Just accepted, what to expect being a guy? - page 2

Hey fellas, A little of my background, I was in the Air Force the past 4 years, got out and joined the Air Guard, and have just been accepted into Nursing School today (wooooooooooooooot!!!) ... Read More

  1. by   deftonez188
    Thanks for the advice regarding sitting in the back lol

    I have heard the females do tend to get pretty comfy with the fellas, and yes, being married, any conversations about the menstrual cycle pretty much turn my brain completely off lol.

    And to the poster writing about being the 'chest' dummy, lol, hopefully I don't have to do that (so I don't cause the ladies to faint when I bust out the rippling pecs.........cough....)

  2. by   nursemike
    Quote from danh3190
    I'm just finishing my 2nd semester of a 2 year program and am really enjoying it.

    I haven't noticed any male vs female issues in our program.

    One weird thing though is that the women sort of stop noticing you and speak pretty frankly in the same room as you. I've been sitting studying in the same lounge and heard lots of discussions about boob jobs, the price of bras vs panties, etc. Had to remind some classmates that I was present when the conversation got more graphic. I really don't want to know that much about my classmates.
    Being "just one of the girls" is a bit of an adjustment, but I looked upon it as a positive. Too bad, in a way, I couldn't gather all this intel when I was actively dating. It doesn't change when you get out of school, either. A fair number of women do not go out of their way to discuss these matters with men, but you overhear stuff, and some women are surprisingly frank even in conversations with men. I suppose a case could be made that some of these remarks create a hostile work environment, but I prefer just to take it in stride. If I overhear something I shouldn't, I ignore it. If a co-worker states that menopause is driving her crazy, I sympathize and tread softly. If she states PMS is driving her crazy, I sympathize and tread softly. If a co-worker is acting crazy, I may think it's PMS or menopause, but I never, ever say it, even to another male. Even if you're right, you're wrong, and women are entirely capable of non-hormonal craziness (as, of course, are men.).

    I think it is entirely appropriate to speak up if a conversation in which you are included makes you uncomfortable. On the other hand, practicing nurses can discuss abdominal fistulas over lunch. We routinely pass along in report that a patient is on menses, and while 99% of pad changes are done by the patient herself or an aide, that's only 99%.

    My unit recently had mandatory inservicing on sexual harrassment. I'm proud to say we have seen a dramatic improvement in both the efficiency and the consistency of our sexual harrassment. We do kid around a lot more than management would approve, and I've said things I would never have said before becoming a nurse. Once, when an attractive young aide was complaining of a dull pain in her side, without thinking I asked when her last BM was. Or if one female co-worker is showing another female co-worker a tattoo in an out-of-the-way spot, I may tell her that between the BPH and the carpal tunnel, I don't need to be seeing such things. But you learn pretty quickly who won't be offended and who might. I once complained to a charge nurse, "How come I never get the 19 y.o. female admissions?" My punishment turned out to be getting the next 19 y.o. female admission--but that's another story.

    There's an element of unfairness in all this. Female co-workers can discuss menses, or the lack thereof, undergarments, pros and cons of oral sex, and almost anything. Once heard a gay male co-worker remark that he was tired of always being the catcher, and no one screamed or fainted. But there are some things a male never says if there is any chance of being overheard, ever--like, "Did you check out the rack on the patient in bed XX?" I have heard such things from other male nurses. I've probably said such things to other male nurses. I've actually mentioned the size of a male patient's penis in report (r/t toileting). But the most I'll comment on a female patient's appearance to a female co-worker is to agree, "Yes, she is pretty." if the female brings it up, and I wouldn't say that much where a civilian might overhear.
    On the other hand, when some of my young, female co-workers were discussing which doctors were dreamy, I did say I had decided it was wrong to hope Dr. X's husband would die, and that I ought to hope he takes the kids and runs off, instead.
  3. by   Roy Fokker
    I must admit though - having another guy nurse on the floor is a great experience.

