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Male nursing students in L/D and OB/GYN

Ob/Gyn   (1,988 Views | 4 Replies)

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How do nursing educators dispell the handmaiden image of nurses and is it common for nursing professors to try to instill in their students that you should not go into nursing if you hope to be treated as an equal with physicians and other health care workers. I also wanted to know male nursing students are sometimes discriminated against in L/D andOB/GYN during clinicals while male 3rd yr medical students are not discriminated against in the same clinical setting

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6,620 Posts; 14,636 Profile Views

I can't comment on educators' roles in dispelling the handmaiden image or what they say to students about the treatment of nurses. I can tell you that some OB areas do discriminate against male students and nurses and other don't. This really isn't any different from how med students are treated. You will hear a lot of them complaining that the female med students are much more welcome and allowed to participate as a matter of course while they are often refused entry.

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45 Posts; 1,934 Profile Views

Wow, that's a lot to chew on... I personally can not answer the question about male nurses in OB, We only had 2 males in our nursing class and I was not in a clinical rotation with either of them....

As for the "handmaiden" image of nursing, I have found my career does not fit into that stereotype at all. In my trauma team training, the nurses were given as much respect as the physicians simply because one could not do their job with out the other. I take pride in making sure that the physician had the supplies and medications they needed because ultimately the care of that patient was my responsibilty. It has been my experience that in the ER that you have more more autonomy than on the nursing floor. You always have physicians present and you work side by side as a team, ie: the nurse cleans and numbs the wound, the doc sews it up. It is my job to make sure he has what he needs because there are 50 people out in the waiting room anxious to be seen. If you decided a procedure or an order for a patient was right at the time and the doc was busy, they would back you up and sign for it. Nursing no longer requires that you give up your chair for the doctor. The nursing school that I attended explained the difference between then and now and emphasized that until we got some experience under our belts, it would be tough going. Physicians will show you respect if you show it to them and demonsrate that you are competent. (Although I must admit that there are some physicians out there that do not have my respect, however I treat them with professional courtesy, as you would on any job.) That is the way you will probably find it in medical school as well. I wish you luck in your choice, nursing is not for everyone. :) -Ruthie

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VickyRN has 16 years experience as a MSN, DNP, RN and specializes in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds.

3 Followers; 105 Articles; 5,349 Posts; 133,884 Profile Views

Hmmmm... seems like you're asking two different things in this thread: 1) the "handmaiden" issue, and 2) male students/ nurses being discriminated against in L & D. I will do my best to answer question #1, and then I will export your thread to the OBGYN forum--hopefully, there you will get some input for question #2 (from male L & D nurses such as Dayray or MarkLDRN (sp?).

OK for #1, here goes. I do my best to dispel the "handmaiden" image which came from Florence Nightingale. Times have changed drastically and nursing has evolved into a profession in its own right, on an equal par (howbeit different) from medicine. Nursing complements medicine, but should never be considered "subservient" to it. We teach our students to ALWAYS do what is best for the patient (patient advocacy), to think critically, and not just "blindly" follow the doctors' orders.

Our male students do serve a rotation on the postpartum floor and also have an observation in the L & D. If there is any discrimination, it is from the patients who prefer not to have a male in the room or a male student. We abide by their wishes. Also, male students are not allowed to do assessments on their postpartum patients without the instructor or another female student present.

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