Being Gay and a Male Nursing Student - page 8

I'm aware that the words 'Gay' and 'Nursing' may somehow go hand-and-hand for some, and others may find it comical, but I've found it quite uncomfortable being gay and a male, nursing student simply... Read More

  1. by   Tacomaboy3
    Quote from NuGuyNurse2b
    Actually it is their right to know.
    Wrong, wrong, 100% incorrect. The patient absolutely does not have the legal right to KNOW the sexual orientation of their healthcare provider. Find me the law, act, title, code, etc. that says a patient has the legal right to know the sexual orientation of the nurse caring for them.

    Quote from NuGuyNurse2b
    ...you can't deny that they have a right to choose who they want to care for them. They do. Racist patients do it, and homophobic patients do it.
    Dude. This is off point. Of course patients can choose who to receive care from. Patients "fire" nurses/doctors/other staff all the time. But this is an entirely different issue than the RIGHT to know personal details about their healthcare provider. So I'm not sure why you switched gears on me.

    Quote from NuGuyNurse2b
    Fact is, if someone asks whether you're gay, and you say you don't want to answer it, you've basically answered it. Otherwise, you'd be lying if you say you aren't. Now it's your choice whether you want to lie to your patients and the trust is gone, or be up front with them so there is mutual understanding.
    If a patient asks if I'm gay, I can either say yes, no, I don't know/maybe, or give them silence (any other options?). Giving them silence, in contrast to what you said, is not an answer. Again, I'm not sure what you were trying to get at.
  2. by   NuGuyNurse2b
    Quote from Tacomaboy3
    Wrong, wrong, 100% incorrect. The patient absolutely does not have the legal right to KNOW the sexual orientation of their healthcare provider. Find me the law, act, title, code, etc. that says a patient has the legal right to know the sexual orientation of the nurse caring for them.



    Dude. This is off point. Of course patients can choose who to receive care from. Patients "fire" nurses/doctors/other staff all the time. But this is an entirely different issue than the RIGHT to know personal details about their healthcare provider. So I'm not sure why you switched gears on me.



    If a patient asks if I'm gay, I can either say yes, no, I don't know/maybe, or give them silence (any other options?). Giving them silence, in contrast to what you said, is not an answer. Again, I'm not sure what you were trying to get at.
    Patient's rights are posted everywhere. If they do not want you as a nurse, they have the option to request a different nurse. The reason for doing so may not jive with you, but you are the one who's wrong. And my examples have everything to do with what we are talking about. Nobody is "switching gears" on you; what I'm doing is called an analogy. And silence is an answer, whether you choose to accept it as one is obviously not your cup of tea, but the saying that "silence speaks volumes" is in fact applicable to many cases.
  3. by   Tacomaboy3
    Quote from NuGuyNurse2b
    Patient's rights are posted everywhere. If they do not want you as a nurse, they have the option to request a different nurse. The reason for doing so may not jive with you, but you are the one who's wrong. And my examples have everything to do with what we are talking about. Nobody is "switching gears" on you; what I'm doing is called an analogy. And silence is an answer, whether you choose to accept it as one is obviously not your cup of tea, but the saying that "silence speaks volumes" is in fact applicable to many cases.
    Sigh. I suppose you still don't understand. Also, you provided no analogy. Lol.

    I'll leave it at this: A patient does not have the right to know their nurse's sexual orientation. Sure, the patient can suspect and even ask, but the nurse is not bound by law to disclose it to him or her.
  4. by   Julius Seizure
    Quote from NuGuyNurse2b
    I think it is somewhat of their business. If it's something they feel strongly about (or against), they have the right to know. If a female patient can request a female nurse rather than a male nurse, I think it extends to sexual orientation as well. I do not advertise my sexual orientation to my patients, but if they should ask, I inform them and ask if they are OK with it. If they are, great, if not, we work something out. This is about the patient, it's not about any of us. I'm there to care for their medical needs, not change their viewpoints.
    Is it "okay" for a patient to say that they don't want a black nurse? An Asian nurse? What about a nurse who is a Jehovah's witness? What about an overweight nurse? What if they only which to be cared for by nurses who are married? Should those requests be catered to as well? Of course patients can request whatever they want, but is the hospital ethically bound to accommodate it if they are able?

