What's special about male nurses? - page 4

Hi everyone, I'm pre-nursing, and everyone keeps talking to me about how male nurses are in demand and what an asset it's going to be for me. I get that men rarely enter the profession, but I don't... Read More

  1. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Quote from RNOTODAY
    I like that male nurses are in demand, because, it enforces the idea that nursing is NOT specifically a female job..... it really isnt, if you think about it. It is highly skilled, involves assertiveness, critical thinking... etc. Why should that be a "women only" job? I think that many years ago, it was a female profession, because, the role was that of "caregiver"... now pts are sicker, and technology has changed the scope of practice of a nurse. We simply are required to do more, and know more than years ago. Healthcare is a different animal now. I actually hate the term "male nurse" . We dont say "female doctor", do we?
    Kinda sounds like you are implying that if nursing did not require assertiveness, critical thinking or technical skills, it would be ok to think of nursing as a "women only" job. I don't think you meant to sound like that though, lol.

    The phrase "woman doctor" used to be heard a lot. Now, our society has gotten used to female docs, and you don't hear that phrase much anymore. The same thing will eventually happen with the term "male nurse".


    Remember the term "woman driver"? I'm sure glad that phrase is rarely heard anymore.

    I know it's no fun to be the only anything at a job. I've had two jobs where I was the only caucasian staff member and that was rough. I was also one of very few women at a machine shop years ago and that was hard, as well.

    I think a good mix of all kinds of people makes for the best work environment.
  2. by   nursemike
    Quote from banditrn
    Nothing. They are no better or no worse. They just 'are'. Most everyone I've worked with has been fine - liked some more than others, but that's the same with the gals.
    At my last hospital job, had a new male nurse who was just a bit lazy - so he started asking us to take all his female patients to the bathroom for him - their privacy, ya know. I told him that would be fine with me, but then HE had to take all my MALE patients to the BR. Well, he didn't see it that way, so I told him to start doing his own work, and to stop trying to push it off on the rest of us - and we got along fine after that!
    The guys I work with are nothing like that, but a couple in school may have had similar tendencies. Another example of real-world nursing weeding out people who don't belong there, I suppose.

    There are times I'm not entirely comfortable providing more intimate sorts of care to female patients. I'm a firm believer in accommodating the patient's preferences, when practical, but sometimes I'm a little uneasy before the patient has shown any sign of objecting. Generally, if the problem is mine, I look at it as something I have to overcome, just as one must learn to perform many other tasks that are unfamiliar or uncomfortable. Frankly, grasping another man's penis to do a straight cath or peri care didn't come all that naturally, either. But I do occassionally ask a female aide or nurse to assist me, just for my own peace of mind, and happily, someone is usually available.
  3. by   huneni05
    Hi,
    I don't believe there is anything 'special' about male nurses! All the hype may only be about the fact that they are fewer than their female colleagues and are actually easier to work with.Haven't you guys heard of all the talk where there is a woman this or that in what was traditionally male territory_like thinking of being a president?!So please don't join nursing coz it will make you special.Nursing procedures are the same for both men and women!
    :smilecoffeecup:
  4. by   lisanursingstudent
    Quote from royr
    As a male the most frequently commented on aspect of my performance in nursing has been the fact that I have a different perspective and aproach to our pt's. issues than my female counter parts on the nursing team. Many times I have been asked to assist with situations where "Everything" has been tried to get a desired outcome, and the solution was simply another set of eyes looking at the problem from a different perspective. The fact that men and woman aproach life's chalenges differently can only serve to make a health care team stronger by giving it a wider resource base from which to draw. I feel this is why male nurses should be sought out. If your desire is to have heavy objects repositioned, they make Hoyer lifts for that job and anyone can operate them with training. It should be all about the pt's and their needs - everything else is just background noise.
    I have to agree wholeheartedly with this. Something else i've noticed is that it takes a special man to want to be a nurse. About half my class want to be nurses for the "easy money". Men can find other jobs for easy money, jobs that don't involve fecal impactions and foley catheters.

    My little story about why i love the men in nursing:

    When i was a small teen, i was violently ill - diarrhea and vomiting. I was too weak to work the bedrails and no, they wouldn't let me keep them down. Therefore, i needed help getting out of bed whenever i needed to "go". The women would come in and hand me an emesis basin (like that was gonna hold anything). The men would grab the trash can. So, if the nurse or aide was a woman, i would have to fight them to get out of bed to make it to the toilet or trash can to vomit. It usually ended in a linen change and me feeling terrible about spewing all over. If it was going to be diarrhea, the men would hold me up (yes i was too weak to sit on the toilet) and stare at the ceiling. The women would cross their arms and stare at me. I prefer not falling and not being stared upon while my GI tract loses control.

    No, men and women are not the same. Fortunately, the uncaring men won't go near the nursing profession, so we only get the best available men. Just the fact that a man wants to be a nurse says a whole lot about his integrity. Too bad we can't say quite the same for women.

    ____________

    I've also learned how to simulate "man hands" by keeping my nails cut to the quick and warming them before patient contact - makes a HUGE difference.

    ~lisa
  5. by   nursemike
    Quote from lisanursingstudent
    Fortunately, the uncaring men won't go near the nursing profession, so we only get the best available men. Just the fact that a man wants to be a nurse says a whole lot about his integrity.
    ~lisa
    That's an interesting point, with which, unfortunately, I can't entirely concur. Word seems to be out about the advantages of nursing--decent pay, job security, wide range of opportunities--and these seem to be attracting a lot of displaced males (such as myself). I suppose, in a way, we ought to be grateful for some of the negative stereotypes about men in nursing, on the theory that if you can't get past those, you have no business in a field that will demand getting past a lot worse.

