View Full Version : Male Nurses?


JonY
11-14-2007, 12:52 PM
Hey everyone. I'm an 18 year old male that is planning to head to nursing school soon. However, I've read the statistics about how only 5%(?) of all nurses are male. So I guess I'm just wondering, do any of you have male nurses in your hospital, and if so, are they treated any differently from the female nurses?

geenaRN
11-14-2007, 03:52 PM
I've worked with male nurses, plenty of!

I don't think they're treated any differently. You *might* have some problems in your L&D clinical, but most likely not. I've just heard a few things here and there. I say if women have had male OB's all up in their parts for centuries, what's the difference if it's a male nurse?

You might be called upon a bit more often than a female nurse for lifting help. Not saying it's right, just saying that it's a possibility.

Good luck in nursing school!

MyOwnWoman
11-14-2007, 10:19 PM
Presently I work with 6 male nurses in the ER. I'd have to say as a whole I love working with them. They even take my scolding when I tell them I am not their mother nor their wife so they will have to clean up after themselves today.

Mother Jones, RN
11-14-2007, 10:28 PM
I love working with "my guys." They make me laugh, and they are always great to have around when a patient starts going bonkers. :dancing:

P/J
11-15-2007, 04:06 AM
I'm one of the 5%. I haven't found that I have been treated differently by other nurses, but by patients sometimes (see other posts). It is a matter of confidence in many situations. In my last placement I worked with a male nurse (previously a Cop) who worked on Obs/Gyne for 2 years and loved it (now on Ortho/Plastics). You will notice that males are known to more into certain areas of Emergency, Theater, Psychiatric. But others stay on the wards.

The number one thing is; nursing is a team, and as a team everyone is treated the same, of course people have roles, and as a male you will get a large proportion of the lifting jobs, you will also get the patients that like to pinch the female nurses (always fun to watch the patient's faces, when you tell them that you are their nurse today). And likewise you will have some female patients that don't want to be washed by you as a male (think of it as one less shower/bath you have to do) (If they are well enough to specify the sex of their nurse then they are too well for hospital is my opinion).

Good luck with nursing! and let us know how you go.

MyOwnWoman
11-15-2007, 09:54 PM
"Male nurses" she said as she tapped the tip of her chin. "Let me think." I work the ER and in my department alone there are 6 male nurses. The male nurses range from just out of nursing school to seasoned nurses. As with any sex, some expect things just because they are male or female. (Will you do such and such because I'm pregnant, or will you lift this guy for me because you're stronger than me.) Since ER nurses tend to be.....how shall I put this.....ummm....strong personalities, the gender issue doesn't work as well as it would other places. Everyone is expected to pull their weight and we do. If we are unable to do one thing, we make up for it by attempting to do something that we can do for the person who had to help. For instance, if one male counterparts doesn't want to put a foley cath into a female, I am more than glad to do it for him, and he reciprocates without whining.

Now, without being sexist (and God knows that I am not), I think having more males in the nursing workforce is a benefit to all nurses in general. Admit it ladies, nursing has been a woman's profession for a long time and since it was a "woman's profession" nurses were not taken as seriously as they should have been. Having males enter the work force has strengthened our position that we are nurses because we WANT to be nurses, not because we COULDN'T be doctors. The focus on the patient from a nursing standpoint is much different than that of a doctor's viewpoint. I view this as a good thing. I also feel, and this is just my humble opinion, that the more men that enter the nursing work force will enable nursing to be more competitive when it comes to retirement and pensions.

Initially, nurses were primarily female who had husbands with pension and retirement plans. This is not the case anymore. Unfortunately, having men enter nursing will strengthen those benefits that were denied for too long. As much as I hate to say it, we still live in a man's world.

Ok, can I be sexist for just one minute? I find that male nurses tend not to clean up after themselves as much as female nurses. Of course this doesn't last too long around most of us opinionated ER nurses that tell them straight out....."Hey, your mother doesn't work here so you have to clean up after yourself (she said with a huge smile as she fluttered her eyelashes.)

I appreciate the men I work with. The have covered my back many times, and I have done the same for them.

PACNWNURSING
11-16-2007, 12:15 AM
male nurse here :)

Mr Ian
11-18-2007, 03:33 PM
For those who saw my posts in 'other forums' on the male nurse topic... relax.... This was a refreshing and delightful representation of that age old male/female nursing dichotomy and restored a fair bit of faith in the game for me.

Anyhow, Jony, what our dear female colleagues failed to mention; you must prepare to be treated differently mate.

