The Great Double Standard? - page 4

I would like opinions from the rest of you guys. It seems everywhere I turn that there is this double standard that men nurses should not be providing care for any of women's intimate needs. I am... Read More

  1. by   anonymurse
    Quote from EmerNurse
    It's funny - just last night, I had a nurse ask me to place a foley in his female patient.
    I have to drag in a female chaperone to check for impaction or to insert a foley. If I have to bring in a female RN, that's one wasted RN. If I have to bring in a female aide, that's one aide tied up for nothing. However I don't ask anyone to do my work, so I just ask for a chaperone if an aide is free, or if an RN is free and either chaperones or takes over, that's fine.
  2. by   tater.jake
    I'm a male and I haven't really had issues with other nurses regarding this issue. I always respect the patients wishes, but I don't think twice before going below the equator if the patient doesn't mind. It's just science! The only concern I would have is to be accused of doing more than my duty. If I didn't feel good about the situation, I would either have an aid in the room, or ask a female to do it.
  3. by   karenG
    Quote from fins
    "I think we can agree that the patient's desires come out on top regardless of how reasonable we (the nursing staff) might view that request. Even if it bucks the current zeit geist for gender relations, we are bound by "patient bill of rights" to respond accordingly to their request. Anyone disagree?"

    I've got to disagree. What if the patient was uncomfortable with a nurse who wasn't white? Would we all be falling over ourselves talking about how the patient's desires come first? Of course not - in fact, about a year ago there was that exact issue in a maternity ward around here. The hospital agreed to provide white nurses, and there was a huge blowout about it (as well there should be.)

    So basically, when you boil it down, if you think it's ok for a patient to refuse a male nurse, then you think gender discrimination is ok. Only in this very narrow circumstance, but discrimination is discrimination.

    Once you say that it's ok to accommodate gender discrimination (in whatever narrow conditions you put on it), then you forfeit the right to argue that gender discrimination is wrong. Instead you can only argue about when it is appropriate.

    Try these on for size:
    "I don't want a black nurse." not ok - racism
    "I don't want a gay nurse." not ok - discrimination
    "I don't want a male nurse." oh, that's understandable, and we'll try to accommodate your preferences

    Why is it ok to discriminate based on gender, while it is horrible to discriminate based on other criteria?

    I'm going to beg to differ ...

    In 30 years as a nurse I have never heard a patient say they didnt want a nurse because of their colour etc. I have met lots of elderly ladies who are mortified about having a man do personal care. As nurses we are supposed to be sensitive to our patients needs and feelings. If an elderly lady asked you not to do personal care because she was embarrassed, would you tell her to get over it and go ahead and do the care anyway??? to me that would demonstate a lack of understanding about your patients feelings. there is a generation out there who have no idea of what their own body looks like below the neck ( I have no idea how they manage to wash) and who are deeply embarrassed and mortified at the the thought of a man seeing them naked. Thats what it boils down to.. not colour/creed or sexual preferances.... just plain moritifcation!

    on the other hand... i have had ladies ask for a man to do their care.. once worked with a drop dead gorgeous man called Moses... 6'2, ebony skin and a smile that could light up the world.... we worked together on a gynae ward. the ladies knew his shift pattern better than he did!! they would put on make up, clean nighties and be ready for him to come on duty!! was really funny.. he now works with babies at GOS because they dont talk back! great bloke.

    Karen
  4. by   BillEDRN
    Quote from karenG
    I'm going to beg to differ ...

    In 30 years as a nurse I have never heard a patient say they didnt want a nurse because of their colour etc. I have met lots of elderly ladies who are mortified about having a man do personal care. As nurses we are supposed to be sensitive to our patients needs and feelings. If an elderly lady asked you not to do personal care because she was embarrassed, would you tell her to get over it and go ahead and do the care anyway??? to me that would demonstate a lack of understanding about your patients feelings. there is a generation out there who have no idea of what their own body looks like below the neck ( I have no idea how they manage to wash) and who are deeply embarrassed and mortified at the the thought of a man seeing them naked. Thats what it boils down to.. not colour/creed or sexual preferances.... just plain moritifcation!

    on the other hand... i have had ladies ask for a man to do their care.. once worked with a drop dead gorgeous man called Moses... 6'2, ebony skin and a smile that could light up the world.... we worked together on a gynae ward. the ladies knew his shift pattern better than he did!! they would put on make up, clean nighties and be ready for him to come on duty!! was really funny.. he now works with babies at GOS because they dont talk back! great bloke.

