Over the weekend....

  1. I really don't even know how to word this question, so I will apologize in advance if I misword what I am trying to say.

    I work at a hospital and encountered something over the weekend with one of the male nurses......here goes:

    This guy is openly gay.....and I think he is scaring the patients he works with. He wore a touch of makeup (light foundation and powder), and I noticed a little light eye makeup. He is an okay nurse, but some of the patients commented about him and quite frankly I don't blame them one bit. If he wants to lead an alternative lifestyle, it's his choice to do so.....but I don't think it's appropriate for him to come to work with makeup.

    Has anyone else ever encountered this type of situation, and if so how did your unit handle it without creating a ton of chaos???? I'm sure that one of the patients was going to request that he not take care of her anymore.....she was so uncomfortable with him she was crying over it. I am almost dreading having to go back to work with him because I hate having to intercept all the comments about him from the patients.
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  2. 43 Comments

  3. by   Q.
    Yikes. I don't think hospital policies have caught up with things like this. There probably isn't a policy that says "Men will not wear make-up" as there is that says "hair will be of normal human color" etc.

    In my opinion, which may get slammed, I think this guy is doing it HOPING someone will try to get him to stop, knowing full well that there isn't a damn thing administration can do about it, and as a result, he could have grounds to file a discrimination lawsuit.

    Yes I am cynical and no I am not inappropriate. I could care less what people do in private but this guy should know better, IMHO.
  4. by   Marianne518
    Susy....I have a feeling that's what he's doing. He is so openly gay that he scares even the most open-minded coworkers with his "antics".
  5. by   Teshiee
    I think before anything is done with this individual I would read what the expectations of the facility. It is not so much of the make-up because I seen women nurses who shouldn't wear make up because it is so inappropriate but his attitude his professional behavior may be more in question.
  6. by   mc40421
    I worked with a male who was in the beginning stages of changing to a female and I was never sure what his appearance would be like when he showed up. He was from an agency and usually only worked weekends, but the nurse manager was only concerned about having someone to fill the schedule. He wasn't the best nurse I've ever worked with but he never gave anyone trouble. He also never showed up with make-up on either. A few months went by and he hadn't been around when we noticed him with an elderly woman on the oncology wing of our floor. He was fully dressed as a female and had a long wig on but his facial hair was still quite noticeable so he attracted a lot of attention. Even though he knew me well, I was given the cold shoulder and he was acting very bizarre. I did hear that his mother was a patient there and he was seen often during that time, but I've never had any further contact with him. I've often wondered what became of "him."
    I really feel that there have to be some rules set up regarding the type of situation you've come up against, but I'm sure it would have to be done in a very careful way so it was "politically correct" if you know what I mean.
  7. by   prmenrs
    The first concern is the patient. The nurse needs feedback, collegial or otherwise, (I wonder if there is another gay male who would feel comfortable in reminding him where his priorities should be) that he has caused emotional distress for a patient. What might not bother someone out on the street, in a store, etc., might cause distress w/ someone who is ill, and not able to use all their usual coping mechanisms.

    If a patient complains, that is a matter for the NM, also. He can be told that Mrs. So-and-so might complain to the NM about him, and request that he not care for her because... If he has a problem w/that, let the NM deal w/it.
    Last edit by prmenrs on Mar 25, '02
  8. by   hoolahan
    Wow, that is a pickle. My husband worked at a place where a man underwent a sex change and there was a small uproar when he bagan to use the ladies room, but it turned out OK, once he announced what he was planing. These people never had to work with the public though, as nurses do.

    I think you are really between a rock and a hard spot. I am betting you have no policies that say Men may not wear make-up, so no way can anyone really touch him there. As long as he is neat and professional and does his job, I don't think anyone can touch him. Now, if he is not doing his job, that is another story. Then again, how to deal with the pt's who are disturbed by this, I have no idea. I guess the only thing the manager can do is re-assign him, which would inconvenience another nurse/pt assignment. Since he is doing nothing wrong, how can they reprimand him?? I would be interested to hear how this one turns out, I have never heard of anyone in this kind of situation before. I once worked with a nurse who transferred to another unit, when I caught up w her again several months later, her hair was purple and spiked. I asked what unit she worked on, she said psych. Now frankly, I felt her hair, make-up, and attire (they could wear street clothes) were the stuff delusions and hallucinations are made of, but no one said didly to her.

