Male L&D nurses - page 7

something i noticed while going through the nursing program was every male nursing students fear and dread of the obstetrics floor. in fact, one man in my class was not even able to participate much... Read More

  1. by   kastas
    Quote from camay1221_RN
    Ultimately, it is respecting the wishes of the woman in labor.
    EXACTLY! Why can we not end this?

    We have explored this topic on the OB/GYN board not too terribly long ago. There were many more male L&D nurses that responded. I wonder where they all went. They really got into it.
  2. by   finchertwins
    Quote from earle58
    i thought it was pretty much agreed that gender is irrelevant but patients' wishes were to be respected. am i missing something fincher?
    No that was my point, it is up to the patient and is their choice and no one elses. We live in a society that is more aware of political correctness and I suppose I should have underlined the fact instead of being upset with the posts that focused on no men allowed. Sorry for the oversight.
  3. by   PA-C in Texas
    This is a really interesting topic, and I think the thought process behind this debate is something that needs to be explored.

    Is L&D so intrinsically different that we cannot draw any parallels between other specialties? I don't know. Words like 'primal' and 'spiritual' have been thrown around, so it makes you wonder. Most people don't associate those concepts with a department like PACU. It is the only area in the hospital which has exclusively female patients. Is the argument that men cannot provide the same level of care for women in this setting as women can? I don't see why not, but I think one of the main problems is that people are romanticizing the birthing experience beyong what their professional involvement should be. They see themselves as a great feminine facilitator who serves as the "birth culture" guru. Yes, there is a special bond with your patients, but it shouldn't progress beyond the professional bond.

    Is it necessary for the hospital to provide another nurse simply because the patient does not want a male nurse? The impulsive answer is yes, but this question begs another. Should nurses be replaced whenever a patient asks, for whatever reason? At what point do you draw the line?

    I have had very little experience with this issue. I have had women come in who needed pelvic exams, and there have been a couple who have requested a female be the one to do it. I politely explained to them that I was the only one in the ED qualified to do a pelvic exam at that time, and that if they did not want me to do it, they were welcome to leave against medical advice and seek treatment at another facility. I know of cases where my NP & PA colleagues have been told by patients that they wanted a male provider. That didn't happen.

    My thought is that birthing centers are not places where you go to live out your picturesque dream of what the birth of your baby should be like. They are places where you receive health care during labor and assistance in delivery of your baby. I totally respect the hollistic view of health care, but viewing labor and delivery wards as feminine temples of the 'birth culture' is a little extreme, and it presents a glaring contradiction for those who otherwise argue for equality and the dismantling of gender barriers.
  4. by   LT Dave
    Quote from tmiller027
    So does this mean that there shouldn't be male OB-GYNs?
    Yes. Men should not do this. The difference between having a male doctor and nurse is in nursing we are much more intimate with our patients. Doctors diagnose and treat, We care for patients, assist with ADLs, and many more personal things. Men do not belong in this area.

    I hated it and as a joke on my last day when in school on the L&D floor my co-students hid a clean peri pad in my book bag. I still laugh remembering how much they all got me that day.
  5. by   Dayray
    This topic pops up often, if anyone is interested I think I have posted on most of them over the past 3 years so you can access them via my profile.

    I read the whole thread and am interested in some of the topics presented I'll answer them from my own perspective and invite responses both negative and positive.

    First let me say that I very strongly support a patients right to refuse any caregiver for any reason. That's not to say I agree with the thinking behind their decisions but it is their body and they have a right to say who does things to it. If they say they don't want a nurse for any reason this is their right. I have had 1 patient this past year ask for a female nurse and I had to defend her decision to my charge nurse. My coworkers were offended on my behalf because they know that I'm a good nurse but I had to remind them that the patient's rights superseded any feelings any of us had. That said let's get on to some of the other issues.

    First there are several posts by a lady that feels that birthing is a spiritual thing. She also feels that it is a time for bonding among women. I very much agree with this statement and I'm happy that she has been able to find this among her caregivers. Working in L&D for 2 years (which isn't very long) I am sorry to say that I have found that, such a situation is rare. Deliveries have been "medicalized" and many caregivers aren't interested in bonding or in the spiritual aspect of birthing. Although it goes against our societies stereotypical role for a man, if you asked my coworkers they would tell you that I am more supportive of the spiritual and bonding aspects of birth then anyone else on the floor. True I have never and will never personally experience birth and I can't offer a female to female connection but none the less I do connect very intimately with my patients and their partners as well as getting them threw the process safely. Please don't feel that I am in anyway challenging your choice to have only women care providers (as I said before, it's your right). I would however like to present the point of view that in absence of what you have found in your care providers I come in a close second.