    What about outside of the hospital? If you do not want to be served food by a black person (or Jehovah's witness, or gay, or overweight, or single person) at Olive Garden, should you be able to request a different waitress? Or it is okay for the restaurant to decline to have you as a customer?

    I saw that you responded to the "black" and "male" categories already, but I'd really love to hear some viewpoints on this, either from you or anyone else who cares to share. Its an honest question asked from a position of intellectual curiosity about other viewpoints.

    (I digress. My post has gone off topic, sorry!)
    Last edit by Julius Seizure on Sep 19
  5. by   Ruby Vee
    Patients have the right to know your first and last names, your licensure and your role on their health care team. Anything else is none of their business. In most cases, they can SEE your race and perhaps (if you wear rings) your marital status, but that doesn't mean they have the right to ask your race or your marital status. They can also ask about your family -- sometimes it's just small talk and sometimes maybe they're fishing. But they don't actually have a right to know about your family beyond what you're willing to share. They also have the right to refuse your care because they don't like Black people or fat people or people who have reached adulthood without acquiring wedding bands or the nurse who looks just like their ex-husband or his bimbo girlfriend. Most patients are more savvy than to state up front that they don't like white people or Catholics or whatever and to instead say they don't like the nurse because she was rough or he lacks compassion or some such, but they have the right to "fire" you as their nurse for whatever stupid reason they come up with. (Unfortunately, we don't have the right to refuse care for those same reasons.) But if the nursing unit doesn't have a nurse of the specified race, gender, religion, marital status or ability to be tolerant of assininity, the patient will have to either make due with the nurse they get or decide to take their business elsewhere.

    Your sexuality is nothing that the patient has any right to know about. If you don't wish to share that with them, don't. You don't have to go through elaborate gyrations to keep your sexuality from them -- just don't make that kind of small talk. It is perfectly acceptable to turn around their questions on them. "I'm not married; but tell me how long you and your spouse have been together." Or "I'm married/not married and we're in the process of looking for a house. Isn't it shocking what mortgage rates are doing these days?" Or even, "Oh, I'm not here to talk about me. Tell me, how did you meet your spouse?"

    I'm not really understanding why any of this should even be an issue.
  6. by   blackboxwarning
    I'm a straight woman, but I know exactly where you're coming from. People meet you and immediately want to know which box to put you in, and they're disappointed when you don't fit. We all experience this to different degrees, in different ways.
  7. by   juan de la cruz
    Quote from Julius Seizure
    Is it "okay" for a patient to say that they don't want a black nurse? An Asian nurse? What about a nurse who is a Jehovah's witness? What about an overweight nurse? What if they only which to be cared for by nurses who are married? Should those requests be catered to as well? Of course patients can request whatever they want, but is the hospital ethically bound to accommodate it if they are able?
    Patient's who are deemed competent can make choices and decisions regarding their care by virtue of the principle of autonomy. That would include having the liberty to choose their provider or nurse however reasonable that request may be. However, hospitals should be aware that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ensures that employees are protected from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. As hospital employees, nurses are granted that protection by the law.

    There was a landmark case in Michigan a few years back where a self-identifying racist parent refused care of a child from nurses who are black. The hospital accommodated the request by posting a sign (on the chart, I believe) that no black nurses are to be assigned to the patient. A lawsuit was filed with the EEOC against the medical center by one of the nurses affected. The case ended in settlement in the amount of $200,000 to the nurse who sued.

    Sexual orientation is not clearly defined as a protected class by the Civil Rights Act but there are many states that have laws against discrimination based on sexual orientation or even gender identity. However, there has not been a publicized case I'm aware of where a patient refused care from a nurse based on the nurse's sexual orientation.
  8. by   juan de la cruz
    After reading through the replies, a few comments caught me off guard...

