Experiences of the male nursing student - page 2

by framps

6,743 Views | 24 Comments

Greetings! I am currently enrolled in a BSN program and am now just a couple of months away from graduating. The experience has certainly opened my eyes to the world of nursing, in good ways and bad. I come from an EMT... Read More


  1. 0
    Straight, gay, bisexual, whatever.
    In my experience, the sexual orientation of male faculty matters little. I only had one male instructor and he is gay. Great instructor and I never felt like he preferred female students. I found his teaching style much more directed toward my learning needs, as a male, probably because he is one!

    Diversity is a good thing. Also, if you were to hire 5 male nursing faculty, I find it hard to believe you'd get 5 gay males as the top candidates.

    Quote from Biffs25
    Now I'm going to throw something out there that might stir the pot a little..but...

    At my university, the only male nursing instructors we had were gay. I have no issues with people's choice of sexual orientation; however I feel that with homosexual male instructors, the equality of men and women in the classroom and clinical settings were made worse than with the female instructors because they often favored the females more than the male students. So having male instructors will not necessarily help the situation per se.

    Some of the best male role models I had in terms of nursing were the ones I met through working as an ER tech, and could see how an experienced male nurse handled himself in a variety of situations. You can't get this from instructors who are openly gay, patients pick up on this and treat them differently than a straight male taking care of female patients, at least in my experience.
  2. 0
    I am so sick and tired of the labeling we inflict upon ourselves. Gay/Straight/Bi, Male/Female, White/Black/Latino/Asian, Nights/Days, etc. I just want to be a nurse. I could literally scream because of how we discriminate each other.
  3. 0
    Quote from framps
    Greetings!

    I am currently enrolled in a BSN program and am now just a couple of months away from graduating. The experience has certainly opened my eyes to the world of nursing, in good ways and bad. I come from an EMT background and currently have a BS in exercise physiology.

    The challenges I faced personally were fairly subtle in nature. They sometimes had to do with being treated differently or being held to a different standard or being treated equally.

    When you are the only male in a clinical group, you stick out. Any big saves or big misses are at the forefront of the group experience. OB clinical was very uncomfortable for me. Nurses would typically ask me to wait outside the patient's room and then go in and ask if it was ok if a "male nursing student" came in the room. My female co-students entered patients' rooms together, working as a team. Thankfully, I found that my patients were not nearly as hung up on the "male thing" as the female nurses I shadowed. Many of them expressed how grateful they were that I could share in their experience and help them through it.

    SNIP

    Framps
    THe male nurse should not be within ear-shot. He should certainly be outside the room. Having a male nurse imposed on a person can cause real and lasting harm. The mechanism for permission has to be genuine.

    Asking for permission with the male nurse in view or listening range is potentially coercive.

    Most male nurses know that female patients frequently have problems etc. It is not a personal thing as such. It is just the way life is.

    The 'male thing' is a big problem in modern nursing. It is not a problem caused by arbitrary prejudice but by real medical phenomena etc.

    A male nurse who is not prepared to sccept that very many females should not have oposite gender nursing associated with them is not really going to do too good in the empathy stakes.
  4. 0
    Quote from Moscow
    THe male nurse should not be within ear-shot. He should certainly be outside the room. Having a male nurse imposed on a person can cause real and lasting harm. The mechanism for permission has to be genuine.

    Asking for permission with the male nurse in view or listening range is potentially coercive.

    Most male nurses know that female patients frequently have problems etc. It is not a personal thing as such. It is just the way life is.

    The 'male thing' is a big problem in modern nursing. It is not a problem caused by arbitrary prejudice but by real medical phenomena etc.

    A male nurse who is not prepared to sccept that very many females should not have oposite gender nursing associated with them is not really going to do too good in the empathy stakes.

    Of course, no student, male, female, nursing, or medical, should be "imposed" upon a patient. Patients have rights and they have the right to refuse the care of any student. That said, the co-assigned nurse should include me in the room, introduce me as a student and explain that I will be helping her (or him) provide care. I don't have a problem with asking permission, but it had better be equal treatment for both male and female students.

