Published May 8, 2004
I am sitting here today trying to make sense of the world. I left home when I was 18 and ended up in the military as a way to pay for college. I also knew I wanted to work in health care (M*A*S*H was a favorite show of mine at the time) and I endeavored to do my best no matter how humble the task.
I had an opportunity to go to medical school but decided to get married instead and delayed going to college so I could have more money to set up a home. When the time came to pursue my "higher education" I decided to go to nursing school as I had grown to respect the CRNA's I had worked with as a surgical technician.
I gave nursing my best shot but soon found that the gender bias I encountered was so pervasive that there was little hope for me to fulfill my potential as so much energy was spent dealing with the negative stereotypes of a male nurse. It was exhausting to say the least.
So I left nursing and jumped into the IT field before the market IT "bubble" burst and quickly established myself as a "guru" of the highest order in health care information systems. When the IT sector became weak I remained gainfully employed as the IT sector in health care remained strong.
I am now working on my PhD and have just signed an employment contract for 3 years as a researcher in the development of a new diagnostic modality for cancer screening. I will be making $165,000.00 annually until this contract expires. I also have a good benefits package. After that, who knows? Anybody know a good tax attorney?
Any way as I assume this new role and responsibility I am trying to bring to closure my bitterness towards nursing (the culture) and I find myself spending a lot of time working in the flower bed (gardening) in hopes that this therapeutic activity will bring the healing I need. But the bitterness lingers. There is an emotional wound that quite hasn't healed yet. I am trying to understand that.
So how does one heal the soul from such negativity? We all have had experiences that have embittered us in some way. How does one find forgiveness in a world that seems to embrace hatred? As they say confession is good for the soul and I hope this one will help me to move on.
NursesRmofun, ASN, RN
Very interesting. I am not sure what you endured as a male in nursing and in what type(s) of nursing. Taking that into considersation, I would say that I think your experience may be a rare one. I have not heard many or any men that are nurses complain about being treatedly badly by women who are nurses as co-workers and higher ups because they were male. Perhaps you did go through some isolated incident(s). In any case, maybe what are you are about to do is what you were meant to do....and you can take that into consideration and that may help you lose some of your bitterness. The very best of luck to you.
Gender bias doesn't apply in my case, but I have certainly encountered many nasty, hateful people in nursing over the years.
Aye, but I have encountered many nasty, hateful people outside of nursing over the years. Sometimes people in general just suck, regardless of their profession.
To the OP: sorry you had such a rough time of it, mate, but it sounds like you are more than making up for it now. :)
I can't speak to the experience of others but after 4 years of nursing school, 2 years of graduate school and 13 years of nursing practice I can assure you that I experienced gender bias across multiple settings. In addition to that there was one case of persistent sexual harassment (I was offered a job in exchange for sexual favors by another male supervisor) and when I reported that to my organization they made me feel like a total idiot. All this is in the past of course but has left me angry towards nursing in general. I could provide more definitive detail of many different grievances from over the years but that is not the point I am trying to make.
You say "any case, maybe what are you are about to do is what you were meant to do...." but I say I was a damn good nurse (published, multiple certifications, advanced degreed, very dedicated) but it was the nursing culture and/or the nursing practice environment that drove me away.
Now I find myself in my flower garden (in my free time) cursing nursing under my breath. Not good for my blood pressure at all. And I want to be free of this bitterness.
True, maybe I am holding the nursing profession to blame for what in the long run is just human nature.
I have no words of wisdom, only compassion. I feel the same way you do about a former career. I was good at my job, and all of my staff supported me 100%. The higher ups, however, were a different story. My persistence in standing up for my team instead of constantly doing "whatever it takes" to protect their bottom line regardless of the human cost is what cost me my job, and ultimately drove me away from the entire profession. Again, I don't have any advice in how to resolve your feelings, but you can be certain that it doesn't only happen in the medical field, and there are a ton of people who can relate.
But, your current position sounds nice! :) Good luck with it.
Perhaps I held nursing (the profession) to a higher standard. I guess I just didn't expect nursing to be guilty of the "people behaving badly" syndrome that I just naturally expect to find in other occupations and in the human race in general. I guess nursing is what it is. A profession made up of human beings (not saints) and there is nothing wrong with that.
I can't speak to the experience of others but after 4 years of nursing school, 2 years of graduate school and 13 years of nursing practice I can assure you that I experienced gender bias across multiple settings. In addition to that there was one case of persistent sexual harassment (I was offered a job in exchange for sexual favors by another male supervisor) and when I reported that to my organization they made me feel like a total idiot. All this is in the past of course but has left me angry towards nursing in general. I could provide more definitive detail of many different grievances from over the years but that is not the point I am trying to make.You say "any case, maybe what are you are about to do is what you were meant to do...." but I say I was a damn good nurse (published, multiple certifications, advanced degreed, very dedicated) but it was the nursing culture and/or the nursing practice environment that drove me away.Now I find myself in my flower garden (in my free time) cursing nursing under my breath. Not good for my blood pressure at all. And I want to be free of this bitterness. -HBS
Sorry you feel that way. And, I think it is true you may be holding nursing responsible for what may be human nature or the negative side of it. Seems like you loved nursing but not the people you were working with. That has happened to me many times. I have left several jobs more because of personality conflicts than anything else. I have experienced (true) sexual harassment just as you have (as opposed to flirting or someone just asking for a date, etc.) I managed to find some jobs I have liked in the midst of the bad jobs. Maybe you should try again?
Maybe you should try again?
Maybe in time but not anytime soon as far as I can see. I have other roles and responsibilities to take care of now. God only knows what the future will bring.
The past is behind you. Understand? Forgive and get on with it. You're wasting too much time on it. Live like you don't have much time left.
I want to know if you can see beauty, even when it's not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from it's presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes!"
--Opiah Mountain Dreamer
----- Having entered nursing, after many years in the business world, I too expected more and was disapointed. Oh well...
It does work for me and when it works it is awesome! Maybe someday... you will give it another try We will be here waiting for you when you do.
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