Jump to content

Gender Separation and Nursing for American Muslim Man

Men   (657 Views 17 Comments)
by wannabenurseman77 wannabenurseman77 (New Member) New Member

63 Visitors; 4 Posts

advertisement

Hi,

There is a bit of a dilemma I have, as a Muslim American and aspiring male nurse. Islam allows males to see and touch any part of a woman in cases of MEDICAL NECESSITY. But in Western medical culture, men indiscriminately do intimate procedures on women even when there is no urgency and there are female staff around.

There is more gender separation in a number of conservative environments in the middle east and muslim countries, but how to get over there and get a job without first having years of experience here? I thought of getting a BSN in the middle east instead of an ADN at a community college here, but I probably can't afford that.

Are there any Muslim male nurses here who have some input?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Davey Do has 35 years experience and works as a Behavioral Health RN.

14 Followers; 1 Article; 73,877 Visitors; 5,970 Posts

1 hour ago, wannabenurseman77 said:

There is a bit of a dilemma I have, as a Muslim American and aspiring male nurse. Islam allows males to see and touch any part of a woman in cases of MEDICAL NECESSITY. But in Western medical culture, men indiscriminately do intimate procedures on women even when there is no urgency and there are female staff around.

 

I am not Muslim and maybe can help you out just a bit, wannabenurseman.

Even after working in the medical field for 40 years, I am hesitant to do anything with a female  patient who doesn't feel comfortable with a male nurse. In such circumstances, I will ask a female nurse to perform the task.

Now, if there are no female nurses available, it is a medical necessity, no matter how small, that the task be performed. 

There have been very few times in my career that a female nurse was not available. Either a coworker or house supervisor has always been available.

Good luck to you wannabenurseman!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Daisy4RN has 20 years experience.

1 Follower; 1 Article; 6,023 Visitors; 917 Posts

If Islam allows you to see and touch a female when it is a medical necessity, and if you are the nurse then it is a necessity isnt it? 

I am female and have on numerous occasions performed certain tasks/procedures on female patients who were not comfortable with a male. In all my years this has never been a issue in the hospital setting. Male nurse usually offers to swap tasks etc. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kitiger has 40 years experience as a RN and works as a private duty nurse.

1 Follower; 18,324 Visitors; 856 Posts

Are you an aspiring male nurse who will have a problem doing intimate procedures on ALL (or almost all) female patients? I don't think that's going to work in the United States.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

akulahawkRN has 3 years experience as a ADN, RN, EMT-P and works as a Emergency Department RN.

27,136 Visitors; 3,435 Posts

As a male, I routinely perform tasks/procedures on females, even those areas one usually considers "intimate." This does NOT mean that I simply go ahead and do that stuff without concern for my patient. If the patient is able to answer, I will always tell the patient what needs to be done, and I let them decide if they prefer a female nurse or not. Unless there's significant urgency in the matter, I will always have a female in the room with me, preferably another RN, but any staff will do. I do not take offense if a patient prefers a female for that stuff, I just let them know that occasionally it may take a while for a female nurse to be available as they've got their own assignments. Because males may also request another male for certain procedures, I will also make myself available as much as possible for those occasions when a male makes a similar request of their female nurse. 

Generally speaking, if it's been medically ordered or your nursing judgement deems that something is necessary (and within nursing to do autonomously) then it's OK to do in the medical environment. If the patient prefers that someone else do the procedure, try to make that happen. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Daisy4RN has 20 years experience.

1 Follower; 1 Article; 6,023 Visitors; 917 Posts

12 hours ago, Kitiger said:

Are you an aspiring male nurse who will have a problem doing intimate procedures on ALL (or almost all) female patients? I don't think that's going to work in the United States.

I thought the OP meant he was worried about the females not wanting him. After reading the post again I see maybe he means he doesn't want to do "indiscriminate" procedures/tasks. Hmm..

OP: what is an indiscriminate task. If you cannot perform a majority of the job than maybe you should rethink your career choice and/or plan to work somewhere as a nurse that physical contact will not be an issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
advertisement

63 Visitors; 4 Posts

Hi thanks for all the replies!
Actually maybe this belongs in the "spirituality" section since it's more of an Islamic dilemma than a nursing one. Basically, Islam does not allow men to see or touch a pubescent female's breasts, vagina or buttocks etc., unless there is an urgent situation and no women professionals available. However, an exception may be made if you are in a non-islamic environment, hence the many Muslim doctors and nurses working in the US. They say it's a "collective obligation" for Muslim communities to have health professionals. But there are also some scholars who might give fatwas saying "no you can't do a job that involves looking at & touching women's private parts if there are many women able to do that job."

Personally I am probably willing to be a nurse in the US as a necessary step on the way towards being a humanitarian nurse in Africa / Middle East.

But are there certain departments with less vagina-cathetering and breast examining etc.? Like how many vaginas and breasts does a male nurse have to see/touch a day on average? Would it be considered unreasonable to ask to swap tasks with a female nurse based on religious preference rather than the patient's request?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Daisy4RN has 20 years experience.

1 Follower; 1 Article; 6,023 Visitors; 917 Posts

I think (depending on where you live/work) it would be feasible to find employment that would allow you to avoid working with young girls. If in the hospital just work in an adult unit (not peds). I have always worked in adult units/with adults and rarely have seen teens in those units (only overflow etc). If your issue ever came up there I am sure you could easily exchange patients or nursing tasks with a female nurse. You might run into trouble in a different setting (clinic etc) if it were the norm (rather than the exception) to see teens. If you decide to go ahead I would just apply to adult units only, it should work out OK. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kitiger has 40 years experience as a RN and works as a private duty nurse.

1 Follower; 18,324 Visitors; 856 Posts

I'm curious how OP will get through nursing school with an unwillingness or inability to do intimate tasks with the female population. Once a nurse, yes, you can choose your settings. Student nurses don't have a lot of say . . .

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

6,342 Visitors; 570 Posts

In the hospital, we are required to do skin checks on all our patients every shift. This includes the groin, buttocks and breast areas. Assessments of the heart and lungs, ADLs and procedures like Foley catheters also require touching and looking in areas you may not feel is appropriate.  It will be impossible to request an all male assignment in the US.

I do recall a similar post, however, a few years back.  You could try to search for it. One career idea is all male prison, but nursing school will require interaction with females. 

Good luck on your journey. Have you discussed with your Imam?  Perhaps he can assist you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

63 Visitors; 4 Posts

Much thanks for the replies!
An all-male prison job sounds like my best bet.

On another forum a Muslim nursing student mentioned how she got permission from her school to only do clinicals on females. However that kind of exception might not be easy to obtain.

Will discuss with an Imam or two inshallah

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

6,342 Visitors; 570 Posts

Just a thought.... would be it be ok for you to learn about caring for a female just in case if you were ever in a situation where it was an emergency?  If you are interested in humanitarian work, sometimes it’s not possible to separate due to lack of resources, emergent situations, etc. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing 0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×