The Great Double Standard? - page 9

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   exit96
    Quote from Doog
    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 still in nursing school, but it seems women nurses have no problem caring for either a male or female patient (students included), but men do not have that ability? I just don't quite understand this, when it is not even the patients perogative involved, just these female nurses who think they know "whats best". I would like this taboo to dissappear. Does anyone else see this? Any ideas who to remedy this issue and be able to call a nurse a nurse, and not a male or female nurse, each playing by different rules. I am pretty frustrated.
    Agree 100%
    I understand if someone specifically asks. But to apply a "rule" is to ASSUME that I as a professional have ill intentions when behind closed doors with a female patient AND it is assuming that ALL women have an "issue" with male providers! It makes me sick. I guess we are to conclude that ALL men are animals and ALL women are perfect little angels...That's a real funny joke there!!! How tragic and cumbersome for our profession..
  2. by   CoeKohawk11
    I am currently a senior nursing student and was recently DENIED access to an OB rotation because I was a male. I spoke with some of the other nursing students about this (I am one of 2 men in my graduating class) and all the women were in agreement that men knew nothing about what women were going through during a pregnancy and eventual birth. This confused me because
    1. None of these women have had a child either so clearly they have no idea what a woman is going through during pregnancy.
    and
    2. Isn't that what nursing is? Caring for those who are ill?? I mean I personally have never experienced severe head trauma, being on a ventilator, being cathed, or having to go through chemotherapy. BUT I have cared for patients who have and was told I did a tremendous job. I am going to school to LEARN how to care for patients with multiple illnesses and injuries I myself have never experienced.

    I guess it just angered me a little that these women believe I get turned on or something like that from watching a birth. Clearly I wouldn't be a successful (soon to be) nurse if I was turned on by all of my female patients. Any thoughts or comments on this people? I just want to know why it is viewed as ok for women to care for a man, but a man cannot care for a pre/post-partum woman?
  3. by   CareteamRN70
    Quote from MaleNurse89
    I am currently a senior nursing student and was recently DENIED access to an OB rotation because I was a male.
    Depends..if you were turned away by the nursing staff of the OB, your preceptor, or your school clinical liason I'd be po'd as hell. They are doing you are great disservice and a terrible turn for nursing as well and I'd say as much, I'd shame them until next week.

    Now..if it was due to patient "choice" which I ran into during my OB rotation...not much you can do about that. I had several patients refuse me as their student nurse but at least that day I would still get experience in nicu or the nursery, or even post partum so it wasn't a total loss. Fortunately for me I did have two p[atients who actually sought me out because they heard about the male nurse being denied the opportunity to care for active labor patients. Because of those two selfless women I was able to be in on a V-birth (twins!) and 1 c-section.

    Worse come to worse if you are denied any part of OB (and yes it isnt fair) make it work to your advantage...see if those days they can get you into another unit that you may actually be interested in. Another guy in my class had so many female ob pts dny him that he finnaly walked down to the ER and asked a PA if he could hang out there and the preceptor okay'd it. If I had been given a choice I would have gladly skipped OB (saw 3 of my own kids born so no great loss of experience) to go to an oncology unit, psych, or a geriatric care unit.

    Hope all works out for ya.

    Big J
  4. by   GM2RN
    Quote from Doog
    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 still in nursing school, but it seems women nurses have no problem caring for either a male or female patient (students included), but men do not have that ability? I just don't quite understand this, when it is not even the patients perogative involved, just these female nurses who think they know "whats best". I would like this taboo to dissappear. Does anyone else see this? Any ideas who to remedy this issue and be able to call a nurse a nurse, and not a male or female nurse, each playing by different rules. I am pretty frustrated.

    Since this was originally posted in 2006, I'm interested to know what your experience is now, considering you should be graduated by this time with some nursing experience.

    As for the original post, I work in the ED and never experience this from female nurses. If anything, the opposite happens where the male nurses will ask the females to do their foleys or peri care for them, sometimes without the patient even requesting it because the guys just assume that the female patients won't want them to do it.

    This gets old and annoying when we have our own patients to care for and have to take time away from them to do a procedure that the guys should be able to do. I started handling this by telling them that I'd be happy to do their foley for them if they will do x, y, or z for one of my patients while I do the foley. If they have made a legitimate request, this helps us both out and it puts the cabosh on unnecessary requests.
  5. by   nursemike
    Quote from GM2RN
    Since this was originally posted in 2006, I'm interested to know what your experience is now, considering you should be graduated by this time with some nursing experience.

