Meet Andrew, male nurse

Image: James Peragine | Veer

Overwhelming flood of estrogen, meet outnumbered testosterone factor. Welcome to the unit!

I’m no guy, but I can make my own assumptions as to what it would be like to be a new graduate male nurse. It’s hard enough being a new graduate – you are the “fresh meat,” the minority, the inexperienced, the moldable, the gullible, the petrified, the useless, the…need I go on?

Now imagine taking those feelings and combining them with feelings of judgment. Introducing, new graduate male nurse. I will say that society in recent years is more liberal and less critical of male nurses than, let’s say, when the movie Meet the Parents came out but the reality exists that when a woman enters the nursing field, nobody questions her intentions. When a man enters the field, everyone raises an eyebrow and the gossiping females start running their mouths.

“I heard he’s married, but to a woman or a man?”

“Guess he couldn’t make it in medical school.”

“Wonder what his wife thinks.”

You could call me a hypocrite for stating all of the aforementioned, you could call me insensitive, you could accuse me of passing judgment, of imposing slander on our profession. For those of you who have read my previous blog posts, you probably know that I love this profession more than most people love, let’s say, chocolate cake. But I have heard all of these exact quotes/concerns about male new graduates from my very own coworkers, female coworkers that is.

My reason for this post? Meet Andrew. Twenty nine-year old male who pursued nursing as a second degree because he loves people. And to be more specific, he adores children. Andrew is married, to a woman. Andrew is a charming, funny, and a phenomenal nurse. Andrew is a new graduate and is surprisingly enough one of the most requested nurses on the unit. Do you know why? Because he’s a man.

Our male teenage patients sure as heck don’t want a young bubbly blonde nurse taking care of them. They want Andrew. The father of five girls who sits at the hospital with his two-year-old daughter is drowning in estrogen. There’s a male nurse? I want Andrew. There’s a total care 200 lb patient that needs manpower to be turned every two hours. Andrew has big muscles. We need Andrew!

My point behind these silly scenarios is that male nurses are just as crucial to the profession as female nurses, and should be just as widely embraced. Out of my nursing class that graduated 185 licensed RNs, three of them were men. Sad statistic.

Since working at a teaching facility, I have seen a rampant increase in female residents rotating through and commend those women on their tenacity to take on a role as doctor in a male-dominated profession. I now want to commend those men in the field of nursing for embracing their roles as male nurses, and recognize them for overcoming an attached stigma. I’m sure it’s not always easy being a minority in a profession, and I know from experience that it’s definitely not always easy being surrounded by women all the time. So next time you see a male nurse in the hospital, give him a high five for a job well done. Well done, Andrew!

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