    Karen
    Karen,
    It seems you miss the point of the discussion regarding what is "acceptable" discrimination and what isn't. Why is it that female nurses are not so accepting if someone says they don't want a female nurse (i.e. a male patient asking for a male because of some problem "down there" - I know I have personally heard female nurses tell such a patient to "get over it...I've seen it all before") but want to make it a cultural issue if a female patient doesn't want a male nurse? Sure, we should accomodate a patient's requests if possible, but I do not think we need to perpetuate outdated stereotypes.
    As a student, I was excluded from most aspects of my OB/GYN rotation, but have delivered several babies. I was also told by my instructor that "men shouldn't be in nursing" so there is some legitimate concern that such regressive thinking needs to be addressed.
    Oh, and by the way, I have, on several occasions, had patients ask for a different nurse or a doctor based on race or ethnicity. We didn't accomodate those requests, and I am not sure we need to do so for gender either.
  5. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from BillEDRN
    Karen,
    We didn't accomodate those requests, and I am not sure we need to do so for gender either.
    i can assure you, i would not let a male nurse do any sort of personal care on me.
    even though i intellectually recognize that a male is just as qualified, it is an emotional response for me.
    therefore it would not be gender discrimination.
    as it wouldn't be for many people.

    if a male pt expresses discomfort w/me, i do everything in my power to get a male nurse.

    respect works both ways.

    leslie
  6. by   TDub
    When I worked on OB, word came through that a man was going to join the nursing staff. We didn't know a thing about him except he'd been a psych nurse for a number of years. We fell right into the stereotype and maligned him terribly before we even met him.

    "Who does he think he is? No man can do a good job on OB! There's not a patient here who'll let him take care of her! A PSYCH nurse, oh puhleez!" blah blah blah

    Then John showed up. Man, did we have to eat some major crow. He was fantastic. He quickly won over the staff and the patients uniformly liked him. He was a terrific OB nurse. That really taught me a lesson. I trusted him enough I'd have let him take care of me. That's saying a lot.

    So guys, it is possible to change our barnacle encrusted minds.
  7. by   karenG
    Quote from BillEDRN
    Karen,
    It seems you miss the point of the discussion regarding what is "acceptable" discrimination and what isn't. Why is it that female nurses are not so accepting if someone says they don't want a female nurse (i.e. a male patient asking for a male because of some problem "down there" - I know I have personally heard female nurses tell such a patient to "get over it...I've seen it all before") but want to make it a cultural issue if a female patient doesn't want a male nurse? Sure, we should accomodate a patient's requests if possible, but I do not think we need to perpetuate outdated stereotypes.
    As a student, I was excluded from most aspects of my OB/GYN rotation, but have delivered several babies. I was also told by my instructor that "men shouldn't be in nursing" so there is some legitimate concern that such regressive thinking needs to be addressed.
    Oh, and by the way, I have, on several occasions, had patients ask for a different nurse or a doctor based on race or ethnicity. We didn't accomodate those requests, and I am not sure we need to do so for gender either.
    I dont think I am missing the point. I just think that patients (be they male or female) should be allowed some choice in who does personal care. Patients who see me in my role as nurse practitioner have chosen to see me, and they know I am female. therefore they choose what they wish to talk to me about. I see this a different choice from saying you dont want a nurse because he/she is orange/green/has 3 arms etc. And I am only talking about personal care (ok double standard on my part in dividing care up!). some women are very happy for anyone to care for them.. I've worked with male midwifes.. brilliant men with far more sympathy than female midwifes! But there does remain a small group of patients who prefer to recieve personal care from someone of the same sex... and I think we should allow that. If a man doesnt want me to do personal care- thats fine.. I will find a nurse he is comfortable with.

    I would not support discrimination on any other grounds..

    Karen
  8. by   BillEDRN
    Quote from earle58
    i can assure you, i would not let a male nurse do any sort of personal care on me.
    even though i intellectually recognize that a male is just as qualified, it is an emotional response for me.
    therefore it would not be gender discrimination.
    as it wouldn't be for many people.

    if a male pt expresses discomfort w/me, i do everything in my power to get a male nurse.

    respect works both ways.

    leslie
    While you are entitled to your personal opinions and biases, you are incorrect about your discrimination. It does not matter an iota if your response is an "emotional" one or not...it is still discrimination. If a patient requested a white nurse 'even though they recognized that a black nurse was just as qualified' because it was an "emotional" issue for them, would you then say it wasn't discrimination? Of course not!
    And while I appreciate your discomfort, let's call it what it is. Like all forms of discrimination, the best way to address it is with open and honest discussions, not attempts to bury the true nature of it under the guise of a different name.
    Last edit by BillEDRN on Sep 12, '07 : Reason: spelling
  9. by   BillEDRN
    "I dont think I am missing the point."

    I hate to berate the point, but I think you are. The discussion was about why this form of discrimination is tolerated when other forms are so vehemently renounced.

    "I see this a different choice from saying you dont want a nurse because he/she is orange/green/has 3 arms etc. And I am only talking about personal care (ok double standard on my part in dividing care up!)."

