Welp, was discriminated against; ps I didn't like it

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I currently work as a CNA at the local hospital. On our floor we had 4 CNAs and OB needed some help. I am the only male CNA the hospital has now, the other guy just got his LPN license. I told the charge RN that I did not mind going, b/c I want to be as diverse as I can and experience everything in the Hospital. She told me that she wasn't sending me. I asked why, to which she resonded b/c I was male and she wouldn't send a male over there.

I asked if she realized that she just discriminated against me and that I could report her to administration. She said she was fully aware of it and that she would not send me over there.

As my shift carried on, the more I got upset. I talked it over with the other CNAs and several RNs and they all agreed that she should not have said what she said and agreed that she was in the wrong.

I've talked with my wife's sister who is an OB RN at another hospital and has great things to say about male RNs in the OB.

I never did report the charge RN, and actually have a decent working relationship with her, besides this one instance.

I've never really been discriminated against...it isn't very pleasant...


155 Posts

I've actually had the opposite happen to me. The hospital I worked in had many men as techs and we provided equel care to male and female patients with one major exception..."IF" the patient did not feel comfortable with a male tech. I sometimes wondered if some of my patients did feel uncomfortable with me as a care provider except my little old ladies...they were more concerned with embarresing me then their own modesty.

One night I had to do a complete bed change on a younger lady who was a quad and I was the only tech on the unit at that time. The young lady politely told me she would feel better with a female since as she put it she needed cleaning "down there". I smiled, said no problem and went to tell the floor nurse..who proceeded to have a fit. First she blamed me for not wanting to provide care on a female. Told her I had no problem but it was out of my hands because the patients concerns outweigh mine or her's (the Rn). Then she blamed the patient saying that men are now techs and nurses and the patient just better get used to it. The last statement was partialy true, but I still felt like I was advocating for the patient. The nurse refused to do the care so I swapped myself with a female tech from another unit for 15 minutes. Now back to the OP's post I personally think in OB/LD its should be the Dr's and patients choice as to who they have in there. I have asked several women including my wife their thoughts on men in LD, and all basicly said they were so busy with the events unfolding that a man dressed as bozo the clown would not have phased them as long as the birth preceeded to conclusion, The charge RN in your post yes did you a diservice...all men for that matter, but I also understand her line of thinking...I dont approve of it, dont subscribe to it, but I do "understand" her mindset. Eventaully as more men do join women on the floor hopefully this way of thinking will go by the wayside and when they need someone to fill a spot on a unit it will be based on the patient's needs and wishes.

groovy jeff, RN

348 Posts

Specializes in Telemetry & PCU.

You can't be serious!!! Not sending you to OB is like a favor and you should be thanking your charge. If your going to NS you will spend plenty of time in OB; in fact the longest time of your whole NS career will be in OB rotation regardless of how many days your there.

I always felt like an intruder in L&D and many times felt unwelcome.

P.S. You can't be discriminated against unless you are in a "protected class" and "men" aren't a protected class.


514 Posts

I'm sorry this happened to you. What I still don't get about OB is why it's okay for the OB/GYN to be a male, and people don't seem to have a problem with that, but they have a problem with RNs, LPNs, or Techs who are males.


697 Posts

Specializes in Med Surg.

One of my instructors told me that many times it isn't the women giving birth who object to male nurses. They are a little bit busy. In a lot of cases it is the husbands who throw the fit. I guess with all the stress of the situation they just can't handle some guy they never met before poking around. I have no desire to work in that area myself but, I too have trouble understanding why a male OB and a male CRNA are okay but not a male nurse.

Specializes in Trauma ICU, Peds ICU.
P.S. You can't be discriminated against unless you are in a "protected class" and "men" aren't a protected class.

For the record, male employees who are discriminated against on the basis of sex are a protected class.

Technically you're right that "men"aren't a protected class, but then neither are "women." Under federal law it is the characteristic of "sex" itself that is a protected class, meaning that an employee may not be discriminated against based on that characteristic.

So, any employee who is discriminated against on the basis of his or her sex is protected under federal anti-discrimination laws.

It bummed me out to read that response to PeaceKeepr's post. I think this forum should, amongst other things, be a place for men in nursing to support one another, and as I understood it that response was anything but supportive.

groovy jeff, RN

348 Posts

Specializes in Telemetry & PCU.

Mike-I stand corrected; you are certainly right about sex discrimination. Normally sex discrimination applies to seeking or retaining a job and to pay inequities. I think the poster would have a tough time in court surrounding the circumstances.

I meant no disrespect and I agree with you on being supportive. My own bias against L&D led to my comments. I would rather do a double on a tele floor than spend 4 hours in OB!

Also one can pick their doc; but the patients generally don't understand that they can also request a different nurse.


10 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

I do not like OB/post pard either and it was pretty uncomfortable being a 25 y/o nursing student and doing my clinical rotation in OB, so I too am a little biased. But my take is that as a CNA you would most likely be doing post delivery care i assume and this is when most women are back to feeling modest, I agree that they dont care who sees what in delievery but the next day they are usualy back to being modest and with all the things that happen during childbirth they dont want anybody looking at their "china". Some women would not care one bit but some would, my guess if they need to float someone to your OB dept they are busy and it only makes it worse when half the pts end up not wanting a male helping with them. I started out as a float nurse and when i went to OB the look of horror an some of the younger moms faces when i went into the room made me feel embaressed for them, I would always smile and ask what i could do for them and if they seemed very nervous I would ask politly if they would be more comfortable with a female nurse. After a couple of shifts there my supervisor asked what i thought about it and I told her I was fine but that it seemed to complicate things when i went there because I was a man, we laughed it off together and i did not float there again. I understand your problem is with the way the carge nurse acted maybe she was projecting her views on the subject as she would probly hate to have a male pt in that situation, in any case I would not consider this discrimination myself given the situation. If they could send a female to the unit knowing that the likely hood of someone not being comfortable with her is much less then you it was just a good call, however if it was costing you hours at work or if you were denied a job in the OB dept because you are a man then you have a case. In this situation i would just chalk it up to the charge nurse not communicating with you, reguardless dont sweat it in our field better care provided/skill wins out over gender or age of the nurse everytime in the long run.

Specializes in Trauma ICU, Peds ICU.
I meant no disrespect and I agree with you on being supportive. My own bias against L&D led to my comments. I would rather do a double on a tele floor than spend 4 hours in OB!

Fair enough. Hard to tell sometimes without being able to see and hear someone as they say something. Didn't have the greatest L&D experience myself either, but know enough guys who liked it and even one who's planning to become a nurse midwife. Different strokes for different folks.

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