General demeanor and behaviour as a male SN

  1. 0
    I pose this topic to hopefully gain a better understanding of the right mindset to have as a male nurse and in particular a student nurse.

    So far this semester, I've been trying to fly under the radar and just get through. In general, (myself included) guys are more outgoing and aggressive. So I figured I would try and tone that down so I'm not alienating any of the other group members. I don't think this is working.

    I feel like I'm being held to a higher standard because I'm a male. And I feel my like my instructors are being extra tough on me. So basically I have no choice but to be outgoing and aggressive.

    What are your thoughts? What pitfalls in general should I be aware of as an RN? ( I imagine sexual harassment has to be a big one). What are some of the major difficulties to be aware of as a male RN?

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  2. 10 Comments...

  3. 1
    I'm of the opinion that you SHOULD be outgoing and mildly aggressive if you are. And if you're not, at least TRY to be. You have to of course accommodate for the other students in your class wanting patients and everything, but don't hold back who you are just because you're expected to be professional. Show your instructors that you're willing to get what you want, take risks (though not out of protocol), and be the best you can be. I used to do that where I'd fly under the radar, but I don't think Nursing School is the place for that. As much as it is about teamwork and cooperation, it's also about showing that you know your stuff and can handle the pressure. Don't try and show people up but be who you are!
    saltgeorge likes this.
  4. 1
    what you need to be in clinicals depends on the character of your instructor and the floor nurses that you are working with.
    if you cannot adapt to their comfort level then you are toast. this gets tricky, and sometimes every relationship is an individual one.
    your gut instinct to lie like a snake in low grass is spot on, in general. if you turn up the volume now you will become a target.
    nursing students are a dis-empowered group dominated by nurses, a slightly less dis-empowered group. get used to recieveing anger you did not earn.
    loriangel14 likes this.
  5. 2
    I am not sure what to tell you about the instructor part, but I think you need to be who YOU are. Sexual harassment is an issue on all sides. I have never been harassed by a co-worker, but have had plenty of experiences with patients. Just be aware that there will be little old ladies who prefer a female nurse, but this is all manageable.

    Don't be afraid to be caring and compassionate to your patients. I remember working with one new grad in particular who was so good to all his patients. He melted my heart AND he was competent and smart. He wound up in ICU but I wish we could have kept him on the floor. Med-surg needs compassionate male nurses.

    I was in school with some very aggressive nurses...all of them female. I think perhaps men are encouraged to be more aggressive because there is an inherent weakness seen if men are caring, which I think is ultra lame (insert more appropriate expletive here). Be smart, be who you are, and don't let anyone steer you way from what kind of nurse YOU want to be.

    Tait
    Chinook2 and loriangel14 like this.
  6. 0
    I think you're going to be driven crazy enough just trying to keep up with your load of classes, let alone taking on a persona that you think is what everyone wants to see. Just worry about being respectful and being yourself. If you think that you'll make a great nurse (and I hope that you do, seeing as you're going to school for it), that will just come through naturally. I don't know what you would characterize as "aggressive," but you should never be afraid to ask and answer questions and to challenge yourself! It's important and beneficial for you to stand out among your peers... and that's true of any academic pursuit.
  7. 2
    Use your testosterone. That's why you have it, grasshopper. Remembering who is in charge and what the rules are stand up for yourself, do what you think is right, stick to your guns where warranted, and excel. As a male nursing student, you'll probably be held to a higher standard academically and a lower standard (how to phrase this) "rule-wise," i.e. you can likely get a way with a lot that a girl student would get in trouble for.

    I immediately recall a couple of occasions. We had all female instructors one of which who was particular disliked by the female students, yet she and I got along really well. I had to go into a room and give someone some pills and put some hemorrhoid cream on their hole. The teacher said, "I'll take care of this for you," got the meds, and went and did it. I think that's gross and still wouldn't want to do it (and haven't) years later, lol. At the end of clinicals one day we were sitting back down a teacher asked if I had remembered to check someone's blood sugar. I had forgotten and said so. She said no worries she got it. Later that semester, the teacher wrote up a girl for doing the same thing. However, I challenged her in lecture with questions and performed exceedingly well on her tests so I guess she was cool with the balance.
    Gottmilk and dn26 like this.
  8. 0
    Certainly be who you are but I would be careful of being too aggressive.Somwtimes that comes across as unprofessional and people feel like they are being challenged to a fight.
  9. 1
    Point of clarification. "Aggression" is not appropriate in the workplace or school setting. Aggression connotes hostility and a menacing attitude that is intended to dominate others through force. On the other hand, "Assertiveness" is an asset. (Aggression minus emotion = assertiveness). Assertive people get things done, but remain respectful and adopt an objective (rather than subjective/emotional) stance. Assertive people welcome 'push back' from others and are open minded to the opinions of others; they rely on logic and persuasion to achieve their goals.

    See the difference? Trust me, male aggression is not welcome in a female dominated workplace and can incite very negative reactions. You don't want to be that guy.
    loriangel14 likes this.
  10. 0
    Never talk about your sex life. They are going to talk about vibrators, sex, periods, and make remarks about penises, but if you make one remark about some person you slept with a year ago, you will be deemed inappropriate by someone that's just walking by. As far as anyone else is concerned, you are asexual. Try and stay out of the rumor mill. There can be a lot of chit chatting, **** talking, and cattiness...just tend to your pts or talk about the weather. Try not to date anyone from the hospital. The moment you sleep with someone, everyone will know about it. And random people will come up to and ask curious questions about your encounter. You will never be allowed to do that, but it will constantly happen to you. Lastly, be ready for being labeled as whatever. I would walk around the corner and hear a group saying how I probably was a player and left a girl in the middle of the night. Funny thing is I've never slept with anyone from the hospital nor has any of my co-workers personally known the girl I was dating. They just assume. Be professional, keep everything work related. You will find personal friends that you can open up to and joke around with, but if you are in front of a group, you don't know nothin' and you have no comment. Don't ever tell people that you don't like someone b/c it won't stay quiet. I don't even go out with my co-workers. I have work and I have my own personal life.
  11. 0
    Quote from HouTx
    Point of clarification. "Aggression" is not appropriate in the workplace or school setting. Aggression connotes hostility and a menacing attitude that is intended to dominate others through force. On the other hand, "Assertiveness" is an asset. (Aggression minus emotion = assertiveness). Assertive people get things done, but remain respectful and adopt an objective (rather than subjective/emotional) stance. Assertive people welcome 'push back' from others and are open minded to the opinions of others; they rely on logic and persuasion to achieve their goals.

    See the difference? Trust me, male aggression is not welcome in a female dominated workplace and can incite very negative reactions. You don't want to be that guy.
    LOL. Thanks for the um clarification.


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