Men in OB/Peds Nursing....Any thoughts?.... - page 5

I remember seeing something posted along these lines a while back, but it never really "got going" so I thought I would open it up for one more try....I am about to finish my LPN Program, and then... Read More

  1. by   Patti_RN
    There remain some prejudices in gender roles of healthcare employees. For some reason, male OBs don't suffer from this to the same extent; I have a very good friend who is a male mid-wife and he apparently has no problems finding or retaining patients. But, there is something about male nurses that makes some patients and some of their husbands or boyfriends uncomfortable. Some were candid enough to express their reservations here, and others may have concerns but chose not to say so as it may not seem 'PC'. So, these prejudices do exist; whether they're justified or not becomes irrelevant in the reality of the situation.

    And, this is the reality: employers cannot discriminate on the basis of gender, but for an applicant to have a legal case for not being hired, the onerous is on them to prove that it was gender discrimination. (I can hear it now, people are going to post, "But, it's not legal and you can sue them!" No, it's not legal, and yes you can sue them, but you're going to spend a large fortune in attorney fees and probably lose the case, unless you have proof that the reason you weren't hired was because of you gender.) Unless the hiring manager said directly (or better yet put it in writing), "Sorry, you are the most capable applicant we have, but we will not hire you because you're a male" you have little recourse or 'proof' that you weren't hired because you're a member of a protected class.

    There are many international patients at our hospitals and some are very clear that they do not allow male doctors, nurses, techs or even housekeepers in the female patients' rooms. In my legal opinion, these patients can't demand that one gender isn't allowed to treat them (this isn't for OB/gyn care, but all hospital care). Would hospitals respect the wishes of patients who refused to allow racial minorities in the patients' rooms? Seems like a lawsuit to me... why then do the hospitals cave when gender is the issue?

    So, yes, by all means apply for jobs in L&D if that's what you want. But, be prepared for the reality that you may not get hired. There is lots of competition for those jobs and few new grads get chosen. The hospitals could even use that to keep you out--no experience, but how do you gain experience if you can't get hired? Eventually barriers get broken down and maybe this barrier will be gone soon. Good luck!
    Last edit by Patti_RN on May 2, '12 : Reason: typo
  2. by   Wild Irish LPN
    Thanks Patti....I get the fact that men in nursing are going to be scrutinized, it is just a fact....whether it be by a patients husband or a charge nurse, it is still the same....Pediatrics has always been my true calling....L&D is just so interesting and amazing to me on many different levels that I was attracted to that niche....but reality is just that, a new nurse and a father of two (plus an awesome wife) I cannot be the "trailblazer" right out of the shoot....I've got bills to my heart and dedication will go into Pediatrics, but with time and skill, along with what I hope to be a great reputation, I can explore the OB/L&D side in a few years....I need that experience anyway.....Thanks again Patti!
  3. by   Patti_RN
    I was a nervous wreck during my clinical rotation in peds! It wasn't the patients who were difficult, it was dealing with the parents! You obviously have a lot of strength and determination and will be great in whatever path you choose.

    I wasn't trying to burst your bubble. Personally, I believe men should be in L&D and have no limitations (or remarkable traits) that make them different--for the better or worse--than their female counterparts. It's just as you say, being a trailblazer is a difficult position to be in (in a practical sense) and although it might break down some barriers, sadly it's often not the trailblazer, himself, who benefits from the battle--it's all those who rush in after him.

    Enjoy those kids-- congrats on your upcoming graduation, and best of luck in your future academics and in your career as a nurse!
  4. by   ThePrincessBride
    Quote from Bortaz, RN
    Irrelevant. You don't have to die from cancer in order to be qualified to work as an oncology nurse.
    Cancer =/= birthing babies.
  5. by   ThePrincessBride
    Quote from Wild Irish SN
    thanks for your input....but as a nurse do you have to have had a MI to care for a Cardiac patient?, or to have experienced head trauma to care for a car accident victim?....I get it, we are dealing with a woman's body....modesty and our American culture (along with most others) are a bit repressed when it comes to the female anatomy, we almost foster a culture of shame about it and that is due to our nature of sexualizing everything....I guess the way I see it is that it is medical procedure and process....I get that one would like to have an experienced nurse helping them through this time, a nurse who can relate....but you know what?, I am that nurse too....I was with my wife through every phase of our pregnancy and took the ride with her....just because I didn't feel the physiological pain of child birth doesn't mean I couldn't provide outstanding care and empathy, I could....does this really just boil down to the fact of our cultures repressed/dysfunctional feelings about our bodies?.....if so then that is a sad statement in itself.....

