my recent experience working with a nurse (male)

  1. had clinical last week and had the good fortune to be paired up with David. He's late 30's, working as an RN on a Med-Ortho floor. Great nurse! Talk about being attuned to patient's needs and providing excellent service. This guy would round every hour and while in the patient's room, tidy up with throwing the old newspapers away, rearranging the chairs for more room, opening the blinds, etc.
    Anyway, the patient was a woman in her 70's, professional lady (retired school teacher). Very charming. Even her DIL's liked her LOL. But she was not happy she had a male nurse. Even the look on her face would change when he came into the room. As soon as she found out I was her SN for the day, she said good. Then you can take out my foley, not him. She was almost rude to him. We discussed it and discussed the fact that she had had male OB doctors. She said, that's different. I was younger then. Now these guys are the age of my sons.
    We talked about men having nurses of a different gender care for them. She said, that's different. I think men like having women take care of them.
    Lastly, after she was up in the chair for an hour, I stopped in before lunch to see if she needed anything before I left. She said, Yeah, you can put me back to bed. I don't want him to. I'm a very modest lady, she explained.
    I was floored. Here was a very nice lady but when it came to a male nurse, she wanted no part of it.
    No other comment on it. I don't understand it but thought I would just throw the info out there.
    What I wanted to say was, "you should really give this guy a chance. He is the best nurse I've seen yet in three semesters of nursing school."

    ** sigh **
    •  
  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   SteveNNP
    Thanks for sticking up for all of us! Correcting misconceptions and stereotypes of men in nursing goes a long way to prevent situations like this from happening. Personally I have never had this happen to me, luckily I've been able to defuse any reservations my few female "adult" pts have. Now, most of my pts weigh less than 5 lbs, and can't push call buttons.... just howl at the top of their lungs! They don't care if I'm lacking boobs, as long as I've got a bottle with something in it!
  4. by   doubleplay
    I wonder if the next generation being the baby boomers, will be more relaxed as far as male nurses in the health field is concerned. I just think that as time goes and different generations come up there will be more acceptance for male nurses since it will be more the norm as they grow older. :spin:
  5. by   clemmm78
    I was in ICU as a patient about four or five years ago. My heart decided to give me a bit of trouble over the Christmas season.

    I had both male and female nurses and not once did I feel uncomfortable with either. I have always had male physicians. The few times I tried female physicians were a disaster. So, having a male nurse wasn't an issue at all.

    When my then 14 yr old dd had her appendix out, her male nurse was the best of the bunch. DD was afraid to get out of bed and he got her out without much effort at all, while the female nurses had no luck. His approach to her was different in many ways and I think that they connected well.

    I do have to admit a bit of a stereotype with my ICU experience though. At one point when I was getting out of bed for the first time, I felt more comfortable having a man, who stood six inches taller than I (I'm 5'6") supporting me. I know that a female nurse would and could have, just as I have supported male patients larger than I, but I did feel comfortable having the male beside me.

    Finally, because I've had to go to emerg a few times over the past few years, I have frequently been triaged by male nurses. AGain, for some reason, I seem to connect better with them. No idea why.
  6. by   nguyen408
    I am a male nursing student and while I was doing my clinicals at a geriatric home, my patient requested that she be taken care by a female student instead. I think that this is mostly seen in many older patients and I respect and have no problem when they request a female nurse instead. It is their care and one must remember that they are in a stressful situation and the last of their worries should be receiving uncomfortable care by a nurse whom they don't want to care for them. I may disagree with them and may argue that I can do an equal quality of care but I respect their choices.
  7. by   RN BSN 2009
    We will find out in the future whether these attitudes will change! It doesnt matter to me if my nurse is male or female, they are professionals!
  8. by   BSNtobe2009
    Hey guys, I'm a female, and came across this thread in the 24/hr post listing.

    Of my two grandmothers, one was a nurse and the other one was ultra-conservative. The one that was ultra-conservative, as she got older and it became easier to find female doctors, she never went back to a male, and the few times she was in a hospital, she refused to allow a male nurse in the room, if there was one on duty.

    She wasn't ignorant by any means...she understood that times have changed, male nurses are fully capable of doing their jobs, that they didn't look at women sexually, etc....however, she never could get past it. It was just "her thing".

    Now, coming back two generations, I'm a female of 37...still fairly young. As a personal choice, I won't go to a male doctor, it just makes me uncomfortable, unless it's a bona fide emergency or I'm in pain. When I was in the hospital giving birth to my child I had a male nurse one day, and I was extremely uncomfortable with it. Having a baby was just too personal a thing for me, and I wouldn't even allow my own father to come and see me. The entire shift I just sat and prayed that I wouldn't need to be examined for anything.

    I have no idea of where I got these "hang ups". It has nothing to do with being against male nurses (I would be very, very angry if I was working with one and found out they were treated differently by other staff). It's just my being extremely self-conscious, and I'm sure there are other women that are the same way, regardless of age.
  9. by   Tweety
    I don't have any "hang-ups" but I definately prefer a male doctor and I would definately prefer a male nurse. It's just a matter of what makes me more comfortable. I accept that this may not always be the case in my life and would never refuse care from someone of the opposite gender, because I'm not going to presume negative, I'm going to presume professionalism first.

    I do understand there are people in this world that have issues, or just are simply modest and old-fashioned and they need to be respected. This patient in the original post sounds closed minded, but it may go deeper than that. But as the OP indicates, it's the patients loss.
  10. by   Mommy TeleRN
    Interesting thread. Yes some of the best nurses I have seen are the male nurses. I work with several and they teach me a lot. Very intune to the patients, etc. For the most part the pts (usually older as we are cardiac) are pretty accepting.
    I do not know how i would feel. Intellectually - fine. But self conscious wise - maybe it would depend on how hot he is (ok badddddd mommy) I remember having my daughter and this hot guy came in (now I believe he was a phlebotomist) but I was pretty insecure about him being in there. But you know what - I think being modest you feel pretty insecure about male OR female seeing your parts.
    I hope it doesn't discourage male nurses - I think as it becomes more commonplace people will get use to it. We need MORE male nurses to get over the stereotypes. As I said - I've seen them in action - and I've been impressed! (I work with 5 male nurses at my job and we have NUMEROUS males in our nursing class)
  11. by   Cococure
    hey,
    I am a female pre-nursing student and a tech/cna and i have to say i enjoy working with males nurses...no knock against the ladies but men don't bicker, nag and have mood swings...when i get to work my male rn will tell me exactly what i need to do and all the patient info. I am not a sensitive so i tend to get along with the male RN's at work. I welcome all the male rn's out there and yeah we ladies do tend to ask you guys to lift a lot and help with the crazy patients ..lol


    I welcome all the fellas & good luck
    coco
  12. by   Scrubz
    This is just one of those things we'll have to deal with as male nurses. Some women don't mind having a male nurse, and I know there isn't any difference between male and female nurses aside form asthetics. As a male SN I always respect the opinions of the patients I'm treating, same as when I'm working as a CNA, but more I've had more women let me help them than women prefer a woman to help.

    You have to respect their wishes above anything else, but hopefully as time goes on more and more people will get used to the idea of a male nurse. Male doctors don't get as much flak, so nurses shouldn't either. But I assume that there will always be women who prefer female nurses.

close