The Great Double Standard? - page 12

I would like opinions from the rest of you guys. It seems everywhere I turn that there is this double standard that men nurses should not be providing care for any of women's intimate needs. I am... Read More

  1. by   jpaxton22
    Quote from Colin the Red RN
    agreed, whenever I take care of a female patient that is roughly my age, +/- 10yrs, I always take another staff member into the room just to have another set of eyes, not to make sure I am doing my job right, but to protect myself in case the patient decides to accuse me of anything inappropriate. That way I have my word, and a witness against theirs. It is not a policy at our facility-yet. but it is good practice in my opinion.
    I can completely understand your reasoning for covering yourself, but I do not think this is best practice due to it being one more obstacle to performing our jobs. If we have to drag another health care provider in any time we need to work on our patient's of the opposite sex then it will be an additional drain on the hospitals and insurance companys. This will lead to more cut backs on needed care and second thoughts on hiring.
    Quote from jpaxton22
    I agree with you, and what a lot of the female nurses seem not to realize is that if they asked their male patient's, 90% are more comfortable with a male nurse providing their care. I run into this all the time in clinicals and in the assisted living where I work. Everyone seems to forget that males can be shy and embarrassed too. But back to the point, just don't give these nurses the option, tell them that you are going to care for your patient. It took me the entire first semester to work up the courage but now there is not a single nurse who doubts my ability to be professional with females and to make them comfortable.
    The issue may very well not be an issue of shyness or embarrassment,but rather trust. Take a look at state nursing
    disciplinary records, female nurses are having their licenses revoked for sexual misconduct. It goes both ways.
  3. by   talaxandra
    I don't think anyone's claiming (or has ever claimed) that every female nurse is perfect. Of course there are instances of female misconduct, sexual and otherwise - what's your point?
  4. by   middleager
    I don't think this should be tabled as who is worse, who shouldn't be trusted. From my experience I trust all of the nurses that come my way unless one gives me cause to do other wise, which has never happened in my life, quite the opposite. The issue is more societies willingness to impose presupposed discrimination on male nurses and the administration of the hospitals and governing bodies making the decision not to stand up for their nurses. Rather than fight the battle, they force nurses give into the discrimination to protect themselves. I fault the admin and governing bodies not the nurses for allowing this to continue. If they threw themselves behind defending the nurses, this would improve. Not saying there are not bad nurses of both genders, I have never met one but sure they exist. And I am not saying patients request for a specific gender for intimate care should be ignored, but to assume a male nurse should have to have a chaperone for female patients is discrimination flat out and should not be accepted. Change takes time, but it also takes effort.
  5. by   talaxandra
    Maybe it's because we're less litigious than the US, but my hospital at least has no policy requiring male nurses to be chaperoned when performing intimate care with female patients. There's certainly not a presumption of guilt...
    Quote from talaxandra
    I don't think anyone's claiming (or has ever claimed) that every female nurse is perfect. Of course there are instances of female misconduct, sexual and otherwise - what's your point?

    My point is implied,chaperones with female nurses for male patients. Better yet ask the patient what their
    Preference is FIRST. We are after all advocates for the patient first and foremost.
  7. by   nursemike
    Had an interesting interaction, recently, while I was charge. A female pt asked her assigned male nurse to be assigned a female. Not a big problem, but it was after report and everyone is running around doing assessments, so I saw her and asked if it would be okay to swap at 2300, and we'd find a female if any intimate proceedures were needed. She agreed, and by 2300 said she'd keep the male. I'm not surprised--he's a great nurse and really good with people--and in the a.m. she said it would be okay for him to come back that night. Yay! Still, reporting off to the next charge, I forwarded the request for females only, even though I have ample confidence in the only male on the schedule that night. (By confidence, I don't mean he isn't a pervert. I have no reason to suspect any of my peers in that regard. Some, however, are notably more soothing to anxious patients, and especially anxious females. I'm not sure how to explain that gift, even though it seems like I may have it, too.)

    I'm feeling like this was a good interaction. I was a little worried that the patient might feel pressured to keep the male because it appeared inconvenient to us. Well, it was inconvenient, and I tried to make it clear we were willing to accept the inconvenience while asking if she could help minimize it by waiting until the next 4hr block. And it appears my friend did a good job of showing that a male can be caring and sensitive, which might help us all, in the long run (and help the patient, too, given that half the world is male, and it's hard not to interact with some of them.) But I also think these victories need to come in small steps, and throwing a new guy into the mix might have been a little much.

    I'm pretty sure my facility has no policy requiring chaperones for any procedure. Most of my patients, I think, would just as soon not have a lot of extraneous people. As for chaperones for female nurses caring for male patients, on some shifts on some units, that chaperone would also be female. I guess that's okay. If I were doing a straight cath on a female, another male should be just as capable as any female of testifying that I did nothing inappropriate. But would the patient not think it odd if I brought a male chaperone? Would a male patient be more at ease with two women than one?
  8. by   Cul2
    nursemike "If I were doing a straight cath on a female, another male should be just as capable as any female of testifying that I did nothing inappropriate. But would the patient not think it odd if I brought a male chaperone? Would a male patient be more at ease with two women than one?"
    There is enough research out there, not definitive by any means, but clear enough to give
    pretty clear indications. Most male don't want chaperone of either gender. But...and we all know this...most males if confronted with a female nurse with a female chaperone won't complain regardless of how upset they may be. Just because patients they don't request another chaperone or no chaperone doesn't mean everything's okay. That goes for many females, too, but females prefer female chaperones. The whole chaperone issue is interesting. What upsets many patients are the assumptions and frequent hyprocracy. What's the purpose of chaperones? Many police statrments list "patient comfort" right up on top. If that's the case, let's at least check if the patient feels comfortable with a chaperone. Ask. Don't just assume a chaperone represent "comfort" for every patient. Further down on the list you'll find "doctor/nurse protection." I contend that purpose should be up top. Let's at least admit it. I'm not saying it's not often necessary in our culture, but let's not pretend it's always for patient comfort, esp. when the patient isn't give first, a choice of whether to have a chaperone or, second, the chaperone's gender. Having said that, I'm sure the best professionals do ask patients. But, as you say nursemike, it's almost all about communicaiton, empathy, and approach. Caring. If patients feel they're being treated with dignity and respect, for most, the gender doesn't matter. But...working conditions as well as individual personalities can seriously influence communication, empathy and approach.
  9. by   monsuun
    Wanna hear something funny and kind of related to the subject? Where I'm doing clinicals at, there is a female resident that I felt I had created a bond with. She had told me that I had been more gentle with her than any other CNA or RN she had been with and told me that she hoped I got a job at that particular nursing home when I was done so that I could continue to care for her. After all that I was a little confused when she asked for a female to help her shower, as I know another male has helped her shower before.

    The CNA who helped her came out with a big grin on her face and told me what the woman had said to her. "If he were ugly I wouldn't mind him helping me, but he's so good looking he makes me nervous!"

    So whenever a female tells me in the future that they want a female nurse, I'll just assume it's because I'm just so darned cute and take no offense!!
  10. by   Cul2
    You make an important point, monsuun. Patient gender preference
    is most often very complex. It most often has nothing to do with whether they
    think one gender is more competent than another. It probably has
    more to do with very personal psychological and social
    conditioning and emotions. It most often has nothing to do with the kind
    of discrimination we associate with racial and gender bigotry.