Male Nurses

  1. Hello, I am a nursing student at Purdue University, and over the past semester I have researched the disadvantages and advantages that male nurses face compared to female nurses. Please answer the following questions honestly so that I can have more knowledge when writing my research pape.
    1)Why did you choose nursing as a career?
    2)How did your family and friends feel about your decision?
    3)Have you ever been treated different because you are a man in the nursing field? If so, please describe an incident.
    4)Do you feel that there are stereotypes facing male nurses? If so, what are these stereotypes?
  2. Visit shelleys profile page

    About shelleys

    Joined: Nov '00; Posts: 7
    Nursing Student


  3. by   gpip
    hello shelleys..
    Good questions
    My answers to them are as follows. I choose nursing for a few reasons the first being I always food medicine interesting, but did not want to be a doctor. the 2nd reason was that I wanted to do some thing that was helping people, and the third was I was always good at science, seemed like a perfectfit.My family and friends have all been supportive except one an x girlfriend told me once i was too emotional to be a nurse.I think it is an asset and so do my co workers if I had no emotion I would be cold and uncaring and have no business in a profession like ours. The biggest way I am treated differant is that 9 times out of ten if there is a heavy patient on the unit someone is comming to find me for a turn or pull up and I expect that I do not expect two 100 lb women to pull up a 450 lb patient.I have heard other stories about men being treated differantly things like being told we do not belong in the proffesion.Most nurses do not no their history because before the modern era of nursing men were the only nurses. The biggest stereo-type ids that all male nurse are gay. of the twenty or so I know personally only one is. the other one I have heard seems to be pretty much true and that is that all men want to work critical care. I know there are more but in my facility I have only seen 3 that do not work in some sort of critical care area.good luck
    1)Why did you choose nursing as a career?
    2)How did your family and friends feel about your decision?
    3)Have you ever been treated different because you are a man in the nursing field? If so, please describe an incident.
    4)Do you feel that there are stereotypes facing male nurses? If so, what are these stereotypes?[/B][/QUOTE]

  4. by   gpip
    Sorry as far as your paper there are sites just for men in the profession. Have you checked any out? there is also a paper posted on the web about the history of men in the profession. checkit out!!!!!!

  5. by   markbeer
    Hi shelleys

    1)Why did you choose nursing as a career?
    I used to repair cars but fancied something completely different

    2)How did your family and friends feel about your decision?
    Suprised initially but they've always supported me

    3)Have you ever been treated different because you are a man in the nursing field? If so, please describe an incident.
    I notice that women are often asked if they mind having a man care for them, i don't see male patients getting this choice.

    4)Do you feel that there are stereotypes facing male nurses? If so, what are these stereotypes?
    Non spring to mind?? Sorry


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  6. by   Tim-GNP
    1)Why did you choose nursing as a career? I was influenced greatly by my sister who was 20 years older than me. She was an R.N. [graduate of a hospital diploma program]. It amazed me how no matter what was wrong she always knew what to do. When it came time for college, I debated about becoming a doctor, however, at that age I did not want to spend half of my life on-call [I found this out based on the advice of a family friend who was also a physician]. I always knew I wanted to part of a helping profession, and nursing interested me.

    2)How did your family and friends feel about your decision? Everyone was really great about it. Everyone thought it was great.

    3)Have you ever been treated different because you are a man in the nursing field? If so, please describe an incident. My favorite incident happened when I was still an L.P.N., I had entered a resident's room [on the evening shift], and her family was there visiting. This particular resident didn't have frequent visits and she was a particularly favorite resident of mine. When I entered the room she proudly announced me to her family as "Tim... he is the male nurse." I put a 'dumb' look on my face and said "oh, no, I take care of the women too..." Everyone laughed. It was neat, but it also demonstrated that most men in nursing must have felt some degree of being 'treated differently.' The 'girl nurses' always loved me because I am great at moving heavy people. Once or twice, we have had problems with 'inappropriate' visitors [and being a nursing home, with no security staff], I was always voted by the women to be one who played cop. I have never taken offense to it, however. I view it as my 'unique-thing' I bring to the table.

    4)Do you feel that there are stereotypes facing male nurses? If so, what are these stereotypes? There are the usual stereotypes: "All male nurses are gay", "All male nurses only want to work in the exciting areas of the hospital like ICU, Trauma, or E.R.", "All male nurses only use nursing to get administrative positions", "All male nurses are control freaks", "Male nurses aren't as compassionate as female nurses", "Male nurses couldn't make it in 'blue-collar' jobs so that's why they became nurses." The list goes on. All professions have some form of stereotype or another... some positive, some negative. Stereotypes can only be dispelled if everyone makes a concerted effort to identify a stereotype, and stop it from being applied to an individual about whom one know's little about.

