For us nurses in the 50+ age group, working with male nurses for some of us was a genuine pleasure, for others they made those poor boys jump through hoops. I enjoyed their company and made good friends with our male nurses, having a son about the same age and knowing how I would want him to be respected.
One morning stands out clearly though, it was the dressing room 'run-through' time! The only way to get good pants and tops for the day was to dart into the doctors change room and grab what we needed, and there never was anyone around at 6:45am so we hardly ever knocked. On this particular morning I ran in and was face to face with a young man, wrapped in a towel, trying to have a shave.He gasped, turned red, choked,grabbed his towel,and one would think I was ready to assault him. I put my hands on my hips, stared at him and said, "Are you assisting with the first case?" No answer! I pursued the subject as I chose the greens for the nurses for the day. The young man was in such distress, but he finally said, "Ma'am, I am the new RN. I work two jobs and I just got off night duty and am just getting ready for my next four hour job!"
"Ok, and. . . .?" I asked,trying to make him feel better in his obvious unease, I blurted out"For heavens' sake, it is bloody well time they got a few male nurses around here. Now stop clutching the towel, I have a son your age!" And I removed my scrub cap, showing a head of snow white hair, a trait that runs in our family is prematurely grey hair. I had quit the bottle stuff.
When the young man saw the white hair, and the 45 year old face, he forgot himself completely and dropped the towel wrapped around himself. I pulled the screen for him, and walked out. In six months I had worked quite a bit with this young nurse and he was wonderful, and everytime the subject of my white 'glamorous' hair would come up he would turn as red as a strawberry-but neither of us explained the reason. We kept it a secret and eight years later I still consider him to be one of the best nurses I worked with, encouraged him as much as I could and got the biggest hug from him when I left and moved on to retirement. It was a rough start but sometimes it pays off when you quit the "hair bottle!"--at least for young male nurses!!