    Next, There was someone who said that a man wanting to work L&D is doing so only to satisfy their own crusade or placing their own desires above those of the patients. I don't agree with this statement but it is a valid question. I had to struggle with this question myself.

    I like the majority of other male nursing students had my sights set on the ER or ICU. I was very surprised when during my OB clinical I discovered that I loved L&D. It was a difficult couple of years when I first decided I wanted to go to L&D and then started working post partum. I was the first male to ever work the area at this hospital and the nurses were very cruel. They made every effort to humiliate and demoralize me as well as trying to get me fired. Eventually they tried several times to convince patients to fabricate stories of abuse or neglect. This was communicated to me by my patients who were utterly discussed that the other nurses would even suggest it. I tell you these things not so that you will pity me; I did after all choose this path and have no regrets.

    I am writing these things to demonstrate the state of mind that made me question my true reasons for going into OB. With so many of my colleagues so strongly opposed to my being on the floor, I had to ask myself if I was doing something wrong. Then I had to question weather I was only there for myself. Was I placing my own desires above the needs of my patients?

    Do you know what answered the question for me? .... It was the patients. When they told me that they loved me and that I had helped them. It was the memories I accumulated over that first year of caring for patients and of the many times patients told me how glad they were to have me. It was the patients who asked for me because their sisters had told them about how I had cared for them. It was the patients I later saw in the grocery store who ran up to show me their baby and hug me. They weren't embarrassed that I had seen them naked or that I had seen them at their worst. They were grateful (and dare I hope better off) for the care I gave them.

    I also thought back and pinpointed the exact moment I decided that I wanted to be an L&D nurse. It was the last day of my L&D rotation. I hadn't been allowed to see any deliveries because the nurses wouldn't allow it. I was sent to answer a call light for a patient in labor, I don't remember what she needed or what I did for her, but she asked me to be there for her delivery. Her nurse didn't want me in the room but the patient and my instructor convinced her as long as I stayed at the head of the bed and didn't look at her vagina. She cried and struggled threw labor and I was there and I knew I helped her, I knew that holding her hand and talking to her made a difference and I loved it. After the delivery she asked me not to forget her and I never will.

    That's when I decided and that's why I do what I do. Yes I like the autonomy of L&D, yes I am proud knowing that I am damn good at what I do and that I make better outcomes by knowing my stuff and I am fascinated by the process of conception, gestation and birth but all of these factors pale when compared to how much I love comforting patients and meeting their needs. There is nothing better short of the love I have for my wife, children and God. To me it's like heaven.

    Finally I'm going to address another issue that has been discussed here. I'm not going to name names or point fingers but there are many on this board and many in our profession that feel that men should not work L&D or that it's sick. Many times this is disguised as a statement supporting patient rights but it goes deeper then that and should not be confused as advocacy for patients. It is blatant predigest and like other predigest it is rooted in misunderstanding and generations of anger, it is wrong and it is destructive to people, both nurse and patient. A few people have mentioned that there aren't many male L&D nurses, this isn't because of lack of interest it is because of fear. It's because they are afraid of accusations, of being seen as gay or as perverted and it keeps good nurses from following their chosen path. Once again (because I know some of you are thinking it) I am not talking about what patients choose, I am talking about what nurses say and think.
    Last edit by Dayray on May 30, '04
  6. by   nurseunderwater
    Quote from Dayray
    This topic pops up often, if anyone is interested I think I have posted on most of them over the past 3 years so you can access them via my profile

    I read the whole thread and am interested in some of the topics presented I'll answer them from my own perspective and invite responses both negative and positive.

    First let me say that I very strongly support a patients right to refuse any caregiver for any reason. That's not to say I agree with the thinking behind their decisions but it is their body and they have a right to say who does things to it. If they say they don't want a nurse for any reason this is their right. I have had 1 patient this past year ask for a female nurse and I had to defend her decision to my charge nurse. My coworkers were offended on my behalf because they know that I'm a good nurse but I had to remind them that the patient's rights superseded any feelings any of us had. That said let's get on to some of the other issues.