    ?????
  9. by   hpyrn
    I'm gonna ask everyone at work tomm. what they think about this. The only thing I can think of is how many female nurses I have worked with who wore too much make-up or long red fingernails, things we all learned were inappropriate. Most of them worked without a thought.
  10. by   Q.
    Originally posted by hpyrn
    The only thing I can think of is how many female nurses I have worked with who wore too much make-up or long red fingernails, things we all learned were inappropriate. Most of them worked without a thought.
    And this is where this guy KNOWS he can get away with this. It's pretty sad when a company has to make up policies to keep up with the strange things people do. My guess is, he will make a HUGE issue if administration gets involved, it will be plastered all over the media that a male NURSE is wearing make-up, or, that this hospital is discriminating against gays/lesbians, and we'll see it on the nation's news. And then once that has blown over, hospitals will make it policy that men cannot wear make-up at work.
  11. by   mario_ragucci
    Holy smoke! Great Scott !!! A man, wearing foundation and eyeshadow? I think not. A hospital is a hospital, and not the blooming Rocky Horror Picture Show !!! Women with red lips, hair and fingernails are sexy, but not on a guy in a hospital. And sometimes that behavior can involve drug use, am I right? And not just passing a joint either. If the boyscouts can ban members for not accepting a God, surely a hospital can ban cross-dressing. I can imagine how it would disturb some people if Tim Curry was giving them an IV. Or if Boy George was inserting a Foley.
    I'd tell the guy to quit it, and not make it so obvious. If he came to my shift wearing residual makeup, I'd just ask him to wash it off (if I was in charge). I'm not beyond role playing, and to each his own, but not in a hospital. To me it's a holy and sacred place.
    Mario thinks men who wear ear rings are a little on the fem side too. Only men pirates can wear ear rings, and I ain't seen no boat with sails recently. And whats with all these wigged out arm band tattoos? Men and women get the silliest tattoos, losing self-respect for their dermis. Would you feel cool with a nurse who had a tattoo on her neck?
    In a way, it's not fair to men who want to pretend to be female, because women who pretend to be men have no trouble. "Butch" nurses are probably the best, take charge nurses on a ward. but our society won't freak out over a butch nurse as they would over a effeminate nurse.
  12. by   wildhoney
    IMO, I don't think a woman should wear heavy make-up while being employed in any medical facility. We are allowed to wear only light nail polish and no perfume. I think the same should go for a man-- gay or straight. : ) They should follow that Disneyland Philosophy. However, I do think facial hair on a man is ok.

    Go home and wear whatever you like.
  13. by   hapeewendy
    Well judging from the tone of this post and the responses that have followed I'm almost 100% sure no one here will agree with me, however I'm not the type not to share my opinion just cuz it may be an unpopular one.

    #1 - what exactly is meant by this nurses "antics"
    that scare his coworkers etc, if its just the makeup thing that has everyone in a tizzy thats insane.

    #2 - Why is it acceptable for female nurses to come in with makeup that makes them look like a 2 dollar hooker? I've seen this, and no one on the floor said boo about it, but a guy comes in with some foundation on and all heck breaks loose?

    3. I understand that patients were upset about the look of him etc but why should we validate what they feel? I mean if a patient refuses someone based on the colour of their skin, weight, other physical features etc it angers us, why doesnt it bother any of you that this male nurse is being discriminated against?

    I'll tell you why I think you are not angry, its because many of you probably dont know what it is like to be gay or in transition or suffer from gender dysphoria.

    I doubt seriously that this nurse is doing it to get caught or "buck the system" etc, I believe he is doing it to express himself, and I really dont see a problem with it to tell you the truth.

    I have a good friend who is gay and gender dysphoric and some of the attitudes I'm getting from this thread are not only not supportive of this nurse but downright prejudiced.

    personally I dont think any nurse (male or female) should come to work with tons of makeup on, but since the female ones sure do I dont think its fair to discriminate because "men are not supposed to wear makeup"

    didnt some barbaric male once say that "women shouldnt be in the workplace"
    its views like that that force humankind to take steps back instead of forwards

    keep your hearts AND MINDS open, while we may not understand it all, we can certainly be empathetic


    cheers
  14. by   lever5
    I worked with a wonderful nurse at one of my jobs. He was very comfortable with his body and image. The first time I saw him, I could not tell if he was male or female, I have never asked him, I just accept him. He wears makeup, jewlery, and nail polish. Cooking was one of his accomplishments that he shared with us which may have something to do with his acceptance. ( Feed a nurse and they will love you forever.) I don't remember one patient that was uncomfortable with him. I am sure there is one, but I have had people take exception with me also. He makes the perfect nurse.

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