    Male patients are not given the option of refusing care by females. Many of them feel quite uncomfortable with bed baths, discussing their bowel or sexual function, etc., with female nurses. Medical students who are male are not introduced as "male" medical students. OB docs who are male do not explore the patients feelings about a male providing care before doing a gynecological exam.

    A small percentage of women have been sexually assaulted or for some other reason have strong feelings about not having a male nurse. Of course, objections should be respected. Many women will hesitate. The vast majority of women who may hesitate will find that men are very capable of providing quality, empathetic care to a degree that many of their female counterparts are not capable of. I have experienced this first hand. I have been told that "This woman will not want you to look down there, it's her culture, men are not typically present during birth." Well, the father wasn't present during birth. He was out drinking and hadn't even called. She was very grateful for my presence. I coached her, comforted her, applied counterpressure, and yes - even looked "down there". She told all the nurses how wonderful I had been and what a great nurse I was. She had no problem with me checking her flow and her tear during my assessments. Of course, had she been encouraged to refuse my care, she would have.

    The "male thing" is a big problem in nursing. The problem is that there is a dire need of more males in the field. The problem you refer to is the exception, not the rule.
  5. 0
    Quote from framps
    Of course, no student, male, female, nursing, or medical, should be "imposed" upon a patient. Patients have rights and they have the right to refuse the care of any student. That said, the co-assigned nurse should include me in the room, introduce me as a student and explain that I will be helping her (or him) provide care. I don't have a problem with asking permission, but it had better be equal treatment for both male and female students.

    Male patients are not given the option of refusing care by females. Many of them feel quite uncomfortable with bed baths, discussing their bowel or sexual function, etc., with female nurses. Medical students who are male are not introduced as "male" medical students. OB docs who are male do not explore the patients feelings about a male providing care before doing a gynecological exam.

    A small percentage of women have been sexually assaulted or for some other reason have strong feelings about not having a male nurse. Of course, objections should be respected. Many women will hesitate. The vast majority of women who may hesitate will find that men are very capable of providing quality, empathetic care to a degree that many of their female counterparts are not capable of. I have experienced this first hand. I have been told that "This woman will not want you to look down there, it's her culture, men are not typically present during birth." Well, the father wasn't present during birth. He was out drinking and hadn't even called. She was very grateful for my presence. I coached her, comforted her, applied counterpressure, and yes - even looked "down there". She told all the nurses how wonderful I had been and what a great nurse I was. She had no problem with me checking her flow and her tear during my assessments. Of course, had she been encouraged to refuse my care, she would have.

    The "male thing" is a big problem in nursing. The problem is that there is a dire need of more males in the field. The problem you refer to is the exception, not the rule.



    I disagree, having the male nurse in the room looks like manipulative leverage. It invalidates true consent. It is not ethical.

    I work with abuse victims they really hate being angled and leveraged into giving a consent they would prefer to deny.

    A large number of people have been sexually abused, millions of victims, it is not a small constituency. You are mistaken in relation to scale.

    "I don't have a problem with asking permission, but it had better be equal treatment for both male and female students."

    It is about appropriate treatment for patients.

    If you add a differing rights issue to the primary consideration you are betraying the important thing for something which is secondary - and it is secondary.

    Patients do not exist to serve students. The nursing profession has to find ethical solutions to these problems.
  6. 0
    I trained with five male students (only 3 graduated thats another story). By the end of the first month I'd forgotten there was a difference in genders, they were simply stressed out student nurses!

    One really didn't want to do the maternity rotation because in his culture men just didn't do that (he had been there when his children were born but hadn't enjoyed that experience). He swore that he'd never consider working on that unit.

    You know what, flash forward three years, maternity is now an option. You can pick an option and completely miss the clinicals in an area that you are uncomforatable with. Just do the theory. So maybe his complaints were valid. He wanted to do peds or psych and now he would have that choice.

    In reality we are allowed to refuse care by a provider we do not want. I've done it (no I don't want the student gynecologist in the room, no, I don't want the OB students breaking my waters). Even though you are in a teaching hospital a patient can not be forced to receive care from a provider they don't want.
  7. 0
    Sorry but I had to laugh a little reading through this thread- as a woman in the Army I have been called a "female soldier" thousands of times over. The female is no more relevant than the "male" in nursing... but it's there.

