As many of you have seen, there is a strong movement to bring gender parity to the Operating Room - a setting that is currently dominated by men - nearly every statistic supports that. The #ILookLikeASurgeon movement and the New Yorker Magazine cover have brought attention that women can be just as capable of surgeons as their male counterparts.
I support this movement; I support this plight; I support equity and merit-based institutions
I DO not support some of the commentary that has come with this movement.
There are a number of articles covering this movement where a female surgeon is interviewed and says something to like of...
"When I walked into the room, the patient thought I was the nurse. I was so offended"
I get it - the point is that you're getting 'type-cast' into traditional societal views that men are surgeons and women are nurses. BUT...there are worst things to be mistaken for than a nurse. I am proud to be an Operating Room Nurse. I am proud to work alongside these amazing women surgeons, just as I am to work alongside their male colleagues.
I would never think it's ok to say, "I was so offended, the patient thought I was the Scrub Tech."
I have thick skin and I work in a cardiac OR - I'm the last person who cares about being P.C. That said, I don't think its productive to advance the plight against one injustice by creating another.
They're obviously not referring to anyone's intrinsic value as a human being ...just the fact that they've gone to school longer and passed a harder test. I wouldn't worry much about it. Plus, maybe they're offended that people don't seem to recognize that males can be excellent nurses, too? Let's assume that's the case and all be happy.
I immediately think of a male nurse saying..."I was offended, the patient thought I was a doctor".
But I'm old and it's still hard to not stereotype.
The female male carrier was walking up to our door I said: "The mailman is here."
I had a colonoscopy. A taciturn male employee brought me back to get ready, asked appropriate medical history questions, started my IV. He was so we'll dressed, kind of looked like a Ken doll. I finally asked if he was an anesthesiologist? He was the nurse, but added because of the scrub jacket he looked more like a doctor.
I'm sure I wouldn't have thought that of a female.
But the main point here is....staff should introduce themselves. I always tell patients: "I'm brownbook I'll be your nurse".