"Men should be EMT's or Doctors!"

  1. So our floor had this little old lady who was basically your general pain in the keester. Declined meds, treatments, tests...and was needy as all get go but no one could satisfy her. Very bold woman who likes things her way...and no other..family was the same and catered to her every whim...which didn't help us out at all! It was like she was on respite not being treated for a medical probelm!

    We have this wonderful male nurse who is kind and very realistic when it comes to women having a probelm with male nurses during certain things (like bathing, cath, tolieting, etc.) and we always help him out in those cases. Well...I guess this woman read him the riot act saying that males should NEVER be nurses, they should get a set of testies and be a EMT or Doctor! Then she excused him from the room saying to never even step towards the door...this was just seconds after he introduced himself!!!!

    I was furious!!!!! Here is this lady who actually is about 90 and was an editor for a major newspaper and she is being sexist??? Okay I think when she was trying for editor she had her share of sexism in her day!!! I was just so peved!

    I took over care for her because she liked me quite a bit...and I had a little talk with her. I told her that I knew her son was an EMT, and my hubby is a paramedic. That I know that many EMT's and paramedics would like to switch to RN because of the pay, and actually getting to know a patient for more than 5-15 minutes in a screaming ambulance. Because of HIPAA they are not 'in the know' about their patients once they transfer care...so they stablize some of the worse things and never get to hear an outcome! So nursing can be quite nice because you can see what happens beyond the ER doors! I also reminded her and had her share stories of how it was like being a female editor....after that is sunk in to her what she had done, and she felt very sorry..but remained bull headed about not letting him in.

    I think I did well...I knew this lady wouldn't respond to anything to put her defenses up, so I had to be patient and make her think of the reasons why she said what she did, and HERSELF come to the conclusion with a little proding from me that it was very insensitive and wrong.

    I then talked to the nurse and we had a good laugh and he was fine, and then we both went to the charge nurse and wrote an incident report for verbal abuse and sexism towards the nurse. I felt that was right to do since you shouldn't ever treat a professional that only wants to help you (even if you are a pain in the keester big time) get well!

    Basically I really made him see things in the right perspective by just saying "it really doesn't matter with her or some people what sex or color you are...they just want to make you miserable for some reason...just the lazy ones with no creativity choose sex or color because it is easier than actually getting to know a person! Plus hon...I think if she said anything positive or even smiled her head would cave in from the pressure! LOL!!!!".

    Don't let the turkeys get ya down folks...
  2. Visit Antikigirl profile page

    About Antikigirl

    Joined: Oct '04; Posts: 2,757; Likes: 415
    Happily in Nursing Education!; from US
    Specialty: 13 year(s) of experience in Education, Acute, Med/Surg, Tele, etc

    94 Comments

  3. by   nursemike
    I'm sure your support was appreciated. I'm beginning to think it's the bane of nursing that dumb people get sick, too, but what are you gonna do? I would imagine any dismay over the sexist unfairness of the situation would be at least partly offset by relief in not having to deal with her.
    In your co-worker's shoes, I would certainly remember you the next time you got a male patient who liked you too much, or whatever.
  4. by   Antikigirl
    Thank you, and that is exactly what I told him..."hey maybe soon I may need your help out in a similar situation~!" and he said "you bet!".

    We have an awesome team on my unit! Very happy and proud to say that!
  5. by   mom23RN
    That is so sad. I know quite a few male nurses and they are wonderful, caring, competent nurses. I can't see them doing anything else.

    I wish we could get over this "don't want a male nurse" mentality. They're okay if it's their doctor though? Just doesn't quite make sense to me. (sorry, but I've been wanting to use this smiliey).
  6. by   bluesky
    Quote from TriageRN_34
    So our floor had this little old lady who was basically your general pain in the keester. Declined meds, treatments, tests...and was needy as all get go but no one could satisfy her. Very bold woman who likes things her way...and no other..family was the same and catered to her every whim...which didn't help us out at all! It was like she was on respite not being treated for a medical probelm!

    We have this wonderful male nurse who is kind and very realistic when it comes to women having a probelm with male nurses during certain things (like bathing, cath, tolieting, etc.) and we always help him out in those cases. Well...I guess this woman read him the riot act saying that males should NEVER be nurses, they should get a set of testies and be a EMT or Doctor! Then she excused him from the room saying to never even step towards the door...this was just seconds after he introduced himself!!!!

    I was furious!!!!! Here is this lady who actually is about 90 and was an editor for a major newspaper and she is being sexist??? Okay I think when she was trying for editor she had her share of sexism in her day!!! I was just so peved!

