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Need advise regarding uncomfortable, disrespectful situation

Men   (2,493 Views | 39 Replies)
by Maria Crocker Maria Crocker (New) New

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I am hoping some fellow nurses can help me out.  I had a hysteroscopy and D&C at a surgery center yesterday.  I was the first pt in pre op in the am and was awaiting my GYN to show.  Mind you, I had no choice in Dr.'s with my HMO and I don't know him very well other than the fact that I find him to be a very quiet, meek person.  I noticed a male in scrubs looking at my chart a couple of times but he did not introduce himself and the scrubs appeared to be what he wore to work along with a outside jacket on.  Meanwhile, anesthesia introduced himself and I felt very comfortable with him.  A few minutes later, the male in scrubs walked by again and informed me he was going to be the circulator.  Never interacted with me other than that.  I voiced my dissatisfaction with the RN who was pre-oping me; stating I did not understand why I would be assigned a male circulator for a GYN case with other GYN cases to follow.  I found that unacceptable in a ambulatory setting.  So here comes the ORT and says "hi" I wanted to say "hi" since I am the only other girl in your room.  Meanwhile anesthesia comes out with the Versed and then the charge nurse comes up to me stating she had heard about my concern and she does not have a female circulator.  Now the circulator is at the foot of the bed.  I proceeded to tell her again that I thought this was handled very unprofessionally and that it is probably not the right time to discuss it as I am getting sedated.  The circulator never spoke with me, obtained a pmh or my meds/allergies.  So much for a patient advocate.  And for the record, he was still wearing those same scrubs and outdoor jacket that he came in with as he was wheeling me into the rm.  I am so angry at the unprofessionalism and complete disregard shown to me.  I would love to here others' in put.  I am not male bashing, I have worked side by side with male nurses for the past 15 yr in a emergency dept setting.  Thanks.

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Hoosier_RN has 20 years experience as a MSN and specializes in LTC, home health, hospice, ICU, ER, dialysis.

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If that was their only available staff, and you are HMO, it sounds like not much can be done about the total situation. But, they should send you a survey form. Fill it out. Better yet, call the center and ask for the practice manager and tell them your concern

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5 Followers; 37,461 Posts; 100,726 Profile Views

My daughter, who works in hospital management positions, and listens to my complaints, told me more than once that when I am unhappy with things to speak my peace on the survey form. I find it very interesting to say the least that I have only ever received a survey form when my encounter was acceptable, never when I have a bone or three to pick with them. I never go out of my way to be vocal. Now, I have reached the last straw and will no longer go to the former regular facility due to the way I have been treated in the aggregate. I, too, would have been concerned over that man‘s behavior, however, as usual, I would have sucked it up.

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GrumpyRN has 38 years experience as a NP and specializes in Emergency Department.

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On 2/28/2020 at 11:37 AM, Maria Crocker said:

I am not male bashing,

Yes you are. The whole point of your post is because there was a male nurse present.

I get that you are unhappy but if there is no female available then really it is just too bad. Males always get female staff regardless. You could always have refused the procedure. If he was doing his job what do you have to complain about?

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NICU Guy has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU.

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Let me get this straight:

Male GYN, who you have never met, who is going to get up, close, and personal with your lady parts- acceptable because he is a doctor.

Anesthesiologist introduces himself- acceptable because he is a doctor.

Male Circulator Nurse- " I did not understand why I would be assigned a male circulator for a GYN case with other GYN cases to follow. I found that unacceptable in a ambulatory setting." Why is that unacceptable? Is your perception that all male nurses are perverts and are incapable of being professional and doing their job without getting sexually aroused? But yet you have no problem with the male GYN.

A circulator has a job to do: document the surgery/procedure and getting supplies for the doctor and surgical tech during the case. They aren't pulling up a seat behind the doctor and staring at your genitals the whole case.

Men have surgeries all the time and have their genitals exposed to the female circulator nurses. But that would be acceptable to you in an ambulatory setting because all female nurses are professional.

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8 Posts; 107 Profile Views

WOW!, just getting to the responses.  The men who have answered appear to have a lot of built up anger...  I guess what I was trying to point out was that as RN's we go to work to get a job done.  When the role is reversed and we are now the patient, we feel vulnerable.  I felt very vulnerable and out of control and it was not a good feeling.  I highly doubt anyone who worked at that surgery center would have placed themselves in my shoes.  Maybe that is the lesson I can take from this......provide more empathy to my patients.

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skydancer7 has 11 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Operating Room, CNOR.

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Male or female, I would also have been uncomfortable with a circulator who did not establish some base level of rapport, check my wrist band, and ask me all the questions that have already been asked 3 times by everyone else.  There is more to being a circulator than showing up and wheeling the patient back, and charting and running for supplies.  We are still responsible for our own pre-op checks, which includes talking to the patient, asking questions, going over any concerns BEFORE SEDATION HAPPENS.  It sounds like this nurse did not do those things. 

It's not about the male being a NURSE.  Note how the OP stated the other two professionals INTRODUCED THEMSELVES.  The nurse failed to act professionally by establishing rapport and doing a thorough intake during a sensitive time, and that is the problem.

