Gender Separation and Nursing for American Muslim Man

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CommunityRNBSN

CommunityRNBSN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community health. Has 4 years experience. 824 Posts

Just putting this out there: I work in community health and I never have to do “intimate tasks.” Occasionally I (a female) get called to chaperone a male MD doing a vaginal exam, but that’s it. There’s also psych; pediatrics (I don’t know about Islam but there are some religions where this concern wouldn’t apply to kids, just adults); there are ENT offices and orthopedic offices and podiatry offices and pain management offices. Basically there are a TON of nursing jobs where this won’t be an issue. Just get through school by requesting to switch with female students as needed, and then work in a field where it won’t matter.

labordude, BSN, RN

Specializes in L&D, OBED, NICU, Lactation. Has 16 years experience. 482 Posts

On 5/10/2019 at 3:39 PM, wannabenurseman77 said:

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?

Literally every single day I catheterize and examine female anatomy including cervical exams and breastfeeding support, though in all fairness I'm an L&D nurse. ?

Just remember that whatever accommodations the school can provide, every topic is fair game on the NCLEX so make sure you do know your women's health and reproductive concerns.

Just putting this out there: I work in community health and I never have to do “intimate tasks.” Occasionally I (a female) get called to chaperone a male MD doing a vaginal exam, but that’s it. There’s also psych; pediatrics (I don’t know about Islam but there are some religions where this concern wouldn’t apply to kids, just adults); there are ENT offices and orthopedic offices and podiatry offices and pain management offices. Basically there are a TON of nursing jobs where this won’t be an issue. Just get through school by requesting to switch with female students as needed, and then work in a field where it won’t matter.

Thanks for this reassuring post!

It must be harder finding a job if one is picky, but between community health, prison, preschool and podiatry, there should be possibilities.

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.

Yeah that might be a valid reason for doing those things in school. Something to discuss with the Imams.

On some forum a humanitarian NP in Africa was talking about how they went to places where there were no doctors so they had to take care of every kind of problem for every age and sex.

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

On ‎5‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 5:11 AM, Kitiger said:

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 . . .

Once you obtain your license, you can choose to work in home health venues where it is easier to request only male patients. It might limit your employability as far as salary goes, but the self-imposed limitation will not be held against you.

Elizabeth777

Elizabeth777, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. 37 Posts

Not sure if this helps, but I'm a NICU nurse and we have several male neonatologists who are Muslim. The restriction against touching a female doesn't apply before puberty, correct? So, there's another option.

Im a muslim woman. There are definitely fields where you wont run into adult female women if that is going to be an issue for you. Touching adult females non mahrams is frowned upon in Islam not just their breasts and vaginas. There are some among us who fear to shake hands. How would they manage to do vitals?

I do not do anything to opposite gender patients which isn’t medically necessary Therefore I do most tasks required of me. if Ive got someone I can switch tasks with I will but when time is if the essence and the stakes are high- I don’t have time to wait for someone else to get around to it. And this seems to be more often than not that tge schedule is tight and its now or never even if its not urgent/emergent

I am sure you can phone triage or work in nicu or as others said- male prisons. Also if you might find some specialties or infusion clinics, maybe dialysis centers, that are less physical contact

May God lead you to the best path isA

Weirdo

Weirdo

17 Posts

I'd suggest reading some Richard Dawkins.

RNMikeMiller

RNMikeMiller

Specializes in PACU. Has 7 years experience. 39 Posts

On 5/12/2019 at 8:42 AM, beekee said:

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.

@beekee What dept do you work in?

DavidFR, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology, ID, Hepatology, Occy Health. Has 36 years experience. 515 Posts

I have muslim colleagues, male and female, and this just isn't an issue for them. Is this cultural? ( I'm in France and these colleagues would be of North African, Lebanese or Senegalese origin and often born in France). Are you a particularly strict sect of Islam? (I admit I know little of the difference between Sunnis, Chias etc). Can you not let the fact that you are a) in a secular setting and b) doing something incredibly altruistic towrads you fellow human beings override any religious considerations, as my colleagues seem to be able to?

For info, I don't have any problems with any female muslim patients who live in France. Occasionally we have overseas patients from Kuwait or Saudi Arabia who've come specifically for treatment. Some of the Kuwaiti women are no problem but others, and most of the Saudi women, or rather the men who accompany them do have a problem with male nurses. Ironically it seems to be OK for male doctors. Can't get my head around that one!

PMFB-RN, RN

Specializes in burn ICU, SICU, ER, Trauma Rapid Response. Has 16 years experience. 5,341 Posts

One option for you (If you are or can obtain US citizenship) is to work for the VA. While the VA does have female patients, I've literally gone years without having one. When we do have female patients they are almost always assigned to female nurses due to the (heartbreaking) prevalence of sexual trauma suffered by women in the military. 

    It's VERY easy to assign female patients to female nurses when you only have females occasionally and 4/5 of your staff are women. 

    All the years I worked in civilian hospitals half of my patients were female. 

PMFB-RN, RN

Specializes in burn ICU, SICU, ER, Trauma Rapid Response. Has 16 years experience. 5,341 Posts

Ill aslo add that I've worked with LOTS of male Muslim physicians for many years and never heard of or observed them having the slightest issue treating female patients.