    I hope my thoughts help. Good luck with the paper writing...
  7. by   buckboomer
    1 I chose nursing because I was NOT accepted into physical therapy. I was in Australia, in 1984, and there was a long nursing strike. I met and travelled with nurses, and wanted to relocate in OZ. I thought my best chances were in a high demand field, to make it easier to get a legal residency, or a work permit. 2 My family was and is supportive of my choice. Friends ask me medical questions regularly. They seem to support me. 3 I regularly get treated differently. For instance, When I used to work nights, the nursing supervisor called me to assist with all codes. If the client was on the floor, I was a designated lifter. When behavior problems arose, I would also be called to assist. I asked this supervisor," Who is taking care of my assignment, when I am gone?" I had nursing students ask me for assistance regularly. When I asked why always me, I was told, "You are the only one that will help." I mentioned this to the instructor, to be brought up in class. 4 The stereotypes that I see regularly, or hear, from my colleagues, "Good we have someone to help with the lifting." Referring to me on arrival to the units. Male nurses are misstaken for MDs regularly, or being homosexual. I communicate easier with the male MDs, it seems then my female counter parts. Males get assigned more behavior problems and obese patients, in my experiences. Male nurses that I work with have never refused assistance when asked. Males seem to better team players, and talk less behind other co worker's backs. Again, in my experiences. I know I will catch a lot of flack, but, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it! Sexually discriminated in a female dominated profession
  8. by   PPL
    Hello. I have so much enjoyed working with so many great nurses, several of them male. Our core staff now includes one male nurse; great! I especially appreciated it on the psych units. I did work with one ANGRY nurse, who was not well liked. I got along with him OK, and was happy that he chose nursing, as I believe he was a sniper in another life!! Good grief! But it's true. My plea is for more males in the profession; and these guys have given you some good answers and sound like fun to work with. For me, there MUST be some fun!!
  9. by   bluesgirl
    yes to all of the above,
    some are gay some are straight--yes they are bigger than us and I appreciate the help physically.
    yes the docs listen to them more than they do the females,most guys who are nurses learned it in the military--hence the authoritave demand for respect---wish I had it too!
    I do not like the automatic advance to charge. Though a man has more ability and "RIGHT" to be away from home than a single mother does, therefore it makes him a more likely candidate for advancement.

    I do not like that they gossip as much as women do, yet it seems to get more credence, is that a word? when it comes from a man's gossiping mouth than a womans.=

    that's all for now, yet I know I'll add some more on later.

  10. by   wiskey
    I have just finished my student nursing days and I decided to begin a career in nursing is because I enjoy new people, helping people, and also I enjoy being in the mwdical profession. I do not want to be a Dr. since they do not spend time with patients.
    My family has been very supportive of my choosing to be a nurse. They tell everyone they know. I have a friend who is a male nurse so my friends think i t is great that I too am becoming a nurse.
    As being in the hospital setting for 3 years I have noticed that at times i am treated differently. I workrd in a 20 bed long term care and a 10 bed acute care hospital. If I was working on the acute care side and the other side had a problem with any residents that were being combative that would get me. Also if there was a heavy patient on the ward who needed turning or liofting Iwould be called on, but this does not bother me as I don't expect 2 or 3 ladies to move a 300lbs patient when I and another nurse can do it easier. But all and all I have been treated well by the other staff. Most of them enjoy have a MALE around and to work with. They say more males will "even out the female hormone that sometimes go haywire". Also, other female nurses say men have a better bedside manner because we don't have all these issues that SOME women have,and we don't hold a grudge if someone tries to tell us what to do as some women do. My experience as a nurse so far has been enjoyable to say the least.
    Yes there are some stereotypes!!! All male nurses are GAY! I have only been asked this a few times but what are these people thinking. I am a MALE NURSE not a nurse. Some people ask me are you an orderly or a MALE NURSE. I usually say neither, I am a nurse and smile. Most get the hint. I do get mistaken for the Dr once in a while, but the student (female Dr's) get mistaken for being a nurse. Also, females are asked if they don't mind having a MALE NURSE looking after them this shift, I have never heard a manasked if he minds having a female nurse.
    I does bother me that some women patients think I will not be professional when I am their nurse like I'm going to take pictutres or something. Again all in all, my experience has been positive! Hope this helps.
  11. by   p.rabbit
    I was originally a Respiratory Therapist for about 5 years and one day it hit me, that the Nurses had a heck of a lot more power than I did, were paid more and had much more career choices and mobility. So, off I went to the community college and became a Nurse.

    I love being a Nurse, because we have such an opportunity to serve our brothers and sisters of the planet. We do make a huge difference in their lives. Whether or not all of our fancy treatments and medications and diagnostics have any effect, the one thing that reaches our clients is our personal service, and at the basis of that is the incredible healing power of touch.

    As a male Nurse, I know I am treated differently by not only my female coworkers but by the Medical staff as well. Less intimidation techniques are applied on us. Fewer emotionally charged personality things go on. Or maybe "they" are just afraid of me; who knows?

