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how do we change nurses opinions on male nurses?

Nurses   (12,722 Views | 102 Replies)

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1,041 Posts; 8,191 Profile Views

I went through a similiar hazing when I became a CNA and started working in a hospital for the first time. I have only had two negative "run ins." Admittedly, I am enthusiastic about my vocation, and encourage on topic conversation. Because I am male, I can sense this is too new a thing for some females, who may have only been exposed to a handful of guys in their entire life.

One time I floated to a critcare unit, and the nurses there totally despised my presence. They made up things and sent lettters/negative write ups to my manager. That shocked me, but luckily, I had worked on my home unit many weeks enough to have a leg to stand on. Three RN's wrote me up in a single day; Talk about pack-mentality. It was obvious. I can trace it back in my memory when one of the nurses made suggestive movements in front of me, and I ignored them. From then on, she ignored and rejected me with loud non-verbal cues. Just to make me extremely uncomfortable while i floated.

Another time i gave a bedbath to a woman >70 yrs old and she complained that I inappropriately touched her. That got me suspended for a day, and I had to meet with HR to clear myself. This all happened several months ago while I was on probation, and it made me quite nervous.

Now, there are just two female staff that show extreme disliking of me. When ever I see them, they frown and totally ignore me. By nature, I make eye contact with eveyone, especially if we have worked together before. But these two women refuse eye-contact, which is confusing to me because i have no idea why they would want to make me feel uncomfortable around them. So when I am coming near them, now I don't look at them, and pretend they are not there, like you would act like you are walking past a bee hive.

It should be told however, 98.5% of the staff I have worked with, male or female, have been excellent to work with. Of course, some note my gender, but I have come to accept that.

If you can make it passed 6 months, I'd say, your all right. Males will surely encounter varying degrees of malicious behavior from women, and it will continue to go on, simply because there ARE mostly women in nursing. What are ya gonna do?

If co-workers disrespect me or embarrass me because of my gender I always think of ways not to react to that. Occasionaly I will assert myself and let them know that their attempt to make a specticle of my gender is really embarrassing and harmful to the profession, but still, the mob rules and there is always strength in numbers.

Sometimes i want to let someone know about the way those other two co-workers act around me, because I fear (a little) their hatred of me, and how unusual it is for me to have to accept that some people are just gonna hate you no matter what. But pretending they are a bee hive has worked so far.

I've learned to spot right away if a female PT is uncomfortable with a male. Tell tale signs are if they are >65 yo and a really nervous to begin with. I must address this to someone else immediately when i encounter it, for my own protection.

Again - my experiences so far as a whole, as a CNA/RN in 2004/male/first 6 months in a hospital have been the most pleasurable experience because I love to help people and share my talent for providing excellent health care!

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32 Posts; 1,077 Profile Views

I have never run into a problem with any coworkers. In fact when I started on my floor all the nurses were glad to finally "have a guy around again."

Now there are four of us and sometimes we outnumber the women.

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1,041 Posts; 8,191 Profile Views

Originally posted by SmilingBluEyes

it's not just limited to NURSING you know. When I was military, I was referred to as a "female" troop. .:p

Lol, I've been on both sides of this gender issue, which gives me more awareness. In the USMC, during the 80's, WM's [Women Marines] were treated very well in the FMF [Fleet Marine Force]. They never had to float on 6 month deployments with the guys, and when we were in the field, they always got hot chow and driven to nearby towns to sleep and for showers. Plus, if they ever worked around male marines, they were a prize. Guys would compete just to get near them. Plus, most made meritorius corporal after two years, having never been in the field, or floated.

It was hard for me to understand why they got promoted faster and were treated so much better, but they wore the same uniform and in most cases, out-ranked this lance corporal.

I remember once, while training with the british royal marines, I asked one if they had women in the british marines. He looked at me very surprised and puzzled and said, in a thick british accent, "Women??? In the Marine Corps???"

Now, I imagine what some women RN's think about me. "Men???? As Nurses?????" Lol.

