Published Aug 22, 1999
What are your ideas on a man in nursing? Are there any challanges to this idea/practice? Male RNs: what have your experiences been?
I am currently in a BSN program and we all think our male classmates are great! They are really outnumbered, but they don't seem to mind! I also spend some time working in an ER where it seems a lot of male nurses end up. Overall I would say it doesn't really seem to matter, I've seen good and bad nurses in both and having an excellent nurse is what's really important to the patient.
I agree with mable. I have worked psych for 6 years and find that most male nurses are extremely helpful. I feel that there are some definate positives to working with a male nurse: If you have male patients and need to do a procedure that's revealing, the patients are more comfortable, and most males tend to speak their mind and not get involved with all the "gossip". I have had many experiences working with male nurses and feel they all were positive ones. Challenges? Occasionally some people have a difficult time working with a male nurse and feel that they must "prove themselves". Keep your chin up and good luck!
As a male who has been in nursing for over 16 yrs with almost 15 in critical care I've had positive experiences. The only downside is sometime you get assignments to care or not care for certain based solely on gender which I find disturbing. I hate the term "male nurse" because my license says "RN" with nothing about gender. We don't say "female doctor, lawyer, judge, etc." and i feel the male nurse term seperates us from the rest of the profession in a negative way, but that's my opinion and I could be wrong. If you feel you can have a positive influence on people's lives, by all means become a "nurse"
If Ya' Don't Love The Blues, Ya' Got A Hole In Your Soul
There are times when being a male in nursing challenges both nurse and family. It presents opportunities to clarify values and goals. It presents opportuniies to examine gender-based stereotyping. If the nurse is not interested in these issues it could present a problem. Clients at times don't know how complex nursing can be. The co-workers could contribute to uncomfortable feelings. Starting in a setting with supportive staff would help establish a positive identity. Experience helps establish security. While maintaining commitment to nursing realize that you are a unique individual and have as much right to work in the field as any other trained clinician.
I don't qualify to speak from experience as I am a female. I have had some interesting experiences as a Nursemidwife that precepts BSN students. I have had the pleasure in having male students come to my practice. They have been sensitive and kind to my patients and that is all that counts. I do ask permission, but I do that for all students. I wonder--how do men feel about working in clinics?OB?Gyn? To me it is an asset as there is great work to be done with families. What should I say to patients-male nurses or nurses?
Carol-I'm an FNP student in clinical preceptorship with OB/GYN practice. The physician/preceptor introduced me to one of his patients (who happened to work for a home health agency)and we both understood her to have given permission for me to be present during the history and physical exam.One week later the physician told me that the patient had told him "she couldn't believe he would let the student stay in the room". The physician is referring me to a clinic run by a female OB/GYN as an alternative site as he doesn't think I will be able to see my required 40 patients with him. It was his impression that perhaps two men in the room (with a medical asst.) could have created a gender imbalance and could prove problematic. I spoke to another physicaian in the practice and he mentioned that women who have been very happy with male OB/GYN providers are seeking out female providers if they change. The perceptions that women were possibly less capable are diminishing and the field is being taken over by women. I may not agree with popular attitudes, but I must acknowledge how important public perception (cultural context)is in formulating policy, and economic outcomes.
It has not crossed my mind about your experience in a FNP program-where you need the numbers. That must be difficult.
My Female OBGYN always has a chaperone for her exams-I wonder if I should do the same...In midwifery school there were men in the program-very few but they were the best.
I definitely think we need to have more men in nursing! I have always thought that the nursing profession will never get the respect and other advantages (including monetary benefits) it deserves, as long we are considered a "female profession". Working with male RN's makes the working environment that much more well-rounded. I do find that female patients, in particular, have a harder time accepting a man as their nurse. Cultural issue, true, but still kind of ironic when you consider how female nurses take care of male patients. I think that this will change gradually with time and enlightenment (and patience and understanding).
Good luck with your career!
Peoples perceptions are formed by the cultural context. Men and women both have capacities for nurturing and competition. Society will modify gender roles as individuals differentiate. Those who challenge stereotypes interact with others. You are probably right that having men in nursing presents the question of equal pay for men and women for the same work. I am benefitting from the struggles of nurses th gain equitable compensation, and I hope that my participation in the career helps remove stereotypes and discrimination against women.
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