    First there are several posts by a lady that feels that birthing is a spiritual thing. She also feels that it is a time for bonding among women. I very much agree with this statement and I'm happy that she has been able to find this among her caregivers. Working in L&D for 2 years (which isn't very long) I am sorry to say that I have found that, such a situation is rare. Deliveries have been "medicalized" and many caregivers aren't interested in bonding or in the spiritual aspect of birthing. Although it goes against our societies stereotypical role for a man, if you asked my coworkers they would tell you that I am more supportive of the spiritual and bonding aspects of birth then anyone else on the floor. True I have never and will never personally experience birth and I can't offer a female to female connection but none the less I do connect very intimately with my patients and their partners as well as getting them threw the process safely. Please don't feel that I am in anyway challenging your choice to have only women care providers (as I said before, it's your right). I would however like to present the point of view that in absence of what you have found in your care providers I come in a close second.
    .
    Hi Dayray - First I would like to thank you for taking the time to respond in such a mindful and articulate way. I am sure you are a wonderful L&D nurse.



    I know I have mentioned previously on some thread the anthropologist - Robbie Davis-Floyd. Her study of the medicalization of birth and the wholistic vs. technocratic model of birth is fascinating. Birth - An American Right Of Passage was a pivitol point for me as a woman living in the framework of our current dominant culture.

    Thanks again for your post.

    Kate
  7. by   lisamc1RN
    Quote from BRANDY LPN
    So your stand is that there should not be any men in OB?

    Because if there is a male nurse on the floor and the pts all want a female nurse guess what it's not possible, it is not about the nurse and it is not about the (one) laboring woman, it is about the good of all the patients on the floor. And a women who requests an all female delivery because of abuse or religous beliefs has a much more valid reason for that request. I have worked with male OB nurses and if I hadn't moved just prior to delivering I would have definately requested to have one in particular for my nurse, because he was the most compassionate, knowledgeable OB nurse I have ever had the plearsure of working with.

    And our prenatal records have the information about past sexual abuse in them, as well as information on domestic abuse, it is up to the woman to answer these questions honestly during her antepartum visits.
    I have said before in this thread that I don't think that men should be denied the chance to be L and D nurses! What I'm saying, over and over again, is that a woman who requests a female nurse should not be denied simply because it doesn't meet someone else's standard of a reasonable request. If there are no female nurses available, OF COURSE you can't accomodate the patient. That's not what we are talking about here. We are talking about when there is a choice.

    I have given birth 4 times, and I have never been asked if I was ever raped or sexually abused. (I saw 4 different sets of caregivers, too). It is nowhere in my charts. Just because it isn't listed, doesn't mean it didn't happen. You can't count on knowing everything there is to know about the patient. If a patient asks for another nurse, please assume that they have a legitimate reason, whether you know what it is or not.

    Let's discuss this even further. Over and over, I'm hearing how rare it is for a woman to have a problem with male nurses. So, what's the big deal then, if the male nurse has to sit out of a birth once or twice a year, if that? You may not agree with the patient. You may think they are ignorant or immature, whatever. So what? Insisting that a woman who doesn't want a male nurse keep him is just plain wrong, if there is a female nurse available.

    Again, more power to the man who chooses L&D . Just remember, that the woman in labor gets to say who she is comfortable with.

    Oh, and Tony... I'm not a nurse, yet. I have felt very strongly about these issues for a long time. There are more women out there just like me. Just because you haven't come across them yet doesn't mean they don't exist. It also doesn't mean you should dismiss their feelings and philosophy of birth.
    Last edit by lisamc1RN on May 30, '04
  8. by   lisamc1RN
    Quote from Dayray
    This topic pops up often, if anyone is interested I think I have posted on most of them over the past 3 years so you can access them via my profile.

    I read the whole thread and am interested in some of the topics presented I'll answer them from my own perspective and invite responses both negative and positive.

