Quote from mofomeat
Hi folks. My questions in this thread are actually more serious than they'll seem...
We've discussed at length here how awesome it is to be a young, hot nurse. Well, how about if you're old and ugly? The first strike against me is I'm male. The second strike is I'm going to be past 40 by time I finish Nursing school. My hair is thinning a little and I've got a mild case of rosacea. I'm somewhat overweight, but I've also got a condition known as Diastasis Recti which makes it look like I have a beer gut. I never was a cute little kid to start with and never got to be "young and hot" like everyone else. Basically, I'm at tops a step up from your standard Level 4 bridge troll. In real life, if I'm too nice to people or too eager to help them with anything (an innate flaw of my personality) it somehow translates to "creepy" instead of "kind". This disqualifies me from L&D and Ped for sure, but I'm fine with that.
When a classmate of mine tells people he is going into nursing, the responses he gets are usually "*swoon* nothing like a hot male nurse!". When I tell people, I usually get stuff like "You'll be useful for all the heavy lifting and cleaning up".
Surely some of you Studly Guys and Lovely Ladies have had to work alongside someone who looks like they stepped out of the Mos Eisley Cantina scene before (and I don't mean that in the cool way). Even if the ugly nurse is reasonably intelligent, competent, fairly personable with a great sense of humor and doesn't smell bad, would their dodgy appearance make them more prone to:
1) Discipline for mistakes.
2) Lateral violence.
3) Getting a bedpan dumped in their locker
4) Patients being 'creeped out' in the presence of an ugly old man
5) Jealousy from co-workers (see Mos Eisley comment above)
6) Getting hired in the first place
I'm not becoming a nurse to go hit on all the hot young female nurses (as my friends seem to believe) so I'm not overly worried about dating prospects. It's a job, it's a career and I'm driven to help people.
The people I work with now love the crap out of me because I'm good at what I do, I'm good at understanding what THEY do, I'm good at getting everyone and everything to work together and I make the work environment fun and enjoyable with humor and good cheer. However, we're all a bunch of computer/Star Wars/Lego/DnD geeks and we don't work with the public a whole helluva lot.
But nobody goes to a hospital to see ugly people, right? Should I just pack it in and join the circus instead?
First - I'm a relative noob @ 1 yr 3 mos. PD employment at a semi-local SNF as a CNA. 50 y.o., male pattern baldness, 5'7" & 290 lbs. Think "Pillsbury Doughboy" and you're on the right track. Much as TV would like you to believe otherwise, it's very unlikely anyone's going to be derogatory towards you - so long as you're good at what you do, and don't make extra work for them. That's the reality of the situation - from the front lines. Period.
Second: in order...
- Discipline for mistakes; I've made some doozies, and heard of doozies done by others - unless it's actionable, I wouldn't worry. You're held to the same standards as everyone else.
- Lateral violence; because of your appearance, no. You can get some direct violence from patients & their families, and it's possible you'll be singled out by some of the cliques. Again, I've had it done to me, and seen it done to others - if anything the little cuties may just have it a bit worse because they may or may not be used to the rough & tumble of the nursing profession.
- Bedpan in locker; Not likely, since that's a definite infection control issue - facilities get written up for things like that.
- Pt. being "creeped out..."; Nyet. Almost certainly you'll run into pts. that want a "girl nurse"; whether you'll be able to honor their wishes depends on facility policy. Some bend over backwards to please, others don't.
- Jealousy from co-workers; possibly. You may run into co-workers that may have a beef with you because you're a better/worse/different nurse than they are; that you attended a better/worse/different school than they did; that you come from a better/worse/different cultural background than they did, and the list goes on & on. As the song says - "You can't please every one, so you - you got to please your self." Just not at someone else's expense, if you please.
- Getting hired in the first place; again, employers want a person to fill a position - be good at what you do, present it properly and there's a good chance they'll bite. Right now, it's still tough to find work, and it doesn't matter if you're GQ material or not. F'rinstance...I was laid off in June of '09; couldn't find any work. At all. Got cross-trained as a pharmacy tech; same deal. Went to the Red Cross to get trained as a CNA. 2 days
after I successfully completed CNA boot camp I had a job lead; 6 weeks
after class I had a job. In IT my job hunts (during good times) typically took 8-12 weeks, and it took me 6 months to find my first IT gig as a computer operator bursting reports & hanging 9-track tapes.
--- ???; Really, the only thing I'd have an issue with is your lack of self-confidence - you need to be calm & assertive with pts., or they'll eat you alive. Some will, anyway.
Incidentally, don't count yourself out of Peds/L&D as a male nurse; couple of guys I've worked with/swapped electrons with work in children's units. Big thing there is how well you get along with kids & new parents; with the kiddos I put on my "Uncle Dave" hat & have had few issues. New parents - I've got a clinical rotation in L&D coming up; let you know how it goes.
Short version - there is no causal relationship (or for that matter, correlation) between ABC's "Gray's Anatomy" and the real world. If you have the brains, the heart, and a pretty thick hide than you can pull off a nursing gig. The only person who can make that determination is you. The best of luck to you - and, we're here to help.
p.s. The potato salad in the Break Room is excellent!