males in the delivery room

  1. I am a nursing student just about to graduate. I asked this question in another section on this website (traveling nursing) but realized that that wouldn't be a good section to ask in since it doesn't really apply. I am male and would really love to be a delivery room nurse. It's hard enough to do a bed bath or cath on a female patient without them being uncomfortable and I can only imagine what delivery would be like. Any comments or suggestions? Any bad experiences that might make me reconsider that choice?
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   OB4ME
    Hello, dcuson! I think that's wonderful that you are entertaining the idea of going into L&D!!! We need more nurses that truly love this specialty! I worked with one of the best male nurses when I worked ante-postpartum. Though he sometimes got kicked out of the room ("No way you're going to go looking down there for any swelling!)-many patients were fine since he came across as very professional. I think that is the key. Some hospitals exclude male nurse from L&D, due to the anticipated discomfort felt by patients and/or their husbands. In the debate of whether or not it is fair to exclude them, I am in the middle-I don't think they should be excluded from the area, but I believe that the patient who is truly uncomfortable with having a male nurse in OB has the right to refuse. Many patients will be totally fine with a male as their nurse, as long as he comes across as professional. Many argue that most OB docs are male, so why should this even be an issue? Please keep in mind that most patients choose their OB, often referred to by a friend or family member. And they build a relationship through the course of the pregnancy, whereas a male nurse would just be "thrust" upon them. I think that as you pursue L&D as a career goal, just keep these things in mind! Enthusiasm can often get you in the door to the job of your dreams, and professionalism will keep you there! Good luck!
  4. by   Caseyrnbsn
    I ssay go for it. I too think this is wonderful. But as said in the previous posting some women will refuse you and also be uncomfortable. We have no male L/D nurses.
    I think most of the public perception has been that women attend to women iin childbirth siince the begining of time. This needs to change. I think a male in L/D would be and could be a great asset. We have a few male Nurses in a NICU where I used to work and they parents loved them. I hope you continue and go on with what you desire. It may be hard but well worth it. I truly love what I do and each birth is truly a grand event and a wondrous miracle of life

    Good Luck and God Bless Karen.

  5. by   PC
    As an Army Nurse, let me tell you, some of the best OB nurses and Nurse-Midwives I know are male. (BOTH Military and civilian!!!)
    (Hey - I'm a female - and I cath MALE patients...!!)
    Yes, you will occationally come across a patient who will prefer a female. BUT this is generally the exception.

    Go for it!!! A good nurse deliveries care and compassion - which is what being a nurse it - regardless of gender.
  6. by   jimbob
    Hey "guys"
    interesting thoughts on males in the delivery suite - as a male student nurse time in the delivery room is a compulsory part of our training here in NZ - but only five days (in a block of four weeks). i presented myself cheerfully and happily as i always did for my clinical placements - and proceeded to spend three shifts being ignored, or at best tolerated with mild bemusement. mid-way through the third duty i was going to complain to my nursing tutor and decline to present myself, choosing to study at home in more comfortable surroundings, and probably getting as much "learning". then, suddenly and with almost no preparation, i was told that a 45 yr old multi was coming down from c floor (gynae) and to get me in to the delivery i should present myself quietly and unobtrusively. the delivery was awesome, the Pacific Island Mum having her fifth child, and i used my psychiatric nursing experience to intervene when a misunderstanding between the midwife and the mum (who had poor english) meant that she almost catherterised because of a misunderstanding. the delivery took until about midnight, and even though our hours were until 2100 hrs i stayed and presented at the proper time the next shift. i don't know whether it was my willingness to work or what, but i went on from a very bad start to be involved with five deliveries over the next two shifts, including a caesarian which had me in tears.
    my point? well it was my experience that much of how men are viewed in delivery suite depends on how we are presented by the nurse/midwives introducing us. for whatever reason i was treated badly in the beginning of my delivery suite placement, but when things turned around, and i was treated with professionalism and respect i think we should all be treated whether students or colleagues, it turned out to be one of the best placements i have experienced (although i'm not drawn to midwifery full time).
    yes, i accept the politics of male/female relationships and agree that clients should always have choices. but does the medical or surgical patient have a choice about who nurses them? and i have seen some very un-healthy nurse patient interactions in my time - but the patients don't appear to be able to choose not to be nursed by someone who treats them shabbily. and as one of the previous correspondents so correctly wrote - men are catherterised, and uritipped and so on (often with little dignity)by female nurses - shouldn't we give them a choice also????? (i can already hear the cries "but we don't have enough male nurses" :-)
    anyway, just my thoughts and ramblings
    good luck with your future and you will get what you want if you want it enough...
  7. by   HazeK
    IF you are skilled, compassionate, love patient care, & are sensitive to patients' feelings, THEN go for it!

    I wish I could tell you the name of the gentleman, but we had a "Traveler" L&D RN that is one of the very best L&D RNs I have ever, ever worked with! He was sooooooo sensitive he never had a problem with patient's refusing his care. (& yes he is very much a heterosexual male, married to another L&D RN...just in case anyone was wondering about that). I think HE was so comfortable with himself, that is part of why he made others so comfortable.

