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more advice needed.

by auwrestler197 auwrestler197 (New) New

Hello all. What I am about to ask may seem stupid, strange, whatever but I gotta know.

I am a male considering nursing (RN). My wife thinks I would be great at it. I take care of my 4 small children very well. Here's the thing; I hear on a lot of forums like this one that -

1). Male nurses do all the heavy lifting. (Not really worried about that, I'm not a small fellow and would mostly see it as a good workout.)

2). (And I mainly hear this from disgruntled nurses) The majority of what nurses do is clean up poo, and vomit, etc...

Well, what is the deal? I have been told by some nurses that I know that they rarely do nasty stuff like poo, vomit, and showers, etc... Only that every now and then they may help the techs/cna's/whatever do these things as their job (as LPN's and RN's) is to do the drug dispersement and paperwork.

I get a lot of different views and would like to know what exactly I am getting into before I jump in headfirst. DON'T GET ME WRONG. I don't mind dirty stuff (like I said, 4 small kids) but I'd rather that not be the predominent part of my day. I thought about getting a part time job as a patient tech to see but figured they do so much crappy work (no pun intended) that it would scare me away from the profession altogether. I hope nobody takes this to sound as bad as it probably does, but I am just curious.

Any advice?

BTW: I would be more then happy to help other nurses with all the heavy lifting if they would do my share of the nasty stuff!!!:idea::lol2:;)


Specializes in Cardiology, Oncology, Medsurge.

Myth I: male nurses do all the lifting. Not true. You may be called to assist with a lift and granted you should request others assist you with a lift and not be the macho man. Save your back be smart don't just abrubtly pull some one up from the floor post haste. I've seen too many nurses, a lot of times women (LOL) go about this business too aggressively and not using their noggin.

Myth II: Pooh bear doesn't define nursing. Oh, yeah getting your hands in the mud can occur, but most of the time on a medsurge, telemetry floor (ICU is the exeption) you'll have support staff to do the clean up. I do not hesitate but help when called upon or when the CNAs are tide up with other duties. It is our duty as nurses to keep clients clean and comfortable throughout our shift. Remember too, you may decide to do OR, discharge planning, infection control, house supervisor role, student nurse educator role -- these nurses leave Pooh bear out of the working scene all togethor.

Good luck. Check out the male nursing forum to see the rewards men find in this field of endeavor.

PS. Be forwarned some women nurses get off labeling male nurses as gay. Some males are no doubt gay, most are hetero. Even if you're married do not be shocked by this attitude! It just comes with the territory. Similar fields as male hair dressor, male tailor, male chef suffer with this too.

Just don't let them cheat you out of being yourself and not having to act all macho he man at work, it'll back fire on you.

Joe NightingMale, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med surg, cardiac, case management. Has 4 years experience.

:yeahthat: I can confirm that based on what I've seen in hospitals. The less complex stuff is taken care of by a CNA, the nurses do the more complex medical tasks.

I would note that it is more than just paperwork and meds, so before you come to any firm decisions do plenty of research, either at the library or online.

And be sure to check out the male nurse sections in both the general and student forums.

Good luck!

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

As a male nurse, you'll have some advantages regarding the manner in which you are perceived. First of all, many of my patients automatically assume that any clean-looking male wearing scrubs or a labcoat must be one of the doctors. A male RN walked into one of my patient's rooms to do a hospice assessment, and she told the person on the other end of the phone, "I've gotta go. The doctor's here to see me."

Secondly, doctors tend to treat male nurses more respectably than their female counterparts.

pagandeva2000, LPN

Specializes in Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health.

I do find that men have a greater advantage to females from what I have witnessed. Nursing is predominantly female; so, seeing any guy that will be hanging out on the floor with them all day is a thrill. Also, the image of a man nurturing a sick, helpless person may make the women think that he may be the ideal mate, the perfect husband and father, or just darned sexy.

At times, I did notice that the male nursing assistants were called more for the heavy lifting, but then, afterwards, the women used to spend more time spoiling them (but then, that was just where I was working) with dinners and flirting. As TheCommuter stated, many are presumed to be physicians and have gained more respect than we do from what I have witnessed as well.

Bottom line though, a nurse is a nurse, and the male is expected to perform the same duties as the females. Be ready for that. And, best of all, good luck. We welcome you to our field.


Has 18 years experience.

The guys I work with are great, and no, I don't automatically ask them to help me with lifts. It depends on who's around with free hands.

Our patients treat everyone like crap. So there's no guarantee of better treatment because you are male. And unless you have a white jacket/coat on, you're assumed to be a nurse or a housekeeper.

Like it's been said before there are area of nursing out there where you'll never see a code brown.


Specializes in Med-Surg, ED.

I think you should get a job as a tech. It will be good for you to get a real view of what nurses do, and if you are a tech and express your interest in being a nurse, the nurses will likely show you lots of stuff and you can get a better idea of whether you want to do it or not.

As for the body fluids---yeah, they are there and we clean them when we have to. You will do a lot of that in nursing school (we were not allowed to have techs do any patient care when we were in school!!) and you will do it on the floor too.

Nursing is such a complex field though, and body fluids really comprise a small part of it. You will be assessind, diagnosing, planning, implementing, and evaluating all day long, as well as passing meds, changing bandages, doing various treatments, offering therapeutic use of self, etc etc etc. Don't let the poop and puke scare you off. They are not a huge part of nursing but yes, they are certainly something you will deal with.

Oh, and its dependent on where you work too. Maybe you'll see more in LTC vs a doc's office, as an example.

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