    First let me say that I very strongly support a patients right to refuse any caregiver for any reason. That's not to say I agree with the thinking behind their decisions but it is their body and they have a right to say who does things to it. If they say they don't want a nurse for any reason this is their right. I have had 1 patient this past year ask for a female nurse and I had to defend her decision to my charge nurse. My coworkers were offended on my behalf because they know that I'm a good nurse but I had to remind them that the patient's rights superseded any feelings any of us had. That said let's get on to some of the other issues.

    First there are several posts by a lady that feels that birthing is a spiritual thing. She also feels that it is a time for bonding among women. I very much agree with this statement and I'm happy that she has been able to find this among her caregivers. Working in L&D for 2 years (which isn't very long) I am sorry to say that I have found that, such a situation is rare. Deliveries have been "medicalized" and many caregivers aren't interested in bonding or in the spiritual aspect of birthing. Although it goes against our societies stereotypical role for a man, if you asked my coworkers they would tell you that I am more supportive of the spiritual and bonding aspects of birth then anyone else on the floor. True I have never and will never personally experience birth and I can't offer a female to female connection but none the less I do connect very intimately with my patients and their partners as well as getting them threw the process safely. Please don't feel that I am in anyway challenging your choice to have only women care providers (as I said before, it's your right). I would however like to present the point of view that in absence of what you have found in your care providers I come in a close second.


    Next, There was someone who said that a man wanting to work L&D is doing so only to satisfy their own crusade or placing their own desires above those of the patients. I don't agree with this statement but it is a valid question. I had to struggle with this question myself.

    I like the majority of other male nursing students had my sights set on the ER or ICU. I was very surprised when during my OB clinical I discovered that I loved L&D. It was a difficult couple of years when I first decided I wanted to go to L&D and then started working post partum. I was the first male to ever work the area at this hospital and the nurses were very cruel. They made every effort to humiliate and demoralize me as well as trying to get me fired. Eventually they tried several times to convince patients to fabricate stories of abuse or neglect. This was communicated to me by my patients who were utterly discussed that the other nurses would even suggest it. I tell you these things not so that you will pity me; I did after all choose this path and have no regrets.

    I am writing these things to demonstrate the state of mind that made me question my true reasons for going into OB. With so many of my colleagues so strongly opposed to my being on the floor, I had to ask myself if I was doing something wrong. Then I had to question weather I was only there for myself. Was I placing my own desires above the needs of my patients?

    Do you know what answered the question for me? .... It was the patients. When they told me that they loved me and that I had helped them. It was the memories I accumulated over that first year of caring for patients and of the many times patients told me how glad they were to have me. It was the patients who asked for me because their sisters had told them about how I had cared for them. It was the patients I later saw in the grocery store who ran up to show me their baby and hug me. They weren't embarrassed that I had seen them naked or that I had seen them at their worst. They were grateful (and dare I hope better off) for the care I gave them.

    I also thought back and pinpointed the exact moment I decided that I wanted to be an L&D nurse. It was the last day of my L&D rotation. I hadn't been allowed to see any deliveries because the nurses wouldn't allow it. I was sent to answer a call light for a patient in labor, I don't remember what she needed or what I did for her, but she asked me to be there for her delivery. Her nurse didn't want me in the room but the patient and my instructor convinced her as long as I stayed at the head of the bed and didn't look at her vagina. She cried and struggled threw labor and I was there and I knew I helped her, I knew that holding her hand and talking to her made a difference and I loved it. After the delivery she asked me not to forget her and I never will.

    That's when I decided and that's why I do what I do. Yes I like the autonomy of L&D, yes I am proud knowing that I am damn good at what I do and that I make better outcomes by knowing my stuff and I am fascinated by the process of conception, gestation and birth but all of these factors pale when compared to how much I love comforting patients and meeting their needs. There is nothing better short of the love I have for my wife, children and God. To me it's like heaven.