    It has nothing to do with repression. Some women don't feel comfortable with men who are NOT their husbands/lovers seeing them naked. It has nothing to do with "sexualizing everything" but rather decency and respect and a woman feeling that only HER partner has a right to see HER nude body, and this is coming from someone who has NO problems with nudity, public breastfeeding, etc.
  6. by   palmsofvictory
    haha. brilliant.

    i don't think anyone here was under the impression that birthing babies = CA.

    that said, i'd feel more comfortable with my delivering wife not having male nurses. and so would she.
  7. by   RN1485
    I wouldn't want any male being in the room either if I were delivering (or giving pap smear for that matter). I know there are several male nurses/doctors who would be fully capable of taking care of me and my baby so I'm not questioning whether or not they could handle it. However, to me giving birth is such a intimate and vulnerable experience that I wouldn't feel fully comfortable having a man in the room (aside from my husband). In part it's a modesty thing but it is also to me a vanity thing. This is a time when I'm probably gonna be looking nastier than usual. I'm bloated, my feet are swollen, I'm sweating, I'm in pain and you have to look at my goods in the process. Plus I could unintentionally defecate while pushing out the thanks, please get me a woman lol.

    That said I would think that most women would be fine with it. If it's your passion do it! Just know that there will be a few people like me asking for someone else.
    Last edit by RN1485 on May 12, '12
  8. by   Suburban.Raider.11
    I feel for you. I really do. I find it hilarious that women are concerned about a man looking at their parts before, during, and after labor and delivery. Nobody cares what your parts look like! Nurse, male and female, have seen plenty of naked bodies. Your body is no different. Exposure for clinical purposes does not equal any kind of sexual interest. I would be more concerned about a woman judging my postpartum body than a man. I feel there is a different type of compassion and respect from men involved in childbirth that is underappreciated.

    I'm annoyed. I'm stepping down from my soap box now.

    Good luck to you, sir.
  9. by   Patti_RN
    There is nothing hilarious about privacy issues, cultural issues, or religious preferences. While I had a male obstetrician I understand women who prefer female Ob-gyns and nurses. I worked as a VD counselor years ago and many males came in who requested male docs or nurses. More recently I worked in a family care practice and men coming in for ED wanted a female practioner for their Viagra prescription--it was a matter of male ego that they didn't want to admit to another man that they suffered from impotence. We often have devoutly religious people of both genders who want someone of their own sex caring for them whether or not they are disrobing for care. These preferences are deeply ingrained for personal, cultural, religious or other reasons and it's typically the hospital's decision whether or not to honor these requests; in my experience they usually do honor them.
  10. by   caregiver1977
    I'd much rather have the OP there than the OB doctor I had that made a rude comment when I had a bowel movement while pushing. I don't know what he was expecting to come out of me. Maybe he was disappointment that the winning lottery numbers didn't come out instead!

    I don't know why anyone would be uncomfortable with a male OB nurse when so many OBs are male. Wouldn't make any sense to me, unless a person was uncomfortable having a male OB. But would it make sense to have a male OB doing your care and balk at a male OB nurse?
    Last edit by caregiver1977 on May 15, '12 : Reason: clarifying
  11. by   HeartsOpenWide
    I would refuse a male nurse. Would I let a man deliver my baby? Yes, if he was in the OB practice that I was going to for my pregnancy; difference? I will get to know this male provider over a period of 9 months, a male nurse may not see until I go into labor. Also, any OB nurse knows that the patient spends 95% of her labor with the nurse...a male nurse in OB (excluding NICU) is like hiring a mechanic who has never driven a car (IMO).
  12. by   HeartsOpenWide
    Quote from HeartsOpenWide
    I would refuse a male nurse. Would I let a man deliver my baby? Yes, if he was in the OB practice that I was going to for my pregnancy; difference? I will get to know this male provider over a period of 9 months, a male nurse may not see until I go into labor. Also, any OB nurse knows that the patient spends 95% of her labor with the nurse...a male nurse in OB (excluding NICU) is like hiring a mechanic who has never driven a car (IMO).
    Let me add, I do not mean a woman who has never given birth can not be an OB nurse; just that women understand women...and giving birth is a woman thing. Again, if it were up to me, only a woman would deliver my baby; but in my area there are not any practices that are all female. Having worked with the male providers,I work, with for over two years; I would feel totally comfortable having them help me to deliver my baby. If one of the female providers agreed to "special me" I would go for that first.
  13. by   Bortaz, RN
    Speaking of men in NICU...those of you who wouldn't allow me to be your L/D nurse...would you allow me, a male NICU nurse, into the c-section or delivery room to rescusitate your dying infant?

    I might see your tender bits...or your baby might die while we're looking for someone besides a male that knows how to rescusitate a baby.