    Without boasting, I think I can say I'm as compassionate as any nurse I know, and better than some at showing my compassion. But I suspect that has more to do with being new than being male. Frankly, one of the lessons I'm having to learn is not to let compassion get in the way of appropriate care, and that can be a real challenge, at times. The trick, I think, is going to be learning to be firm without becoming hard, and I think that's something we all must go through. Luckily, I know it can be done, since I work with nurses with decades of experience who are able to do what needs to be done and still be gentle about it.
  6. by   banditrn
    Quote from nursemike
    The guys I work with are nothing like that, but a couple in school may have had similar tendencies. Another example of real-world nursing weeding out people who don't belong there, I suppose.

    There are times I'm not entirely comfortable providing more intimate sorts of care to female patients. I'm a firm believer in accommodating the patient's preferences, when practical, but sometimes I'm a little uneasy before the patient has shown any sign of objecting. Generally, if the problem is mine, I look at it as something I have to overcome, just as one must learn to perform many other tasks that are unfamiliar or uncomfortable. Frankly, grasping another man's penis to do a straight cath or peri care didn't come all that naturally, either. But I do occassionally ask a female aide or nurse to assist me, just for my own peace of mind, and happily, someone is usually available.
    Mike - do you think gals don't have the same problems? As I'm sure you know by now, it's all in the way you present yourself, and your professionalism.
  7. by   moongirl
    I have one boy in my clinical group, while the rest of us get referred to as student nurses, pts often address him as a MED student..
    I think male nurses are wonderful because.. they are. plain and simple. I have yet to meet one that didnt have a great sense of humor, a great rapport with pts, a willing, positive attitude... maybe its because they have to overcome gender bias.. maybe its because their grandpa says "NURSE?? Boy you caint be no NURSE- what are you.. a MAN or a girlie boy?".. maybe its because in a class of 65, there are only 5 men.. because they REALLY want to be there. Wish I could say that about ALL the female students and nurses I have met
  8. by   gentle
    IMHO, there is difference between male and female nurses just be the way we are made. I truly do appreciate the way men think through a problem versus the way I think through the same thing. I also appreciate the balance - yeah, the testosterone thing - that men bring to the work environment.

    However, as most posters have stated, the best experiences have been working with other "healthy/safe" co-workers. People willing to grow beside and with you, versus competing for approval from managers, doctors, etc. People who will help you and people whom you can also help. People who you can work out a "heated" difference of opinions with versus wimpering to a nurse manager.
  9. by   subee
    Quote from gentle
    IMHO, there is difference between male and female nurses just be the way we are made. I truly do appreciate the way men think through a problem versus the way I think through the same thing. I also appreciate the balance - yeah, the testosterone thing - that men bring to the work environment.

    However, as most posters have stated, the best experiences have been working with other "healthy/safe" co-workers. People willing to grow beside and with you, versus competing for approval from managers, doctors, etc. People who will help you and people whom you can also help. People who you can work out a "heated" difference of opinions with versus wimpering to a nurse manager.
    Half of all CRNA's are male. Women have the babies. Its connected. As long as women have the babies, nursing will be a "woman's job" with all the pitfalls that brings. When half of all the RN's are men it will become a desirable job.
  10. by   OzzyRN
    Heyho
    The benifit of being a male nurse is being able to be sperated from the ******** that goes on between female nurses. I am constantly gob smacked how awful female staff behave towards each other. I am even more gobbsmacked at how awful new grads are treated and ******* about. I am sure that there are heaps of male nurses that are bastards but Im yet to work with any that work hard to put others down.
  11. by   SOREFEETEMPTYSTOMACH
    Well, I Went To School In The Dark Ages..graduated In 1970. Since The Early 90's I Began To Hear That " Things Would Change When Men Started To Enter Nursing". I Think Change Meant More Liberal Working Conditions For Nurses And Improved Salaries.
    I Worked With A Doc Who Was On The National Faculty Of The American Heart Assoc. He Presented A Paper @ Their Annual Conference One Year And Suggested That For Years The Cost Of Healthcare Has Been Kept Down, Despite Public Opinion, Because It Has Always Been A Primarily Female Workforce.
    Now Enter The Men. Trumpets Should Be Blaring For The Working Nurses Of The Future.
    Another Thing I Did Notice About Men, They Don't Seem To Get As Emotional As The Women. There Were No Histrionics And Very Little Whining.
  12. by   Farkinott
    I think male nurses are different because we tend to talk in plain language! I can recall an incident where one of my female colleagues was asking a confused old man if he "wanted to go for a wee?" After watching her vain attempt for about 5 mins I went and asked "hey mate, do you want to go for a pi**?" Instant success! A greater ratio of males does keep the ********** on a lower level as well.
  13. by   PMFB-RN
    Quote from GBS_Fan
    Hi everyone,
    I'm pre-nursing, and everyone keeps talking to me about how male nurses are in demand and what an asset it's going to be for me. I get that men rarely enter the profession, but I don't see why there is all this buzz or what people think men can do differently. If anyone would care to share their perspectives on this I'd appreciate, cuz I'm not seeing it!
    *** Good nurses are good nurses, male or female. That said as a male nurse I am sure that I have recieved special treatment becuase of my sex.
    I once had a VA nurse recruiter tell me (over lunch and off the record) that they prefered to hire male nurses when the could get them. The reasons she stated where - less complaining, more willing to work NOCs & weekends, a more professional work environment, and she said that in her experience men did not try to match their shifts to their wives shifts, but that women often tried to.
    Now those where her reasons, not mine.
    I prefer to work in a mixed work place. AN all male work place gets to crude and being the sole representive of your gender as I was in nursing school and at several places I have worked is no fun.
    It IS a great profession if you want to meet women though

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