    So you recognize that you are inconsistent in you arguments and that you do(or so it appears, as I assume you would have the same problems with a realistic class that may be subject to discrimination, such as blacks) have a problem with other forms of discrimination.

    "Patients who see me in my role as nurse practitioner have chosen to see me..."

    I am not sure what type of system you work for, but for many patients, and the nurses that care for them, such options are not always available or practical. Assuming you were the only nurse available, and a patient requested a male because of an STD, would you let him wander out into the healthcare maze and let him try to find a male to treat him? Or would you try to convince him that his health, as well as others he might have (or had) contact with, was in jeopardy and that as a professional you would treat him with the same understanding, dignity, and compassion as a male counter-part?

    "I would not support discrimination on any other grounds.."

    So at least you recognize it as discrimination, which only validates that we have a reasonable basis to question why this type of discrimination is OK, when others are not.
  10. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from BillEDRN
    While you are entitled to your personal opinions and biases, you are incorrect about your discrimination. It does not matter an iota if your response is an "emotional" one or not...it is still discrimination. If a patient requested a white nurse 'even though they recognized that a black nurse was just as qualified' because it was an "emotional" issue for them, would you then say it wasn't discrimination? Of course not!
    And while I appreciate your discomfort, let's call it what it is. Like all forms of discrimination, the best way to address it is with open and honest discussions, not attempts to bury the true nature of it under the guise of a different name.
    you're right, bill.
    i suppose it is a form of discrimination.
    but if a woman doesn't want a male nurse r/t past trauma issues, or even overwhelming modesty, the pt's concerns will usually prevail, esp if she feels that strongly about it.
    bottom line?
    as long as a pt's prejudice isn't r/t hatred, it will continue to be about them, and not the nurse.
    if a nurse has a grievance w/their employer, however, then any woes of discrimination will be rightfully heard.

    leslie
  11. by   58flyer
    Quote from earle58
    you're right, bill.
    i suppose it is a form of discrimination.
    but if a woman doesn't want a male nurse r/t past trauma issues, or even overwhelming modesty, the pt's concerns will usually prevail, esp if she feels that strongly about it.
    bottom line?
    as long as a pt's prejudice isn't r/t hatred, it will continue to be about them, and not the nurse.
    if a nurse has a grievance w/their employer, however, then any woes of discrimination will be rightfully heard.

    leslie
    Great point Leslie, I agree completely.

    One thing I would like to see, I just wish a male patient's modesty concern was taken as seriously as that of a female patient's concern.

    flyer
  12. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from 58flyer
    Great point Leslie, I agree completely.

    One thing I would like to see, I just wish a male patient's modesty concern was taken as seriously as that of a female patient's concern.

    flyer
    flyer, i think that has to do w/the personality of the pt.
    some pts are more assertive than others.
    i cannot speak for all nurses.
    but whenever i need to cath a male pt., i am very aware of any unspoken signals and discomfort he's displaying.
    if i know of a male nurse that's available, i will offer their service (if the discomfort is that obvious)
    i also ask if they would be more comfortable with wife/so present.
    some speak up, others don't.
    and then i blab their ears off, during the procedure.
    they are usually very grateful.

    if a nurse didn't listen to a pt's concerns, i would hope the pt would fight for their rights, until they are heard and respected.

    it was great hearing from you, flyer.

    leslie
  13. by   nursemike
    Quote from earle58
    flyer, i think that has to do w/the personality of the pt.
    some pts are more assertive than others.
    i cannot speak for all nurses.
    but whenever i need to cath a male pt., i am very aware of any unspoken signals and discomfort he's displaying.
    if i know of a male nurse that's available, i will offer their service (if the discomfort is that obvious)
    i also ask if they would be more comfortable with wife/so present.
    some speak up, others don't.
    and then i blab their ears off, during the procedure.
    they are usually very grateful.

    if a nurse didn't listen to a pt's concerns, i would hope the pt would fight for their rights, until they are heard and respected.

    it was great hearing from you, flyer.

    leslie
    I've been asked, a few times, to perform personal care for a male pt--usually a younger one. I've had a few female pts ask for a female to do the foley or whatever--but surprisingly few.

    As far as discrimination, consider public toilets. If we saw a restroom labeled "Whites Only," most of us, I think, would be rightly appalled. I see restrooms segregated by gender every day, and never give it a thought. Modesty is not sexism! There is a huge distinction between saying, "I'd be embarassed to have a man do that to me." and "There's no way a male could be competent to do that."

    It is regrettable that a male patient's modesty can't always be as readily accommodated, but on some shifts on some units, male nurses may simply not be available. (Finally, an irrefutable reason why we "need" more male nurses!) But I also think it's fair to note that at least 90% of the pts I see running down the halls, naked, are males.

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