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Men in nursing do not prefer to be called ‘Murses’

The internet is an amazing animal. The amount of information that is at your fingertips is mind-boggling. But, there in lies the problem. The information is so vast and so abundant that sometimes, maybe the information isn’t all that accurate. Or maybe the information is advertising one thing, but saying another.

Infographics are the latest craze. They truly encapsulate the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. What better way to relay and share information that with a graphic representation? We here at Scrubs have used them a couple times here. I think they can be quite useful if used appropriately.

-Begin rant-

Such is not the case with this latest infographic about male nursing, or as the infographic kindly points out, murses. This latest infographic flirts between positive promotion and myth perpetuation. Be careful out there folks, the devil really is in the details.

I was informed of this wonderful piece of work by a colleague. After I picked up my jaw off the floor I felt compelled to share my thoughts with my fellow nurse and scrubs magazine readers. In one fail swoop it de-moralized and feminized the male nurse without even batting an eyelash (pun intended).

Things to note:

Bottom of infograpic: Long live the Murse

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  • First of all, I don’t know a fellow male nurse who actually uses (let alone speak it) this word (murse) in their vocabulary.
  • And when did we become trivial and laughable?
  • The only time the word murse has ever been used was to poke fun or use in sarcasm.
  • And the picture… Hmm.. so are we gonna get a catchy name like ‘rosie the riveter’? Maybe ‘manny the murse’ huh?

A great job for dudes

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  • These stats can be applied to ALL nurses, not just the male gendered ones folks. Nice try.

Icons of male nursing

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  • Gaylord Focker being the most iconic male nurse of our generation??? By whose standard???????
  • And is the quote from his movies supposed to support or make fun of male nurses (the nipple comment)? I can’t quite figure that one out? – seems to me they have a funny way of showing support?

Assets of a male nurse

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  • Wow! 1 single asset??! Compared to 4 separate pictures for the trials of being a male nurse?
  • So our only asset is big muscles HUH???

Trials of a male nurse
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  • The only one that has any merit of truth is the maternity ward – and that’s debatable since I know many men who work as nurses in OB.
  • The rest are buying into all the popular myths and urban legends out there. Once again are they trying to help men in nursing? Or make fun of them here?

The first picture of the infographic

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  • So we all wear Hawaiian shirts?? What is up with the lavender pants?? Hmm.. both of these outfit choices lead me in the ‘gay’ direction- or is it just me? Can you say subliminal messages? What happened to all nurses wearing white?
  • Well defined compensatory muscles? Give me a break. Did you really have to put that comment in there?
  • The cruel and unfair treatment of murses, as they prefer to be called???? Who the heck made that claim?
  • The incalculable contribution to the medical field? How about the nursing field maybe?

The negativity this infographic resonates is accidental and on purpose in my humble opinion. Better yet, I doubt a single male nurse (*cough* cough* – sorry murse) was part of making this.

I’m probably jumping to conclusions. I’m probably blowing this out of proportion. I can admit that. What I can’t and won’t admit to is that this piece of work is a great resource for men in nursing.

-End rant-

Source: onlinenursingprograms.com

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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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11 Responses to Men in nursing do not prefer to be called ‘Murses’

  1. Sam

    I’d opt for “slight overreaction”. Being a “Mursing student”- I just take that infographic in stride, give it what it deserves (which was an eye-roll) and move on.

  2. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    @ Sam Thanks. I guess I couldn’t just do the eye-roll this time. Appreciate the comment. :)

  3. George

    Most of my friends, whenever the term is used (which is extremely rarely) is meant in fun. Since most of my friends are involved in the medical field in one way or another, they know & appreciate the work nurses do. Still, when the myth is perpetuated very publicly (I had my arms crossed angrily during “Meet The Parents”), it smacks the profession as well as those in it. I can ha-ha-very-funny with the best of them, but when comments like those in the article come from the lay public, it gets a bit annoying.

  4. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    @ George Thanks for the validation. I agree.

  5. will smith

    I agree with you somewhat except that the trials excluding the females not respecting us are pretty spot on as I’ve experienced most at one time or another. As far as assets go you have to admit until you prove yourself otherwise you are looked too for your ability to help out the weaker sex 8^). And as far Gaylord Focker goes at least he represents us better than anyone of the Village people…it could be worse.

  6. Inigo Montoya

    I’m a murse. I think the term is hilarious! I don’t think anyone who uses the term means to offend.

  7. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    @ will Good points. Thanks

    @ Inigo I appreciate your feedback. Opinions on this definitely vary.

  8. Alan

    Sean, I have to agree with most everything you said in your article. This infographic thing stinks. Personally I hate the word “murse” and whenever anyone calls me one, I thoroughly express my displeasure with them. I find the word demeaning and hurtful, I won’t tolerate it for one second.

    The one thing that bothers me in your article though is that you state you find Hawaiian shirts and colored pants “Gay”, as if there is something wrong with homosexuality.

    I wear brightly colored scrubs almost everyday to work (yes I am straight, if it matters, I just like colors) and I had hoped that we as a society were moving past judging men negatively for wearing something other than brown/black/grey.

  9. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    @Alan Thank you once again for validating my thoughts. I always appreciate your comments.
    Once again I apologize if my ‘Gay’ reference was interpreted in a negative way. I was trying to use the ‘gay male nurse’ myth as just another example at how this infographic is not helping male nurses.
    I have nothing against any color of scrubs, I was simply pointing out how an infographic of a female nurse has her dressed in all white- yet male nurses are in a Hawaiian shirt. Rather odd.
    Thanks again for your comments Alan!

  10. Shauna

    I thought a ‘murse’ was a man purse…
    not a male nurse

  11. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    @Shauna Exactly!!