Originally posted by joenp
I forgot about the stereotyping that goes with nursing, as with medicine. I will say that any patients that I have worked with, have enjoyed haveing a male nurse. I commend my female counterparts for having the corner on compassion and caring, which is really doing wonders for the field of medicine. Yet, there must be some use for the old "maleness" in nursing, or we would not be doing as well as we do when we join the profession. Yet, how do we change the perception of nursing, yet not change the profession, so that more men will enter. I know that there are some answers out there, that I hope to get from you my colleagues. I want to encourage more men to enter the nursing programs in which I teach, and am looking for some suggestions on how to do it. Unfortunately, some of the people, not just the men, coming into healthcare are doing so because it means job security. This precludes the reasons why many of us got into nursing, certainly not for the money! I hope these comments make some sense and I hope to hear from more of you soon. joenp
Personally, I'm here because I enjoy the challenge of medicine. I used to work in computer maufacturing and hated it. It was mindless. Now, I'm happy every day I put on the scrubs. Granted, I'm only a student now and don't have to deal with the day to day of human nursing life just yet.
My current industry (veterinary) is one that was dominated by men but is now transitioning to being female dominated. Most new grad vets are female and very few techs are male. My school graduates on avrage 25-30 students per year and it is rare to find 2 males in the class, 1 is the norm.
I think y'all are right that the issue is mostly the perception that being an RN is a "female" occupation just as we still do a double-take when we see a woman working construction. Fergus51, I agree with your comments about the perceptions of females expressing "male" traits vs males showing "female" traits. The two things I am asked WEEKLY are a> Are you going to be a vet? (my female colleagues rarely get asked this - the idea that a male is happy being a nurse seems odd to people for some reason) and b> (maybe not weekly but it seems it) are you gay? I am a straight, compassionate male who has no qualms about expressing my compassion for my patients - pure and simple. If that means a little baby talk, so be it.
And, yeah, I think the younger folk's perception of money is different. In today's world, most min wage folks feel they're being ripped off so don't care about doing the job. We live in a society that is very materialistic. I admit I am just like the rest in that aspect - I want vacations, a decent car, etc. I don't want to live like Bill Gates but I don't want to have to plan into the budget going to have a few beers with the guys either. It took me 5 years to get back to my computer industry salary after changing careers the last time. However, I made the change because I firmly believe you have to love what you do for a living or you won't be very good at it and the rest of your life will suffer. I like veterinary nursing but I've hit a glass ceiling in my career and my skills are at a plateau, its time to change.
I think a sincere push needs to be made by the medical industry via PSNs to change the public's image of nursing and specifically gear them to attract males. I think nursing schools should also offer scholarships to encourage males to enter the profession as many industries have done to attract other specific groups they lack.