    Those that said they were fine with a gay co-worker as long as he doesn't talk openly about his sexual exploits. Really? as if gay men have a predisposition to talk openly about their sexual experiences. Gay men were largely raised by parents in the same society everyone else grew up in...one that for the most part taught them a set of mores and social convention that makes it inappropriate to discuss such topics in a professional environment. The fact that some of us know nurses, gay or straight, male or female, who have exhibited said behavior has more to do with lack of manners and no particular group can claim exclusive ownership of such behavior.

    Those that said they are fine with a gay co-worker as long as they are not flamboyant. What does that even mean? Gay men are not a monochromatic group of people as many of us know. There are masculine-acting gay men on one end of the spectrum and feminine acting ones on the other end. Many fall in between both ends of that spectrum. Are we only accepting gay men on the condition that they fall closer along the masculine end of the spectrum? That's like saying I'm only a half homophobe. What about lesbians who have masculine haircuts and physiques? Are they not OK too? What about transgender nurses who are certainly part of the LGBT umbrella?

    Coming out is a process that is very difficult for all LGBT people. I give a lot of credit and respect to those who come out and are not afraid to show their LGBT colors to their family, friends, and co-workers regardless of where they are on the spectrum. Things may have changed now from 20 years ago but you are either an ally and accept all LGBT people or you don't.
  9. by   onlygoodvibez
    I feel like gay men 9 times out of 10 who are more 'obviously' gay get treated better than gay men who aren't as 'obvious'. This is speaking from my own experiences in which women have been very disinclined to like me, apparently; they don't outright say negative or disparaging things, but their body language and intonation of words says a lot. I try hard to be friendly, but I don't kiss a** or try and forge any personal bonds that aren't 50:50.

    Im not going to tell you how cute your shoes are or become anyones registered "gay best friend." For the record, if a gay dude doesn't immediately tell someone how cute their hair looks or mention a manicure then that is not indicative of them being a rude person on their part.

    Please no one misunderstand, I love woman; theres millions of cool girls out there ...this has only been my personal experience with females generally. Ive never had any of these issues with men.
  10. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from juan de la cruz
    Things may have changed now from 20 years ago but you are either an ally and accept all LGBT people or you don't.
    Or you are trying very hard to accept all LGBT people because you know it's the right thing to do, but you still have a few blind spots you haven't yet eliminated. Or you haven't yet spent enough time with a LGBT individual to realize that they're just people too. Give us all a chance to change before you discount us as allies.
  11. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from onlygoodvibez
    I feel like gay men 9 times out of 10 who are more 'obviously' gay get treated better than gay men who aren't as 'obvious'. This is speaking from my own experiences in which women have been very disinclined to like me, apparently; they don't outright say negative or disparaging things, but their body language and intonation of words says a lot. I try hard to be friendly, but I don't kiss a** or try and forge any personal bonds that aren't 50:50.

    Im not going to tell you how cute your shoes are or become anyones registered "gay best friend." For the record, if a gay dude doesn't immediately tell someone how cute their hair looks or mention a manicure then that is not indicative of them being a rude person on their part.

    Please no one misunderstand, I love woman; theres millions of cool girls out there ...this has only been my personal experience with females generally. Ive never had any of these issues with men.
    Perhaps your personal experiences have more to do with you as a person than they do with women accepting "obviously" gay men more than gay men who aren't "obvious." It seems that you love the "cool girls" out there, but perhaps don't love women as much?
  12. by   wad1224
    While I'm only in the prereq phase of my RN slog, I must say the people who are saying that the patient has a right to know their caretakers sexuality are wrong in every context. My mother, an RN for over 40 years, has informed me that you don't even have to provide the patient with your last name, let alone your sexuality. However, they do have the right to refuse care from a particular nurse if they so choose. Furthermore, if the patient is in a critically short staffed hospital, they'll only be delaying their care that much longer if they insist on another nurse, aide, etc.

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