What being a male nurse is NOT
Urban legends. That what they are.
Some like to refer to them as ‘stereotypes’. Public opinion is generally not in sync with reality when it comes to the world of nursing.
This website and many others have discussed all the discrepancies before. Well, being a male nurse is no different. I’m here to tell ya those stereotypes are not what’s in store for ya.
Here is what being male nurse is NOT about:
- We don’t always get accused of being gay. Sorry. In my entire time as a nurse I’ve never once been confronted with this gem of a myth.
- We don’t get a job simply because we can lift the heavy patients.
- We are not singled out as the go-to free-labor nurse on the unit, simply because we’re men and we might have muscles.
- We do not lose our ‘man card’ when we become a nurse.
- Critical care and emergency nursing are not the only place that hires us or employs male nurses (it just happens to be the popular choice).
- The last time I checked I did not get a higher rate of pay just because of my gender. You earn every penny you get as a nurse, be it through experience or education.
- Male nurses don’t have it ‘harder’ working as a nurse. Yes, just by the percentages we are the minority. But the job itself has never been gender specific.
- And lastly, no you don’t get to tell a patient they have to accept you being their assigned nurse just ‘because’ or some cockamamie explanation about gender blindness. In the end the patients comfort is part of their care. Get over yourself. It’s not a stereotype, it’s just a patient preference.
Just in case you were wondering, here are a few things on what being a male nurse IS about:
- You have to earn everything you think you deserve
- You will have patients who are just not comfortable having a male nurse take care of them. It’s not a conspiracy against you are the entire male nurse working force, it’s just the patient not feeling comfortable. Try being the patient once. You’ll understand it more clearly.
- Due to society’s traditional legacy, yes, you will be mistaken for a doctor. Be sure to correct them and explain why.
- No one who comes across your path cares about you being a male, what they do care about is how you care.
- The minute you stop acting like a ‘male’ nurse is the minute they stop treating you as such.
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).
By Sean Dent