Published May 7, 2002
You are reading page 2 of 1st day male in L&D
Thank you all for your advice. I haven't worked on OB sense that first day. I had to finish out 3 weeks on the floor I was working on during school.
I'm scheduled to orient to the GYN unit next week. I'm not sure but I assume that after about 3-4 weeks on GYN Ill be oriented to nursery and then receive a full orientation to L&D / PP.
I think you all were right about being more confident and introducing my self as "your nurse" (I can say that now because I got my permit this week). I was pretty nervous that first day. After reading all your posts and doing some sole searching I feel more confident now (although still a little nervous).
I think my nervousness was in anticipation of other nurse's reactions. As I said before I'm the first male to ever work in any of these areas. In fact I'm the first in this town of 150,000 people and 2 hospitals.
I didn't mention it in my original post but my clinicals on L&D were pretty rough. If it hadn't been for a wonderful instructor (that pulled me in to rooms I was told not to go in) I wouldn't have been allowed to participate in any patient care. The nurses aren't mean they just have no previous experience with male nurses on their unit. Most (but not all) of the nurses have it in their minds that the patients are uncomfortable with male nurses. In my experience during clinical the patients were fine with me once they got to know me and saw that I was very focused on their care. In fact the reason I want to work in L&D is that I experienced some of the strongest nurse patient relationships during my L&D/PP clinical.
The funniest thing about this whole situation has to be the reactions I get from other nurses when I tell them I'm transferring to L&D. They all get this shocked look on there face. Some think I'm joking others just stare blankly (like they are working on a puzzle and cant make the pieces fit).
Two of my friends just wouldn't believe me, "yeah right like they are going to let a guy work up there". It was pretty funny and I'm not sure if they believe me even now.
Once again thank you all for your responses they really helped =)
Well, as women become accustomed to the glass ceiling of corporations, men in nursing are getting an unfortunate taste of what women are used to. That just makes it all the more important to try and bridge the gap, both in gender and professionally. You will take yourself into whatever field of nursing you choose, whether it be OB or any other area. Just think of yourself as a nurse, period. Not a male nurse. A nurse.
As you get more into your job and ease into knowing the people around you that you work with, you tend to ease into a rapport or groove of working together that you may not even be aware of.
Never lose sight of that nervousness you have in delivery. A good labor and delivery nurse (a good nurse period) will always have a heightened awareness bordering of fear. Call it what you will, whether it be an adrenaline rush or just plain fear, you NEED that , your own personality and common sense, humor and skill to what needs to be done. It doesn't happen right away and you just have to treat each occasion as a learning experience, or lesson.
If you can demonstrate compassion and empathy not only to patients and families, but to fellow nurses as well, they will sense it and give back to you. You can't please everyone and nurses are notorious when it comes to getting accustomed to change. Thats just part of it. But, you need each other. Just be yourself. It will take time, but it will be worth it....Once you're there awhile and get to know a few of them, consider going out for drinks or host a cookout. Usually you end up with your peers as a second family of sorts....Take your time, learn a lot, have fun, be yourself, ASK for advice or help as needed since women are great at that while sometimes it takes men awhile longer to do that, and much MUCH good luck and a great big welcome to you!
I am a male L&D nurse as you can tell by my nick and am known by some on this forum. I love my job patients love me have never had a problem with patients and family. I am the most request nurse at the two hospitals i work at. The main thing to do is stop letting people introduce you or ask if it is ok for a male to be in room. just go in introduce yourself . say Hi my name is so and so, i am going to be your nurse today ok? just treat them with respect in a very friendly manner, be sincere and compassionate.
you would not believe the comments and cards i recieve from my patients, at the hospital i am full time at they post all comments that have a nurses name on them on the wall in staff louge , it has become jokingly called marks worship wall,:). It was difficult finding a job where they would give me a chance but once i got it i have loved it.I am treated well by the staff and patients only have one doctor who is uncomfortable with my gender.
By the way I hate the term male nurse I am a nurse that happens to be male. I am a nurse just the same as a female is.we do not call female doctors ,female doctors so lets not do it in nursing either.good luck if i can be of anyhelp write me.
Hi mother baby rn have not heard from you in a while,:)
I to am a L&D nurse, and I love it! There isnt anything else in this world that I would do. (Well I have been asked about Midwifery.) I to am well received by my patients, and I think it is because I go in professionaly as a L&D nurse. I be myself and try not to act defensively, or hide from certain topics. You have to be true to yourself, and true to your patients. You have to be open minded and have a huge heart.
Like I said in another post, many hospitals are finding out in this nursing shortage that gender doesnt inhibit knowledge, performance, or compassion. So, if you are still interested in working L&D, GO FOR IT!
As a male nurse i find it very funny how some people in this thread seem to think that being a male nurse in a department dealing with childbirth is a no brainer.
I have always been honest with anyone i deal with in anything to do with a female patient.
I always ask if they would like to have a female instead of me there i got no problem with them saying yes.
If the women won't answer i will alway ask the partner/husband and if he isn't happy with it i am fine with leaving and getting a female nurse in there to take my place.
I look at it this way i don't have to live with these people and a child is coming into the world and these babies don't need to grow up in an inviroment of fights where the partner didn't want a male touching his partner.
this does happen a lot i have had patients tell doctors (male) to get lost and also their partners say it to no males in the room.
But i have also seen some people who only want them there because they don't trust the female nurse or doctor.
Works both ways.
You just take it as part of the job its not an insult to me its their choice and they have that right.
Maybe they had a bad experiance with nurses and doctors (male or female).
Anyway who are we to judge them we do our jobs to the best ability we can and treat all patients and their partners with respect.
