Male nurses student and skipping OB/L&D clinicals - page 10

by Jfarmboy

19,236 Views | 108 Comments

I am actually a pre male nurse student. I am looking at a college in which I will attend if I decode to do nursing. I have never experienced it so I want to shadow a nurse in the summer. I want to make sure it is what I want... Read More


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    this was a fantastic response. i wish i had been as cordial and mature in mine.

    Quote from chihuahuaman
    i'm a male, much older than you and like you i had no interest in mat or peds. however, that didn't stop me from wanting to get the most out of the situation. knowing mat and peds are part of being a registered nurse. there's no way around it. from your original post i see you are making many assumptions, namely women will be uncomfortable and won't want a man doing assessments. my experience was the opposite.
    part of being a nurse (and nursing student) is professionalism. for the maternity rotation, keep in mind you're not going there to ogle; you are there to do your nursing assessments. i had no problem with my patients, and most families were very appreciative of my presence. i suspect it was because as a student, i had more time to spend with them. i did many assessments of the fundus, checking pads for lochia, giving direction for breast feeding, amongst all the other things a student does on a mat floor. there was even a long-time male nurse on this unit. he definitely had no issues being a male on a mat floor.
    i was fortunate to be able to attend a vaginal birth on one of my days. my role was to take vitals and just help the rn. i found it very moving when the mother finally gave birth after being in labour all day. it was also extremely educational watching what the nurse was doing but also what the doctors were doing to get that large baby out of the very tiny mother!! they cut, they suctioned and they used forceps.

    my peds rotation was just an extension of my medical experiences, except with little people. i didnít get or try to get assigned any of the infants, since the rest of my clinical group were girls and were really into the tiny ones. i did get to hold a few premies and coo at them but most of my patients ranged from toddlers up to teenagers. again, no big deal, but an important experience in my education.

    you say you want to go into icu. your goals might change by the time you get to that point. you most likely wonít get an icu position right out of school. in the hospital i work at you need at least 2 years experience before they will send you for specialty training.
    er and icu are the jobs that everyone sees as being glamorous before they get any real life experience. i was like you; my goals were to get to er or icu as soon as possible. thatís changed for the time being. i have a position on a very busy high acuity medicine floor. itís a good jumping off point for any specializing i might want to do in the future. i have come to realize there are many more career paths i could take in the future.
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    Clearly a lot of people read the original post and then add their two cents, without reading the nearly hundred previous follow-ups, including comments by the original poster, retracting much of what he said in the first place, after having been thoroughly beaten up. "This cannot stand! I must set this gent on the correct path!"

    And the word "vulva" never appeared even once.

    Quote from Jfarmboy
    Us humans have always worn clothes to cover up what is not meant to be seen, which in many cases has to.
    As chihuahuaman said, no it's not. It's how we were culturally conditioned.

    Clothing was a matter of adapting to hostile climates many thousands of years ago in our history. There are tribes that still wear little-to-no clothing. Those tribes are obviously not located within the Arctic circle.

    Quote from Jfarmboy
    I guess what I was saying is that it is just un-natural to ask gynecology or OB related questions or procedures to of course a female patient.
    Once again, it's how we were culturally conditioned. Little kids, male and female, are often bathed together. They don't have any (what would seem neurotic to an Icelander) issues with body parts.

    Quote from Jfarmboy
    Over there in Iceland people have a different mind set. They don't worry about people being nude. It was a shocker when a Icelandic woman came into the mens locker/changing room to ask where the women's locker room was. Then to go on and carry on a conversation. So it was both funny and kinda shocking.
    See what I mean? Shocking to you as an American. Not at all shocking to icelanders.

    Quote from Jfarmboy
    I guess what I was saying is that it is just un-natural to ask gynecology or OB related questions or procedures to of course a female patient. Or if the average guy walked up to a lady and said, "Hows your breasts?", That is no doubt a slap in the face.I guess with being a nurse some things wouldn't be taken the same way.
    When I worked in a non-medical office, one of my female colleagues complained to me about her menstrual cramps. It got me to thinking about how it could be treated, such as with hydrotherapy techniques, among others. It was no big deal to me. I'll admit, I never asked her how her breasts were.

