What are your thoughts on patients who request no male nurses taking care of them? - page 7

by Mike A. Fungin RN | 32,269 Views | 132 Comments

What are your thoughts on patients who request no male nurses taking care of them?... Read More


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    Quote from Mike A. Fungin RN
    What are your thoughts on patients who request no male nurses taking care of them?
    I never wanted male docs. When I had my first two children I went to an all female OB/GYN practice. When I was pregnant with my third child I decided to go to a local highly recommended birth center that had recently opened in my area. I was excited about a having my third child at the birth center with midwives. When I went to my first appointment I found out they actually had a male midwife there. I was told that I would have to see him at least once during prenatal visits because of the off chance that he was the only one on duty when I went into labor. Well, as the fates would have it, he was the only one available when I went into labor and I ended up with a male midwife. lol Naturally, I was a bit put off by the thought of it but as you probably know, when you are in labor, all modesty pretty much goes out the door. I ended up needing a c/s and my male midwife was wonderful. He went into the OR with me and filmed the delivery and during the entire thing said what was happening. So my delivery video is quite educational. That is something I may not have gotten with a female midwife. So I guess I got over my reservations about having a male doc/nurse.

    As a nurse I would not be offended at all having a male ask for another male to do personal care or put in a catheter, etc. We want our patients to get better, feel comfortable and safe. Sometimes, the gender of your provider can't be your choice. If you are rushed to the ED in an ambulance you will get whoever is there to receive you. But if you are on a floor and there are other nurses available, why not accommodate the patient? I think it is awful for any male nurse to feel mad or resentful over a patients preference. It is not personal, it is just about how comfortable they are personally. It doesn't mean they think you will be a bad nurse or a sexual predator. It may just be that they do not want a stranger who is a male to do their personal care. If they only knew what went on in the OR though, they would probably get over their modesty issues real fast. lol
    unclebda and Susie2310 like this.
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    quote from mike a. fungin rn

    "what are your thoughts on patients who request no male nurses taking care of them?"


    what are my thiughts? i do not have any thoughts about this. i am a male nurse and i do not think about this at all. when a patient prefers a woman nurse, i do whatever i can to accommodate him or her and get back to work .oh by the way, i have had this experience with more men than women patients. people are funny, eh?
    Ruas61, Susie2310, and tewdles like this.
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    its not your problem or issue! what ever issue really means..its a political term with no meaning.
    You abide by their wishes. If this is in the States, they are paying the bill, not you.
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    Personally, I would be comfortable either way. But, I know there are women who would be concerned with male nurses taking care of them. Think of those who may have been exposed to abuse or trauma. There could be a lot more than you see on the outside.
    CountyRat likes this.
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    I usually tell the patient that because they are in the hospital they don't have to give up everything, referring to privacy or modesty. So when they ask for a female nurse to help with cares I do everything I can to accomadate their requst.

    I know that for a foley cather placement or removal I would personal prefer a male, men seem to understand male anatomy better and have more empathy. Plus I have had male patients, for whom I have inserted or removed a cather for comment that I did a better job then the last female nurse. lol

    As far as other personal cares I would want to do them myself if not then most likely I would prefer a male. Men know how more about what would be uncomfortable when dealing, such as washing, male parts. It is not saying that women can't do just as good or better job. I am just amazed at how many female nurses truely don't understand how delicate the man parts are, my wife included.

    Point I am trying to make is if we put ourselves in the patients shoes then it should not offend us when a request is made due to modesty, privacy, or some reason such as abuse.
    Susie2310, tewdles, and sapphire18 like this.
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    Quote from nursejenna1986
    I agree it is probably just modesty.
    Quote from greenbeanio
    The issue may be beyond that of mere "modesty". We need to bear in mind the needs of abuse survivors even if the patient has not identified a hx of abuse. If we are to provide "trauma-informed care", we need to get into the habit of providing care in such a way as to not require the pt to self-identify as a trauma survivor. Like "universal precautions" which are applied universally, so as to avoid stigma.

    Here are some stats:
    Who are the Victims? | RAINN | Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network

    And this is actual rape - not all sexual assault which would include inappropriate touching, voyeurism, frottage, verbal sexual harassment etc.

