Male nursing and needing chaperone - page 5

by Sirkraker

15,983 Views | 59 Comments

So my hospital just released a new policy stating that all male team members (including nurses) must have a female present when your patient is female and you are going to be behind a closed door or curtain. Any violation results... Read More


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    If the female doctor thinks a chaperone is needed for male patients, then she should invest in a male staffer. This is obviously for her protection and not consideration for the patient. I would hope that he be given the choice as to the extra female in the room, and leave if he feels it is not appropriate.
    I would be curious as to the amount of complaints she ( the doctor) receives for this practice.
    Last edit by advo-kate2 on Nov 5, '10 : Reason: spelling error
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    Quote from CaDad
    Megan121-don't you think that makes things worse? Now the poor male pt has to contend beig exposed to two females-UG, whats a guy to do.? This double standard of giving privacy and modesty consideration to females pt's and ignoring their male counterparts is ridiculous and really really needs to just stop. [/B]
    Having a chaperone in the room does not necessarily involve being "exposed to" both individuals. I've had many, many physicals and pelvic exams over the years by male physicians who chose (their choice, not my request) to have a chaperone in the room, and the nurse or tech who was in the room with us was just in the room -- she wasn't looking under the drape up my crotch, or anything. I doubt that the chaperones "saw" anything that mattered. A good, competent healthcare provider (regardless of discipline) doesn't expose any of a client's body any more than necessary to perform the exam/procedure/whatever, and the client shouldn't be "exposed" to the chaperone in the room (regardless of the gender of the chaperone).
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    elkpark -- Please explain the value of a witness, called a chaperone, in the room who didn't seen "anything that mattered." I've also heard of chaperones standing behind curtains or drapes. Doesn't make any sense. A chaperone or witness needs to actually be a witness. They need to know the basics of the procedure, how it should be done, and they need to see what's going on. Also, most polices on chaperones list "patient comfort" as the major purpose of a chaperone. But, if the patient doesn't what a chaperone, or, if they don't want one of the opposite gender, how can one claim patient comfort as the chaperone's purpose. Unfortunately, the main unstated purpose of a chaperone is for protection, and not necessarily patient protection. It may make the caregiver feel more comfortable. If chaperones are required, that needs to be made know up front to the patient at the time they make an appointment. Also, if required, patients should be able to select the gender of the chaperone. That's diginfied, ethical and courteous.
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    Quote from Cul2
    elkpark -- Please explain the value of a witness, called a chaperone, in the room who didn't seen "anything that mattered." I've also heard of chaperones standing behind curtains or drapes. Doesn't make any sense.
    I am certainly not defending the "value" of having a chaperone in the room -- just questioning the notion that a chaperone being present automatically means that the client is being "exposed" to two individuals rather than one.

    My understanding has always been that the purpose of the "chaperone" is to protect the provider from allegations of inappropriate behavior. If clients are uncomfortable with a provider and whomever they utilize as chaperones, clients can seek treatment from another provider more to their liking.
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    Quote from Cul2
    elkpark -- Please explain the value of a witness, called a chaperone, in the room who didn't seen "anything that mattered." I've also heard of chaperones standing behind curtains or drapes. Doesn't make any sense. A chaperone or witness needs to actually be a witness. They need to know the basics of the procedure, how it should be done, and they need to see what's going on. Also, most polices on chaperones list "patient comfort" as the major purpose of a chaperone. But, if the patient doesn't what a chaperone, or, if they don't want one of the opposite gender, how can one claim patient comfort as the chaperone's purpose. Unfortunately, the main unstated purpose of a chaperone is for protection, and not necessarily patient protection. It may make the caregiver feel more comfortable. If chaperones are required, that needs to be made know up front to the patient at the time they make an appointment. Also, if required, patients should be able to select the gender of the chaperone. That's diginfied, ethical and courteous.
    Under the *old* way of thinking, it was assumed a person would be on their best behaviour with another license/person in the room. However it is perfectly possible for a doctor or nurse to get up to something even with one or more persons in the room or area.