    When you're dealing with a patient of the opposite gender of you, most likely your nervousness will center around your insecurity over how the patient will evaluate and feel toward you, rather than around your squeamishness over particular body parts.

    In the course of your education, especially if you go for a BSN, you will probably have to take an introductory sociology class. I would also recommend taking an anthropology class as an elective.
    Last edit by Tragically Hip on Jul 1, '12 : Reason: The more you say, the better -- right?
    SHGR likes this.
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    Quote from Tragically Hip
    Clearly a lot of people read the original post and then add their two cents, without reading the nearly hundred previous follow-ups, including comments by the original poster, retracting much of what he said in the first place, after having been thoroughly beaten up. "This cannot stand! I must set this gent on the correct path!"

    And the word "vulva" never appeared even once.

    As chihuahuaman said, no it's not. It's how we were culturally conditioned....

    In the course of your education, especially if you go for a BSN, you will probably have to take an introductory sociology class. I would also recommend taking an anthropology class as an elective.
    Great post, Tragically Hip. I could not agree more. To tell the truth, I was pretty shocked at some of the response posts here with derogatory or uneducated terms for the female anatomy. Vulva, peri care, those are appropriate terms; and since most RNs don't do cervical checks or vaginal checks, we are not looking at vaginas.

    That said, I think a nursing student could make an excellent case for skipping L&D clinicals, and as at least one responder mentioned above, it has been tradition for males to do so. I would argue that a hospice clinical would be of much more benefit. I read something awhile back about how nursing students need to learn how to attend a "good death" rather than focusing so much on birth. Each of us does both in a lifetime, but most nurses will see many more deaths in a career than births; learning about it makes much sense. Death can be a lengthy process. Hospice would do much to help prepare a young nursing student for a career.

    Also, no nursing student can get every clinical or every experience, and we each must answer NCLEX questions that deal with things that we've only read about. Somehow I missed getting a cardiac-related clinical and ended up with two oncology ones. It all worked out.

    I do hope the OP comes back to read more responses.
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    Vagina, vulva, semantics. You deal with the bare pelvic region, and that's the point.

    I was a bit harsh in my response but if some guy said (in my former field of criminal justice) "I don't want to check the pockets of a female suspect, she might think I'm a perv!" he would have gotten a similar response. Be a professional and grow up! If he realized how he was letting his own insecurities hold him back then all the power to him.

    As far as the tradition of skipping L&D or any of that crap, you can have it. I'm a male and I'm a nurse and it isn't my job to ignore an aspect of nursing -- in the interest of equality men need the training, as well.
    ERbuffnut98 and Gradius like this.
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    L&D and OB are such a small aspect of nursing as a whole I do not see the importance of dedication so much time to it. Isn't it an archaic idea that a main job of nursing is taking care of newborns? I wonder what percentage of nurses actually deal with pregnant women and newborns?
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    Quote from HM-8404
    L&D and OB are such a small aspect of nursing as a whole I do not see the importance of dedication so much time to it. Isn't it an archaic idea that a main job of nursing is taking care of newborns? I wonder what percentage of nurses actually deal with pregnant women and newborns?
    I don't understand. My institution spent a total of 2 months in OB, meaning 10% of the total education time. How much time do other institutions spend that dedicating "so much time" toward it? 2 months was hardly enough time to learn anything.

    I'll never understand people wanting to reject knowledge, but that's just me. I think that's how we end up with short sighted nurses **in my opinion**.
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    Quote from veggie530
    I'll never understand people wanting to reject knowledge, but that's just me. I think that's how we end up with short sighted nurses **in my opinion**.
    The problem is that there are only so many hours in an RN program. Not everything can be covered in clinicals, so then, how do we decide what to sacrifice? Or to we require RNs to have BSNs, and trade some of the management and leadership classes for more practical experience?