    Easily doubles the fun

    The only other male on our department is an LPN (soon to be RN) - just got out of active mil duty and served tours in Iraq with the Special Forces.

    Not gung-ho at all - down to earth and plenty of fun to be with.

    Our female colleagues react with mock "horror" that they have to put up with the two of us now...
  4. by   Raeth
    Congrats on getting in. I just started my clinicals as well... so far it's been great. Probably just under 10% of our class is male. However, there are 3 other males in my clinical group of 11.

    It's fun... the women are great, but the guys keep it sane... if that makes any sense. Just a different sense of humor I guess! I think we all feel like we are in it together and want to see each other do well. It's honestly the best eductational environment I have ever been in.
  5. by   msdobson
    Quote from Thedreamer
    My advice? Start working out. Get those arms, abs, and back muscles strong. Youre going to need them when every female on the floor runs to you first to help move thier patient.

    Im the only guy on my floor at clinicals and I am constantly helping move and reposition patients. Might not sound like alot till you get a good 400+ pounder and they need to bring in 2 other girls besides myself and the nurse/cna.
    Christ, I'm in luck! I weigh about 130lbs soaking wet!
  6. by   nursemike
    Quote from Raeth
    Congrats on getting in. I just started my clinicals as well... so far it's been great. Probably just under 10% of our class is male. However, there are 3 other males in my clinical group of 11.

    It's fun... the women are great, but the guys keep it sane... if that makes any sense. Just a different sense of humor I guess! I think we all feel like we are in it together and want to see each other do well. It's honestly the best eductational environment I have ever been in.
    I found nursing school a very positive environment, as well. Very hard work, but the grading isn't competitive. If the whole class made A's, that was great. Never happened, of course, but if you were at the low end of passing, it didn't hurt you if a lot of others made A's. That, and probably the innate compassion of future nurses made us tend to look out for each other a good bit. Instructors tended to be supportive, as well. After all, they're nurses first, then instructors.

    My observation about nurses' innate compassion may sound a bit optimistic, in view of all one hears about nurses eating their young. Nursing practice isn't always as benign as nursing school. But a funny thing happened a while back. I volunteered to work over, one morning when we were short staffed. After 12 hours on my regular shift, I got a whole new group for 4 hours, and ran my butt ragged. My relief was a nurse floated from the ER, and she kind of grilled me a bit during report. Nothing really obnoxious, but it was a bit much in my brain-dead state. Personally, nothing about it offended me, but I think she made herself a bit unpopular with our nurses, a few of whom later remarked how rude she had been to me. Now, day shift nurses aren't notoriously lenient with night shift nurses. There's a bit of a belief that we always have plenty of time to get everything done, because we're on nights. So if you have to leave something for days, they may look askance. Our unit isn't as bad as some I've heard of, but there's a little friction, just the same. So it's a little wierd to see the same nurses ticked about someone "busting my chops." But I've seen a similar phenomenon in clinicals, when a Rad Tech was getting on me, a little, and one of the staff nurses put her in her place, bigtime. I think it comes down to, we may eat our young, or at least nibble on them a bit, but damned if anyone else is going to.
  7. by   naskippy
    Quote from Thedreamer
    My advice? Start working out. Get those arms, abs, and back muscles strong. Youre going to need them when every female on the floor runs to you first to help move thier patient.

    Im the only guy on my floor at clinicals and I am constantly helping move and reposition patients. Might not sound like alot till you get a good 400+ pounder and they need to bring in 2 other girls besides myself and the nurse/cna.

    A-Men Brother!