Yes, they will expect you to use your own toilet marked "Male". Unless they have only those new fangled unisex toilets - in which case I've just 3 words for ya mate - "toilet - seat - down".

At tea breaks, when you enter the staff room - do not expect FHM or GQ or the like to be ready on the coffee table. It'll be gossip magazines or quick puzzle books and the odd bridal wear (about once every 3 months).

Be aware also that when there is an elderly confused patients trying to leave the unit for the 18th time with a catheter and chest drain in-situ on the unit who yells "NUUUuuUUURRRSSSEEeeee" ... it tends to make female nurses deaf but very able to point at you instead! Altho they will usually support you from a distance and no they aren't giggling at you.. at all. Honest.

And under no circumstances:
a) Leave you dirty cup in the staff sink.
b) Take a chocolate to work without taking a huge share-able bar or box to feed at least 8
c) Expect any sympathy cos you're a typical single-tasking guy

Apart from all that, being a bloke in nursing is not a bad thing and the job itself is good fun. In a good team, you can feel like family (We call our Service Co-ordinator 'Mum'!). In a bad one, you can still feel like family - but you just don't invite them to dinner as often.

You won't find another job in the world like it.

MyOwnWoman
11-18-2007, 08:40 PM
Mr. Ian....what a wonderful post. Thank you for the big smile on my face.

DisappearingJohn
12-12-2007, 05:50 PM
I do find slight differences in how some people treat me, but it is usually a positive thing, not a negative thing.(the truth of the matter is many male docs question me less, even though I am a newer nurse... I think its a male thing)

And, yes, you do more lifting (of course I'm 6'4" and a pretty big guy)

But it is a really great job!!!

Mother Jones, RN
12-12-2007, 07:51 PM
The nurses on our unit treat our male coworkers like gods. As a psych nurse, I can honestly say that my shift run much smoother when I have a male sidekick as my coworker. I'm not being sexist. Some patients respond better to men than to women.


MJ :pepsi:

NurseSean
12-13-2007, 05:32 AM
Being a male nurse (as I am) has it's ups and downs, but there are many more ups than downs. So, definitely DON'T let the fact that you're male stop you. Nursing is a fantastic profession!

I've noticed and been told that male nurses tend to have a calming/relaxing effect on a nursing unit. I think this is because, well, male nurses are often much calmer and relaxed.

And darn it! I clean up after myself! LOL

Kevin Who?
12-14-2007, 12:19 PM
We're at about 8-10% at my school. It seems to me that having male nursing students breaks up the sorority feel a bit. I found it helpful to check out some male nurse's blogs (Disappearing John, Nurse Sean, ImpactED, ERMurse) and they are quite entertaining.
-Kev ?

Apeman
12-26-2007, 05:55 PM
I, being a male nurse, found during my training I was called all over the hospital to insert male catheters. The lifting is also true so watch your back. Once injured it never recovers.

I also found that I was used regularly as a "body guard" when the other nurses in my group went night clubbing. The free drinks were worth it.

Post training I have worked in general surgery, Cardiac surgery, Trauma department, ICU and nursery. I even did a 2 year stint as night matron (You should have seen the confused looks on the patients faces when I introduced myself as matron).

After having to leave hospital nursing due to arthritis I worked in a males only field (a clinic specifically for male sexual health) but have settled in the field of Frail Care for the aged.

In all these fields and positions I have never had any problems with the treatment I received from fellow staff, patients or relatives. However it does sometimes take sometime to explain to the old dears that I am the nurse and not the Doctor!

Good Luck in your chosen profession and you will get out of it what you are willing to put into it.

KimRN
12-27-2007, 11:51 AM
I also found that I was used regularly as a "body guard" when the other nurses in my group went night clubbing. The free drinks were worth it.


Dang, we never thought of that. Now I'm too old to go nightclubbing. And nobody gets between me and my rock groupd so I guess I don't need a bodyguard. That would have been a great idea back in the day!

Apeman
01-04-2008, 10:35 AM
I wasn't so much a "body" guard but rather a "safe date". If the girls were hit on, and it happened often, then I was their date for the night so they could tell the drunken idiot to get lost or their date would sort them out. By the way I am not exactly small so one look was enough to scare most guys away. However if the girls liked the approach I was ditched and thanked the next day.

Also being 10 years older than the oldest girl in the group I was also designated sober driver.

DisappearingJohn
01-06-2008, 10:57 AM
I'm the designated driver for everyone...

Its almost enough to drive me to drink....

Julie
01-06-2008, 01:22 PM
You're both the kind of men any workplace needs, mine included! :)