    I took over care for her because she liked me quite a bit...and I had a little talk with her. I told her that I knew her son was an EMT, and my hubby is a paramedic. That I know that many EMT's and paramedics would like to switch to RN because of the pay, and actually getting to know a patient for more than 5-15 minutes in a screaming ambulance. Because of HIPAA they are not 'in the know' about their patients once they transfer care...so they stablize some of the worse things and never get to hear an outcome! So nursing can be quite nice because you can see what happens beyond the ER doors! I also reminded her and had her share stories of how it was like being a female editor....after that is sunk in to her what she had done, and she felt very sorry..but remained bull headed about not letting him in.

    I think I did well...I knew this lady wouldn't respond to anything to put her defenses up, so I had to be patient and make her think of the reasons why she said what she did, and HERSELF come to the conclusion with a little proding from me that it was very insensitive and wrong.

    I then talked to the nurse and we had a good laugh and he was fine, and then we both went to the charge nurse and wrote an incident report for verbal abuse and sexism towards the nurse. I felt that was right to do since you shouldn't ever treat a professional that only wants to help you (even if you are a pain in the keester big time) get well!

    Basically I really made him see things in the right perspective by just saying "it really doesn't matter with her or some people what sex or color you are...they just want to make you miserable for some reason...just the lazy ones with no creativity choose sex or color because it is easier than actually getting to know a person! Plus hon...I think if she said anything positive or even smiled her head would cave in from the pressure! LOL!!!!".

    Don't let the turkeys get ya down folks...
    Praise to you and your unit for tolerating this sexist primadonna!

    At least now the lucky fellow doesn't have to worry about having her as a patient again :spin:
  7. by   Tweety
    Thanks for having the talk with her on behalf of male nurses.
  8. by   teeituptom
    I look at things a little differently

    At 90 years old, she should be allowed to feel what ever way she wants to feel. By God she has earned that right.She has served her time, paid her dues,and who knows what factors she faced while achieving her 90 years.
    This world is big enough for all types, even me




    Let the Democrats regain control, please Lord
  9. by   aka_steven
    I'm glad you were able to discuss it with the patient and maybe give her a little insight.
    I personaly wouldn't have the heart to write up a 90 year old lady thought. She was raised in a different time, were gender roles were "strict".
    I get yelled at everyday by pt's because they can't have everything they want RIGHT NOW. I see it as, as long as I don't get stabbed or shot, they can yell all they want. LOL
    Maybe that would be a good thread? When does a pt yelling cross the line & become verbal abuse?
    ( I gotta leave in 10 min or I'd start one now...)
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Sounds to me as if you handled this very patiently. You have a way with words that is wonderful!

    But I am torn. I actually think there is something to what Tom says. The very elderly or those who are set in their ways are hard, if not impossible to "convert" to the current or "correct" way of thinking. I have let MANY such a remark roll off my back, knowing I did not have enough time in the world to change such minds and should not worry too much about it. I have been picking my battles really carefully since I graduated nursing school 9 years ago.

    WE know men belong in nursing and are glad to have them join our ranks. And slowly, the public is understanding this, too. It's not much different than in the days when I joined the US Air Force and they actually said women would and should NEVER become fighter pilots---well we all know how that is no longer true...... Funny what a bit of time can do to change things. Roles and social mores are ever-changing. We might want to cut the elderly some slack; they have lived a VERY Long time and have some long-held beliefs. Some changes are hard, if not impossible, to take for them. So be it.

    Don't let them get you down, as you said, is darn right.
  11. by   Tweety
    Deb, you definately have to look at the person and their time. Many 90 year olds aren't comfortable with male nurses and I allow for that. One would think an editor for a major newspaper would be more enlightened, but still some ideas are really engrained, especially sex roles that were learned 80 plus years ago.

    But Tom's idea that 90s can think and act anyway they choose doesn't set well with me unless they have dementia. But certainly, you're not going to change a 90 year old's mind about many things.
  12. by   Multicollinearity
    Her personal life experience regarding gender equality in careers (newspaper editor) may not carry over into vulnerable personal care such as a nurse provides. Perhaps personal care from a man was just too unthinkable? Maybe she has a touch of mild dementia or cognitive impairment which is disinhibiting her too?

    When I'm 90 I may just let everyone have it with my every whim.

    I'm sorry you had to deal with such a difficult patient though!

    Food for thought. I don't know what the correct answer is in the following. We respect Muslim women's objections to male healthcare workers providing care without question. Why do we object to a little old lady who finds it unthinkable?
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from Tweety
    But Tom's idea that 90s can think and act anyway they choose doesn't set well with me unless they have dementia. But certainly, you're not going to change a 90 year old's mind about many things.
    Very true. We should give them much more credit than that; and not assume anyone is too "demented" or too 'far gone" to be educated. That is discriminatory, just as much as assuming men don't belong in nursing, is.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Oct 31, '06
  14. by   timdmb
    i would have continued to care for this patient... she can refuse anything she wants she has that right... and if she refused everything becuase she didnt want a male giving her care so be it... i would let my supervisor know the situation so as not to jeopardize myself, however id feel worse for not speaking up for myself and allowing a coworker deal with this patient.. just my two cents

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