    Finally I'm going to address another issue that has been discussed here. I'm not going to name names or point fingers but there are many on this board and many in our profession that feel that men should not work L&D or that it's sick. Many times this is disguised as a statement supporting patient rights but it goes deeper then that and should not be confused as advocacy for patients. It is blatant predigest and like other predigest it is rooted in misunderstanding and generations of anger, it is wrong and it is destructive to people, both nurse and patient. A few people have mentioned that there aren't many male L&D nurses, this isn't because of lack of interest it is because of fear. It's because they are afraid of accusations, of being seen as gay or as perverted and it keeps good nurses from following their chosen path. Once again (because I know some of you are thinking it) I am not talking about what patients choose, I am talking about what nurses say and think.
    Thank you so much for this post, Dayray! You sound like an excellent nurse!
  9. by   Mom To Be
    Hello. I am a 1st time mother-to-be. Phew...Reading some of these messages makes me a bit nervous. I guess it is all about one's own perspective. There may be some circumstances that some may have not considered. What about the experiences that a patient has had with relation to sexal abuse, molestation or rape. Maybe that is their reason for not having a male (or female, for that matter) in the labor and delivery room. Maybe having a "stranger" in their area would make them feel violated and out of control all over again. (Those who still struggle with the pain can relate.) Especially during something so sacred and special to them...creating LIFE. Sometimes it may not be about the nurse just about the patient. I know that I do not want to offend a nurse or doctor deliberately; however, I would like to be able to have the choice without question or deep explanation of my view or experience. Just something to think about...

    "Life is full of our own short stories from that of which we learn."
  10. by   leslie :-D
    mom to be,

    1st and foremost, congratulations. i think it's agreed amongst the nurses here that a patient's wishes should and the majority of the time, will be respected. it is all of our priorities to ensure a positive birthing experience for all involved. please, don't be any more nervous than need be. just make sure you make your wishes known. peace to you and yours.

    leslie
  11. by   judy ann
    I have 35 years experience as a perinatal nurse. I have had the distinct honor to work with several male OB nurses. Three of them really stand out. Each of them was a caring, empathetic nurse. Each of them were very knowledgable about the many things that can happen when a mom is in labor, a baby is born, and a post partum recovery. Each of them had lots to teach this old certified RN and, were I having a baby, I would prefer any of them to many female nurses I know.
    So far as OB/GYN, I have only known a few who I would trust with my life and that of my baby. Just because the person is female doesn't make her better suited for the job.

    Gender is not what is important. What is important is the quality of care given by that person. :angel2:
  12. by   tmiller027
    Quote from LT Dave
    Yes. Men should not do this. The difference between having a male doctor and nurse is in nursing we are much more intimate with our patients. Doctors diagnose and treat, We care for patients, assist with ADLs, and many more personal things. Men do not belong in this area.

    I hated it and as a joke on my last day when in school on the L&D floor my co-students hid a clean peri pad in my book bag. I still laugh remembering how much they all got me that day.
    Well then. By this logic, we shouldn't have female cops then. They may get into a situation where they're against someone much bigger and stronger than them and as a female will get themselves or someone else killed, not to mention they're more emotionally unstable(this is not my attitude but the attitude of most cops I worked with when I was on the PD) So how about we just say "NO WOMEN IN LAW ENFORCEMENT PERIOD"

    Maybe I shouldn't be a CNA either. Most of the patients in our facility are female. I have to shower them, bathe them and give them peri-care. Shame on me!!

    Though if I remember, when my wife was in labor, the nurses spent most of their time at my wife's side. The doctor would walk in, reach inside her to see how dilated she was, and walk out. Now which was more "intimate" or "personal"?
  13. by   ChrisA
    Quote from Mom To Be
    Hello. I am a 1st time mother-to-be. Phew...Reading some of these messages makes me a bit nervous. I guess it is all about one's own perspective. There may be some circumstances that some may have not considered. What about the experiences that a patient has had with relation to sexal abuse, molestation or rape. Maybe that is their reason for not having a male (or female, for that matter) in the labor and delivery room. Maybe having a "stranger" in their area would make them feel violated and out of control all over again. (Those who still struggle with the pain can relate.) Especially during something so sacred and special to them...creating LIFE. Sometimes it may not be about the nurse just about the patient. I know that I do not want to offend a nurse or doctor deliberately; however, I would like to be able to have the choice without question or deep explanation of my view or experience. Just something to think about...

    "Life is full of our own short stories from that of which we learn."
    Hey! First of all, congratulations! Now, yes, if someone has been sexually abused or molested, sometimes a man might make her uncomfortable. But then again, maybe not. Of course, ideally she would have the choice to state preferences on her health care providers. And this "stranger" idea... if you go into a hospital isn't everyone -- male and female -- going to be a stranger? And if you express an opinion about your healthcare and the nurse or doctor acts offended, then *they* have the problem, not you.

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