How are male nursing students perceived?

  1. 0
    To start off, I am currently a male nursing student who has just started his first semester of school in January and is completely scared for his first day of clinicals this fall. Now I am sure that my fellow classmates are just as nervous, but the fact being that I am a male makes me more nervous. I live in a very conservative and religious area and the thought of a patient or coworker possibly viewing me as a lesser counterpart when compared to my female classmates seems likely. Personally, I knew that when I choose to enter into nursing school that male nurses still may carry a negative connotation in my area and I chose to ignore the negatively, but how as a former student did you cope with the stereotypes and negative images depicted of male nurses? Were your first few patients in clinicals fully welcoming to having a male nursing student or did you encounter some patients who did not prefer a male nursing student? If so, how did you handle the situation? And what advice would you give to me to prepare for those situations?
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  3. 19 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    Hi, not a male here, but I went to school with a few males and I also have had a few male students work with me as an RN. My males students did not have an issue with my patients - though I could tell they felt more awkward around the female patients. But I just tried to treat them as anyone else, and my female patients were fine with it. I would always say "So and so is a nursing student, they are going to help me with your care if that is ok" I have had female patients refuse personal care from male nurses - but I have also had male patients who were not comfortable with females doing personal care. If you seem comfortable with it, it seems as though patients respond well. I was very uncomfortable with my first male patient. For the most part the males from my class had little to no problem, though I'm not sure how they all felt. I work with nurses now who have been refused by certain patients for one reason or another and all you can do is be positive and know you can't please 100% of the people 100% of the time.

    Good luck to you!
    Jordan100 likes this.
  5. 1
    I am in my third semester of nursing classes and will be starting mother/baby in a week. So far I have had nothing but positive responses from my patients and my gender has not been an issue. The biggest problem that my fellow male students and I have had is that some people make the very wrong assumption that we are doctors and not nursing students. I even had the head nurse in the OR introduce me as a med-student! A subtle or not-so-subtle correction works well.

    Walk into the patient's room with confidence, even if you are like every other nursing student and have none in your first clinicals. Perception is everything! You'll do great.
    Tait likes this.
  6. 0
    I just did my OBGYN and am on the Pediatrics clinical unit. Ive seen few differences in nursing between men and women except when on the OB unit, women prefer to not breastfeed in front of you. Otherwise in long term and acute care its not so much different.
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    I never had an issues with stereotyping. There are people that make the usual, overplayed, unoriginal jokes about being a nurse. Pts usually don't have any issues with it. You will find a female pt here and there that will want a female nurse, but it's not an issue. If you offer them the option of having a female do the bed bath or put them on the bedpan, they appreciate it. Elderly women may lean toward female nurses, but I think it's because they grew up in a time when gender roles were very specific. But, it' kind of rare now-a-days. I get asked if I am going to go on to medical school every week or two. The rest of the elderly women are either super cool or they make dirty remarks toward me.

    The other pt population that may request a female nurse are pt in their 20's. It's totally understandable. If I was a girl, I would feel weird about a 20 year old male nurse putting me on a bedpan. But, once you show them that you are competent and you are good at your job, that's really what they end up seeing. In the future, you will find that pts who request certain people or limit staff are pt you'd rather not deal with anyway. I had a family member who gave the manager a list of people who she didn't want to care for her husband. Everyday, the list got bigger. I said " So, I'm on that list, huh? Perfect!"
    HouTx likes this.
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    Finishing my first year here, and I totally agree with the others. It's nothin to worry about really, you will occasionally have the pt. that would rather not have you assist them to the bathroom, or a be there for more personal situations. During school I've only had this come up twice and they were both during my OB rotation. One lady was more than happy I attended her C-section but rather I didn't put in her Foley, and a young new-mother who preferred I skipped the part of the assessment where I inspected her episiotomy and lochia. But otherwise they both allowed me to care for them, I just grabbed my instructor for those times. And as far as the stigma goes in my experience as a student or PCA be GREAT and dedicated and there isn't much they can say negatively about you. Good luck!
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    I am a future male nursing student who will start in May at Mount St. Mary's in California. Still, I've thought about this many times and the comments here by the current nurses or nursing students are really informative. Just remember, assess the situation quickly and respond in a matter that is both professional and courteous to any patients. Remember, male or female, most patients are strangers at first to their nurses and it takes time for uncomfortability to go away sometimes. Either way....be prepared to have different situations all the time. To respond to anything without breaking a sweat is what we nurses should achieve.
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    I"m a male nursing student I graduate in may 2013, woohoo 48 more days lol. There will be a moment here and there that will seems awkward but remember to be professional and focus on the task at hand of helping people get better and maintain better health and you will do just fine. Even in my OB rotation i did complete care for our mom's too be A nurse I was working with summed it up the best go in the room and say hi I am _____ and i'm you nurse today and don't make it an issue. Good Luck I think you will be just fine.
  11. 0
    Love being a "male nurse" lol kinda still playing with the wording-not really sure if I like it or not. Currently RN Student 4th year graduate in wellm 2 weeks. My experiences... very few patients exists that say no to having me as their nurse but there are some, 3/4 think I'm going to med school; and a legitmate 1/4 of my patients think I;m the doctor (not even the med student. full on doctor) - its very frustrating.

    Nursing is sooooo much better if there are guys around. I find we have a very different attitude- I relax more, I'm not as professional/formal to a certain extent, I find it helps me to relate to my patients more and I think they respond in kind.

    chive on man you'll love it.
  12. 1
    Quote from dstevens25
    Love being a "male nurse" lol kinda still playing with the wording-not really sure if I like it or not. Currently RN Student 4th year graduate in wellm 2 weeks. My experiences... very few patients exists that say no to having me as their nurse but there are some, 3/4 think I'm going to med school; and a legitmate 1/4 of my patients think I;m the doctor (not even the med student. full on doctor) - its very frustrating.

    Nursing is sooooo much better if there are guys around. I find we have a very different attitude- I relax more, I'm not as professional/formal to a certain extent, I find it helps me to relate to my patients more and I think they respond in kind.

    chive on man you'll love it.
    You do realize you have the female gender symbol as your avatar, right?
    OIFSapper likes this.


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