Ok, I appreciate being around women all day too, I work well with my female colleagues and appreciate what they bring to the table be that personal insight, a unique perspective or the female presence they all have, but we are getting away from the bottom line. The reason I chose to be a nurse is that I love being there for people. I have a personality that helps me to brighten up a gloomy day, put people at ease, comfort those that are upset, and I work really hard to stay one step ahead of what each of my patients need. These aspects of my personality would be just as suited in tons of different fields. The difference between those fields and nursing is that at the end of the day I know I have made a meaningful contribution to someone elses life, being able to do this gives context to my own life and makes it richer.
It's not all roses. Now and then I have experienced very subtle discrimination against my gender from my former instructors and peers. It was never about my skills/intelligence/ability to provide quality care, it was always about nursing being a women's role. Being the person that I am, I always voiced my understanding that nursing in recent history may have been a refuge for women who were repressed and discriminated against in the workforce at large. Sometimes I follow this up with some teaching "nursing care was originally provided by men (think monks caring for travelling pilgrims and knights caring for soldiers) Where do they think that the iconic red cross symbol originated from?"
The point I am trying to make is that men have and always will be a part of what it means to be a nurse. Our contributions have been and will continue to be valuable. If someone makes fun of my choice I usually just joke right back and by the end they or their friends are always laughing with me. It's way too easy to win when they bring a spoon to a gun fight. Think up some funny male nurse jokes or look online for some, it's hard to dislike and not respect someone that can make you laugh.
Finally I want to say that we as nurses and specifically MALE nurses are role models. We have to respect ourselves, our patients, and our greatest allies/sometimes greatest critics... our female colleagues. Please do not objectify or sexualize them especially here in cyberspace. It is so easy to take a faceless post and project it onto the nearest male nurse.
This topic comes down to stereotypes, we shouldn't be putting out any that we aren't willing to live with, so I feel it is important to talk about this one too... Men are often thought of as dogs/predators/creeps out to objectify women. This is one aspect of our gender that has harmed our image as male nurses. The word nurse is one that is associated with trust and understanding, there are polls out there that support this. While I don't think it's fair, the reality of the situation is that we have to be vigilant to not reinforce any notion that we are on the floor checking out our coworkers this is a slippery slope that can lead to mistrust and doubt of our professionalism. Women have dealt with this for so long, it is only fair if a bit ironic that we have the face the same obstacle. I appreciate the female form as much as the next guy and I agree that it is wonderful being able to work with intelligent, beautiful, and caring women every day, but it is all about context here. Let's do our part to always be sensitive to these issues.
Sorry for the rant,