The Great Double Standard? - page 6

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   leslie :-D
    :chuckle:chuckle:chuckle

    leslie
  2. by   nursemike
    Quote from TDub

    So, now on that note-how would you help calm down a p*ss-scared patient like me who couldn't think straight?
    Thanks, and that's a very good question. Honestly, I don't know how one could go about calming a deeply traumatized, panicked patient. I think you'd just about have to find them a nurse they could be more comfortable with. My own limited experience with abused patients probably doesn't apply fully. I know that I was careful to approach slowly, speak in a soothing tone of voice, explain everything I meant to do, and leave most of the personal care (baths, toileting) to the female aide. Then, too, I'm short, fat, and 51. Much as I might sometimes like to look more sexy and dangerous, I probably come across more as a dotty old uncle with a houseful of cats--which is fine, in a nursing environment, and probably keeps me out of a lot of trouble in singles bars.

    Then, too, I work in neuro/neurosurg. One of my previously abused patients was a closed-head trauma, and another had an altered LOC r/t drugs. Caring for them wasn't a lot different than any other confused patient. In fact, at one point when I had to get the closed-head out of bed, she insisted on dancing with me for a couple of minutes, which was kind of a sweet, funny moment in a hectic night. (I believe she eventually recovered fully from her injuries,btw.) There were a couple of others with unfortunate histories who were AOX3, but the traumatic events were long past, so they weren't panicked over them. Dealing with them was just a matter of being gentle and preserving their modesty, which I would try to do even with a male patient, and avoiding any remarks that might be remotely flirtatious (I'm not above addressing an older lady as "Darlin' " once in awhile, if it seems welcome, but I wouldn't with someone who might have issues.)

    But I'd think for anyone with PTSD (or any anxiety on that level) you'd have to have some psych intervention. People do learn to live with their fears and put them in manageable perspective. A lucky few seem to be able to "get over it" on their own, but I'd think a course of therapy would be more the norm. Actually, living their lives in fear is probably more the norm--we seem, as a society--to do far too little about our mental health. But even with our typical confused/agitated patients, you don't force them to confront their fears, and you aren't going to talk them out of them in a few minutes. I think of it as a sort of mental tai chi: you try to divert them from what's freaking them out by deflecting the energy, rather than opposing it. And, very applicable to this thread, you try to avoid freaking them out in the first place.

    I've had a couple of female pts. reassigned to a female nurse. One I won't discuss in an open forum, since it wouldn't be appropriate. The other was a young woman with some psych problems and a possible history of abuse who told me "a black man" had come into her room and threatened her. I was skeptical, because the only black men on our floor were two doctors, neither of whom was on duty that night (and neither of whom could I remotely believe would do anything out of line) but I reported the claim to my CN, who talked to the pt and then switched my assignment with another, female nurse (to protect me).


    More typical, though, is the case of a woman who "isn't sure" about having a male nurse, but will let you give her her meds and even do an assessment, as long as the aide does the really personal stuff (and it's not like I ever have a lot of time for the personal stuff, anyway.) More than a few, during the course of a night, decide they'd rather let me put them on the bedpan and clean them up afterwards than wait for the busy aide, and most, by morning, are all for male nurses. I really enjoy those little victories for "us guys," and I think we need to not be so quick to accommodate that those victories never occur.
    Last edit by nursemike on Oct 11, '07 : Reason: adverb, shmadverb
  3. by   teeituptom
    Quote from TDub
    .

    So, now on that note-how would you help calm down a p*ss-scared patient like me who couldn't think straight?
    My immediate thought is a lot of Valium is needed to calm you down
  4. by   socalpca
    Quote from Doog
    I guess my point is regardless of the patients wishes, these female nurses are automatically assuming that we (for some reason?) should not be providing care. It really wouldn't be an issue if the patient said they would be more comfortable with a females care, which wouldn't bother me at all, at least I can understand that. I have a big problem just accepting an answer that is "well thats just the way it is" If all people accepted that as an answer, women wouldn't be able to vote, and african americans wouldn't have equal rights. I know these examples are extreme but I really hate this distinction that males can only do " ..." while females can do it all. What can be done to change this?
    As a male RN, I do not get this impression in my practice. The only time that I defer a nursing task on a female patient is if the patient or family asks for a female to perform care. I will also say that this has only happened once in my 4 months on the floor. I know it will happen again, but I don't take it personally.
  5. by   nursemike
    Quote from teeituptom
    My immediate thought is a lot of Valium is needed to calm you down
    I have no problem with the use of anxiolytics, where appropriate, and I have joked that I would like to be able to carry a dose of Ativan in my pocket at all times, just to intereact with the public--i.e., injecting them, not myself. I have no objection to using physical restraints, when necessary, either. But I tend to look on benzos in much the same way as restraints--a last resort, and a temporary "fix." I see a lot of confused and agitated patients, and it amazes me how often soft speech and reassurance can bring someone out of "fight or flight" mode.
  6. by   TDub
    Quote from teeituptom
    My immediate thought is a lot of Valium is needed to calm you down

