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Why is it "legal" for patient to decline male nurses?

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by Cowboy96 Cowboy96 (Member)

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

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3 hours ago, chilly01 said:

Speaking from personal experience, there is absolutely nothing similar in being raped and being robbed. Until you have experienced rape or sexual abuse you should refrain from making statements like these. 

I've been robbed at gunpoint and I don't think it's a bad comparison. It did create an uncontrollable, trembling fear when I interacted with people similar to the one who robbed me ...even if I knew there was no threat.
In my case, the fear gradually subsided. It took a rather long time, though.

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Cowboy, in my humble opinion I believe that there are flaws in your logic. When you work in the healthcare setting, it is a totally different arena than being out in the public. People who go to restaurants do so by choice. People who go to hospitals USUALLY do so because of circumstances beyond their control. If providing them with healthcare workers that make them feel more at ease enhances their care, then I see it as a positive thing. As other posters have said, there are also numerous other circumstances such as previous history of sexual abuse, traumatic experience by members of the opposite sex, or religious reasons that can make a patient request a female nurse. Tell you what, I also had a patient that refused any female staff from touching him because he was abused by a female. It works both ways my friend. I am a 28-year-old Asian male RN that has been working as a nurse for 2 and a half years now. I am part of the "young" crowd you speak of and I get it when patients have preferences. I too have been asked by an elderly Hispanic lady if a female staff can help her to the commode or perform care in her private areas. I do not hesitate to look for a free female hand to assist me. I also had one lady patient who was so modest about her private areas that she didn't even want her husband to help wipe her up after she used the restroom. The same lady allowed me to assist her when I explained to her in a professional and nice manner that "due to the staffing shortage, there are no available females at this time. But if your need is urgent I am ready and willing to assist you if you are comfortable." She gladly agreed and from then on she didn't care when I helped her to the restroom. Sometimes it's in the way we talk and act, and sometimes we have no control. I hope by the time you graduate you can see the other side of the coin. Best luck in your career!

Edited by dennis8
updated

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Honestly, I have never felt the least bit insulted whenever a patient of mine refused care due to the fact that I am male.  I don't view it as discrimination.  Regardless of past trauma history or whatever, it just makes sense to me that some people have a problem with the other sex invading their personal/intimate space.  Just because we are nurses and they are patients, doesn't give us free reign over the bodies of others.  There is a major difference between a female not wanting a (even a well trained, licensed, professional) male to get up close and personal with her genitals when inserting a foley and someone refusing service or care for everything based on a person's skin color.  To push the matter or insist on performing the procedure despite the patient's wishes is asking for trouble.  If the hospital has other staff to perform the task, then just move on.

On a side note, you would be amazed at how many times I was actually relieved that a woman didn't want me to do something.  Back in my nurse's aide days, I got out of wiping many a butt of an old lady for that very reason.    

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hppygr8ful has 15 years experience and works as a RN - Adolescent Psych.

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With all due respect I'm with Davey on this. It's not about you it's about the patient. The only part of this that is about you is the part where you are giving competent culturally sensitive care. Do you want to give care to someone so uncomfortable with your presence that it might compromise their recovery from what ever problem they have. 

As a female nurse I have been accused of rape by a LOL w/dementia and who had undergone FGM as a child in Africa with rape. Even though the woman had dementia there was still a full investigation involving Hospital admin, law enforcement and CMS. No fun I can assure you. 

I also worked in a hospital where a large number of Muslim people came for care. In some sects a woman is not allowed to be touched by an person of the opposite sex. 

As a patient - I really don't care if my nurse is male or female - but I've had some pretty severe problems and yes I've had a male nurse insert a foley. Not a big deal for me but if you can't recognize why a woman who has been assaulted might have a problem with this type of invasive procedure you really do need to rethink being a nurse.  There is so much more to nursing than providing physical care. You are also caring for the patient's psyche. 

I do psych now but when I was at the bedside I worked with males and we would often trade off duties if a patient was uncomfortable. The trick is to be truly "qid pro quo" with this. 

The other thing that you will have to get used to as a male nurse that may become far more annoying than females refusing your care is being asked several times during a shift to assist with lifting. 

