Patient Reactions

  1. Greetings, I am a male nursing student new to this site and I would like to post the following question:

    What different responses (positive/negative) have you seen from patient/clients in regards to care given by male nurses compared to female nurses?

    I would offer the following example: (I was working a medical floor)

    I had a elderly female pt. that was verbally aggressive with female staff members, but I had no problems with her. I am wondering if this is because I am male (seen as intimidating) and/or more mature (older than female staff). Any thoughts on this?


    Thanks,
    wasacop
    Last edit by wasacop on Feb 12, '07 : Reason: To clarify question
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   Altra
    For the large majority of your patients it will be a non-issue. You will run across some, particularly those over 65, who may feel the need to comment on it or, more rarely, may need some reassurance that yes, Virginia, men are nurses too.

    I will say though, that even though I'm female I'm sometimes bothered by things like nursing newletters w/floral borders ... but if you can ignore that little stuff and keep your perspective on the big picture you'll be just fine.

    Welcome!
  4. by   SCRN1
    I've never gotten any feedback about their gender, positive or negative. Just the same comments they'd make about a previous female nurse. Now, I have had a few elderly patients who thought the male nurse was their doctor before. You don't know how hard it was to bite my tongue to keep from laughing and asking if they really thought a doctor would spend a whole shift there and spend that much time with them over the course of that shift?:roll
  5. by   ElvishDNP
    I work in Mother/baby and there is a whole (heated) thread on male nurses in OB. I personally would welcome a male nurse into that area, whether I were a patient or a coworker. One of our best NICU nurses is a guy with long hair & tattoos (not saying that it makes a difference, just that it's not the first place I'd expect him to be). Patients, families, and coworkers alike love him.

    Everywhere else I have worked it has been a non-issue. Most patients don't care and none of the nurses have. When I first got out of nsg sch one of my favorite coworkers was a male nurse. He was awesome.

    You might find that you have the occasional person who thinks you are a doctor or an orderly (do they even have those anywhere anymore??). But that usually doesn't happen if you go in the room and say "Hi, I'm _____ and I'll be your nurse today." Best of luck to you.
  6. by   belabelisa
    As a female, I am probably unaware of the subtle differences that likely exist. But, one big glaring difference I saw had to do with the way in which the male students were treated during our OB rotation. While the female students were able to see all sorts of births, the patients repeatedly refused to let the male students be involved in their care. This was frustrating for one student in particular, who really wanted the experience of seeing a birth.

    What really angered me was finding out that many hospitals do not allow male nurses to work in OB! In my opinion, this is such blatant discrimination - especially when you consider that so many obstetricians/gynecologists are male!

    Other than that, I've only noticed that a lot of patients mistake the male nurses as doctors. That's equally as frustrating.

    Stereotypes are hard to break, I suppose.
  7. by   TazziRN
    I personally would have a problem with a male nurse if I were having a baby, but not if there was someone else in the room. I agree that there is no difference between a male doc and a male nurse, but as there is a chaperone in the room when I am with my male doc, I would want a chaperone if I had a male nurse. Please don't flame me, I'm just old fashioned.
  8. by   Dinith88
    Quote from TazziRN
    I personally would have a problem with a male nurse if I were having a baby, but not if there was someone else in the room. I agree that there is no difference between a male doc and a male nurse, but as there is a chaperone in the room when I am with my male doc, I would want a chaperone if I had a male nurse. Please don't flame me, I'm just old fashioned.
    Flame!!! Flame!!!

    You are totally valid in this...and anyone who thinks it's an 'old-fashioned' sentiment is silly.

    I FIRMLY beleive that women are BETTER OB/GYN nurses than males...because of basic REAL feminine/maternal/woman-type differences.

    OK< yes there are probably a sprinkling of male OB nurses who do well...but...

    It's not (to me) so much a matter of women feeling strange if a male-nurse were caring for her feminine parts, (and breast-feeding, and etc)...though this is obviously common (in my opinion)...
    It's more a matter of women simply do it better...
  9. by   TazziRN
    The few male OB nurses I know are terrific, and the one that works in my facility is actually certified to teach breast-feeding. I just personally am not comfortable with the idea of being alone in a room with a male nurse and exposed. If I had a family member or another staff member in the room at the same time it would NOT be a problem.

    I'm the same way at work with male pts. If I have to cath a male and there is no family member with him, I'll ask him if he would like me to get a bystander in the room. Usually they say No, but I give them the option.
  10. by   nrsang97
    Other than what the other posters mentioned, if the female pt is a Muslim then they will need to have female nursing staff only. This is part of their culture.
  11. by   ckben
    i've noticed several differences between patient reactions to male and female nurses. the most common is with either older (think seniors) and younger (usually pedes, but sometimes well into young adult) females who are uncomfortable with males giving them baths and starting catheters. i've almost never seen a middle aged woman have a problem with this, but the aforementioned population can be pretty modest and request a female to do these duties. usually a female nurse or CNA will come in and do them and there's no problem the rest of the shift. only once have i ever seen somebody request not to have any male nurses, and that was a psych patient who thought one of the phlebotomists had groped her. so, in effect, it wasn't even male nurses that she didn't want but any males entirely. even her doctors had to be escorted by a female!

    other diffferences i've seen: male nurses tend to get more respect than female nurses from certain people (particularly older men). you might think it would be the opposite, but i think patients appreciate males who can often have more firm personalities than some women can. also, there's the group of people who appreciate having a male nurse to share their male-type humor with. and we all know how valuable male nurses are in terms of moving patients who require a little more help. a lot of patients appreciate having a nurse who can help them themselves instead of a nurse who must make them wait while they go get help simply to get the patient from the bed to the chair. finally, with males you have less of a chance of being called "honey" or "sweetie" or some equally demeaning term. it still happens, but less often. and when it does happen, it's easier to take.

    all in all, and this is the absolute truth, i cannot think of a single instance where a patient didn't like or appreciate a nurse simply because they were a male nurse. personality conflicts i can think of, but that's certainly not limited to just males.
  12. by   AfloydRN
    My fiancee and I are both RN's and sometimes work together. It seems, in my experience, that pts w/ large families like men better. I am not sure why, but this has been my observation. I think it's because they take the time to explain things more in depth and women are very task oriented. I don't think gender would matter, except for labor/ delivery. I could see some women being uncomfortable but thats their issue- not yours.
  13. by   Bala Shark
    Remember, allnurses.com, the person created this site, is 100% male..And the male bashing continues..
  14. by   rn/writer
    Quote from Bala Shark
    Remember, allnurses.com, the person created this site, is 100% male..And the male bashing continues..
    What bashing? This has been an intelligent conversation so far.

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