Newbie questions: Assisting Male patients Issues

  1. hi there,

    I am planning to take nursing this year but i just have a few questions for the female RNs if you dont mind.

    1. if a male patient says he needs help (or assuming he really cant do it alone) to urinate in the plastic bottle, are you obliged to assist him? like actually hold and place his "p*nis" in the bottle. Or can you ask a male nurse to do it for you?

    2. again, if a male patient says he is too weak to bathe himself (or again he really is too weak), are you obliged to bathe him in bathroom shower? him being naked and everything? I would not mind giving a bath to a woman, but not a man....

    Are these part of the official job descriptions for a US registered nurse?

    Thank you in advance for your replies.

    cheers!
    Wendy
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   ShayRN
    Quote from rookieq
    hi there,

    I am planning to take nursing this year but i just have a few questions for the female RNs if you dont mind.

    1. if a male patient says he needs help (or assuming he really cant do it alone) to urinate in the plastic bottle, are you obliged to assist him? like actually hold and place his "p*nis" in the bottle. Or can you ask a male nurse to do it for you?

    Yes

    2. again, if a male patient says he is too weak to bathe himself (or again he really is too weak), are you obliged to bathe him in bathroom shower? him being naked and everything? I would not mind giving a bath to a woman, but not a man....

    Yes

    Are these part of the official job descriptions for a US registered nurse?

    Thank you in advance for your replies.

    cheers!
    Wendy
    I tell my husband I have seen more naked butts than, well, never mind, LMAO Honestly, you get used to it and it becomes no big deal. But if it really bothers you that much, you need to rethink nursing.
  4. by   TweetiePieRN
    I agree with ShayRN! Yes is the answer to both questions. If you have a problem with just assisting someone with bathing and urinating....wait until you have to stick your finger in the rectum for a suppository. OR stick a catheter in the penis.
  5. by   Logan
    Quote from rookieq
    1. if a male patient says he needs help (or assuming he really cant do it alone) to urinate in the plastic bottle, are you obliged to assist him? like actually hold and place his "p*nis" in the bottle. Or can you ask a male nurse to do it for you?
    A. What if there is no male nurse available? You want to let the patient wet the bed?
    B. Or what if patient can't pee unless he is standing up (some of our post ops with enlarged prostates cannot pee lying down). Let them not urinate and let their bladder fill up to the point that an invasive catheter becomes required?

    Men have needs just as much as women do.

    Thanks,
    Mattew
    a "male" nurse [when being a "nurse" is not enough].

    PS: It's ok to say "penis". Just as it is ok to say "vagina" or "breast". We are all medical professionals here
  6. by   kiszi
    After a while, you do get used to it, seriously. It's just not a big deal anymore. Your patients will be grateful for your help.
    That said, in my nursing home work, I will on rare occasions come across a crusty old perv who will ask me to "help" with his urinal when I've just seen him feeding himself, operating the remote, etc. with no trouble. That's when I hand him the urinal and say "have at it."
    Our goal as nurses is to help our patients do as much as they can for themselves, and do for them only what they cannot.
  7. by   Logan
    Quote from kiszi
    Our goal as nurses is to help our patients do as much as they can for themselves, and do for them only what they cannot.
    Bingo!

    Thanks,
    Matthew
  8. by   kwagner_51
    I can tell from your post that this type of care embarrasses you. That's ok. I can guarantee you that when you have a male pt who needs help uniating, or needs a shower, you will help him because you KNOW that he can't do it himself!

    Yes, there are men who act like they are helpless and can't lift a finger to do anything. The first time this happens you will stand there and help him, but you will remember that HEY! he can and must do it himself. Tell him nicely that you will not be there when he gets discharged home so he needs to learn how to do it himself while in the hospital.

    Most of the pts I got in Nursing school were ready to go home and didn't need help with the urinal.

    Funny story along these lines. I worked in LTC every other Saturday. The CNA told me that I had to put a texas catheter on one of the pts. I had no clue what that was!!

