Women or girls ?

Nurses General Nursing


As a male going into a predominently female profession, it's important for me to use the right words.

Is it okay for a guy to refer to women as girls? If you hear a male nurse saying "girls" when talking of nurses does that sound right? I ask because I know the female nurses call each other girls, but I don't know if they would like if I did. To introduce the topic in real life might be taken wrong so I'll use this message board to get a feel, if anyone wants to chime in.

I remember when women didn't like to be called girls. Maybe I should just say "nurse" and keep it generic, but yet, i don't want to sound all stuffed either. ;)


305 Posts

I haven't been a "girl" in a long time. Yes, I would be offended if anyone called me a girl. Thank you for checking. You must be one of those enlightened males I have heard so much about, but seldom get to meet. :D


6,011 Posts


Women is better. Ladies after you get to know us.

Girls? Nope.


28 Posts

When in doubt, play it safe and use the term "women." As someone old enough to have a daughter in college but still very young at heart, I like to be referred to as a "girl." However, this is a personal preference. I have the same problem as you when I refer to the aides. Though I don't mind the use of the term "girl" in reference to myself, I don't want my use of that term in reference to others to be seen as an attitude of superiority, or worse yet, as an issue of race. Play it safe. :)


6,620 Posts

I use "guys" for girl and boy nurses so I am probably not the best to answer...:)


1,041 Posts

Yes - for me, a girl is a teenager. I detect women are somewhat concerned with how old others think they are, and thats why they use girl. For me, as a male, i will always render repect with the words I choose. It just sounds funny when I say "women", and the female nurses and students all say "girls." I hate to sound all stuck up, but respect is respect.

To me, a woman is my peer, a gal is younger than me, or a peer too, but i want to say lady when refering to a woman who is senior to me. Not just refering to staff, but to clients/patients as well. Maybe I shouldn't make a deal of it. :rolleyes:


28 Posts

I've been bit, scratched, thrown up on, told exactly where to shove my pills, etc. As long as you show up on time to relieve me, I'm not going to make a deal of it, either.


1,577 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg Nursing.

I get irritated when sales people, bank tellers, etc call me honey, dear sweetie, etc. I am pushing 30 years old and detest being called these names. I NEVER call my pt's sweetie, honey dear..etc. It is demeaning and condescending. And I am a woman now, I left girlhood behind many years ago.


753 Posts

Specializes in Pediatric Rehabilitation.
Originally posted by fergus51

I use "guys" for girl and boy nurses so I am probably not the best to answer...:)

lol, tracy, we must be related..

I do the same thing.

NicuGal, MSN, RN

2,743 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PACU.

I always say....Hey girlies...or what's up guys........I guess it really doesn't bug me or my co-workers! Better than hey Ma'am :D

aimeee, BSN, RN

932 Posts

I agree with P_RN. Women while you're new. Ladies after we get more chummy.


108 Posts

Specializes in All Surgical Specialties.

I hear they really love to be called "chicks".:p

Really, I think as long as you demonstrate the same respect that you might show your mother, wife or any other woman you care about, does it really matter? Just make sure they know you respect them!

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