Will it wreck me? Would it wreck you? - page 3

by NurseDaddy2006

2,468 Views | 26 Comments

I'd been - up until now - thinking that I want to go into Labor and Delivery. I've posted before about what it took for my wife and I to finally have our son. 10 years of infertility battles, then 3 miscarriages, then full term... Read More


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    NurseDaddy I think it depends on how far you've come personally in resolving your own feelings. One of my clinicals in Rehab/ LTC was at the facility where my Mom had died two years previously. I had worked out a lot of things by that time and had healed enough to have gained some perspective on the process patients and families go through with terminal cancer. I feel that (with the distancing effect from the passage of time) my personal experience gave me greater compassion and understanding for my patients at that time and overall has allowed me to give perhaps a deeper level of nursing care.
    Follow your heart on this one.
  2. 0
    Quote from DutchgirlRN
    I just don't think I personally would be comfortable with a male nurse as my L&D nurse. Don't everyone attack me this is just "my" personal opinion of how I would feel. I think this would be more of an obstacle to you than your personal experience. Good Luck.
    I realize this wasn’t an attack and please please don't think I am flaming you.

    I just want make a point here. Dutchgirl is being very nice and un judgmental in her statement here. It is of course the right of every patient, nurse or non-nurse to decide what they are comfortable with.

    This however is the root of a male nurses problems in nursing and particularly OB. It's not that patients necessarily have a problem with men in OB it's that nurses have personal feelings and assume that patients will share their views. Dutchgirl doesn’t make a blanket statement here and that is why I'm not bothered by her statement still though you can see that there is an assumption that this will be an obstacle.

    I have worked in L&D and PP for near to four years. It is very rare that patients have problems with me as a male in L&D in fact it comes up about 3 times a year. Much more often I have to deal with nurses ideas about me. In the past they were oppressive and malicious. Now I work with a great group of nurses. Still though from time to time things come up. I still occasionally find myself dealing with other nurse’s ideas about what is proper or improper for me as a male.

    At the end of the day you just have to judge for yourself what is right.

    I always ask myself questions before doing things that are "questionable"

    1. Is the patient comfortable with it?

    2. Could this come under scrutiny for reasons other then my gender? (Or if I weren’t "different" from other OB nurses would this even be a questionable situation)

    3. What are my coworkers going to think of this and can I live with that (this shouldn’t be an issue but it is and bears consideration)

    4. Is there a benefit to the patient in having me rather then someone else performing this action? (This is the single most important question for me, it is what has motivated me to study, practice and become the best nurse I can.)

    DutchgirlRN I am sorry for using you as an example here because once again I don't feel that you were being inappropriate at all or wish to engage in an argument over your personal feelings.

    What I would rather do is to point out that the OP was in regards to weather or not personal experiences would interfere with a choice of area to specialize. Still the discussion has inevitably been drawn back to his gender. This is an important point because any man considering OB needs to understand this. No matter how good a nurse you are and no matter how tiny an issue you have, Your gender will always be a variable in the equation. You will always need to consider how that one aspect impacts your practice as a nurse. At times it becomes nauseating but it is important.

    It’s one of the many things you have to weigh against your desire to work OB. For me it’s worth all the downfalls to continue doing what I do. Still sometimes it becomes a close race between my love for OB and my fatigue at dealing with the “male” issue.
    Last edit by Dayray on Dec 27, '05
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    I don't understand the argument that men can't understand what a women is going through in labor/delivery. I mean obviously they can't know first hand, but what about L&D female nurses that have never had a child? Would I have to have a heart attack in order to care for a cardiac pt.? I've never broken a bone, but can I still empathize and provide good care to someone with a fx?
    As for students, I would say do the nursing clinicals and see what you think. I was SURE I wanted to be psych RN (even got my BA in psych), but I didn't like my clinicals- my heart was in L&D (even though I don't even have or even like kids- which was fine because after baby is out- nursery and PP nurses take over). I loved the process- and thought it was amazing anyone could live through it. I aced my clinicals and even did my senior internship in L&D. Once I was in the "real world" it was different. I was disappointed in the "assembly line" approach where I was at and total disregard for nature (if someone came in at 8 cm we still put them Pitocin and popped their bag-- it was "get em in/get em out/NEXT". Also, I felt a little jaded watching the drug addicts on welfare having 7 kids with 7 (absent) fathers with no plans for birth control, and then a loving, educated family that was stuggling with infertility and complicated pregnancies. I mean seriously, does crack make you more fertile???
    I did hospice next and now critical care and I still haven't found my niche. Good luck to you and don't be discouraged. People should realize that nurses see so many vaginas and penises, I seriously doubt your L&D nurse is going to be looking at your bloody, mucous filled, swollen and sweaty privates (with a hairy head coming out of it) with lustful eyes. I mean really- he probably won't even be looking at his wife with lustful eyes after that.
  4. 0
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    I’ll tell you an unrelated story, then tie it in.

