Sexism in Nursing (a male point of view) - page 13

As a male in nursing, I feel that I am sometimes treated differently because of my gender. I believe that I am expected to carry a heavier patient load with less assistance from my female coworkers.... Read More

  1. by   Dayray
    Hmm getting tired... I'll check back tomarow to see what you guys posted good nite
  2. by   donmurray
    Ok, it was some time ago, but I remember during the ob/gyn secondment, my then student group had a lecture on breastfeeding, followed by a demonstration (for want of a better term) We dutifully followed the tutor across the hospital site, from the classroom to the door of the room, then the tutor turned and informed the males in the group that they could wait in the library!
    On placement in ER, whenever an argumentative drunk arrived whilst I was on duty, "Mr Murray" was called on to deal with them. A mildly embarrassing factor was that many of them were Scots, who became compliant when my accent registered with them. LOL! Strangers in a strange land together! It so happened that I dealt with those people well, but that was not the reason behind my being allocated that task.
    The problem is the stereotyping by gender which is implicit in these situations. Education to remove ignorance is what is needed. It was assumed earlier in this thread that nursing care from a male would be anathema to a rape victim. Not always so, as evidenced by another post. Denying a child care from an entire body of professionals because of their gender seems overprotective to me, especially since the defined area of concern (catheterisation) is such a tiny part of the caregiving process.
    I'm rambling now, so I'll stop.
  3. by   LasVegasRN
    Originally posted by Youda
    ...(The guys all got bored and left us females to discuss how we aren't sexist or biased, and to prove it, we stopped listening to them several pages back)
    Don't include all the females in this generalization. NO one has denied gender bias exists. People ARE listening and trying to clarify why someone is so adamant that NURSING is exclusive in it's sexism. Just because a person asks questions or tries to clarify a point doesn't mean they are negating the other's beliefs.
  4. by   Q.
    I hate ignorant generalizations.
  5. by   nurs4kids
    I admit to being goes with the territory of my particular field of work. I'm not the only guilty party, but probably wouldn't change even if I were.

    I'm obviously an idiot. I've read back through the whole thread and I still fail to see examples of sexism in nursing/by nursing. Will you strong, abused men please take some pity in a little ole' southern girl and spell it out in one simple reply?? Come on now, where is there gender biased sexism against men in nursing??
  6. by   Q.
    Originally posted by Dayray
    Well Susy what makes you uncomfortable about a man cathing you?
    I don't know, it was a general example thrown out there. Not sure how I feel about it. Knee jerk reaction is to prefer a female. I don't know why. If it came down to it, I'd probably be more upset at being cathed PERIOD than who it was done by.
  7. by   Q.
    Originally posted by nurs4kids

    I'm obviously an idiot. I've read back through the whole thread and I still fail to see examples of sexism in nursing/by nursing.
    Count me in as an idiot. I've read through all the posts and it all goes back to lifting help as the specific example, and other than that, broad generalizations.

    I always like how people claim something is there, but never really can say what it is. :chuckle
  8. by   nurs4kids
    I'm seriously trying to understand this. I believe someone earlier made a reference to this same thing. Our hospital has a SWAT team, composed of men. Their job is to respond to restrain unmanagable patients. This, to me, is sexism. There is not one female on the team. Maybe this is what you guys are talking about, but this isn't the fault of the female's in nursing, it's management.

    Other than the brutal strength issue, I just can't validate or understand your stance without some straight-forward examples. Doesn't look like we're going to get any, susy.

    wonder why?
  9. by   Youda
    Originally posted by Susy K
    I hate ignorant generalizations.
  10. by   kmchugh
    OK, I think, from a male perspective, and a somewhat calmer perspective as well, there are a few points that need to be addressed.