    As for the original post, I work in the ED and never experience this from female nurses. If anything, the opposite happens where the male nurses will ask the females to do their foleys or peri care for them, sometimes without the patient even requesting it because the guys just assume that the female patients won't want them to do it.

    This gets old and annoying when we have our own patients to care for and have to take time away from them to do a procedure that the guys should be able to do. I started handling this by telling them that I'd be happy to do their foley for them if they will do x, y, or z for one of my patients while I do the foley. If they have made a legitimate request, this helps us both out and it puts the cabosh on unnecessary requests.
    Not the OP, but I do have a bit more experience under my belt, although I don't think it has greatly changed my perspective. I do, occassionally, do what you mention and ask a female nurse to help out without first asking the patient. I have come to accept that there are times when I am the one who isn't comfortable with the situation, and I've done enough heavy lifting and interceded with enough combative patients that I don't really need to apologize. I'm not so much like Ruby's husband, with avoiding my "dating range," (perhaps because women in my dating range are, well, let's face it, old) but with very young women, sometimes it's easier just not to go there. I'm not saying I won't do whatever needs to be done, but I'm okay with cutting myself a little slack when it isn't too inconvenient. Of course, we aren't the ED, so the pace is a bit different. And, most often, if I ask another nurse to do a cath, it's because I've already tried and missed. I can't recall ever asking another male to try for me, but we are outnumbered, and our most experienced nurses are women. If I have to call in reinforcements, I'm usually going to go for the sure thing, since the patient has already tolerated one incompetent boob.
  6. by   CoeKohawk11
    Depends..if you were turned away by the nursing staff of the OB, your preceptor, or your school clinical liason I'd be po'd as hell. They are doing you are great disservice and a terrible turn for nursing as well and I'd say as much, I'd shame them until next week.

    At my school we do 1-1 preceptorships so we do one clinical rotation per semester i.e. I did a rotation specifically on ICU, Med/Surg, Oncology, etc. We have a partnership with 3 hospitals here and one has a no male nurse policy in the maternal/OB, and the other 2 frown upon male nurses. I got pediatrics so I was happy this semester, but still felt hurt that I was unable to at least get the chance in an OB unit. My preceptor does occasionally float to the OB/Maternal floor sooooooo hopefully I do get some of that experience. Thanks for the reply though.
  7. by   GM2RN
    Quote from MaleNurse89
    Depends..if you were turned away by the nursing staff of the OB, your preceptor, or your school clinical liason I'd be po'd as hell. They are doing you are great disservice and a terrible turn for nursing as well and I'd say as much, I'd shame them until next week.

    At my school we do 1-1 preceptorships so we do one clinical rotation per semester i.e. I did a rotation specifically on ICU, Med/Surg, Oncology, etc. We have a partnership with 3 hospitals here and one has a no male nurse policy in the maternal/OB, and the other 2 frown upon male nurses. I got pediatrics so I was happy this semester, but still felt hurt that I was unable to at least get the chance in an OB unit. My preceptor does occasionally float to the OB/Maternal floor sooooooo hopefully I do get some of that experience. Thanks for the reply though.

    I'm surprised that in 2010/2011, or even 2006, that this kind of attitude still persists in OB. I don't think it should be allowed, but should be based on individual patient's preferences only.
  8. by   GM2RN
    Quote from nursemike
    Not the OP, but I do have a bit more experience under my belt, although I don't think it has greatly changed my perspective. I do, occassionally, do what you mention and ask a female nurse to help out without first asking the patient. I have come to accept that there are times when I am the one who isn't comfortable with the situation, and I've done enough heavy lifting and interceded with enough combative patients that I don't really need to apologize. I'm not so much like Ruby's husband, with avoiding my "dating range," (perhaps because women in my dating range are, well, let's face it, old) but with very young women, sometimes it's easier just not to go there. I'm not saying I won't do whatever needs to be done, but I'm okay with cutting myself a little slack when it isn't too inconvenient. Of course, we aren't the ED, so the pace is a bit different. And, most often, if I ask another nurse to do a cath, it's because I've already tried and missed. I can't recall ever asking another male to try for me, but we are outnumbered, and our most experienced nurses are women. If I have to call in reinforcements, I'm usually going to go for the sure thing, since the patient has already tolerated one incompetent boob.

