I'll begin with a few caveats: first, I'm brand new here, and so this may or may not be the the right forum for my post. I see that there's a "men in nursing" sub-forum but a) I feel like people from all specialties and perspectives may want to weigh in on the question, and b) gender is more complicated than binary "male/female" categories. (I'm being personal and not political with that statement, I promise.)
So, I am a nursing student in a BSN program and I graduate on December 14. I went into my studies not sure what type of nursing I wanted to do. I never thought I'd enjoy my OB rotation but it ended being my favorite rotation. I loved it. My current clinical instructor for advanced med/surg is an OB nurse, and she arranged for me to shadow on the L&D unit and help out at a pregnancy fair. The nurse manager on the unit took notice of my work and asked me to apply for the nurse residency program once I graduate. "I want to hire you," she said.
Obviously, I was flattered and very excited. I didn't have any reservations about it until I posted an article about men in OB nursing on Facebook. While the overwhelming majority of responses were positive, there were those who professed a strong and passionate objection to men in the OB field. That childbirth is a uniquely female experience, and men can never relate to their patient as closely as a woman nurse can, was one reason given. The concern for women with a history of sexual abuse and trauma and how a male nurse could reintroduce feelings of trauma or open up emotional wounds was another. Finally, many women expressed that, in the current cultural/political landscape, women need more safe spaces where men are not present.
I think all of these concerns are legitimate. And so, I'm torn. I love the work of OB and the feedback I've received from clinical instructors and other nurses is that I would shine in this field. But bearing in mind the fundamental principle of healthcare/nursing praxis, "do no harm," I am concerned that a man in OB might be too controversial and divisive. Maybe it is the wrong time, culturally and politically, for it.
I'm throwing it out to this forum for feedback. I have heard from my friends, family, and colleagues, but I want to make the right choice. Please share your thoughts - pro, con, I want to hear all perspectives.