    When I was in nursing school, I took care of this health care worker that had a baby. Now this healthcare worker worked with disabled children.

    Beautiful baby, but a down’s baby. She took 1 look and said, “Take it away, put it up for adoption – I never want to see her again.”

    I had to go through the next clinical day dealing w/ the weeping and crying and mourning of the family of this lady that were told (by her) that the baby was stillborn and then go back and help take care of this beautiful child.

    It took every ounce of fortitude to keep my mouth shut. For the life of me, I don’t know how I kept from being flunked out of nursing school that day.

    It was every bit as bad as taking care of the crack babies and then trying to be civil to those moms.

    But what I kept thinking – why I kept thinking this was so wrong: who on earth would be better equipped to deal with this child than this parent? It’s like she was specially prepared to be this mom for this child. And she walked away from her. In my opinion, she walked away from the greatest joys and greatest trials of her life. And I’m sure her life is poorer as a result.

    Now let me tie it in:

    Who on earth is better prepared for both the laughs – and the tears – of childbirth than you? If that is your destiny, how could you walk away from it?

    As far as challenging your fortitude – it is my experience that most people haven’t begun to challenge the limits of their strength. Let me humbly suggest that that applies to you as well.

    Only you can decide what is your destiny. But if your destiny has found you, you can’t walk away because you’re afraid. There is a direct relationship between things that have the capability of shaking your core and things that are worth your investment.

    If your destiny is staring you in the face, don’t blink.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    I just wanted to say that even though I was not the one who had the original post, you said some very touching things to this person that I found to be very inspiring to me, i can only imagine that he will feel the same.
    Thanks
  5. 0
    Quote from Dayray
    I realize this wasn’t an attack and please please don't think I am flaming you.

    I just want make a point here. Dutchgirl is being very nice and un judgmental in her statement here. It is of course the right of every patient, nurse or non-nurse to decide what they are comfortable with.
    Thank you Dayray. I think your post is outstanding! I think any male nurse who wants to work in OB/GYN/L&D should definately go for it. Male nurses are just as capable as female nurses to care for these patients and just as compassionate as well. Thank you for understanding that I was expressing only "my" opinion. In any other situation I would have absolutely no problem with a male nurse and I understand that my reluctance to have a male nurse take care of me in L&D is totally my hang-up. I just wanted to be honest. Thank you for understanding and I'm happy you've found your niche.
  6. 0
    At the end of the day you just have to judge for yourself what is right.

    I always ask myself questions before doing things that are "questionable"

    1. Is the patient comfortable with it?

    2. Could this come under scrutiny for reasons other then my gender? (Or if I weren’t "different" from other OB nurses would this even be a questionable situation)

    3. What are my coworkers going to think of this and can I live with that (this shouldn’t be an issue but it is and bears consideration)

    4. Is there a benefit to the patient in having me rather then someone else performing this action? (This is the single most important question for me, it is what has motivated me to study, practice and become the best nurse I can.)
    Nicely done, Dayray.
    Last edit by Thunderwolf on Dec 28, '05
  7. 0
    God Bless you.

    I think you are doing the right thing. Good luck!


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