    Do nurses currently have sufficient training in such things as nutrition and the dying process?
    SHGR and HM-8404 like this.
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    Quote from veggie530
    I don't understand. My institution spent a total of 2 months in OB, meaning 10% of the total education time. How much time do other institutions spend that dedicating "so much time" toward it? 2 months was hardly enough time to learn anything.

    I'll never understand people wanting to reject knowledge, but that's just me. I think that's how we end up with short sighted nurses **in my opinion**.
    The school I will be attending teaches OB during the Spring semester, 4 months. That will be 20% education time.

    Does it really make sense to spend 20% of education time on something maybe 5% of nurses will do as a career? It is not rejecting knowledge it is preferring more emphasis be placed where the majority will be working. Why not make OB a specialty like critical care and such?
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    Quote from Jfarmboy
    I am actually a pre male nurse student.
    I am looking at a college in which I will attend if I decode to do nursing.
    I have never experienced it so I want to shadow a nurse in the summer.
    I want to make sure it is what I want to do. After I have made that decision I want to pursue it with all my heart at a young age. I am 19 years old and so if its what I want to do I don't want to wait until I'm 30 some.

    Anyways I don't wish to do any OB or L&D stuff if I don't have to. I don't see what that has to do with ICU care (where I am wanting to go). Also I may have a different mind set that others. I don't want to do L&D because is a major invasion of a woman's privacy, imo.
    If it were my wife (not married and faarrr from it) and there was no doctor, yes of course I would do it. But checking up on female patients every few hrs... Like- hey I just need to see you are doing down there...major privacy invasion. What female patient wouldn't feel uncomfortable? I think the only reason why most female patients don't mind a male OB is because they are in too much pain to notice. All I know is if I were a woman I would not want some guy staring up there. Same as me being a guy I don't really like female doctors or nurses checking me out down there...really weird and awkward.

    All that said I want nothing (or at most little) to do with preforming procedures/assessments on women(I am talking where it exposes them..I don't need to see that). Is it likely that I can just do ped or something else at those clinical hrs?
    I know most women would not want me there as well as some RN/instructors and myself. It is not something I would want to see and it would seem as if that would give me the title of "pervert".

    Sorry this is so long. I know some of you may think I should do all that stuff, as maybe a good learning experience. I just don't see much to learn in it except assessment of a infant or a C-section.
    to Farmboy: your not ready to be a Nurse. You have alot of growing up to do. you think you will never have to put a foley catheter in a female patient while working in a hospital. A part of being a nurse is helping people no matter what sex they are. were here to do a job and do it while being professional. grow up already..
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    Quote from HM-8404
    The school I will be attending teaches OB during the Spring semester, 4 months. That will be 20% education time.

    Does it really make sense to spend 20% of education time on something maybe 5% of nurses will do as a career? It is not rejecting knowledge it is preferring more emphasis be placed where the majority will be working. Why not make OB a specialty like critical care and such?
    i wasn't referring to you rejecting knowledge, specifically, by the way

    But I think you forget something else. How will you get nurses going to OB if you never let them get a taste of it? Even those interested in it before nursing need to experience it in SCHOOL before they revolve their life around it, in my opinion.

    I know a lot of students go into school saying "I'm going to ICU! Critical Care! ER!" and that whole bit... but it isn't until you actually get some training and hit the floors that you really see what you like. I'm a guy and before my OB rotation I would NEVER have thought I'd consider an OB position. Now if the opportunity presented I would gladly work in OB -- and I would have never thought that without the OB rotation.

    You're also assuming that those 4 months you could be spending elsewhere are going to somehow benefit you more than spending them on OB. So what if you spend another 4 months on med surge? In the grand scheme of things is that really going to make a huge impact on your skill set? Probably only as a new grad. If you completely skip OB, however... you know jack about it. Big difference *to me*.


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