Now onto the gender thing and the trauma response, since some of ya'll don't seem be able to put 2 and 2 together here:

Given the sensitive nature of GYN procedures and the FACT that 1 in 6 women are survivors of sexual violence ( which is largely perpetrated by men... cue the #notallmen response, or better yet, spare me...), and likely have some level of PTSD around that, it is understandable that in a vulnerable situation, especially where the RN failed to establish trust and rapport, that the patient's amygdala would take over

As nurses we should know that the sympathetic nervous system response can hijack our rational brains.  Yes a patient can logically "know" that nurses are professionals, regardless of gender.  Yet their nervous system will still scream "UNSAFE!" at them, which is why our JOBS as NURSES include establishing trust and rapport whenever possible, to the best of our ability, regardless of genders involved. 

Most people have had some level of trauma in their lives.  Surgery is a time when folks are already nervous, so these buttons can be pushed more easily, and an experienced circulating RN should know that and try to reassure the patient.  The least we can do as circulators is make some eye contact, make some conversation, and put our patients at ease.  This nurse, whatever their gender, FAILED to do that and the patient felt unsafe, full-stop. OP, you have every right to feel as you did.  Don't let fragile egos of the #NotAllMen crowd make you feel otherwise.

If the circulator did not even do the basic pre-op interview and couldn't be bothered to introduce himself, as a patient I would be wondering what else that RN is not good at.  Surgical site cleansing?  Sterile field monitoring?  Yes nurses are "all professionals" hopefully, but we still need to reassure nervous patients by actually presenting ourselves as professionals.  This includes introducing yourself instead of hovering awkwardly.  It includes asking pre-op questions even though the admitting nurse has already asked the same questions.  It includes asking the patient if they have any concerns before sedation starts.  This nurse did not act professionally, so the patient should not be expected to trust blindly.

Edited by skydancer7

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8 Posts; 107 Profile Views

Thank you so much for your comment....you shed so much insight it is almost like you were there.

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skydancer7 has 11 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Operating Room, CNOR.

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21 hours ago, GrumpyRN said:

Yes you are. The whole point of your post is because there was a male nurse present.

I get that you are unhappy but if there is no female available then really it is just too bad. Males always get female staff regardless. You could always have refused the procedure. If he was doing his job what do you have to complain about?

He wasn't doing his job.  He did not introduce himself.  He did not do an appropriate pre-op interview and assessment.  Sounds like he wore an outdoor jacket into an OR.  Regardless of gender, this RN did not behave in a professional manner.

7 minutes ago, Maria Crocker said:

Thank you so much for your comment....you shed so much insight it is almost like you were there.

I have "been there" if you know what I mean.  I just wanted to validate your experience and try to shed some light for those who clearly aren't getting it.  Sorry you had the experience, but hopefully some folks can learn from it. 

I have been a circulating nurse for 10 years.  I have also witnessed unprofessional behavior from supposed "professionals" in the operating room.  It happens.  It's not unrealistic for patients to pick up on the FACT that some RNs, doctors, etc are more "professional" than others and thereby feel unsafe.  Patients who feel unsafe should be able to voice that.

Edited by skydancer7

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GrumpyRN has 38 years experience as a NP and specializes in Emergency Department.

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2 hours ago, Maria Crocker said:

The men who have answered appear to have a lot of built up anger... 

Where from the 2 responses by males do you see anger? Serious question because I really don't see any anger from what NICU Guy and myself wrote.

Please point out the relevant sentence or word that you think is anger.

And can I point you to the sentence in your original post that I have already commented on, "I am not male bashing," them immediately bash us with accusations of anger. 

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GrumpyRN has 38 years experience as a NP and specializes in Emergency Department.

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2 hours ago, skydancer7 said:

Given the sensitive nature of GYN procedures and the FACT that 1 in 6 women are survivors of sexual violence ( which is largely perpetrated by men... 

Totally ignoring THE FACT that 1 in 6 men are also sexual violence survivors.

https://1in6.org/get-information/the-1-in-6-statistic/

Men have sensitive procedures done as well. I have had a vasectomy, orchidectomy and also a cystoscopy done all with female nurses but apparently according to you my feelings are negated because I am male.

 

2 hours ago, skydancer7 said:

...cue the #notallmen response, or better yet, spare me...)

That is just nasty and abusive.

 

2 hours ago, skydancer7 said:

This nurse, whatever their gender, FAILED to do that and the patient felt unsafe, full-stop.

But if the nurse was female this would never have been brought up.

 

2 hours ago, skydancer7 said:

It's not about the male being a NURSE.  Note how the OP stated the other two professionals INTRODUCED THEMSELVES.  The nurse failed to act professionally by establishing rapport and doing a thorough intake during a sensitive time, and that is the problem.

Did it not perhaps cross your mind that the nurse was maybe trying to be sensitive? Knowing what procedure was about to take place he did not want to embarrass the OP so tried to stay out of the way?

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meanmaryjean has 40 years experience as a DNP, RN and specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia.

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 The circulator never spoke with me, obtained a pmh or my meds/allergies.

 

Do circulators even do this? I've never even really seen a circulator interact with a patient on that level. OP- you yourself said a separate RN did your pre-op. You wanted it done again? By everyone who came in the room? It gets put in the record for everyone who needs to have access. I am genuinely puzzled you are so upset by this. 

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