Women or girls ?

Nurses General Nursing


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104 Posts

The "guys" we work with tend to call us the "gals"... pretty generic, and non-confrontational....seems to work and doesn't irritate anyone. :cool:

Besides, we don't always ACT like "ladies" hehe


1,041 Posts

We are privilaged to live today. Today we can find out how some feel about subjects via this electronic board. I tell ya, its great. I feel at ease now with the subject of addressing new female friends. Especially if I happen to be in a situation with ALL gals, and I am the only guy. Now I know what women musta felt when they broke into predominently male jobs. It's akward when you are subjectified as a 'he' or 'him'.


35 Posts

Of all the answers - I prefer "you guys" as all inclusive or even "gals". I wouldn't mind Ladies either. there is something about women that I just don't care for -= and can't even say why.

I'm 50 and have been nursing for MANY


427 Posts

With everything else that goes on in health care I cannot believe that some of you girls get upset for somthing so trite as this. Gimme a friggen break. Gee, I wonder why we have crappy pay and crappy working conditions.


859 Posts

See, Mario, it just goes to show you that everyone is different. I, personally, find both "ladies" and "gals" to be antiquated and patronizing. I would prefer "you guys" inclusive, or "women" as a last resort.

That said, I have worked with guys who affectionately called co-workers "babes" or "chicks" to our faces. From these particular guys I didn't mind it--because it was done tongue-in-cheek, by guys who had already proven on a daily basis that they respected their female colleagues.

Keep in mind that what one group may choose to call themselves or each other may be completely unacceptable when adopted by an outside party (e.g., blacks who call each other "nigga"; Jewish people who tell self-deprecatory jokes).

Best rule: lie low for a little while, keep your ears open and suss out what the prevailing culture is where you end up. It can vary widely from unit to unit in one hospital, or even shift to shift in the same unit.

By the way, bless you for asking and not assuming. You'll go far. ;)

Jenny P

1,164 Posts

Specializes in CV-ICU.

I work with quite a number of "male nurses" who dislike that term. To me, it doesn't matter what you call us, as long as it is said with respect (in context with the situation). The guys I work with greet us with "girls", "ladies", "nurses", "guys", and "women"; whichever term they feel most comfortable with, I think.

I think I refer to my friends and myself as "the girls" because I still picture myself as being young and vibrant; something that "women" or "ladies" don't seem to signify.

I look at my friends of 40+ years, and I don't see women of 50+; I see my friends: the ackward teen, the wild daredevil, the dynamic girl of my youth! I also see the beautiful brides, the caring young mothers, the car pool moms and so forth. We are still girls in our hearts, probably til the day we die and the only thing that reminds me of getting older is that dang mirror in the bathroom which shows every wrinkle and grey hair, espcially when I first get up and put on my glasses!;)

sharann, BSN, RN

1,758 Posts

Gosh, I think that it all depends on who says it and in what context. If it's co-worker's being friendly to one another who cares? I've been called many worse things than girl, lady or woman...(usually by my co-workers, ha ha). If it's a patients family or doctor being condescending i.e: "You girls have got to learn how to kiss my...." Well, you get the picture.

It should all depend. We have to stop being so sensetive about every single thing in the world.

As I do as a parent, I like to choose my battles wisely.

Good question Mario, but don't sweat it too much. When you get there, you will have a "feel" for the right term.


1,041 Posts

You just don't hear men calling each other boys unless its totally kidding. Even calling an older teenager boy can be rejected. It suggests the person has not "grown up" to call him a boy. But girl, on the other hand, is pretty widely accepted. American english is funny sometimes.


1,326 Posts

I dont mind being called a girl, mostly because I'm young (26) and am young at heart. If I had a child or was older I probably wouldn't like it. I do think though, that coming from a man, it would seem condescending to call me a "girl" especially if I didn't know you well and just started to work with you. I would go for Ladies or women, but I like "ladies" more because it is a little more feminine.

I once worked in the office of a hospice care organization and the Manager of the CNA's would call everybody "honeybunny". It drove me up the wall. Didn't matter if you were a co-worker, Vice President, nurse, 21 years of age or 80 years of age. Everyone was "honeybunny" and trust me, she used it about 70 times a day.


753 Posts

Specializes in Pediatric Rehabilitation.

Although I've never cared how anyone addresses me, this thread has made me think. I have never liked the term women, it sounds so...old. Ladies almost sounds derogatory; reminds me of something the old-fashioned men expected of females (admittedly, I use this term sometimes). Guys is still my preference.

But, I found this interesting...according to Webster:

Woman-1. a)an adult female human. b)women collectively. 2. a female servant 3 womanly qualities.

ugh..maybe with the servant attitudes many of us have, "women" may just be the correct term

Lady-1. a)a woman of high social position. b)a woman who is polite, refined, etc. 2. any woman; used to address a group. 3. a British title given to women of certain rank

sooooo..a lady is a high-classed female servant, eh?

and the one I use most often:

Guy-1. a man or boy. 2. any person ---vt. to tease.

hmmmmm...just call me "yo bi*$%!"..at least THEN I'll know you're being derogatory..lol j/k

Seriously, I wouldn't sweat it over how to address ANYONE. If someone has a chip on their shoulder, you're going to offend them regardless of how you address them and they will probably be quick to TELL you how to address them. For the most part, I don't think females are very sensitive in this area (at least myself and those I work with aren't), so I don't think it's a biggie. The first thing you need to learn is that you are working with a group of swinging hormones and if you kill yourself trying to keep from offending, you will go crazy. As long as you treat everyone with respect, and I'm sure you will or else you'd have never considered this thread, you'll be just fine.

Peeps Mcarthur

1,018 Posts

I always use the collective "guys".

Singularly I have found that "yes my Queen" and "I live only to serve you my Queen" work almost magicly.

Unless adressing a male..... then I find it horribly awkward.

No seriousely, I do use the Queen bit. They eat it up. But only when familiar.

As Nurse4kids said, if they have a chip on their shoulder there's nothing you can do to adress them to their satisfaction. Every reasonable person will be able to tell your making an effort though, and that's what counts.



161 Posts

all us workers, all you workers

hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go ...

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