As a male in nursing, how has it impacted your perspective outside of work?

  1. Just had a discussion recently about this with a male colleague who stated that it has changed his thinking about others outside of work, much in a positive manner. He also stated that he noticed some decrease in being judgemental about folks he bumps into. I thought this was an interesting in how he was able to self reflect upon this.

    Opinions or any other member self reflection?
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    I'm really not sure it has anything to do with being a male in nursing Wolfie, but my experience as a nurse has made me more aware of the plight of other human beings. Their bravery, their suffering and pain has in some ways been inspiring. Also working in a not for profit I see people from all sorts of lifestyles, many of which I can't imagine living, many of which is illegal even, but my job is to put that aside and look at the humanness and soul there.

    In so many ways I'm a better person. I think however, this could be a topic for all, not just male nurses.
  4. by   Thunderwolf
    I agree Tweety, could be a general topic for all. I placed it here because this discussion came up between two men. Tweety, loved your response in how your exposure has allowed you to become more sensitive to others and even possibly more accepting to others who share a different lifestyle. Excellent post.
  5. by   Tweety
    Quote from Thunderwolf
    I agree Tweety, could be a general topic for all. I placed it here because this discussion came up between two men. Tweety, loved your response in how your exposure has allowed you to become more sensitive to others and even possibly more accepting to others who share a different lifestyle. Excellent post.

    Thanks Wolfie. Not that I was a self-centered pig, but just not truly aware of what others go through. It's been rewarding to see it first hand.
  6. by   nursemike
    This is an interesting topic I hadn't thought to much about. I agree it could apply regardless of gender, though I think it has affected me as a male, as well. I don't think I would say I've changed a lot in terms of empathy or being judgemental. I had a fairly colorful life, growing up, and had seen a pretty broad spectrum of humanity by the time I was out of high school. I had also had enough pain, from time to time, to be sensitive to the pain of others. In fact, I'm tempted to say that I've learned more in terms of objectivity since becoming a nurse.
    When I was 20 or 21, I had a friend who was dying of cancer. I'm sorry to say it was very awkward to talk to him, and I've have been very hard-pressed to discuss the prospect of his demise. Early in my healthcare career, though, I found myself in a position where a dying patient wanted to confide in me. I was, by then, more mature, but even as a transporter, I had a sense that it wouldn't be ethical just to assure her she was going to be fine. As awkward as it was, I had to accept her judgement of her prognosis and listen to her on those terms. It's a lesson I've faced again from time to time, and especially now that I am a nurse. People die, and you need to be able to talk about that--or, mainly, listen to them talk about it.
    Speaking as a male, I do think I'd have to say my attitude toward women has matured as a nurse. In my younger days, the distinction between the women I would like to sleep with and those I wouldn't seemed a glaring one. I'm not saying that was ever the whole story--I was never a pig--but I think it probably influenced just about every relationship, or at least every non-familial one. Today, I find that a slight majority of my patients are women (they live longer, after all), and while I'd have to say I'm most comfortable with the older gals who've already been through it all, on a few occassions I have been assigned to care for younger women whom I would probably find attractive, in a different context. I can't say I'm as smoothly professional as a more experience nurse would be--I'm sure it sometimes shows that I'm nervous--but if there was a need I'm pretty sure I could give an enema to a supermodel without freaking out, or freaking her out.
    I think I've also grown more tolerant of disgusting smells and gross sights, and a lot less put off by disease and disfigurement. If the aforemented supermodel had Hansen's disease, I'd be really careful with my isolation practices, but I'm sure I'd get the job done.

    Er--that wasn't really about "outside of work," was it? I do think, however, that it carries over. I think I'm less apt to see women as primarily sexual beings, and I'm more at ease with situations that once seemed overly intimate, or gross. I'm a little better at being detached about things that make me uncomfortable.
    Last edit by nursemike on Dec 6, '05

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