    :-)
  8. by   tootlet
    As a male RN I rarely have a patient refuse my care. At the start of the shift they may be uncomfortable but by the end of the shift they wouldn't trade me for any other nurse on with me. I act with respect, compassion and humor. In my rotation as a nursing student I was in on more deliveries than all the other students in my rotation but that was luck of the draw. I found OB nurses were protective (and grumpy) grilling me till I showed knowledge and professionalism. I also attached myself to an experienced RN and followed her asking questions whenever I could (almost continuously). I work in that same hospital now and plan on working OB but I wanted experience in Med/Surg first. If you want to work OB, go for it. Good luck
  9. by   tntrn
    Is there a similar problem on Med-Surg floors with female nurses caring for male patients?

    When I was fresh out of nursing school, I delivered my second child. My student nurse was Rich, a student in the same school but one year behind me. Was I uncomfortable? Not in the least, and that was in the good old days when women still got shaves and enemas.

    In my 24 years of Delivery experience, I find that other nurses are the biggest barrier to this. Many assume that the patients will be uncomfortable, and don't give the nurse or the patients the opportunity to prove that they are way beyond that.

    I say, go for it. You undoubtedly have something to offer that we (females) cannot, but as long as you know your L & D "stuff" you're welcome in my labor room anytime!

  10. by   fergus51
    I say go for it and good luck! I think that male nurses are just as good, caring and compassionate as female nurses. I also feel patients have a right to a professional competent nurse, but nothing else should be a consideration. I think people's attitudes towards male RNs is one of the few prejudices we deem acceptable. There's no way anyone would be say that a racist patient has the right to a white nurse, but we still think that women patients should be able to demand women nurses. It's just outdated and ridiculous.
  11. by   gcrhodenrnc
    We have a male nurse in our L/D at present and have had, since I've worked there for the past 6 years. 3 different males nurses over that time. We have patient that come back the next time to have a baby and ask for them by name. Alot of the patients perfer them over the female nurses. I really think it depends on the person. If you come across professionally, and friendly, then patients seem to be at ease.
  12. by   FamilymanRNBSN L/D
    Originally posted by dcuson:
    I am a nursing student just about to graduate. I asked this question in another section on this website (traveling nursing) but realized that that wouldn't be a good section to ask in since it doesn't really apply. I am male and would really love to be a delivery room nurse. It's hard enough to do a bed bath or cath on a female patient without them being uncomfortable and I can only imagine what delivery would be like. Any comments or suggestions? Any bad experiences that might make me reconsider that choice?
    My name is Todd and i think you should see my posting on this site
    Women need only apply...A male perspective
    or email me at familyonline1@juno.com
  13. by   canoehead
    I think any patient should be able to request a different nurse and should not HAVE to give a reason for it. If a patient seems have designated only a select few as acceptable that is a different story, but conflict or discomfort on either side should be respected.

    That said I hope more males think about L&D as a specialty. New blood and new perspectives are energizing.

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  14. by   FamilymanRNBSN L/D
    Originally posted by dcuson:
    I am a nursing student just about to graduate. I asked this question in another section on this website (traveling nursing) but realized that that wouldn't be a good section to ask in since it doesn't really apply. I am male and would really love to be a delivery room nurse. It's hard enough to do a bed bath or cath on a female patient without them being uncomfortable and I can only imagine what delivery would be like. Any comments or suggestions? Any bad experiences that might make me reconsider that choice?

    I am the first male L/D nurse ever to work at the hospital that hired me. This concerned my nursing instructors and some advised me against it not due to my gender, but the nature of the unit I would be working. This unit does 400 plus deliveries a month, and has a I'd say at least half of them are high risk on top off all that. My other instructors were thrilled but told me I would not get hired, while writing the very reccomendation letters for my interview.
    Some will question your intentions, but the bottom line is patient care. Once they see you providing excellent pt care they will convert, and want to now if you have any male friends interested in working L/D. truely there may be some creepy guys out there that make women feel sceptical, but you will hopefully be a reminder to them to not prejudge the whole gender based on past
    opinions. I have enjoyed great...great sucess, good recomendations and evaluations from my peers both physicians and other RNS.
    If your a decent human being witha pure heart it won't take very long to win the ladies over. As far as the pt, In one year of nursing I have only had 1 pt desire a female nurse. I approach my pt saying...Hi my name is todd i will be your nurse and proceed to make small talk about their family or something important to them. This
    coupled with awesome IV starting skills and a little pt education to answer their fears
    before and not during their reality...goes a long long way to wining them over and making them feel like they got the best nurse. I even had a lesbian couple tell me that they were thinking of switching to another nurse, and were so glad they didn't. Everybody likes to be celebrated. Pts, staff, family....My christian faith has helped me in my approach to pts, and staff. I look at each no matter what their station in life as special, holy, because they are created in God's image, whether they know that or not. It has never failed me...My other in road is humor and time. A well placed joke, or funny, to break the tension, or just spending more time in a pts room with them, rather than shooting the bull in the nurses station. This does wonders to calm someone
    when words do not seem to stick...If I can be of any help please let me know...Todd from tulsa....

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