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5 things a male nurse should never say to a female nurse

angry-female-nurse

image: © istockphoto.com/Tomasz Wojnarowicz

Have you ever uttered one of these phrases to a female nurse before? I’m not going to say I did…but you won’t be hearing me say them any time in the future. This is all fun and games, of course (except for maybe #1, let’s be honest)!


1. Bad hair day today?

This is not just because yours truly has no hair (although it doesn’t help). It’s all fun and games until the ‘hair’ card is pulled – then it’s a no-holds-barred war over why you think their hair looks bad. Did it always look bad? Is it the color? Is it too short? Is it too long? Should it be pulled up?… (this list is endless) :)

2. Is it that time of the month?

This should only be said from afar. If you’re close enough to be hit- you will be. ‘Nuff said.

3. Oh! Hey? Do you have makeup on?

This comment ranks up there with the hair comment. The fact that you have noticed something about their complexion will start a river of questions concerning whether or not they have always looked bad and why haven’t you said something before.

4. Do those match?

I always love the ‘void of knowledge’ most male nurses – heck, most men – have when it comes to matching. Oh – wait, maybe this is just me?

5. There’s no crying in nursing.

Yes this is stolen – have you seen the movie “A League of Their Own?” You gotta love Tom Hanks. And this can be quite debilitating. Be careful.

Of course this is all in fun. Don’t take any of this seriously, nor think for one second I or other male nurses would actually these mean and horrible things. It’s just fun knowing that we men working in an obviously female-dominated profession have a good grasp on our co-workers sensitivities.

It’s kind of like a married man knowing what to say and what NOT to say to his loving wife.

Right?

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Sean Dent

Sean Dent is a second-degree nurse who has worked in telemetry, orthopedics, surgical services, oncology and at times as a travel nurse. He is a CCRN certified critical care nurse where he's worked in cardiac, surgical as well as trauma intensive care nursing. After five years practicing as an RN, Sean pursued and attained his Masters of Science in Nursing. Sean currently practices as a Board Certified Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP-BC) in a Shock Trauma urban teaching hospital. He has been in healthcare for almost 20 years. He originally received a bachelor's degree in Exercise and Sport Science where he worked as a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC).
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30 Responses to 5 things a male nurse should never say to a female nurse

  1. This is a fun post. An interesting iteration on what not to say to any woman… I will write about this in my blog.

  2. Rebekah Child Scrubs Blogger

    LOL :) Unfortunately, I have had male nurses say some of those to me!!!! They obviously didn’t read your blog.

  3. Harry Penders

    And also to the many female MD’s we have on the floors now. It’s great to see some of the last stereotypes slowly ebb in the new health care. The other day I was working over at the VA with 5 women MD’s and 2 other men in Nursing. It was great! The team was awesome…as we turned a few heads. And the next day we were just as good.

  4. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    @ Male Nurse Glad you liked it!

    @ Rebekah Well make sure they read it now! Sorry.

    @ Harry Glad to hear.

  5. As I guy in this line of work for 19 years, I take the same line of thought as I do in communication with my wife of 25 years: If it’s not nice or complimentary, don’t even bother saying it. Even well intended critiques from men go over like a fart on a submarine with women.

    As an aside, the one thing that never ceases to amaze me, as a man in this line of work, is just how much personal stuff women will discuss at break time even with me within earshot.(Way too much info on dating, sex life with hubby and GYN-related issues)

  6. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    @ Steve LOL.. We could share some stories my friend! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  7. Valentine

    LOL!! Those were awesome – especially the section on matching. I think men cant pull off matching scrubs as it just doesnt work for us – so lets stick to dark brown bottoms and tops or black bottoms and tops and leave the matching to our better looking female coworkers :D

    Oh, and saying Anything about make-up/hair/looks to any woman should be done with caution and only when prepared to answer a myriad of questions as to WHY you even said anything…

    Ration of men to women on my floor is 3:18 – ohhh yeaa :D

  8. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    @ Valentine Hee hee.

