Male nurses student and skipping OB/L&D clinicals - page 11

by Jfarmboy 19,719 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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    Although you might not have an interest in pursuing OB as your specialty, like many posters have said, you will still deal with women of all ages and pregnant women in your rotations and in ICU settings as they are equally susceptible to injury and illness as men and boys. As a male student I thought that the pts would not want me to see them in a compromised position, but they were more than willing to allow me to provide care for them and their infants. First day of OB clinical I was invited to watch a birth. It was a wonderful experience that even some of my female peers did not get to have. Coming out of nursing school you will be a generalist. If you lack knowledge in an area then you pose a risk to your pts by not having any knowledge or experience. You can think of it like learning a language; how can you communicate well if you can only speak in the future tense? Such is your nursing education teaching you to communicate in any situation be it past, present, future, male, female, or child.
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    You're gonna have to get comfortable with it. Even if you dont want to do OB in practice you need to know the basics of it. I hated learning all the OB stuff last semester ( I graduate in may) but after actually having my OB rotation and actually assisting in delivering a couple babies it wasn't so bad. All the Kaplan tests i've taken since then have also had some questions relating to meds during pregnancy, positioning during an emergency all that jazz....Learn it and retain it.
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    Quote from Aj01
    You're gonna have to get comfortable with it. Even if you dont want to do OB in practice you need to know the basics of it. I hated learning all the OB stuff last semester ( I graduate in may) but after actually having my OB rotation and actually assisting in delivering a couple babies it wasn't so bad. All the Kaplan tests i've taken since then have also had some questions relating to meds during pregnancy, positioning during an emergency all that jazz....Learn it and retain it.
    All I can say is DITTO!!! I learned a lot in OB and was kicking and screaming all through it. Just take it and get it over with. I have a bunch of OB questions on my NCLEX-PN
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    I don't think you understand the role of the nurse completely. To care for a person in their time of need requires you to put ALL personal thoughts, likes/dislikes, and bias aside to focus fully on keeping a persons "ticking" if you object to something as petty as a vaginal assessment during l/d I hate to see how you act if someone were to go into labor spontaneously. You can't shun them off. You have to provide care. It's a legal obligation. If your afraid of awkward contact then you clearly can't begin to understand what sort of things you will be required to do. Wiping grandpas butt after a void, foley cath'ing grandma pre-op, awkward invasion of privacy is just part of the game. And it's not invasion of privacy as soon as the patient signs a waiver of consent to treat. Good luck I hope you realize this is such a small and normal thing to have anxiety over and it quickly passes for most.
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    As a nurse, you will need to care for the whole patient, genitalia and all. Yes, it can be embarrassing sometimes, but your patients will need you to help them with any and every need they might have.

    It is conceivable that your ICU patients might include pregnant women with severe high blood pressure or who have been in car accidents or suffered other trauma, post-partum women, or women and girls of any age. They all come with that "private area". They all need hygiene/bathing and toileting.

    Some women in ICU might need care for a yeast infection of the vagina. You might have to insert anti-yeast cream.

    Or maybe a woman in ICU will have had a hysterectomy, oophorectomy, vulvectomy, vulvar or vaginal cancer surgery, might be post-abortion with severe infection, or need ICU care for some other "woman" reason.

    Obstetrics, gynecology, maternal-child, family nursing - these are all part of Nursing school. No decent school will let you skip them.

    I hope you will buck up and get to the point where you aren't so embarrassed by or put off by female genitalia. Good luck to you.
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    I am a female nursing student. I just completed my second semester of nursing classes (BSN program). I have to say that I personally would not feel "uncomfortable" for a male nurse (or any nurse) to be providing care to me that involved my perivaginal or anorectal area. I would not think about it as "some guy staring up there". Whether he is a doctor, nurse, or another healthcare professional, he is a professional and he wouldn't be looking at my vagina in a sexual way. Health care professionals are just that.. professionals. When providing care that involves a person's genitalia, assessing and providing the appropriate care are the focus. I would not find it "weird or awkward" if I was the patient and had a male nurse. But I might start to question what was going on if the nurse was acting uncomfortable.. whether the person was male or female. A professional who seems uncomfortable would in turn make me uncomfortable. I know not everyone feels this way... not every patient is comfortable being treated by someone of the opposite sex. But take comfort that there are people out there like me! When I am the patient I don't care if you are male or female, the important thing is that I am being treated by competent and professional nurses! I had a Foley catheter put in by a male nurse several years ago during a hospital stay. I am 27 now and I was 23 at the time. He was so confident that it seemed simply "routine"...I really didn't think much about it until I read your post. Work on your confidence a little! Best of luck on your journey!
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    Quote from Jfarmboy
    Why would someone in ICU have a problem like that?
    I could understand if a patient was admitted for something else (car accident maybe) and had that problem as well. I am just saying I doubt someone would be in ICU because of that. Would they be in the family doctor or gynecology or general hospital sector? Sorry I know very little about all this.

    "so tough it out" yes if I do indeed go to like the RN's job I will have to do that. Once I know what I want and how I can achieve it that just may end up being a small bump in the road.

    Also I try not to be unrealistic about it. I know what the job entails as my brother in-law is a ER or ICU nurse(he has worked almost everywhere in nursing). By stories he tells me I know a nurse gets left with the dirty work from time to time. For me it is more like "will I do good at it and will I be able to communicate easily and be a good critical thinker". I am daily improving my people skills but I don't know how I will do with the stress(never worked a real job). Also have a slight fear that if I ever mess up in giving the wrong meds I would loose my degree.
    Have a cousin in CCU right now after hemorrhaging during childbirth. Not sure she's going to make it. actually. And then there's cathing, etc. People in CCU do need caths and cath care. They also need to be cleaned. Everywhere. All of these things are things you will do during clinicals. Believe it or not, at least for me, it is no more comfortable dealing with a woman's genitalia than it a man's (even though I'm female).

    Conversely, the gender of the person examining me vaginally is really not as much of a big deal as the fact that I just don't like being examined vaginally. Not many people enjoy having their private parts perused, but it's necessary from time to time. There may be some women for whom this is an issue, but there are a lot of male PHYSICIANS in ob/gyn out there, you know? So it can't be that huge of a problem.

    Sometimes, you have to do the things that make you uncomfortable in order to get what you want in the end.

    p.s. CCU = critical care unit - didn't want to be confusing
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    Why didn't they do a C-Section?? Isn't the point of them is to stop dangerous childbirths??

    Sorry, I was browsing and just saw the post here about your cousin, hope they get well. I'm not actually in nursing school YET, but this is something I think when I see these cases (wondering if I'm right on this, too).

    I think it's VERY important to be able to be ready to deal with any situation, even if it seems awkward to the OP or not!
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    I have had two kids, and one of them was delivered by a male obstetrician. I'm in school, and I have done hygiene care on plenty of men. What is the difference? Trust me, most women lose all sense of dignity or modesty during childbirth. That all flies out the window when you are in the most intense pain of your life. If you want to be a nurse, you have to care for both sexes, just like female nurses do.


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