    I have to say I work with a lot of guys and I enjoy it- there's less competition, less bickering, etc. I enjoy joking around at work and hate the double standard- if they would say something in front of their guy friends they should be willing to say it in front of me and vice versa. Of course it usually ends with them screaming and running out of the room when I say I have cramps

    On the flip side though- I only get ob/gyn care from a female midwife. It's not that I don't think a male could provide quality care. I just get a good feeling knowing that my midwife has been through the same thing. Also, I would be kind of embarrassed to be seen by a male that way.

    Best wishes!
  8. 0
    Quote from CEG
    Sorry but I had to laugh a little reading through this thread- as a woman in the Army I have been called a "female soldier" thousands of times over. The female is no more relevant than the "male" in nursing... but it's there.

    I have to say I work with a lot of guys and I enjoy it- there's less competition, less bickering, etc. I enjoy joking around at work and hate the double standard- if they would say something in front of their guy friends they should be willing to say it in front of me and vice versa. Of course it usually ends with them screaming and running out of the room when I say I have cramps

    On the flip side though- I only get ob/gyn care from a female midwife. It's not that I don't think a male could provide quality care. I just get a good feeling knowing that my midwife has been through the same thing. Also, I would be kind of embarrassed to be seen by a male that way.

    Best wishes!
    :yeahthat: I too when I was in the Army (recently been activated to deploy so now BACK IN!) was called a female soldier. Heck I was the ONLY female mechanic in my whole BATTALION and there was NO other females even in the motorpool besides me and command pmcs days. But I was use to it, yes the guys talked about stuff, that I wouldn't even consider talking about but they didn't care cause they honestly saw me as one of the 'guys'. I prefer to work with males, they don't gossip or bicker (they sure do gossip about females and sex though!), they treated me as their little sister and made sure no one messed with me (didn't ask for that but hey! :chuckle ), and they were REALLY funny. I too like to be seen by female doctors, I feel uncomfortable with a male doctor examining me and feeling my breasts. So it's really up to the patient. I wouldn't mind a male nurse at all, but if its being hospitalized and I'm on a bedpan thats a different story kinda uncomfortable and embarrased with that one
  9. 0
    Quote from Moscow
    I disagree, having the male nurse in the room looks like manipulative leverage. It invalidates true consent. It is not ethical.

    I work with abuse victims they really hate being angled and leveraged into giving a consent they would prefer to deny.

    A large number of people have been sexually abused, millions of victims, it is not a small constituency. You are mistaken in relation to scale.

    "I don't have a problem with asking permission, but it had better be equal treatment for both male and female students."

    It is about appropriate treatment for patients.

    If you add a differing rights issue to the primary consideration you are betraying the important thing for something which is secondary - and it is secondary.

    Patients do not exist to serve students. The nursing profession has to find ethical solutions to these problems.
    Moscow, I'm not an LPN and have yet to even take classes toward that goal. Having said that, I don't think one has to be in the medical profession to perceive discrimination. I believe that what you are encouraging -- intentionally or not -- is sexual discrimination. Are you just frustrated with the way women treat men, and you're just fed up with the whole thing? Are you a female nurse (don't remember if you said so or not), and don't like the idea of male nurses caring for female patients? Or, are you one of those extremist women's rights activists, and you'll jump at any chance to promote your cause? Sorry, don't mean to offend you or anything, but the REAL problem in this whole "female nurse - male nurse" issue is IGNORANCE.
  10. 0
    Uniforms. Ughh. Maybe this is just an east coast thing. Our uniforms are all white scrubs w/white socks, white shoes, white everything. They call them unisex, and perhaps they are. However, when you parade me through the cafeteria with 50 female students all wearing the same thing, the uniform suddenly does not feel so unisex. It feels like a source of embarrassment

    Heh, I feel ya man. I graduated back in 97 and I HATED wearing that ice cream outfit. Now I wear surgical scrubs to work and have a sweet job in acute dialysis making 80-100k/year. Stick it out, its worth it :chuckle


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