  9. I’ve said ALL those things and Worse! Still have made friends. Nurses are peculiar (special) people.

  10. Ana

    Yeah! I’ll be showing this list to my male classmates. :)

  11. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    @ Ana I’d love to see their faces! Heh heh.

  12. Dan Wieleba

    I think i say at least 1 of those things on a daily basis. I get smacked a lot.

  13. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    @ Dan Oh I can only imagine. LOL

  14. Marie

    In the hospital where I have worked for last 21 yrs, no male would even try such stupid comments, and if he made them, the female would report him correctly, not slap him. Its not Burger King. We’re all adults.

    I don’t appreciate the cutsey tone of the article, as if every female medical professional is obsessed with her hair, make up and so on, and the males flirting or trying to score points. There are the rare exceptions, who seldom last long.

    • Wolfe

      If you can’t have fun at work, find another job…..
      As a RN in the OR for over 27 years, humor is what helps with coping. And believe me, the women RN’s in the OR dish out far more than we guys do. If all of us wrote up everyone who ever acted “unprofessional”, there would be no staff.
      Thank god I was never a floor RN. I would have been one of those “who didn’t last long”. However, I can guarantee my pts would have, at the very least, had a smile on their face.

  15. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    @ Marie As I said in the post (and evident by others comments) – it was meant to be in fun. Yes the cutesy tone was on purpose. I’m sorry you didn’t find the post enjoyable. Thank you for your comment.

  16. Alan

    Lots of stereotypes in this little article. Does the fact that I can actually match my own clothes and make good looking outfits mean there is something wrong with me?

  17. Nurse Rat_chet

    You forgot that biggest thing we nurses of the male gender-type say that gets us in trouble.. “Women” That one word gets me in more trouble at work then anything else I do or say.

    @ Marie – evidently sense of humor is optional where you work. it’s a requirement where I work – w/ every 500 hr tune ups of said SoH

  18. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    @ Nurse Rat-chet LOL – too funny.

  19. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    @ Alan No. It’s all in fun. Thanks for commenting!

  20. Melanie

    My all time favorite is when you wear regular dress clothes and a guy looks at you and says ” I never seen you with clothes on” a doctor said this to me once, the nurses’ station got very quite and then when he walked away there were lots of hoots!

  21. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    @ Melanie – I have said and thought something similar. I’ve learned over the years to make sure and add ‘regular’ clothes. LOL

  22. Ritchie

    I’m a male nurse in a dialysis clinic when I got several times to handle new patient admission. On one instance, on our first meeting with this fine old lady, she address me as a doctor. I corrected her saying that i’m a nurse and i’m going to take good care of her, she quickly replied ” My apology, so you’re a nurse, doc?”

  23. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    @ Ritchie Heh heh. Thanks for sharing that humor.

  24. wes

    you have forgotten the sixth never ask question . ” are you pregnant ? ” as i am not yet a nurse, i cant comment on nurses ,but will be soon . i have seen guys dumb enough to ask this question get that swift kick that all mothers teach their daughters at a very young age . funny man

  25. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    @ wes I can’t say I would have thought of that one. Whew…

  26. Patsy

    I found your article to be entertaining and right on. I am wondering about one gender nursing thing, I do not know that I have ever met a male hospice nurse. Any thoughts?

    • alellis62nurse

      I am a male. I worked with three other men at a hospice agency. We make great nurses in any field including L&D. This is something a woman should never say to a man. Are you saying we aren’t compassionate to do it?

  27. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    @ Patsy Sorry, no thoughts on that one. Glad you like the post.

  28. Richard Kelley

    There is crying in nursing and I have balled my eyes out on several occasions of utter frustration and anxiety to the loss of one of my dear residents. And have been comforted by my female colleagues.. And we made a joke about “that time of the month” to where it’s a full moon and all heck breaks loose. So when ever someone say that to me, I think “Oh crap, a full moon already?”