This is always a hot debate out there in the circle of the nursing field (career). Do male nurses get ‘refused’ a lot from patients? Meaning, do patients refuse to be cared for by a male nurse, simply because we are men?
For some strange reason this topic seems to blur together with some of the other ‘male nurse myths’ out there. The two that come to mind are the ‘doctor = male & nurse = female’ myth and the ‘men don’t have the compassion to be a nurse’ myth.
I’m not even gonna try and talk about those two myths, they are so far ‘out there’ that they aren’t worth addressing.
I do however love to shed a little bit of light on the ‘refusal’ topic.
Here are some facts. Yes, I have been refused by patients on a handful of occasions. Yes, I have been refused by patients because I was of the male gender. Did I get offended, upset or angry? Only the very first time.
The very first time I was ‘refused’ I had only been an RN for less than 6 months. I think I had been off orientation in the ICU maybe a month or two (can’t quite remember). It was a NOC shift. I honestly cannot remember why this patient was even admitted to the ICU, what I do know is that her medical illness is not the reason why I was refused.
It was her comfort level.