Doctor who?

  1. I hope there is someone else out there who is a male nurse and has trouble with the patients thinking your the doctor? I don't mind telling them I'm a nurse (proud of it!) But then you get the look as if "What couldn't make it in med school?" or what?!
    And another thing why is it that all the nurses (female) always grab me for the heavy lifting, I used to be a EMT, my back kills me!
    So far my answer to these questions have always been go with the flow, take the smart looks from patients (they don't know any better) and help with the heavy lifting (it's only my back- they still make 'Advil')--- If there is anybody out there with any other advice please let me know it would be helpful. Thanks
    •  
  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   suanna
    As I have said before, I have never used the "male" part of me to lift a heavy patient (my adams apple). I've been in this for 20+ years and I have found the "how come you didn't become a doctor" attitude is less each year. I'm still expected to lift twice my own weight, know all the answers (fortunately I do), and pretend to be a doctor when a confused patient wants to see a doctor "right now" (No, I don't do masquerades). I do find as a man in nursing many of my female peers think I should work every Christmas,Weekend, July 4th, etc- since I'm not someones mother spending time with my children isn't important to me.
  4. by   notadoc
    Quote from wooden nickel
    I hope there is someone else out there who is a male nurse and has trouble with the patients thinking your the doctor? I don't mind telling them I'm a nurse (proud of it!) But then you get the look as if "What couldn't make it in med school?" or what?!
    And another thing why is it that all the nurses (female) always grab me for the heavy lifting, I used to be a EMT, my back kills me!
    So far my answer to these questions have always been go with the flow, take the smart looks from patients (they don't know any better) and help with the heavy lifting (it's only my back- they still make 'Advil')--- If there is anybody out there with any other advice please let me know it would be helpful. Thanks
    As my screen name implies, even as a (much older than my peers) nursing student, I am commonly referred to as "Doc" on the floor. It doesn't bother me at all. I politely correct the patient/nurse/doctor/whoever and let them know that I am in nursing. A few patients have asked why I chose nursing over medicine, but they asked in such a way that I honestly believe they were being curious rather than condescending.

    As for the heavy lifting part of being a male in the hospital, I do draw the line there. I like my back in one piece. I let whoever assumes I should be able to bench press any patient on the floor know that I will be happy to *help* them with a move, but not do it by myself. That usually gets the point across. And then, of course, I help move the patient!

    I am often the only male (at least, without MD after my name or an ID bracelet on my arm) on the floors I have worked and done clinicals on. I really enjoy it. Not one patient, physician, or other nurse has made a single snide or off-color comment to me. The most common response I get, in fact, when I let other nurses know that I am a nursing student is, "oh good, we really need more men in nursing." I couldn't agree more...

    notadoc
  5. by   TheCommuter
    Even though I'm a female, I have observed this interesting phenomenon. It revolves around the manner in which many people have been socialized.

    I work at a nursing home/SNF, and many of my patients are over the age of 65. These people were born and bred during a time when few, if any, males pursued nursing. In their time, females became nurses and males became doctors. Therefore, these people will see any well-groomed male wearing scrubs or a labcoat, and automatically assume that he is the doctor.

    One time I had a female hospice patient who was 74 years of age. A male RN came in to assess her while she was on the phone. She told the caller, "I've gotta go, because the doctor is here to see me!"
  6. by   locolorenzo22
    I get that often...and often patients remark.."oh the doc's here to take my b/p..." well, when was the last doc you saw do that? My favorite is when they ask me for medicine, and I have to say "well, let me let your nurse be aware of that..."
    I get grabbed for lifts, but I dish it right back out, and I have my "favorites" that I grab to help me lift as well, so...turnabout's fair play....and I'd rather grab the first one I can vs. hunting for someone to help....
  7. by   luvmy3kids
    Quote from suanna
    As I have said before, I have never used the "male" part of me to lift a heavy patient (my adams apple). I've been in this for 20+ years and I have found the "how come you didn't become a doctor" attitude is less each year. I'm still expected to lift twice my own weight, know all the answers (fortunately I do), and pretend to be a doctor when a confused patient wants to see a doctor "right now" (No, I don't do masquerades). I do find as a man in nursing many of my female peers think I should work every Christmas,Weekend, July 4th, etc- since I'm not someones mother spending time with my children isn't important to me.
    I'm confused... So you don't correct a confused patient when they ask if you are their Dr.?? Just curious???
  8. by   Xbox Live Addict
    In LTC, the residents knew I was a nurse, and as far as "why don't you become a doctor," I only had one little old lady who always said about me, "Now there's a good doctor!"