    Heck, they call me to come help then from all over the hospital. Had to go help them in ICU the other night pull up a patient because there were only two scrappy female nurses working and they had a big guy they could not get pulled up in bed. So yep, better get that membership at the gym renewed up front.
  8. by   deftonez188
    Better believe that'll be written off on my taxes :P

    Gym Membership - Powerhouse Gym - 12 months - $700

    woot
  9. by   bigjay
    Hitting the gym is good advice for ALL nurses, not just men. So many of my co-workers have back and shoulder problems (I work on an inpatient ONC/GMED floor so there's lots of lifting and pulling) but very few of them do any sort of exercise or weight lifting. I think it's partly a woman thing and partly a nurse lifestyle thing. Women in general don't tend to have sporting hobbies as much as men and being a shift worker makes it that much harder to get involved in sports, etc since you're often working when they're going on.

    I get called on for the heavy lifting a lot but I don't mind at all. I'm probably physically as strong as two of my co-workers so it makes sense to use me that way. I use good body mechanics and I'm one of the first to stop an unsafe lift in favour of using the mechanical devices we have. I also start a lot of IVs because I'm quite good at it. I help out with the things I'm good at. The trick is not to let yourself be taken advantage of. I like to help out but some days I find I'm doing more of other peoples work than my own because I don't say no. You need to find a balance and know your own limits and needs.

    Nursing school was awesome. I had zero problems with classmates or profs in terms of being a male. The only time I can even remember it being an issue was during physical assessment training. Any shirt off assessment I was the model which wasn't a big deal. Dating won't be an issue for you since you're already married.
  10. by   jelorde37
    lol what to expect? nursing school was kinda weird at first(atleast for me). just go with the flow. plus, youll be surrounded by females. my class had a male-female ratio of 1-7. pretty cool huh? also, i think chicks dig the idea of a male nurse. oh yeah, start working out, theyll expect you to help move and reposition patients A LOT.
  11. by   Joe B1
    I'll have to agree with a lot of what has been said here. When I went through nursing school (18-20 years ago) I didn't have any real problems with being male. My instructors and classmates were pretty cool with me and the other 3 guys in our class of about 30. There wasn't any of that woman power/man power stuff going on. My natural male obliviousness may have helped.

    Since I've become a RN, I've seldom ever encountered the stereotyping that used to be considered of male nurses. My co-workers seem to be glad to have me around. Sometimes for the heavy lifting, sometimes for the experience I have.

    I've learned a few simple guidelines that have served me well.

    Number One: I never, ever repeat gossip. It's best to seem ignorant and just listen.

    Number Two: Mostly listen to your co-workers. I've learned a LOT about women this way over the years. Give support when needed, but don't take sides and never get in the middle.

    Number Three: Let the ladies take the lead when it comes to risque' talk and always come up a little less risque' than they do.

    Number Four: When I'm at work, I'm at work. Nothing else matters until what needs to be done is done. When it slows down, that's fun time.

    Hope this helps,
    Joe
  12. by   BULLYDAWGRN
    Got invited and went to some freaky study sessions that turn into a hell of a party... while some of my pals that were in engineering studying with the fellas, I was trying to study A&P with the gals, my hommies hate me to this day for that.
  13. by   Atl_John
    Yep, your the new muscle in town so get ready. Only had one or two bad experiences in nursing school because I was male

    During my OB rotation I was the only guy not only in the class but also obviously in my rotations. During my L&D rotation the RN's there made kind of a big deal about a male student doing L&D. I can remember the nurse saying to my clinical instructor, ohh hes a male student, let me see if the patient is comfortable with a MALE. Then when the lady said yes, every single time she would ask the patient if she was comfortable she would always ask not if it was okey if a student was present but if it was okey if a MALE student was present. The Male was very much emphasized made me feel pretty uncomfortable. My clinical instructor said that this particular nurse was known to not like Male nurses in "her" unit, so I just took it for what it was but did enjoy getting to see the C-section.

    The other time was also during OB rotations we had an antenatal rotation but the facility would not allow any male students only female students, yet all the doctors there were male, made no sense, but heck one less care plan to do. Other than that, being "Token" has been great fun, woudlnt' trade it for anything.

close