    Everyone needs help now and then, and I occassionally have to ask another nurse, male or female, to help boost a patient or attempt a difficult IV start if I've missed, etc. But I don't entirely get that you feel entitled, for lack of a better word, to ask someone else to do a foley or whatever just because you are uncomfortable and have done enough heavy lifting and interceding with combative patients.

    I have to assume that you aren't lifting a heavy pt by yourself and the nurse asking for help with this is also giving you a hand, or someone is. I also have to assume that you aren't facing a combative patient alone either.

    I have certainly lent a hand in these types of situations, and more often than not, it even takes more than 2 nurses to handle them. Have you never asked another nurse to help you with a heavy or combative patient? I can't imagine that you haven't, so it would seem that the road would have already gone both ways with this.

    I repeat that everyone needs help with something once in awhile, especially if you have already tried and missed, but I don't think you should be asking for somone to do a procedure for you just because you feel uncomfortable with it and haven't even tried. I wouldn't be able to get away with that as a female.
  9. by   lefteddie
    I’d like to address all of these theories of weather one discrimination, say asking for a certain gender nurse is alright versus race, etc. Most people here are looking at this from the care givers perspective. I can make it very clear, the courts have ruled on this. Where they draw the line in your title V11 equal opportunity employment rights is when patient’s genitals are exposed to opposite gender viewing. The patient has a legal right, MAN or WOMAN, to not be viewed or manipulated by a person of the opposite gender if they so desire. I can post many court cases where a patients genitals were exposed by an opposite gender care giver against his or her will and won when they sued in court. I’m surprised most Don’s or administrative staff aren’t familiar with these laws and inform the nursing staff. I’d also like to mention that staffing in hospitals is 95% female versus 5% male nurses. If a male patient asks for a male nurse to cath him and he is told there is no male staff available to do this intimate procedure, that is not an accident, that is result of a system that is in a monopoly status “All Female”. The courts have ruled that both women and men have a RIGHT by law to same gender intimate care. Years ago when women wanted access to jobs monopolized by men the courts stepped in and asserted affirmative action to even out the gender mix. I think its time either hospital administration or the government steps in to even out the gender mix in nursing. Getting back on subject here, it behooves all of you in nursing to ask your patients if they have a preference for gender when it comes to any intimate care. I’m not saying you aren’t qualified, both male and female nurses are equally qualified to do the same tasks on either gender, but, it’s the patient that holds the final say in who he or she exposes themselves too. This is in no way just a female issue as in OB, how about the men in for a urology procedure, exposed to all female teams, or the man that comes in for a sonogram of his testicles, then finds out the only sonographer in the hospital is female. Men have modesty issues too, let’s respect both genders, it’s the law. I’d like to see hospitals and clinics more gender friendly for men, maybe by making a setting where men aren’t embarrassed and humiliated by opposite gender care in every step of the health care system they would go more often for the care they need. Medicine is female friendly; women don’t go for a mammogram and expect to see a male mammographer. I believe if the same option was available to men, male teams for intimate care, 35-40% of men currently not going for care would go. If anyone would like case law I can post several that clearly show, this is law, the patient by law has a right to bodily privacy when genitals are exposed to anyone of the opposite gender. So the clear answer is, ask the patient their preference, and, hospital administration needs to be able to provide this choice to the patients. Make staffing changes where necessary, provide one male sonographer for the male that wants a same gender technician for a testicular ultrasound, provide some male nurses for the men in urology like you do for women in L&D. Keep one male nurse for men desiring to be cathed by a male nurse, give men the same choices you now give to women. If not, you are discriminating.

    lefteddie
  10. by   nursemike
    Quote from GM2RN
    Everyone needs help now and then, and I occassionally have to ask another nurse, male or female, to help boost a patient or attempt a difficult IV start if I've missed, etc. But I don't entirely get that you feel entitled, for lack of a better word, to ask someone else to do a foley or whatever just because you are uncomfortable and have done enough heavy lifting and interceding with combative patients.

    I have to assume that you aren't lifting a heavy pt by yourself and the nurse asking for help with this is also giving you a hand, or someone is. I also have to assume that you aren't facing a combative patient alone either.

    I have certainly lent a hand in these types of situations, and more often than not, it even takes more than 2 nurses to handle them. Have you never asked another nurse to help you with a heavy or combative patient? I can't imagine that you haven't, so it would seem that the road would have already gone both ways with this.

