Changing the Stereotype, from Nurse Jake

Recently, I’ve been asked a lot on what my thoughts are being a male in nursing and to be honest I really am not a fan of this question just because I personally see myself like anyone else in the field, but I know that how I’m seen is totally different.

For starters, I identify myself as a Gay Latino Male and I think that has a HUGE impact on how I see myself in the nursing field.  Talk about a triple minority in nursing!

As a gay male nurse I find I am able to relate to both males and females, but not 100% to either (if that makes any sense). How I am seen though, is quite different than I feel. Because I am a male in nursing I’m automatically encouraged to take on a managerial/administrative role by my peers vs bedside nursing and although I am totally interested in doing so it’s often frustrating.

I also feel that the term “man of the house” translates into the medical field and I would totally like to see this change. Men aren’t the only ones who can/should make final decisions. Being a male in nursing usually leads to automatically having the total care, heavier, difficulty ambulating pts, but my scrawny-self sees this as a problem to all others like me lol.

Being a male in nursing can also seem lonely at times. It can be difficult to find others in the field of nursing who you can relate to or who can mentor you since although our population is growing, we are limited. It can be awkward when you have female patients because it often requires extra observations from female staff during your care also!

At the end of it all, I know that my limitations and stereotypes are only what I make them out to be. I can either complain about them or use them to my advantage, I clearly choose the latter! I decide the path I take. I decide how I let peoples opinions and beliefs affect me and my work as a nurse.

I hope to work towards ending the disparities that exist between genders in nursing and create a more common environment where how a person identifies themselves has no effect in their role as a nurse. As a person in nursing you hold your own attributes and personality that separates you from any other nurse regardless of their gender or sexuality.

Every nurse is an individual with one common foundation and trait, the heart to care for another person.  How do you work towards changing the stereotype?

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