Clients who prefer a specific gender

  1. As I have been precepting this semester in school, I have come across a few clients who have preferred a female nurse over a male. How do other male nurses respond in this situation? I personally feel that the care should be up to the client and I try to not look at this field as gender specific.
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   nurse2033
    This is a great opportunity to connect with them. Ask the patient their reason and you might be able to address their concern. I have had this happen very occasionally, but almost always after talking with them, they consent. I had a patient say once refuse me as a male saying "all male nurses are homosexual". I told him I wasn't and he was like, "oh, ok". More likely it is a female who is uncomfortable. If you can make them comfortable you usually will be fine. Sometimes they are adamant and I feel we should try to accommodate them. Typically you would tell them that it isn't possible to change assignments due to staffing management, but you will ask a coworker to do anything that might involve close contact.
  4. by   SICUmurseCCRN
    this has only really happened to me once or twice and i think it is fine as long as we can accommodate the pt request. i find it happens mostly with older muslim women due to their religion/beliefs and i understand that. on a few other occasions i have sent a female coworker in to do perineal care if i knew my pt was uncomfortable with a male. i've also had a lot of male puts who prefer male nurses. i think whatever we can do as nurses to make the pts feel comfortable we should try to accommodate within reason, although it may be harder as the times change and there are more men in nursing.
  5. by   MikeyT-c-IV
    Same here. I worked bedside patient care for about 6 years and this has been requested of me just a couple of times. No big deal.

    I had a bigger problem with a nurse I worked with for a couple of years who was unwavering in her opinion that a male should never place a foley in a female. But it was okay for her to place one in a male.

    When I was in leadership we had several nurses and aides who happen to own a penis. This isn't ideal... but... There were occasions that the planets would align and the 5 nurses, 2 aides, and myself staffed the floor, 0 females. And even then we didn't have a problem.

    So don't be discouraged and don't take it personally.
  6. by   hppygr8ful
    In my job at the psych facility we have to do a body check on every patient who enters the facility. It's not invasive, by that I mean no cavity searches or anything like that but we do have to check the entire body for injuries, bruises etc...... It just so happens that the staff on my unit is often all females. so when a male patient comes in I usually introduce myself as the charge and tell the patient what we need to do. Then I say something to the effect that the staff is all females and do they mind. Otherwise I can call a male staff from another unit. Most of our male patients are more comfortable with females than they are with males, but if they state a preference for a male staff we bring a male down from another unit or move the patient to a unit with male staff. It's important that the patient feel comfortable and safe.

    Hppy
  7. by   nursemike
    I've only been flatly refused by a patient twice--well, two and a half times. The "half" was the worst--the patient asked for a different nurse after I made a horrendous--but innocent--blunder that I won't go into. Another time, a co-worker asked for her relative to have a female nurse. My only problem with that was that I thought it would have made more sense to refuse me because I wasn't nearly experienced enough for that patient. And the third instance was a new admit's boyfriend who demanded she have a female nurse as soon as they saw me. The CN and I were probably right to decide it was better not to fight about it, although in retrospect I sort of wish someone had looked into whether he was just concerned or overly controlling, the way abusers sometimes are. He just seemed more vigorous about it than necessary--and of course it was her right to refuse or not refuse.
    I've had a lot of times a female patient would ask that a female assist with the more personal aspects of their care. A lot of times, I offer that before they ask. Most of the time, by the end of the shift, they've decided they'd rather have me help them while I was there than to wait for someone else. Except for that one horrible moment, I'm usually pretty good with the ladies (I may never be a gentleman, but I am a gentle man.)
    One time I was assigned to a male patient who had demanded only female nurses, and specified "hot ones". That relationship wasn't actually as rocky as one might expect.

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