Why the double standard. - page 3

So I work in a busy ER. When a male nurse has a female patient who needs a pelvic, foley or straight cath the men automatically come to us female nurses without even a conversation with the patient /... Read More

  1. by   applewhitern
    Back in the late 80's to early 90's, I worked at a large hospital in the south. This particular hospital had male and female nursing assistants, and wanted the males to take care of the males, and only females to take care of the female patients. The male assistants bathed the males, etc. Only a female nurse could insert a foley or perform peri-care on a female patient. This avoided accusations of sexual misconduct by either caretaker or patient. I have personally known of three male nursing assistants who were fired because they were accused of sexual misconduct, without regard whether they were guilty or not. Just the accusation was enough to fire them. (no unions here in the deep south.) I have also known of one male RN who was accused of same. Sad that it happens, but since it does, I see nothing wrong with a male asking a female to cath a female patient.
  2. by   kpk11
    Quote from akulahawkRN
    My suspicion is simply that us male nurses are quite aware of the possibility of being accused of sexual battery when we do those procedures. If I have a female patient and I have to do a straight cath or a foley, I will always ask for a female to be present. If the female nurse offers to do it, I'll make sure all the equipment is immediately available. This is strictly because I do NOT want to be accused of sexual battery simply because I'm doing my job.
    I totally understand this; it's just that the willingness to help needs to go both ways. I'm female and when I get a disgusting pervert male patient who makes sexual comments, asks for a hand job to go with his cath, tries to grab my breasts, etc. I expect the same male nurses to also help me in return (even if it's just coming in to be a witness to discourage this behaviour). When they are willing to return the favour, there's no problem. When I help male nurses avoid potential unfair accusations by doing sensitive procedures on their female patients and then they make faces and complain when I ask for help dealing with a perverted male patient, that's selfish and totally unacceptable.
    Last edit by kpk11 on Jan 10
  3. by   MrNurse(x2)
    Quote from kpk11
    I totally understand this; it's just that the willingness to help needs to go both ways. I'm female and when I get a disgusting pervert male patient who makes sexual comments, asks for a hand job to go with his cath, tries to grab my breasts, etc. I expect the same male nurses to also help me in return (even if it's just coming in to be a witness to discourage this behaviour). When they are willing to return the favour, there's no problem. When I help male nurses avoid potential unfair accusations by doing sensitive procedures on their female patients and then they make faces and complain when I ask for help dealing with a perverted male patient, that's selfish and totally unacceptable.
    I always offer to take those patients when my coworker complains. The easiest way to stop that is put a male in care of them.
  4. by   foggnm
    Coming from an ICU background I never really had that experience. Male nurses cathed people as much as female nurses. However I would actually say that the 'double standard' is one self-imposed by the person saying it is a standard. I think most male nurses feel the same responsibility to get things done as their counterparts and wouldn't shrug off responsibility. So what I'm saying is that I don't see that it is a standard. It might be polite to ask a female patient if she was comfortable with a male staff performing the procedure. I would also say that the MDs (male and female) I worked with always asked for a nurse as a witness to chaperone them any time they had to do a pelvic or rectal exam which would probably be a good practice for cathing people.
    I could say as a male nurse that females grab me every time a heavy patient needed to be lifted and say that was a double standard. But honestly I think in most professional environments we don't have double standards. Male and female staff have the same responsibilities but maybe at times we ask another co-worker to help with something. If you feel like your male co-workers need to do their own cathing, then just let them know.
  5. by   Burks21
    The accusations of sexual assault and the like are a very big concern. I always, always, always bring a female with me. I also always ask the patient if it's OK if I place the foley, which they rarely say no. I don't even bother with asking the young females in the teens and 20's, I know the answer is no. This not only protects myself from any legal issues, but it also puts the patient as ease. To tell you the truth, I'd rather have another male put my foley in if I ever need one! At least we can each understand the situation and be professional (Ok...I probably couldn't be if I were the patient receiving the foley) about the whole thing.

    My female co-workers never question me when I ask them to help or if they'd do the foley for me. I get enough requests to cath the "creepy old guy who keeps winking at me" and the like. It's an even trade off. Plus they normally say something like "Yeah I don't want a guy down there either unless it's my husband!". You know, the normal off the wall nurse talk.
  6. by   Khaan
    Quote from akulahawkRN
    I'm an ER nurse, and male. You're very right that there is a double standard and it's NOT in favor of us guys. My suspicion is simply that us male nurses are quite aware of the possibility of being accused of sexual battery when we do those procedures. If I have a female patient and I have to do a straight cath or a foley, I will always ask for a female to be present. If the female nurse offers to do it, I'll make sure all the equipment is immediately available. This is strictly because I do NOT want to be accused of sexual battery simply because I'm doing my job. If I'm doing the task, all I truly care about is getting the task done efficiently.