Good luck in your career!

Hppy

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11 minutes ago, hppygr8ful said:

The other thing that you will have to get used to as a male nurse that may become far more annoying than females refusing your care is being asked several times during a shift to assist with lifting. 

That and "Why don't you want to be a doctor?"

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It's all about providing holistic care, while being culturally sensitive and respectful of the patient's wishes. I don't think the comparison to refusing a black/hispanic waiter is the same. These are "private" areas of our body. Sacred to these women. It sucks for the male nurse or aide to get refused, but we must respect it. Do not be offended. There is a vulnerability factor, that can be hard to explain and understand. I know for a fact my father would never step foot in a female urologist's office. I work with male nurses and aides, getting refused doesn't happen as often as people think. For Jewish and Muslim women, we already know not to assign any males to them. And that is ok.

Edited by LM NY

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tachyallday has 10 years experience as a BSN and works as a Emergency Department RN.

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22 hours ago, Cowboy96 said:

The problem is, my preceptor told me as a future Male nurse, you are going to get used to patients refusing care by men.

 

This is such a 1930's way of thinking; they said the same thing to black people playing baseball for crying out loud. I can't believe people still have this way of thinking and think it's ok.

you come here for advice...experienced nurses are giving it to you & you are repeating the same thing as your first post. you heard nothing. take the cotton out of your ears & put it in your mouth. you don't have to 'like' what we are saying, but you 'will' have to learn how to deal with it in the future. i hope you are never my nurse and if you are, i hope you gain some self-awareness & sensitivity, and bow out gracefully if i happen to ask you not to stick something in my urethra

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No, it is not a 1930's way of thinking. If I don't want a male anything near my genitals, that is my right. What is wrong with being modest in that way? My 11 year old daughter asked me during her last annual check-up when she will start seeing a female pediatrician. It broke my heart, because my children have all been with our male pediatrician since birth. I will respect my daughter's choice and know her pediatrician will not be offended.

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22 hours ago, Cowboy96 said:

23. Usually the older crowd have backwards way of thinking, as it's been throughout the entire U.S

First off, you're not so young that you refer to people as "older crowd."

Also, do not compare a female refusing service from a male nurse to a black person being refused service; two different situations.

You have no idea if this woman was a victim of abuse and even if she wasn't, do you not understand that out of respect and modesty, a woman may simply be uncomfortable with a man she doesn't know having access to her genitals- even in a medical setting? She is already vulnerable in the first place just by being in a hospital and having little control.

Also, there are men who are uncomfortable being touched by women they don't know. Even if this was a situation where a patient simply didn't want to receive care from a black person, it's really the patient's right to refuse care. Our job is to make a patient comfortable. I'm not going to invalidate your feelings because you have the right to be upset. However, as an adult, I'm hoping you'd be able to see her side. You need to get used to the fact that you are a man and you might make some women uncomfortable, period. It's not the best feeling but that's how things are and do you honestly want to put yourself in a situation where you might be wrongfully accused? 

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9 hours ago, dennis8 said:

The same lady allowed me to assist her when I explained to her in a professional and nice manner that "due to the staffing shortage, there are no available females at this time. But if your need is urgent I am ready and willing to assist you if you are comfortable." She gladly agreed and from then on she didn't care when I helped her to the restroom.

I love this message. I can't imagine how great you made her feel that day. Good job! I may be needing this one in the future. 😀

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I’m 24 so I’m a part of “your crowd”. Honestly you need to get over yourself. It’s your job to respect the patients wishes. You don’t know their reasoning for refusing care by a male. As grown as I am I still won’t  go to a male GYN. Some people are more modest than others, some may be embarrassed, some have experienced extreme trauma. It’s not about you. 

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moretonel works as a LPN.

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Cowboy, I have a question that I hope you honestly answer. Say you personally have a 7 year old daughter, and you need a babysitter, would you allow a teenage boy to be alone with your theoretical 7 year old daughter alone for hours? I think it's safe to say 99.999% of mothers would NOT.

I know it's not an exact comparison, but you may get the point.

Please, post your answer.

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