Should Male Nurse Work In L&D?

Nurses General Nursing Nursing Q/A

Updated:   Published

Should Male Nurse Work In L&D?

I've been a nurse about a year and work on a psychiatric unit. I thought this specialty was for me but now I don't think so. In school I really enjoyed L&D and women's health, I even did my preceptorship in school in L&D. I feel I would enjoy working in one of those areas but as a male I would feel out of place. Should I switch units ? Would patients be uncomfortable with a male nurse in these settings?

71 Answers

kdkout, BSN, RN

163 Posts

1 hour ago, EdieBrous said:

Don't a lot of these patients have male OB/GYNs?

Have you had a baby?  That informs this dialog.

Yes, but the moms (typically) pick their OBs, and have established relationships with them over the course of many months....so there's a relationship there.  If they felt uncomfortable with that OB, they wouldnt pick them.

It's not the same thing as showing up in labor, in pain, scared - and then a male nurse is what you are given - a guy who is going to be doing your vag exams, seeing you naked, helping you figure out how to push effectively. Plus, If you unexpectedly end up in the hospital with a traumatic situation - ie preterm labor - you want to feel as emotionally safe as possible.  I now work in the NICU where a lot of moms have birth trauma.

I'm not saying a male nurse isn't capable of the job - he is - I am saying I think it's completely fair and advisable to make mom feel emotionally safe at perhaps the most vulnerable time in her life

JKL33

6,760 Posts

kdkout said:

Yes, but the moms (typically) pick their OBs, and have established relationships with them over the course of many months....so there's a relationship there.  If they felt uncomfortable with that OB, they wouldnt pick them.

But in many regions they would have to go well out of their way to not only pick a female OB, but to find an OB practice with only female OBs, otherwise they would always have the chance that the less-familiar male OB would be OC to deliver them--just like they might be in labor when a male nurse is on duty.

kdkout said:

I would not feel comfortable with a male nurse, and no way would I feel comfortable with a male nurse for my dtr.

Well the first part of your statement is okay--that's your choice/feeling. But the fact that you mention what would make you comfortable for your daughter just suggests that you don't like the thought of male L&D nurses. Otherwise it would make sense to just state your preference and not worry about what kind of care your daughter might be comfortable with.

I think this is sort of an odd phenomenon and I do think there is some doctor/nurse bias involved, still. I suspect (but do not know for a fact) that there are quite a number of people who would feel free to demand an "exchange" for a male nurse but it wouldn't be a deal breaker if they had to have a male physician.

As for me, I confess I feel most emotionally safe with 1) whoever is the most competent and skilled at their profession and 2) can at least act like they weren't raised by wolves for the short time they will need to interact with me.

NICU Guy, BSN, RN

4,161 Posts

Specializes in NICU.

These questions are honest questions. They are not intended to be argumentative. I am obviously male and have no experience as a female patient. 

Has anyone had the experience that a male patient requested a male nurse instead of a female nurse or have men just resigned to the fact that 90% of nurses are female and odds of getting male nurse is slim?

If in some alternate universe that 90% of OB nurses were male, would women accept male OB nurses since that is the norm and is to be expected?

What is the issue with a male OB nurse, excluding history of sexual/domestic abuse?

kdkout, BSN, RN

163 Posts

4 hours ago, EdieBrous said:

"Have you had a baby?  That informs this dialog."

Not sure what that is supposed to mean, except that it sounds like a snotty response rather than a constructive one.

It means "Do you know what is involved? - the vag checks to see how effaced or dilated you are, placing foleys, the being naked and vulnerable, the looking at someone's private parts while they may be in stirrups helping them to figure out how to effectively push."  

You are listed as a nurse attorney.  I was not being snotty; I was painting a visual of what moms go through in labor for those who have not had kids yet and/or who have not done labor and delivery.  

That is all. 

Editorial Team / Moderator

Lunah, MSN, RN

14 Articles; 13,766 Posts

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CEN, CPEN, TCRN.
7 hours ago, Apotheosis said:

Wow actually sorry now I even asked, thanks for your input everyone 

Please don't feel bad for asking, it's a legitimate question. I was a SANE and worked with a male SANE nurse, and we never had a female victim turn down his care. He had a very maternal and loving way about him, I think it made people feel safe. 

NICU Guy, BSN, RN

4,161 Posts

Specializes in NICU.

I am so thankful that I didn't choose adult nursing. Having to deal with the whole male nurse/ female patient issue would be tiresome. I am glad my patients and parents have no issues with me being male.

allnurses Guide

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

4 Articles; 5,029 Posts

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life).

While any trained and qualified nurse can do L&D the common thread is that many women (Not all) can be uncomfortable with a male performing the more intimate aspects of this specialty. Still there may be a place in ante-partum, NICU or mother baby that you would enjoy. 

I was an LDRP nurse prior to going into Psych over 20 years ago and never looking back. Can I ask what specific aspect of psych makes it "Not for you."

Hppy

karmax1

57 Posts

Some patients and their husbands will definitely ask for female nurses in L&D Units. Therefore, you will need to prepare for rejection. 

NICU Guy, BSN, RN

4,161 Posts

Specializes in NICU.

Come to the land of the little people. NICU is very male friendly. 

kdkout, BSN, RN

163 Posts

I have done labor and delivery at three hospitals in the past. 

I would not feel comfortable with a male nurse, and no way would I feel comfortable with a male nurse for my dtr. No way, no how.

I had a male OB once, who I had worked with and knew well and grew to trust. Nurses change all the time. What you are doing is very intimate at a time when the patient feels very vulnerable, and some patients have also had sexual abuse trauma. (Which they are not always conscious of, but it becomes fairly certain during labor). 

Now, with the recent Roe v Wade decision, especially…. Please, I beg of you, find something else. 

There are times when you prefer the support of another woman, and this is one of them. 

Specializes in Nurse Attorney.

Don't a lot of these patients have male OB/GYNs?

Specializes in Nurse Attorney.

"Have you had a baby?  That informs this dialog."

Not sure what that is supposed to mean, except that it sounds like a snotty response rather than a constructive one.

+ Add a Comment

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X