    I repeat that everyone needs help with something once in awhile, especially if you have already tried and missed, but I don't think you should be asking for somone to do a procedure for you just because you feel uncomfortable with it and haven't even tried. I wouldn't be able to get away with that as a female.
    I'm sorry I didn't notice this post sooner, and I regret if my post seemed to convey a sense of entitlement. I have said of my shift on my unit that there really isn't one supernurse among us, but I'd match our team against anybody. It isn't that I feel my coworkers owe me the sort of consideration I described, but that I know they will willingly give it, as I will reciprocate. In terms of urinary catheters, I've placed one and pulled another as a favor to a female peer--actually, as a favor to the patient. There have probably been 2-3 I've asked a female to get because pt XXX was a 22 (or whatever) female, and I can only think of one who specifically asked for a female. There have also been times when I was personally uncomfortable, but no one else was readily available and I did what needed to be done.

    There was an occassion, not long ago, when an aide requested my assistance bathing one of my patients. When I arrived, the patient was sitting at the sink and the aide was stripping the bed. When she asked me to help bathe the patient while she did the bed, I suggested it would be more gender-appropriate if she helped the patient while I did the bed, and the patient, a nurse, teased me a little about being shy. (Since the aide was still very new, I didn't address the fact that the patient was essentially bathing herself and there was no real need for me to be there at all. Time enough to deal with that if she continued when she should be more confident.) So, when the bed was finished, the patient asked me to show the aide how to do Foley care, which I did, because it made sense. The aide got a demonstration how to do it and an explanation why to do it.

    There have been male patients whose behavior made their female nurse uncomfortable doing personal care. I suppose an argument could be made that the nurse is a professional and needs to overcome that challenge. It's not an argument I would make. My attitude is that there is no need to go through that when I can do it. I do understand that the point of this thread is what's fair, but on my floor it's a lot more about all of us just getting through the night with the least necessary grief. If you worked with us and worked with that attitude, you'd get away with it.
  11. by   GM2RN
    Quote from nursemike
    I'm sorry I didn't notice this post sooner, and I regret if my post seemed to convey a sense of entitlement. I have said of my shift on my unit that there really isn't one supernurse among us, but I'd match our team against anybody. It isn't that I feel my coworkers owe me the sort of consideration I described, but that I know they will willingly give it, as I will reciprocate. In terms of urinary catheters, I've placed one and pulled another as a favor to a female peer--actually, as a favor to the patient. There have probably been 2-3 I've asked a female to get because pt XXX was a 22 (or whatever) female, and I can only think of one who specifically asked for a female. There have also been times when I was personally uncomfortable, but no one else was readily available and I did what needed to be done.

    There was an occassion, not long ago, when an aide requested my assistance bathing one of my patients. When I arrived, the patient was sitting at the sink and the aide was stripping the bed. When she asked me to help bathe the patient while she did the bed, I suggested it would be more gender-appropriate if she helped the patient while I did the bed, and the patient, a nurse, teased me a little about being shy. (Since the aide was still very new, I didn't address the fact that the patient was essentially bathing herself and there was no real need for me to be there at all. Time enough to deal with that if she continued when she should be more confident.) So, when the bed was finished, the patient asked me to show the aide how to do Foley care, which I did, because it made sense. The aide got a demonstration how to do it and an explanation why to do it.

    There have been male patients whose behavior made their female nurse uncomfortable doing personal care. I suppose an argument could be made that the nurse is a professional and needs to overcome that challenge. It's not an argument I would make. My attitude is that there is no need to go through that when I can do it. I do understand that the point of this thread is what's fair, but on my floor it's a lot more about all of us just getting through the night with the least necessary grief. If you worked with us and worked with that attitude, you'd get away with it.