    Now that I work in the plasma center doing physicals, EVERYONE thinks I am a doctor and calls me "Doc." The Center Medical Director told me during training that I would be perceived as a "doctor" by the donors, and to be prepared for it and act accordingly (within my proper scope of practice of course). All female medical staff are called "nurses" (in the plasmapheresis setting, both the FDA and German Health Authority allow paramedics, LPNs, RNs, and even chiropractors to be designated as "physician substitutes" for purposes of donor suitability assessment and medical coverage. We practice under the medical supervision of an MD/DO who is designated as the medical director.)
    Last edit by Xbox Live Addict on Oct 8, '07
  9. by   Adham Ahmed
    Nursing is great profession, so that it have to include males and females, so any one ask you about your job don't worry about his or her question and tell him that you are a nurse.
    thanks
  10. by   DudeNurseRN
    Quote from wooden nickel
    I hope there is someone else out there who is a male nurse and has trouble with the patients thinking your the doctor? I don't mind telling them I'm a nurse (proud of it!) But then you get the look as if "What couldn't make it in med school?" or what?!
    And another thing why is it that all the nurses (female) always grab me for the heavy lifting, I used to be a EMT, my back kills me!
    So far my answer to these questions have always been go with the flow, take the smart looks from patients (they don't know any better) and help with the heavy lifting (it's only my back- they still make 'Advil')--- If there is anybody out there with any other advice please let me know it would be helpful. Thanks
    Yeah. You have to develop your own canned lines in my opinion, or make up new ones each time. It's harder in places like the ER and whatnot but on Med/Surg where I work I always tell them I am going to be their nurse for the day, and don't have the experience as much. As far as canned lines, one of the male nurses I look up to (28 yrs experience ER) would always reply to "Are you a doctor?"
    with "No, but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night does that count?" at which point he would chuckle and inform them that he was the RN. And having a sense of humor about it.
  11. by   santhony44
    As Commuter says, it's largely a matter of socialization.

    I've seen a nurse walk into a room with a big "RN" pin on his chest, introduce himself as the nurse, and immediately be asked "Are you my doctor?"

    Give it another 20 years and it probably won't be an issue.
  12. by   quakerkid
    A friends mother, who knows I am in an NP program sent me a well-meaning congrats note when I finished my 1/2 way point. It said some nice things, and then I got to the last sentence:

    "These days, being a Nurse Practitioner is almost as good as being a doctor!"

    Well-meaning, but poorly phrased, and perhaps poorly informed.

    Since then, I've had several old ladies mistake me for an MD, and then when I correct them, they ask me: "why didn't you go to med school? You're smart." - it's always the old ladies - nobody else ever says that!
  13. by   nordicheritage
    I've been a male RN for 7yrs, and pts still tend to think I'm a dr from time to time, I just take this response in stride, and laugh to myself, thinking---> "no, I actually have a life, unlike a dr", but I just smile. And anytime I have spoke with another male nurse we all have the same complaints, of the lifting b/c were men, just like you, I don't mind, but it does get old, solutions; say you had back sx, ha ha; always respond with sure, but you come with me to help, this will make them not bother asking if they know they actually have to do work too; do it and smile to yourself knowing there are a lot of perks to being a male nurse, no 1 not being apart of their general hospital gossip, no 2 better chance of getting into management roles.
  14. by   Bainey
    I'm a nursing student but I work as a CNA on the weekends and I get the "you must be my doctor" thing all the time. I guess I look the part when I walk in with my clipboard, white labocat and stethescope flopped around my neck. It's something we men are going to deal with for the foreseeable future, especially with the older generation of baby boomers aging and needing more care. Most of the patients have been very encouraging when I set them straight and I rarely get a female patient who won't accept care from me as a "male" nurse. I tend to use the title RN which seems a little more gender neutral - at least in my mind.

close