    I have been expected to be able to lift heavy patients..............but, I'm a small kind of guy, and I don't lift weights. So, that is often a stereotype view of us. And, like many of all of us Nurses, male or female, after 20+ years in healthcare, we have all lifted too many heavy sick people. (unfortunately, I am currently one of the walking injured). Thank goodness I was injured in the hospital!

    For all the bad press going down about Nursing and shortages and bad conditions and low pay, I am a strong advocate for this great profession. It's good Karma folks, taking care of those in need.

    I have had the opportunity to go to a "third world" country, as I suspect many other readers here have too. Our work conditions, our pay, our bounty in this country are indescribable; we have it good here.


  12. by   tootlet
    I went into nursing at the encouragment of my wife who is a dentist. There was a local nursing school, it provided a vocation that would allow me to ALWAYS get a job regardless of my geographic location and it was a challenge. I enjoy helping people and this was a direct way to meet that need. I had many males in class with me and friends and family were supportive. I work as a med/surg contingent in a small community hospital. I'm treated differently. Doctors (many of them foreign) do listen to me more than the other nurses. When I first started to work the other nurses would get me to call the doctors for discharge orders. I was able to get what we wanted. Since we work with lots of ortho patients I do a lot of heavy lifting. And I'm sought out for that. I do get assigned belligerent patients, substance abusers and many mentally ill patients. But I have experience working with that population as I was a substance abuse counselor and worked on a crisis line. I can easily lift 200lbs. I think that the nurses I work with are a good judge of my strengths (physical and otherwise) and assign me appropriately. They also give me male patients when they can. There is some barriers due to my sex. I was taking care of a fragile 93 year old woman who told me she was an RN. She wouldn't let me bath her, help her with her toilet or do foley care. She told me it wasn't right for me to take care of women. I asked her if she had ever took care of men. "That's different". But by the end of my first shift these barriers were broken and she was willing to see me as a nurse and not a "Male Nurse" and had no hesitation with me providing care. My nursing manager told me that she loves having me work. I was puzzled as there are much more experienced and proficient nurses on my unit. I've only praticed 3 years. She said shifts just go better when I'm there. I think that strictly one sexed environments aren't natural and we do better when there's a mix. I enjoy nursing with all its challenges and rewards.
  13. by   Dplear
    1)...I got into nursing for several different reasons a: I was a Combat medic in the military, and they paid for my BSN in nursing. b: I found that I have 'natural" ability for this work (trying to make it not sound arrogant :-) ) c: this field aloows me to have a steady job with a GOOD income. d: I realized that my BA degree is really a useless degree.

    2) My family thought it was kind of funny actually that I became a a good way though. with 4 sisters and 4 brothers the only 2 to become nurses were 2 of the boys....go figure. kinda of funny in a role reversal way.

    3) yes I have been treated differently as a male in this field. Once when I was a rookie nurse, I was assigned to a post hystorectomy pt. I was called into the supply room by one of the "superior" ( in her mind) nurses and was told that I should NOT be taking care of this post hystorectomy pt. That I could not understand what this poor lady was going through. I told her GO TO HELL, that I certainly could take great care of her, and that I felt that my being a man had no bearing on my ability to EMPATHIZE with this lady. then I asked her if she then should take care of a guy who had testicular cancer and had his testicles removed?...she had no answer for this, so I smiled at her and said get a life and left the room. She never did questrion my ability after that. I also get called on alot to help move pt's and take care of abusive pt's. I do not mind at all., also the Doc's seem to take us more serioulsly when we call in the middle of the night......that helps alot.

    4) the streotypes do that all male nurses are gay...I know 5-6 gay male nurses and I know at least 20 female lesbian nurses...I am a happily married nurse that is straight......but remeber a sexual preferance does not mean a thing...I also know several semi pro athletes that are gay....
    also that men only like to work in the critcal care areas....yes, I have worked in the ICU, ER, and high pressure jobs of I work in the last place you would think a man would work other than labor and delivery ( I know several Male L&D nurses)...I work in a level 2 nursery and pt's love me they think of me as a giant teddy bear that knows all the cartoons on the cartoon network. and the parents love me because I am GENTLE with their kids. I know my strenght and know how to be careful with it and act gently with the little ones.

    and rmember after it all comes down to it...the pt's know this and accept it. and also never forget to let the pt's know that the doctor does not save their life in an is us the nurses that do it.
  14. by   deathnurse
    Would NEVER advise a female to become a nurse. Only having MORE men in nursing will continue to drive up prices.

    Get TONS more respect from psycho physicians and nurse "managers" then female nurses.

    Men stay full-time longer, and demand and get full-time treatment.
    Men don't have the sick time equivalent of females. The home/child care responsibilities. (Talking in general terms here, you 'guys'.)

    Female income remains subservient to the male. Few men make job/career/location changes to "follow" their wives career plans. Thats'a fine if the woman makes more money...I'd do it in an instant, by da' way.

    (Trying to get her into accounting so that I can work "part-time" and goof off more.)

    oink, oink.