    Anyway, there were 2 catheters. One was latex the other silicone. I chose the silicone. The catheter goes on like a condom. I was wearing gloves and the gloves stuck like glue to the cath. The gentleman kept telling me he didn't like to be wet so make sure I got it on good and tight. After positioning it I started unrolling the cath. For every roll, I had to unstick my glove!! I finally got it on and attached to the bag, left the room and prayed that he didn't get wet!! He didn't, and neither did the bed!

    The next time I worked, they only had latex caths. This one is a lot harder to apply. It has sticky tape that must be applied to the penile shaft. I was fighting the cath and my gloves on that one. However, I did it right, because he slept all night and his bed was dry in the AM!

    It's amazing what we can and will do to make sure our pts are comfortable.

    You can do this!!


    __________________________________________

    In His Grace,

    Karen

    Failure is NOT an option!!
    Last edit by kwagner_51 on Apr 19, '07 : Reason: Spelling error
  9. by   meownsmile
    Its more a patient issue really than a nurse issue. Within a few months youve seen enough of them it doesnt bother you anymore, its the patients that have a harder time really. I like to tell them not to worry every backside crack ive seen all go the same direction. It usually gets a chuckle and eases their modesty a bit.
    But as a nurse,, you just get over it.
  10. by   hajer
    hey there ...
    i think that it is normal u to ask this questions ...because i was also conseren regarding that at the bigning of my nursing .I A muslim person & our religion as u know prevent us from looking to spicial areas of the body ,,,further than that I HAD never talked to strange male before in my life because we had to study in sepret schools ,,,,so it was a shock for my family when i choose nursing ,,,,but i said to them i can pass all challenges & it was a big shock for me when i try to apply a catheter for a yuong male patient ,,my hand was shaking ,,& my heart rate was so high in a dgree that the sitter notice that & he refuse to complete this proceduer for his brother ,,but after 8 monthes in nursing i can tell it is much more better now,,,
  11. by   fultzymom
    If this bothers you this much, then maybe you should think about a different career. What about when you have to catherize a man? There are not always male nurses around to do it for you. And other nurses will help you out but they will not want to make it a habit to do all your male patients for you. Honestly, when I walk into a male patients room, I do not even think about it. Man or woman. It is just a patient who needs my help. If it is embarrassing for you, imagine how the man feels needing you to bathe him et needing help with urinating.
  12. by   TazziRN
    If the male patient has no problem with his hands, he can hold his own urinal. If he honestly is too weak, yes, you have to help him. As the others have pointed out, it's either that or let him get physically uncomfortable and then wet the bed, and then you have a whole new problem. If you truly think you cannot get past this, then nursing is not for you. We do not take care of just female patients, or male patients who can take care of themselves, and we do not leave all the male patients for the male nurses.
  13. by   peds4now
    I think it is very natural for you to be nervous before you even start nursing school! And I also think that you will be a better nurse if you approach touching private parts of people's bodies with some sensitivity! That said, it is 100% part of the job description and it must be done! Coming from a religious background where I don't even shake hands with men (Jewish), I don't kid myself that's it's nothing. But, you will see that it is natural to take care of someone's needs when they can't do it alone. Concentrate on your patient, not his penis or rectum (or her vagina), and treat them with respect by preserving privacy as much as possible. Working as a team with another student for baths helps at first. You'll do fine if you really want to be a nurse.

    P.S., some people do specialize in Women's Health, but all nurses take care of men sometimes I reckon
    Last edit by peds4now on Apr 19, '07 : Reason: new idea
  14. by   futurecnm
    I am finishing up my first year of nursing school, and I've seen a lot of male and female "parts" and it really is no big deal. And yes, you have to deal with both sexes as a nurse, I dont' think you can try to find a male to help out every time. I have given males bedbaths, helped them with the urinal, and placed many rectal suppositories. It is just part of the job.

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