    I have rarely (if ever) have heard of a male patient accusing a female nurse of sexual battery when doing straight caths or foleys. Furthermore, society at large doesn't view females/women as being sexual predators so there's a bit of a social bias built-in to the whole patient nurse interaction when the two are different sexes.

    Now then I will gladly do a straight cath or foley on a male patient on behalf of my female colleagues because things are starting to change a little bit and our policy is to have a chaperone of the same sex as the patient present whenever an opposite sex provider or nurse is doing any sort exam or procedure that could result in accusations of sexual battery. I do this because often it's just faster I do it as I don't need a chaperone when doing these procedures on male patients.
    This. I like doing all my own procedures, regardless if male or female. I'd ask a female RN or CNA to observe, and perhaps assist, in a procedure, as long as the patient is comfortable with it. What I'm not okay with is someone assuming I shouldn't even handle that patient cause they're the opposite sex.
  7. by   johndough
    I understand what your concerns are. Even my instructor said before that he and a female nurse had an understanding that he will do male caths and she will do female caths. I just think that it's too laborious to expect male nurses to do intimate procedures such as straight/foley caths when some facilities have policies that male providers or male nurses need to have a chaperone and usually not the other way around. I think some of these type of policies are going away though.

    It's just a slap in the face to be chaperoned like that and also if I were to have a female nurse to chaperone me, then she might as well do the procedure herself as opposed to two nurses being preoccupied with one task.

    When I was a nursing student, most female nurses I've worked with asked me to do the men's care from baths, foleys, condom caths, etc. by myself and always chaperoned me with female patients.

    The worst thing that I always hate that happens to me as a male staff, is that people always call me for the lifting or hard to move patients. I mean, I can help out, but there are other stronger and more muscular female nurses on the floor, lol.
  8. by   Volley88
    In my hospital, it is an unwritten rule, that a female staff must be present when a male RN does any sort of nursing interventions involving foleys, etc. Just someone to back you up incase pt says to sue.
  9. by   stethscoper
    I never understand a chaperone of the same sex as the patient as though if something unseemly happens I am going to side with the nurse of my sex. That is a sexist element in this business.
  10. by   Nalon1 RN/EMT-P
    Quote from stethscoper
    I never understand a chaperone of the same sex as the patient as though if something unseemly happens I am going to side with the nurse of my sex. That is a sexist element in this business.
    Are you talking from the point of view of the patient?
    The chaperone of the same sex as the patient is not there for the patient to side with, it is as a witness for the person doing the procedure/care/exam to have a co-worker there to have their back.
    If you have 2 males doing a female cath, and the female accuses the male of doing something inappropriate, having a second male in the room only adds to the problem. Having a female as a chaperone can help the patient feel more comfortable, as well as be a witness for her male coworker that nothing inappropriate happened (or did happen as may be the case).
    Same for male patients. I have had male patients accuse female nurses of not knowing what they were doing, when they did nothing wrong. Having a male in the room makes it a lot easier to diffuse the issue as well as have the female coworkers back.
  11. by   stethscoper
    One of my patients needed a pelvic exam. The OB/GYN doc, who was female, asked me to chaperone. I did. Now whether the physician was female or male if she/he did something unseemly, and I noticed it, I would say something to the physician and would be a witness against the physician if necessary. If the physician is male and he has a female chaperone there is no more likely a chance of an unseemly act if the chaperone is male. As far as feeling more comfortable, if the physician is male, the physician is the one who is doing the exam not the chaperone. Professionalism is the key here. Any thing else is sexist with a background of racist behavior and a double standard that puts male nurses at the back of the bus where we breath the fumes of inequality.
  12. by   MrNurse(x2)
    Quote from stethscoper
    One of my patients needed a pelvic exam. The OB/GYN doc, who was female, asked me to chaperone. I did. Now whether the physician was female or male if she/he did something unseemly, and I noticed it, I would say something to the physician and would be a witness against the physician if necessary. If the physician is male and he has a female chaperone there is no more likely a chance of an unseemly act if the chaperone is male. As far as feeling more comfortable, if the physician is male, the physician is the one who is doing the exam not the chaperone. Professionalism is the key here. Any thing else is sexist with a background of racist behavior and a double standard that puts male nurses at the back of the bus where we breath the fumes of inequality.
    The reason to have a witness the same sex as the patient originates in what is deemed proper and expected in the viewpoint of the witness. Two men observing a male gyn may not know what is proper in that scenario, where a female would have experience in that situation. It adds validity to the witness' statement.

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