    That would probably do it! But then you'd have a large, uncoordinated, sentimental nonweight-bearing patient with her arm slung around your neck, sobbing "I love you guys, you're the besht!".
  7. by   nursemike
    Quote from TDub
    That would probably do it! But then you'd have a large, uncoordinated, sentimental nonweight-bearing patient with her arm slung around your neck, sobbing "I love you guys, you're the besht!".
    Are you sure you've never been one of my patients?
  8. by   TDub
    Pretty sure-I've never had Vitamin V. I do tend to react that way to any downers, though. The first time I ever had Demeral, I told the nurse, "Man, if this was legal, I'd be an addict!"
  9. by   Ashera
    Had a female pt once - a very needy, prima donna that confused us with the Hilton.
    Absolutely refused 'that black nurse' and wanted to make sure that no Jew came in her room because you know what 'they did' - and then she complained she couldn't understand the little Asian aide - and there was no way she was gonna let a man in to 'tend to her privates' - so pretty soon - she had run through the entire shift - and had called the hospital manager. His reponse was ' so leave her on the bedpan ' - of course we would not have done that - but the point is - there will always be a pt that prefers one nurse over the other - and to the best we can do - we should politely try to accommodate them. But there really comes a time when it's really hard not to come down to their level and do some really hard line pt education.

    We were all very glad when she was discharged -
  10. by   Cul2




    FROM AsheraRe: The Great Double Standard?
    permalink
    Had a female pt once - a very needy, prima donna that confused us with the Hilton.
    Absolutely refused 'that black nurse' and wanted to make sure that no Jew came in her room because you know what 'they did' - and then she complained she couldn't understand the little Asian aide - and there was no way she was gonna let a man in to 'tend to her privates' - so pretty soon - she had run through the entire shift - and had called the hospital manager. His reponse was ' so leave her on the bedpan ' - of course we would not have done that - but the point is - there will always be a pt that prefers one nurse over the other - and to the best we can do - we should politely try to accommodate them. But there really comes a time when it's really hard not to come down to their level and do some really hard line pt education.

    We were all very glad when she was discharged -


    I'm sure she was a difficult patient, maybe even impossible. Bad patients happen. But for you to lump racial and religioius discrimination along with preference for same gender intimate care, shows a complete lack of understanding of, not only the law, but also psychology. Even the courts ruling on BFOQ cases separate these distinctions, justifying our individual rights of dignity regarding protecting the private areas of our bodies from opposite gender viewing.
  11. by   dialysisguy
    You should always take someone in with you to "assist". Two years ago a patient claimed to have been sexually assulted by a male nure at a local hospital. His word against his. Guys listen, men or women pt's don't matter... If you have to go down there for catheter, bath, whatever. Always have a witness with you!

    DG
  12. by   Cul2
    You should always take someone in with you to "assist". Two years ago a patient claimed to have been sexually assulted by a male nure at a local hospital. His word against his. Guys listen, men or women pt's don't matter... If you have to go down there for catheter, bath, whatever. Always have a witness with you!

    DG


    Notice what you're saying here. You really want a witness and/or chaperone (which may be necessary and valid), but what I'm reading is that you're telling the patient you're bringing in someone to "assist." In my book, that's not ethical. If you feel you need a chaperone or witness, inform the patient. Patients do have choices in this regard. Be up front. If they refuse to have a chaperone, then you can refuse to do the procedure.
  13. by   wymnwise
    Quote from Cul2
    FROM AsheraRe: The Great Double Standard?
    permalink
    Had a female pt once - a very needy, prima donna that confused us with the Hilton.
    Absolutely refused 'that black nurse' and wanted to make sure that no Jew came in her room because you know what 'they did' - and then she complained she couldn't understand the little Asian aide - and there was no way she was gonna let a man in to 'tend to her privates' - so pretty soon - she had run through the entire shift - and had called the hospital manager. His reponse was ' so leave her on the bedpan ' - of course we would not have done that - but the point is - there will always be a pt that prefers one nurse over the other - and to the best we can do - we should politely try to accommodate them. But there really comes a time when it's really hard not to come down to their level and do some really hard line pt education.

    We were all very glad when she was discharged -


    I'm sure she was a difficult patient, maybe even impossible. Bad patients happen. But for you to lump racial and religioius discrimination along with preference for same gender intimate care, shows a complete lack of understanding of, not only the law, but also psychology. Even the courts ruling on BFOQ cases separate these distinctions, justifying our individual rights of dignity regarding protecting the private areas of our bodies from opposite gender viewing.
    Thanks I have been trying to make a point of this distinction in another string to no avail. Some folks just do not want to get it.

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