    Makes sense. Thanks for the clarification.
  12. by   GM2RN
    Quote from lefteddie
    I'd like to address all of these theories of weather one discrimination, say asking for a certain gender nurse is alright versus race, etc. Most people here are looking at this from the care givers perspective. I can make it very clear, the courts have ruled on this. Where they draw the line in your title V11 equal opportunity employment rights is when patient's genitals are exposed to opposite gender viewing. The patient has a legal right, MAN or WOMAN, to not be viewed or manipulated by a person of the opposite gender if they so desire. I can post many court cases where a patients genitals were exposed by an opposite gender care giver against his or her will and won when they sued in court. I'm surprised most Don's or administrative staff aren't familiar with these laws and inform the nursing staff. I'd also like to mention that staffing in hospitals is 95% female versus 5% male nurses. If a male patient asks for a male nurse to cath him and he is told there is no male staff available to do this intimate procedure, that is not an accident, that is result of a system that is in a monopoly status "All Female". The courts have ruled that both women and men have a RIGHT by law to same gender intimate care. Years ago when women wanted access to jobs monopolized by men the courts stepped in and asserted affirmative action to even out the gender mix. I think its time either hospital administration or the government steps in to even out the gender mix in nursing. Getting back on subject here, it behooves all of you in nursing to ask your patients if they have a preference for gender when it comes to any intimate care. I'm not saying you aren't qualified, both male and female nurses are equally qualified to do the same tasks on either gender, but, it's the patient that holds the final say in who he or she exposes themselves too. This is in no way just a female issue as in OB, how about the men in for a urology procedure, exposed to all female teams, or the man that comes in for a sonogram of his testicles, then finds out the only sonographer in the hospital is female. Men have modesty issues too, let's respect both genders, it's the law. I'd like to see hospitals and clinics more gender friendly for men, maybe by making a setting where men aren't embarrassed and humiliated by opposite gender care in every step of the health care system they would go more often for the care they need. Medicine is female friendly; women don't go for a mammogram and expect to see a male mammographer. I believe if the same option was available to men, male teams for intimate care, 35-40% of men currently not going for care would go. If anyone would like case law I can post several that clearly show, this is law, the patient by law has a right to bodily privacy when genitals are exposed to anyone of the opposite gender. So the clear answer is, ask the patient their preference, and, hospital administration needs to be able to provide this choice to the patients. Make staffing changes where necessary, provide one male sonographer for the male that wants a same gender technician for a testicular ultrasound, provide some male nurses for the men in urology like you do for women in L&D. Keep one male nurse for men desiring to be cathed by a male nurse, give men the same choices you now give to women. If not, you are discriminating.

    lefteddie

    I have no knowledge of the court cases you refer to (references?), but lets say you are correct for the sake of this discussion. I also don't know the stats on male vs female in the workplace, but we all know it's dominated by females, so let's go with your numbers.

    So a male patient needs a testicular US and the only sonographer employed by the hospital is female, but the male patient has the RIGHT to a male sonographer. Where do you propose the hospital gets one?

    Now a male patient on a med/surg floor needs foley care or a help with a bath and there is no male nurse available. Same question.

    Do those same laws apply for doctors? You stated that staffing is dominated by females, and I agree when it comes to nurses, but doctors are still predominately men. You admit a female patient to a male hospitalist and there is no female available, now what do we do?

    I don't disagree that we should TRY to provide same gender care when the patient requests it, but it isn't reasonable, or even possible, to provide same gender care in all instances, and it's ridiculous to expect it to happen in all cases.

    I also don't think we should ask every patient if they prefer a male or female doctor, nurse, sonographer, xray tech, ekg tech, etc. That will just open a can of worms that will make it impossible to get anything done for ANY patient if we have to hunt down the proper gender for every procedure.
  13. by   Cul2
    "I also don't think we should ask every patient if they prefer a male or female
    doctor, nurse, sonographer, xray tech, ekg tech, etc. That will just open a can
    of worms that will make it impossible to get anything done for ANY patient if
    we have to hunt down the proper gender for every procedure.'

    Let's open the can of worms, take the worms out, analyze them, see what
    they look like -- instead sticking the can on a self and making believe it doesn't
    exist. If you are correct, then there is a need that should be met. Rather than
    ignore the need, take steps to mitigate it. I've said in past posts, the the key
    for most patients is how they're approached, regardless of gender. That's for
    most patients. They'll always be a few who just want same gender care for
    whatever reason, and that should be respected. once had a man tell me
    that, although he wasn't overly modest, he once need a foley cath and a
    female nurse was about to do the procedure. But...she asked him how he
    felt about this and said she'd be glad to find a male nurse if he preferred.
    Although it didn't matter to him, he said this made him feel more respected.
    I think to a large degree that dignity and respect are connected to how
    patients feel about their autonomy and control of the situation. The more
    choices you can give them, the more respected they feel --- generally.
    The modesty issue represents one of the important cultural aspects of
    nursing. You shouldn't assume you know how patients feel about this,
    esp. if you sense a patient's discomfort about modesty and you absolutely
    can't accommodate. That's when it's important to open up that can of worms
    and talk about that issue honestly. That shows respect, rather than just
    going about your business making believe the issue doesn't exist.
    So, getting back to the quote above -- asking preferences shows respect,
    even if the patient has no particular preferences. If it's an issue, face it
    and try to solve the problem rather than just ignoring it.

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