We probably could also categorize or even stereotype the individuals who ask these questions if we really wanted to – but why? Once again, in most cases it’s just being uninformed, unaware and simply not accustomed to a man delivering nursing care. There is no right or wrong there, it just simply is.
For me personally, my response and outlook has changed from a defensive to offensive strategy. When I first started in this great profession I sometimes would stumble over my words when these questions were posed. I was afraid of choosing the wrong answer, or worse yet, I was afraid of offending my patient (or their family). The ultimate tragedy would have been to cause some undue tension or stress between my patient and I while delivering my care, so I walked on egg shells for that first year or so.
Since then I have developed the attitude that when posed these type of questions I consider it my chance to educate and inform the inquisitor (nope, there was no significant incident that changed me). Not only do I get to explain the concept of gender invisibility, but I get to knock down more walls of discretion and doubt about the need and or value of having men in nursing!