    Given these statistics, it may be understandable why people may have issues around their bodies.
    i was just going to post something similar to above post, so thank you greenbeanio.
    for many of us, it really does go beyond "just modesty"...
    that there are cases of rape, and even years of horrific abuses including sexual.
    do not assume anything about your pts - this goes for male and female.
    and while many of us manage to go on with our lives, it is something you never ever truly get over.
    having a male nurse (or whoever the former perp was) could easily trigger someone who has been grossly and inhumanely violated.

    i'm sorry guys - but this goes far beyond your capabilities as a nurse.
    some things just cannot be fixed, and pts needs must try and be honored.
    it really as simple as that.

    leslie
    CountyRat likes this.
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    Quote from ZippyGBR
    are there any responses that actually say that or just responses from people saying that it;s someone's loss if they reject the care offered by a professional on the basis of an characteristic of the carer ...

    exactly how far are you prepared to allow the wants of patients to go vs the needs of the patient, the service and the unit as a whole ?

    there is also the issue of those who should know better ( i.e. other Nurses ) not only supporting patient choice ( within the bounds of the service) but suggesting that it is their opinion as well ) Opinions which are common among the population at large are not really suitable among health staff and especially among professionals.
    Ok...so I will admit that there were only 3 or 4 responses that do not honor the request of the patient over the inconvenience or feelings of the professional. Having said that, even just a few bothers me...

    How far would I go? First, I have been a nurse for more than 30 years in and out of the hospital setting and have lived through all sort of patient/family requests in all sort of settings. This is what I know, nurses are trained to be patient advocates. I am a patient advocate and I will advocate for the wishes of the patient in the health care arena as long as what they are asking is not illegal or prohibited by policy. It might be stupid, in our opinion. It might be inconvenient for us as health care workers either in reality or in our opinion. It might be unusual, in our opinion. It may not make sense to us. In my professional opinion it is our duty to try to provide the best care for the patient not just related to their medical diagnosis and the medical and nursing tasks you/we are charged with completing, but also for the WHOLE person...their emotional, psychosocial, spiritual, cultural, and physical needs. We are the one professional discipline which is responsible for all of those areas. So, I guess I would (and have) gone pretty far to allow the wishes of the patient to trump the "needs" of the health care system when possible.

    I am not certain what you mean when you talk about "those who should know better" related to patient choice within the bounds of the service. When it comes to offering our patients our "opinion", those comments should be limited to our professional recommendations rather than personal opinions. What we think as a general citizen has no bearing on the patient's right to participate in their care and their right to express their wishes related to that care. So I think we are in agreement if that was what you were getting at.

    From another perspective, nursing school does not save people from bigoted or wrong thinking on social issues. You might have noticed that even medical school does not remove crazy opinions from the hearts of some students after many years. There are plenty of professionals in a variety of fields who hold "unsuitable" opinions.
    Susie2310 likes this.
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    Quote from mofomeat

    I'm still trying to understand why it's ok for women to bring their small boys into men's restrooms and stand right next to me with my junk hanging out, but it's somehow taboo for them to take those same small boys to a stall in the women's restroom. Once again, it's a drop in the bucket compared to so many other things that are far more important. For entertainment I'll just start a conversation with them, "So... come here often?"
    What? I have NEVER EVER seen this? is this more common in some areas than others? I have ONLY, hundreds of times seen a woman take a little boy into women's bathrooms never walk into a men's br with the kid? or do you mean the part that urinals are not private? so confused......
    anyway, It would depends for me. most people making this request are do to modesty reasons. get over yourselves male or female requests. most pts who specify are ok with a male/female ent dr. but prefer a ob/gyn or urologist of his/her own gender. they might be ok with a male/female dr but not a nurse of a different gender because depending on the diagnosis etc the male/female dr might not see as much of the patient as the nurse would.
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    Exactly, just like when a patient requests, nicely, that no black or Asian nurses take care of them.
    It's all about patient comfort, right?
    anotherone likes this.
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    As a nurse we need to try to understand what patient's needs are. If they request no male nurse than if at all possible they shouldn't have a male nurse. They shouldn't be drilled or made to feel bad. It is totally a patient's preference.

    If no female nurse is available, politely explain to the patient and ensure them that their privacy will be maintained at all cost. In this situation, a male nurse could care for the patient and during private moments like bathing or using the restroom possibly a female coworker could assist the patient.
    CountyRat and Susie2310 like this.


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