Gay male nurse concern about male patient care - page 2

Hello everyone! I will be joining the nursing workforce in a couple of months specializing in urological needs (I am not going into med/surg). As a gay male, I am concerned that some male... Read More

  1. Visit  MN-Nurse profile page
    3
    Quote from Devon Rex
    Hello everyone!

    I will be joining the nursing workforce in a couple of months specializing in urological needs (I am not going into med/surg). As a gay male, I am concerned that some male patients will react adversely when they suspect or realize that I am gay. I understand many patients will not care and will understand that I am there to help them and it is not some sick joke. This is particularly personal for the patient given the specialty (Urology).

    I would like to know how other male nurses have handled situations where a straight male patient has refused or made it very uncomfortable for you to do your job. I do not expect the approval of every patient... just looking for pointers on how to manage this type of situation in a professional manner.

    Everyone, please tell me what you think or would do. Thank you!
    All patients are different. Some male patients don't want a female patient, others don't want a male. Some don't want a gay nurse, some may want a gay nurse.

    It is impossible to tell and not under your control. I've had patients assume I was gay and start asking probing questions, "What does your wife do?...How many kids do you have?.." I'm straight with no wife or kids so sometimes the patients have a difficult time sussing me out. That's really on them.

    It doesn't bother me at all, I just do my job the best I can and move on. I can't fix patients' hangups about male nurses, so I don't even try.
    superchungus, elkpark, and Devon Rex like this.
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  3. Visit  MrChicagoRN profile page
    2
    Quote from Devon Rex
    Thanks for your responses thus far! I'm not flamboyant, but some people are able to tell without asking. I am respectful, very discreet, and have been very professional my whole life. I have a few straight male friends who used to be homophobes and I've earned their respect.!!
    I've been a nurse >25 years. I'm sure some have wondered about my sexual preference, and while occasionally a few have asked if I was married, or had kids, no one ever out right asked; nor have I ever experienced any refusals or hostility.

    Don't lose any sleep over it
    andrewschultz and Devon Rex like this.
  4. Visit  Kiwiguy profile page
    1
    Quote from tomc5555
    Be professional and do a great job. Thats all anyone can expect or want from a nurse.
    The rest is none of the patients business.
    ^This!
    Devon Rex likes this.
  5. Visit  NurseGuyBri profile page
    6
    I'll bet your fears will be unconfirmed. You are a professional and i suspect you will act that way, even if you happen to be effeminate. I have never had any concerns because although you can usually tell that I am gay, when I'm with a patient I ensure the focus stays on the patient. Don't be fake, it will show. Just be natural but professional. Again, I seriously doubt you will have trouble.
  6. Visit  umbdude profile page
    0
    Quote from MrChicagoRN
    I've been a nurse >25 years. I'm sure some have wondered about my sexual preference, and while occasionally a few have asked if I was married, or had kids, no one ever out right asked; nor have I ever experienced any refusals or hostility.

    Don't lose any sleep over it
    Just curious, if your patient asks if you're married, and you have a long-term partner, do you just tell the patient that you have a partner?
  7. Visit  Glycerine82 profile page
    1
    I say just be professional. Gay men don't have a problem with me caring for them ( and I've given showers, cath care, wiped bums etc). So in my opinion why should a straight man care if they're being cared for by a gay man. Besides its none of their beezwax if you're gay. Just be professional and if someone has an issue switch patients. I am willing to bet it won't be that often. Also you'll only have these patients for a short time not likely they'll say much, different if you had them for a week in a hospital setting. Good luck!

    "No day but today"
    Devon Rex likes this.
  8. Visit  MrChicagoRN profile page
    2
    Quote from umbdude
    Just curious, if your patient asks if you're married, and you have a long-term partner, do you just tell the patient that you have a partner?
    Many people, gay or straight, consider themselves married, whether they have a piece of paper or not.
    Caribbean Character and KelRN215 like this.
  9. Visit  jellybean321 profile page
    0
    Quote from NurseGuyBri
    I'll bet your fears will be unconfirmed. You are a professional and i suspect you will act that way, even if you happen to be effeminate. I have never had any concerns because although you can usually tell that I am gay, when I'm with a patient I ensure the focus stays on the patient. Don't be fake, it will show. Just be natural but professional. Again, I seriously doubt you will have trouble.
    My thoughts exactly! I would just make it all about the patient. As long as you're professional, I don't foresee any issues. For example, when I am in the doctors office, I am thinking about my health/what I'm there for and what the doctor/nurse are saying to me and their professional attitude. I think the more comfortable you are, the more comfortable your patients will be =)
  10. Visit  grpman profile page
    1
    I think I would handle this like any male rejected by a female patient. I'd respect their wishes and go on. Sexual orientation shouldn't make this a harder question than it is. If a female nurse is rejected by a male patient then simply respect his wishes. I'm not understanding why this is difficult.
    Esme12 likes this.
  11. Visit  funfunfun550 profile page
    1
    I don't know what you meant by "act weird"to the above responder)....I personally think we all come in different shapes/sizes/sexual preferences etc. I have seen the gamut..women who cant have a man in her room unless her hair is covered makes it challengting for a male...dr or nurse....etc.
    Most of the time this will be KNOWN before you get an assignment(i.e if the nurse does not want a particular sex of nurse etc. )
    I would think..just my personal opinion here that any man that does not want a "gay" man taking care of him probably would also refuse a "straight" man also...given that they have homophobia and lord knows if a man touches their penis they would somehow be violated<insert sarcasm here>.
    I would not fret about your sexual preference....just handle these situations professionally and above all do NOT take them personally.
    I wish you much success and I am stereotyping here...but in my experience the "gay" male nurses I have encountered have all been absolutley wonderful and I hope males dont want them so I can have them when I am sick and in the hospital etc!!!!!! Ok no flaming at me here...Just smile and be happy ...dont let someones rejection of you as a nurse get you down.
    Think of this saying that always helps me when I get down...
    "People throw rocks at things that shine"...there is a song out there if you are familiar with it.
    Last edit by funfunfun550 on Jan 14, '13 : Reason: typo
    superchungus likes this.
  12. Visit  SoullusRN profile page
    1
    How would this concern be any different then if you were a straight male doing care on a female..?
    pmabraham likes this.
  13. Visit  PMFB-RN profile page
    0
    Quote from Devon Rex
    Hello everyone!

    I will be joining the nursing workforce in a couple of months specializing in urological needs (I am not going into med/surg). As a gay male, I am concerned that some male patients will react adversely when they suspect or realize that I am gay. I understand many patients will not care and will understand that I am there to help them and it is not some sick joke. This is particularly personal for the patient given the specialty (Urology).

    I would like to know how other male nurses have handled situations where a straight male patient has refused or made it very uncomfortable for you to do your job. I do not expect the approval of every patient... just looking for pointers on how to manage this type of situation in a professional manner.

    Everyone, please tell me what you think or would do. Thank you!
    *** What are you going to do, wear an I'M GAY t shirt? How would a patient become aware you are a homosexual?
  14. Visit  dt70 profile page
    1
    Quote from tomc5555
    Be professional and do a great job. Thats all anyone can expect or want from a nurse.
    The rest is none of the patients business.
    Right. What about straight male nurses being uncomfortable around gay male patients,
    or gay male patients being uncomfortable around straight male nurses.

    Never hear about doctors worried about their patients sexuality.
    PMFB-RN likes this.


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