    Pipe: http://allnurses.com/nursing-news/cr...al-514544.html

    As Elkpark pointed out, there is a difference between a chaperone and observer.

    In order to witness and or observe a proceedure or treatment you are either going to have to expose the patient more than required (to give a clear view of the activities), or find away to get the observer in there and up close under the drapes (again for the same reason). Each situation comes with their own set of problems and risks. For one thing it is one thing to obtain a patient's conset for a "chaperone" to be "in the room", while another to have someone *right up in there*, so to speak.

    The senses of touch and being touched are highly subjective. What one woman/girl may consider no problem, may register as groping or something else by another. We see this not only in nursing, but with such things as LE or airport pat downs of females. These by and large take place in front of a witness, but yet scores of women file complaints/begin legal action claiming "inappropriate" touching every year.
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    I am a female. Looks to me a true double standard. We are professionals not like a male nurse is there to do anything but his job. After giving the pt. the option I think that is all you need. I do not go into men pt. rooms and ask them if they would like a chaperone. I just do my job and go on. If I had a male nurse and I was the pt, then I would think he would do the same thing.
  7. 0
    gender discrimination is illegal, period. it does not matter whether the person being discriminated against is male or female. the fact that your workplace selectively discriminates only against male nurses and not male doctors makes it worse. contact the equal employment opportunity commission (eeoc) to file a workplace discrimination charge with the state or federal agency. most claims begin at the state level, with the exception of those filed by federal workers. these claims are investigated by both state and federal officials.

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    Elkpark while I understand your point, I think the other part of this would have to be, would a male gyn using a male for a chaperone-observer whatever you want to call them be acceptable. The point is, a female Dr. feels it is just fine to bring a second female in for male patients, but the reverse would not be accepted, thus the double standard even in this case is apparent, and extends beyond male nurses to include male patients.
  9. 0
    Quote from middleager
    Elkpark while I understand your point, I think the other part of this would have to be, would a male gyn using a male for a chaperone-observer whatever you want to call them be acceptable. The point is, a female Dr. feels it is just fine to bring a second female in for male patients, but the reverse would not be accepted, thus the double standard even in this case is apparent, and extends beyond male nurses to include male patients.
    It would be fine with me (having a male chaperone) -- I would consider it equally as useless/meaningless as having a female chaperone, but, if the physician insists on having a chaperone present, it wouldn't make any difference to me whether it was a male or female staff member standing on the other side of the room. Again, a competent physician/provider doesn't unnecessarily or excessively expose a client during a physical exam, pelvice exam, etc., so there wouldn't be much for the "chaperone" to see.

    But then, I don't understand the whole obsession with providers' genders in the first place.
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    I think the attitude toward the gender of the provider is really a personal thing and has a lot of similarities with religous preference. Religion instills certain beliefs in people that may not scientifically make sense, our upbringing and life experiences do the same thing. Obviously you were brought up in an environment that did not instill a high level of modesty ( I do not mean that negatively at all, I wish I were more like that), paticularly when it comes to healthcare, or you developed that on your own. Others may have been brought up to be embarressed in these situations with the opposite gender and the medical arena was not seperated from that socialization. I applaud you for being able to not let it bother you, life has to be easier. But when one looks at the original issue in general, requiring male nusrses, but not female nurses to have chaperones for opposite gender care is sexist on a very obvious level. A facility going down that path does a disservice to not only those nurses, but male nurses in general. There ususally is a price to pay for fighting established discrimination. The original civil rights activists paid a heavy price for fighting what we not look on as incredibly wrong treatment, women who lead the equal rights charge were often the targets of attacks for what we now acknowledge were ridiculous practices and attitudes. The facility is supporting discrimination against these nurses rather than take the risk of paying the price to help change the obvious wrong, shame on them. Contrary to some of the posts, men can sue for discrimination the same as females. While not a "protected" class, the discrimination laws are applied across gender lines in court. Point it out, if it doesn't change I hope all of the nurses male and female will join in supporting the male nurses in or out of court.


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