the mob rules and there is always strength in numbers.
    Sometimes i want to let someone know about the way those other two co-workers act around me, because I fear (a little) their hatred of me, and how unusual it is for me to have to accept that some people are just gonna hate you no matter what. But pretending they are a bee hive has worked so far.
    I've learned to spot right away if a female PT is uncomfortable with a male. Tell tale signs are if they are >65 yo and a really nervous to begin with. I must address this to someone else immediately when i encounter it, for my own protection.
    Again - my experiences so far as a whole, as a CNA/RN in 2004/male/first 6 months in a hospital have been the most pleasurable experience because I love to help people and share my talent for providing excellent health care!

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