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I Have a question

Nurses   (1,483 Views | 11 Replies)
by 111170 111170 (New) New

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OK..I am not a nurse, but have done private healthcare many years in the past. I have a question for nurses: My husband is having an apr surgery w/rectum removed due to cancer. He's never had a female "down there" for any examinations or anything. We are very private people, work, live together 24/7 13 years now. He wants to insist on a male nurse @ all times for his rectal area when he needs gauzes changed, exam, etc during hospital stay since i told him i know they will not allow me. Is this an impossible request?

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

3 Followers; 4,495 Posts; 33,758 Profile Views

OK..I am not a nurse, but have done private healthcare many years in the past. I have a question for nurses: My husband is having an apr surgery w/rectum removed due to cancer. He's never had a female "down there" for any examinations or anything. We are very private people, work, live together 24/7 13 years now. He wants to insist on a male nurse @ all times for his rectal area when he needs gauzes changed, exam, etc during hospital stay since i told him i know they will not allow me. Is this an impossible request?

It could be difficult (or impossible) depending on the staff available at any given time. I'm sure they'll accommodate him if they can, though.

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JBudd has 39 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Trauma, Teaching.

2 Followers; 1 Article; 3,766 Posts; 36,051 Profile Views

As Lemon said, there just isn't always a male nurse available. It is no different than having a female doctor, or a male nurse for a female patient. We accommodate when we can, but he needs to psych himself up for the possibilities.

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Here.I.Stand has 16 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro.

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He can ask, but it may not always be possible. Back when I worked the floor, many shifts had zero male nurses on duty (for whatever reason, I have worked with a higher testosterone group in ICUs.)

Wishing him a smooth and complete recovery!

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OrganizedChaos has 10 years experience as a LVN and specializes in M/S, LTC, Corrections, PDN & drug rehab.

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I'm just echoing what everyone else has already said. I'm sure you already know that nursing is a mostly female dominated profession. Not that men don't work in nursing, but by in large there are more women drawn to nursing.

That being said, you can request what you want but that doesn't mean your requests will always be fulfilled.

I hope your husband has a speedy recovery!

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11 Followers; 3,905 Posts; 30,939 Profile Views

He can ask but he cannot "insist" as it might very well be impossible. Although I highly doubt this will make him feel better you can tell him that nurses are so removed from seeing patients' nether regions in anyway other than in a clinical sense that we really pay them no mind. Kind of once you've seen one you've seen them all. Also let him know that we're pulling for him and there are A LOT of us!:up:

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KatieMI has 6 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine.

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Only one thing I could suggest is to find private nursing agency and request male nurses for private duty. Some (not all) hospitals allow it. It will take a good few weeks to to arrange and quite a $$$$$ out of pocket to pay, though. Also, keep in mind that unless you pay VERY good money, no nurse is going to work more than 4, max 5 days in a row.

Do not forget that in many places routine perineal care, like washing, toileting, etc., is carried out by CNAs who are mostly female as well.

Overall, yes. Not all wantings are congruent with a nasty little issue named "objective reality".

P.S. "insisting" on something which is next to impossible to arrange and so far removed from the said objective reality is always a bad thing to begin with when you are a patient. In fact, it is one of the worst things that can be imagined - first and foremost, for your husband, then for everyone else. That includes you and the surgeon who will held your husband's life in his hands. Think about it, please.

Edited by KatieMI

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4 Posts; 542 Profile Views

You can absolutely request male care only. It may not be possible due to staff. However... ask the male nurses to teach you how to do the wound care. If all participants are willing.. ie you and hubby. They'll teach you

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KatieMI has 6 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine.

2 Followers; 1 Article; 2,634 Posts; 43,958 Profile Views

You can absolutely request male care only. It may not be possible due to staff. However... ask the male nurses to teach you how to do the wound care. If all participants are willing.. ie you and hubby. They'll teach you

Not gonna happen with a postop patient whose wounds/dressings must be professionally accessed and changes recorded and reported.

Where I am, we actually see such requests pretty often, with family members indeed well trained and providing care for debilitated/quad patients sometimes for years. If they want to provide wound/ostomy care like they used to, first, they must demonstrate it to wound care RN, and if she says that they did things wrong for years, they have to either re-learn and to do it appropriately from now on or relinguish care for staff; second, it must be the same old wound. Even if the wound itself is not touched but there is a new line/port/wound vac/something else near it, the care is transferred to staff.

I can imagine feelings of surgeon after he gets to know that postop fields of his patient after high rectal resection will be seen by wife with no education at all and by nurses pulled from here and there just because family "wants and insists". Quite a few of them would simply quit the case after the initial explosion settles down.

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KelRN215 has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pedi.

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Would have been an impossible request when I worked in the hospital- 2 male nurses on staff, both worked permanent nights.

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43 Posts; 1,049 Profile Views

I hope the surgery is successful and that your husband has a quick recovery. You certainly can make the request but you and your husband should be talking with the doctor about this before even going to the hospital. Before your husband is placed under anesthesia, chances are he will need a Foley placed in his bladder. Chances are it will be a female nurse inserting the catheter. After surgery, in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit, you may have female nurse assessing airway, tolerance to anesthesia, checking vital signs, signs of internal bleeding, urine output and catheter placement. If dressing changes are ordered, a female nurse maybe assigned and required to assess for healing, signs of infection. You should be taught how to perform dressing changes absolutely, but the nurse is skilled and licensed to catch medical concerns and report them to the Doctor. Preparing your husband with this information would assist him in preparing for the procedure and future healing process.

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blondy2061h has 15 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Oncology.

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In the OR between the surgeons, anesthesia and all of their fellows and/or residents the scrub nurse, the circulating nurse, and the OR tech it's almost inevitable he'll have females seeing his nethers right off the bat.

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