Just a side note:
the post is 3 years old. Day ray is VERY experienced and comfortable in his role as an L/D nurse.
Welcome to the boards! Look forward to hearing more from you, werul!
As a male nurse i find it very funny how some people in this thread seem to think that being a male nurse in a department dealing with childbirth is a no brainer.I have always been honest with anyone i deal with in anything to do with a female patient.I always ask if they would like to have a female instead of me there i got no problem with them saying yes.If the women won't answer i will alway ask the partner/husband and if he isn't happy with it i am fine with leaving and getting a female nurse in there to take my place.I look at it this way i don't have to live with these people and a child is coming into the world and these babies don't need to grow up in an inviroment of fights where the partner didn't want a male touching his partner.this does happen a lot i have had patients tell doctors (male) to get lost and also their partners say it to no males in the room.But i have also seen some people who only want them there because they don't trust the female nurse or doctor.Works both ways.You just take it as part of the job its not an insult to me its their choice and they have that right.Maybe they had a bad experiance with nurses and doctors (male or female).Anyway who are we to judge them we do our jobs to the best ability we can and treat all patients and their partners with respect.
wow I was surprized to see this post back on the board, its pretty old. Anyway Like blueeyes said I have been doing L&D for a few years now. I don't have many problems with my gender although I can't say that i dont think about it offten.
I have come to accept the fact that their are some poeple who will always judge me and see me as doing something wrong by working where I do. I however would like for you to know that most of them are nurses. Very very rarely do I have a patient that is uncomfortable with my gender for more then a few minutes.
It has everything to do with how you treat people and the "vibes" you give off. People (especialy women) will pick up on a persons intentions pretty easily. A patient turning down a male care providor generaly has more to do with the way that care providor presents themselves and less to do with past expeance (except of course when it has to do with religion/culture). I had a very nice delevery with a pataint tonight that told me how she had kicked male resident out becuse of the way he acted, so I of course asked her if she wanted a female nurse and she emfaticaly stated that she wanted me to stay. People are always talking about how victoms of sexual abuse would likely be uncomfortable with male care providors, I can tell you from experance that this is in fact opposite of the truth. Patients who have been victoms of abuse need compasionate and patient care providors and the gender is much much less of an issue then you might think.
If you are having that much truble with female patients I sugest you alter the way you present your self and evaluate your own preconceptions and attitudes toward women. It is most likely something they are sensing about you rather then the fact that you are a man.
tntrn, ASN, RN
Dayray, you can come with work with me! We recently had some LVN students on my shift and the one assigned to me was Roy. We had a fresh post-op, and some couplets, one of which was a freshly delivered mom. I actually didn't give the patients the verbal option of deciding. We walked into the room, I introduced myself and Roy, saying he was a student and would be helping me with care that evening. Then as I started my own assessment I set about teaching (both patient and Roy), as well as giving Roy assignments and giving him to opportunity to follow my fundal massage with one of his own, etc. Not one of my patients expressed, either verbal or with body language, any discomfort at all.
I've often said that I think the female nursing staff sets the tone for patients "not wanting" a male nurse. I've heard too many of my own colleagues say they didn't think the patients would want it, but really, it is they who are uncomfortable with the idea. Get over it! I'd much prefer to have a good male RN care for me than some of the female ones I've known over the years.
And my husband is quite okay with female doctors or RN's as long as they know their stuff.
canoehead, BSN, RN
I don't think they should be asking if you can stay, it raises a level of doubt in the patient's mind as to whether you should be there at all. If your preceptor says, "This is Dayray, he's a new nurse here. I'm helping him out until he learns all our policies" then that should suffice. None of your coworkers should raise any questions about the appropriateness of you being allowed to do the job you were hired for. However, being the sensitive guy I know you are, you may find there is someone with particular religious beliefs, or a personal history where you wouldn't be the best nurse fro the job, and it is perfectly OK to ask for help. That would go for male and female nurses, so you shouldn't be self concious about it.
Id also like to hear any other suggestions or opinions you have in general (both good and bad) about male nurses in L&D/ women's services.
When I was pregnant, my (female) OB suddenly had a male OB-GYN in her office. He'd just finished school, and when I went in for my monthly checkup she asked me if he could sit in on my exam. I said "no". the reason I said no is because I'd spent (cumulatively) hours and hours and hours in her waiting room, just to have her as a Dr. If I'd wanted a male Dr. there were plenty in the area with empty waiting rooms.
but- that guy Dr. is now my Dr! I got tired of waiting months for a pap smear appt., so I decided to give him a try. I actually like going to him better than her, he gives me more time to ask questions and really puts you at ease.
so I don't get it; many women have male OB-GYN's. I don't see the difference with that and a male nurse. When I was in labor, some of the female nurses were so awful I would have preferred a caring "dude" nurse. :) During labor you don't care about modesty anymore, anyway.
The other staff need to start acting like you belong there, and I think the problem of you being "sent out" will start to go away.
Dayray- I thought you were an old hat at nursing! Just figured you had ventured into a new specialty! Welcome back!
Well I kind of am and kinda not. I worked with a volnteer ambulance company when I was 17 and had my preques for nursing done at 19 to the nursing program but worked out of health care for a few years and then got a paramedic certificate at 21 (have to be 21 to get it) I then worked for a few years in the ER, ICU, EMS and med surge. The hospital I worked at let me work in a similer capacity to an LPN. Then I worked in the finaclial word and finaly made enough money to go back to nursing school and then finaly became an RN about 3 years ago.
So I've worked in allot of differnt areas and capacites over the the years in tottal about 11 years but only about 3 1/2 in L&D/PP.
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