    First, patient preferences: Whether the reason is sexist, a concerned mother watching out for her children, or the "little voices told me so," a patient preferring a female (or male) to provide cares stops all argument. Patient preference is paramount, and all our petty squabbling, all our hurt feelings matter not a hill of beans. If nurs4kids prefers a female nurse to cath her daughter, or provide any other cares, the matter is not open to discussion. We simply do the best we can to comply. By virtue of of being a patient, the patient is already uncomfortable enough. We don't increase that discomfort simply to advance our own political agenda. As a male nurse, who worked in an ICU, I have had female patients tell me directly they preferred females. I don't dislike them for it, I don't try to change their mind, I don't do anything but smile, tell them I understand, and go to the charge nurse to get assignments changed. In one case, I remember needing to cath a patient. When I told her what I was going to do (remember, I had been caring for her for most of the day), she got kind of tight lipped, and nodded. I asked her what the problem was, and she essentially told me she didn't like the idea of a male doing that, but she could handle it. In return, I told her she was handling enough being a patient in an ICU, and if it would make her more comfortable, I'd find a female to catheterize her. We did, and she and I got along wonderfully for the rest of her stay, and I personally felt pretty good about myself for picking up on what could have been a pretty uncomfortable experience for her. The idea to be indignant at her blatant sexism (rhetorical: her preference had to do with her generation, not sexism) never entered my mind. The point? Political agendas, personal axes to grind, or other personal issues of the NURSE have no place in patient care. It bears repeating: The concerns and desires of the patient are paramount, and WE DON'T GET TO QUESTION THOSE DESIRES OR THE REASON BEHIND THEM.

    Said it before, I'll say it again, briefly: On the topic of lifting, coming to get me to help lift a patient who weighs 300 lbs isn't sexism. It's appropriate utilization of resources. Just as finding a female to cath my patient who was uncomfortable with a male performing the procedure was appropriate utilization of resources.

    However, to nurs4kids, see my previous post in this thread. There is anti-male bias in nursing, and against male nurses in the general population. For me, the question isn't how do I rail against it, but rather how do I get around it to do my job? You wanted examples, I'll give you a couple more.

    Before I ever became a nurse, I was in the Army. Knew I was getting out, many people asked me what I planned to do. Told them I was going to become a nurse. More than once, I was confronted with the comment "I didn't even know you were gay." (Not necessarily in those words, but that was the sentiment.) Heard it from both military members and civilians. There is a presumption among many that if a male wants to be a nurse, he must be gay. ***** I could care less about anyone's sexual orientation, but this presumption continues a stereotype that helps no one.

    In nursing school, during my OB rotation, I had an instructor who made my life miserable. She did the same for every male who came through the program. My first ever assignment was to care for a post-partum woman of middle eastern descent. She, and her husband, had gone to great pains, owing to their beliefs and heritage, to ensure no males were involved in her care. Her absolute right. My instructor managed to push me into the room just as the lactation consultant was giving breast feeding instruction to the woman. A very uncomfortable situation for all, and I have since learned that my instructor KNEW exactly what she was sending me into. Fast forward to the next semester. The same instructor, starting with a fresh section from the class behind me. She walked into the room on day one, noted that all the students were female. First comment out of her mouth? "I like to see this. Only women should be nurses."

    Now, nurs4kids, does that meet your criteria for anti-male bias?

    I will say that since becoming a CRNA, the bias seems to have disappeared. Hmmmm.... I guess men can be advanced practice nurses.

    Kevin McHugh
    Last edit by kmchugh on Nov 21, '02
  11. by   LilgirlRN
    ERN ....I went out too, so sorry to be so late in replying to your post. A thousand bucks a week is fifty two grand a year that is not a six figure income (the zeros after the decimal point don't count). Good to see a post from you nurs4kids
  12. by   LilgirlRN
    I hate to be dumb, but who is this Bob you keep referring to? Or is Bob an it? As in battery operated boyfriend?
  13. by   Q.
    There's a thread entitled "Bob's InCrowd" in Off Topic where you can learn about Bob.