This has been bothering me...

  1. 0
    Hi guys,
    I recently enrolled in an ADN program and am doing a maternity clinical right now. I was told by my instructor that I should always have a fellow female nursing student in the room with me.

    I understand that this helps protect me but is this a law of some sort or is it merely a recommendation?
    Also, should all male nurses have a female nurse with them whenever they have a female patient? What do you do if your patient specifically requests a female nurse. Is it always feasible to simply have another nurse take that patient??

    Sorry for all the questions but this issue has been really bothering me. How do you guys typically handle this?
  2. Get the Hottest Nursing Topics Straight to Your Inbox!

  3. 28 Comments so far...

  4. 2
    Better safe than sorry. Don't place yourself in jeopardy. People that seem benign can change their minds in a split second, and then it is too late to protect yourself.
    emsguy8820 and Esme12 like this.
  5. 2
    It doesn't make sense to me. A medical professional, male or female, is a medical professional. My wife sees a male OB/GYN and thinks nothing of it. Why should this be the same with nurses?
    noahsmama and DesertRN2 like this.
  6. 1
    Unfortunate but true, old stereotypes die hard. People are just not used to male nurses (at least in some areas) as it is still a female dominated profession. I have often thought the title "nurse" should be discarded, and the profession given a whole new title, one that reflects more what professional nursing is today. I think even more men might enter the field too! But in the meantime, you have to protect yourself.
    Esme12 likes this.
  7. 2
    You should never, ever, ever, ever put yourself in the position where your actions or intentions could be questioned. Never. You should always have a female colleague anytime you have to do an exam on a woman that involves exposing them. As a provider doing pelvic exams on women I always, always, always make sure the female co-worker is at the bedside and standing over my shoulder watching everything I do to ensure there will never be any question to my exam practice.

    There is no law that I'm aware of but if there is ever any question as to what you are doing when doing an exam on a female then it will be your word against theirs and the standard is to have a female chaperone with you in the room. Your instructor established that standard by telling you to do so.
    nurse2033 and Esme12 like this.
  8. 0
    I don't get people. I thought it was always the stereotype that male nurses were gay, in which case women have nothing to worry about. So which is it ladies, you have to make up your mind!

    Joking aside, I feel for you. The one guy in our rotation didn't enjoy OB/L&D at all, and I have a feeling that the sentiment was shared with most of the men in the program. I often wondered if the women really were that worried about it or if we planted that idea in their head by having a chaperon always accompany the male nurses. I suppose that the same holds true for many doctors. I have seen many of them have a woman accompany them to witness everything. It is a fear of lawsuits on the hospital/practitioner's part rather than actually offending a patient.
  9. 0
    Well, whenever assessing those parts I like to have a female present, though sometimes that's not possible. I am very careful to always explain what I'm doing and why and be as quick as I can with as little exposure as necessary. It'd be pretty hokey if they wanted you to have someone in the room every time you went in to check on her or say howdy.

    As far as accommodating patient requests for a particular gender of nurse, I will attempt to do so when feasible. That said, sometimes there's not a single woman in our department if it's me and another dude on call. I've only had that happen once and it was a patient with an extensive psych history and history of severe abuse. I was happy to hand her off, as she was on contact precautions (I hate wearing the clown suit).
  10. 1
    Quote from tss2507
    Hi guys,
    I recently enrolled in an ADN program and am doing a maternity clinical right now. I was told by my instructor that I should always have a fellow female nursing student in the room with me.

    I understand that this helps protect me but is this a law of some sort or is it merely a recommendation?
    Also, should all male nurses have a female nurse with them whenever they have a female patient? What do you do if your patient specifically requests a female nurse. Is it always feasible to simply have another nurse take that patient??

    Sorry for all the questions but this issue has been really bothering me. How do you guys typically handle this?
    I do not work L&D/maternity but we frequently have patients who - for cultural reasons - request only female nurses. Mostly Muslim patients whose mothers are spending the night. Since we only have 2 men on our staff it is easy to accommodate this.

    I have never had a man (doctor, nurse, whoever) perform any kind of procedure on me that could be considered a liability to him without a female in the room. The one time I had a male radiologist do a breast ultrasound on me, there was a female who came with him and just stood there. They didn't ask if it was my preference or anything, it was the department or maybe the hospital's standard.
    Sparrowhawk likes this.
  11. 0
    Yes. Always have a female with you. Even when I worked in a developmental center. where the patients didn't know they existed I always had an female CNA with me. It prevents a lot of problems. It only takes one loony female to cost you your license and possibly your freedom. As for requesting a female nurse. Just tell you supervisor, letting her know will not screw up things. Then say as I do that's one less thing I have to worry about. Then you can switch with a female nurse.
  12. 2
    Yeah, I didn't particularly enjoy my OB rotation for the fact that I was in such an environment that did not exactly welcome males unless you were the father of the baby or a doctor. I however had a kick-ass instructor and that helped to dilute the raw experience. The only part of OB I enjoyed was the NICU, and that is the only specialty that I would ever think of pursuing that is related to OB. Have a female nurse for everything you do in OB, you just never know.

    It will be over before you know it. Hang in there!
    GrnTea and Merlyn like this.


Top