Quote from klone
We have never had a male nurse work in L&D before (have had one in the past who worked mom/baby and special care nursery).
When you're with a labor patient, are you required to have a chaperone present for SVEs or any other procedures?
Any other logistical issues that you've encountered working in this area of nursing that can be attributed to your sex?
No, I am not required to have a chaperone present for SVEs. I always have a discussion with my patients about what I am going to do prior to doing it. In the last 18 months, I've had 3 patients ask for a female RN, it really happens so infrequently and I often work in the OB ER/Triage area.
The only time we have another nurse or provider in the room for a procedure is foley insertion because it's two provider in our organization to maximize sterility and avoid infections.
OBs have a different relationship with their patients than the nurses do and a requirement (rather than a decision made between the nurse and patient) to have one would negatively impact my credibility and make it seem like it's less than acceptable to have a male in that role. More men in OB nursing is only going to positively impact this situation. My feeling is that as more guys change careers, especially fathers there will be more interest in going into that area for guys. That is unless the clinical instructors at many institutions (including where I went to school) make it more difficult for guys to experience and succeed in their maternity clinicals.
Getting INTO L&D was a problem and it was NOT the patient population. First it was getting by HR and then the hiring managers. I have substantial NICU experience so they often called to make sure I didn't apply to the wrong location (I didn't) and when I told them that, they would frequently "need to get back to me." I have applied using the female version of my name and "she" gets called back at an absurd rate. I have a spreadsheet of every L&D job I have applied for over the years in my attempt to change specialties along with the time to contact (if any) from the organization and the verbatim outcomes. I have had people flat out tell me they won't hire men which included the director of a unit in the largest hospital in a 9 facility system. Her reason was that the MDs wouldn't like it. I had a great chat with the CNO, CEO, and HR VP of that organization.
On the PRO side of this column, I get treated with incredible respect by the patients and their families as well as the OBs. If an OB is getting mouthy or huffy with one of my nurses, often I just have to stand up and the tone changes very quickly. My NICU background has come in super handy and I'm also a lactation counselor...according to my educator, I'm a unicorn. But I also know that everything I do is noticed, both good and bad so I am incredibly cognizant of how I present myself to staff, patients, and visitors.
It took me a while to prove that I belonged there, but I provide high quality care and have high patient satisfaction scores so I guess I'm just one of the girls now!