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146 Posts; 2,478 Profile Views

I'm always glad to see a new nurse join the ranks-be they male or female. My husband is going to nursing school right now and tells me that at times he is looked at askance by some of his peers, but he is motivated to be a nurse. I tell him that we love having more men at work. Makes for more variety and defuses some of the back-stab behaviors we sometimes encounter in an all woman work group.

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ktwlpn is a LPN, RN and specializes in Med Surg, Homecare, Hospice.

3,844 Posts; 31,094 Profile Views

we have a few male staff members in our LTC facility...I am thankful to have an orderly on our unit-his presence is calming towards the residents and the rest of the bickering and backbiting staff ....There are some elderly female residents whom are uncomfortable having a young male do their care-we accomodate them.....I think the same thing should apply in acute care-if any patient is uncomfortable with any nurse they have the right to request accomodation....On the other hand I don't think we should refuse to care for particular pts because they offend us in some way...It's my double standard...All you-as a male nurse-can do is to act in your usual professional manner-others will watch and learn.I don't think you will change your co-worker's attitudes-but perhaps after you demonstrat eyour competency and your willingness to be one of the team they will learn to accept you......In women's health areas you will always run into some amount of prejudice and you will have to learn to live with it...PS------we were told that there are no men or women in the ARMY---all are SOLDIERS...and treated the same-like crap straight through basic training.....lol

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traumaRUs has 27 years experience as a MSN, APRN, CNS and specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

165 Articles; 21,045 Posts; 194,156 Profile Views

I don't care if you're male or female, gay, straight, white, black, brown, purple or polka-dot - please come work in the ED with me. We need you. In this day and age - this is bs!!! Plain and simple.

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324 Posts; 5,502 Profile Views

I don't get it. I work on a unit where the nurses are split nearly 50/50. I never even think about male/female. I always look to see who I'm working with because, like everyone else I work better with some nurses than others. I'm with traumaRUs, you could have landed at Roswell or Area 51, if you are a good nurse grab some scrubs and join the team.

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1,244 Posts; 8,915 Profile Views

*sigh* I have seen the kind of treatment that Mario describes, and it's unprofessional and disgusting.

I have had male nurses as a patient and worked with male nurses that, by and large, are far superior to the average woman.

I don't know if this is because of such severe hazing that only certain guys can stand it long enough to get through to a level of competence and confidence, but I'd guess that's likely.

However, it's as difficult to prove that one NM didn't hire you because you're a guy as it would've been for me to try to prove that I lost a secretarial or waitress job because I'm fat. The ultimate question is: do you really wanna work for people like that?

My answer was nope.

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sjoe has 15 years experience and specializes in Corrections, Psych, Med-Surg.

2,099 Posts; 7,373 Profile Views

Mark--to respond directly to your question--I don't think it is possible to change the opinion of anyone who is convinced she/he already has all the answers.

Sometimes the only thing to do is simply to write these people off, go about your business, and quietly keep notes on any "problematic" interactions that might be the basis for a rewarding lawsuit in the future.

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128 Posts; 2,284 Profile Views

I've always operated under one simple rule: Be professional and damn good. If possible, better than anyone else!

Most will respect you and fall in line. The others don't matter. :cool:

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723 Posts; 10,942 Profile Views

I agree with people who have said that the way to change people's perceptions/opinions is to "be good."

I have had some (several) really bad experiences with nurses who happen to be male. It really colored my perception of males in this profession. There are always lazy nurses, nurses who will chart that they flushed the saline lock that they didn't even look at in real life. It just so happened that 95% of the nurses like that whom I'd encountered happened to be male.

Now that I'm encountering males who are good, thorough, reliable nurses, that image is extinguishing.

Love

Dennie

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87 Posts; 2,660 Profile Views

You and the other male nurses have already made me change the majority of my opinions about male nurses especially in OB/GYN. I had only 2 males in my nursing class in 1984 and they were both very good nurses. I guess I just never worked with any after that so I didn't have a true picture about how professional, reliable, caring and hard working you guys are. God Bless and please continue doing the wonderful job that you do.

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