It’s estimated that almost ten percent of all nurses are males. And, for whatever reason, I represent more males in my practice than in the general nursing population. I don’t know whether it is because men more readily hire an attorney than do women. I’m not really sure.
But what is interesting is the male perspective on the practice of nursing. I love having men in nursing because it brings a different energy and a different balance to the profession.
I interviewed several male nurses for this article and some of the responses have been very interesting.
One is that, according to male nurses, they don’t tend to gossip as do the female nurses. This definitely is something that we can learn from male nurses. I am not sure why female nurses gossip but it is not something that is productive in our profession. Therefore, let’s learn a lesson from our male counterparts and stop the gossip.
Second, some of the nurses I interviewed said their female counterparts are more likely to ask them to turn or lift patients than to ask other female nurses. If you need help turning a patient, be sensitive to this issue and seek assistance from any nurse. Both male and female nurses should be able to turn and reposition a patient so it is not necessary to always turn to the male nurses for that task.
A third point is that some of the male nurses interviewed stated that they are approached more often to help with equipment malfunctions. Just because a nurse is male does not mean that they are better at handling equipment problems. Nurses make up a very creative group and the women should be able to fix any equipment malfunction just as well as their male counterparts.
Lastly, of the males interviewed, all were happy to be at the bedside. None of them wanted to go into management. It is a misconception that males go into nursing only because they want to go into management. Both genders of nurses are equally qualified to go into nursing management should they choose.
I hope this article will bring you an awareness of some of the plights of the male nurse and what we can learn from them. Be respectful when asking them to help turn or lift your patient and if there is an equipment malfunction. This can take the male nurse away from his own patient load and make it difficult to get their own work done.
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