Stranger in a strange land

Image: Hemera | Thinkstock

I started my new job this week in a cardiology office.  No management stuff, just back to good old fashioned patient care, sort of.

With the exception of the four years that I worked as a CNA in a nursing, I have been a hospital nurse my entire career.  I have always thought that clinics are where old nurses go to die.  But, I thought I would give it a shot and hopefully learn something new along the way.

Here is what I have learned in the past two weeks, clinic nurses are amazing.  They have developed relationships with their patients that are unbelievable.  They everything about their patients and the patients treat the nurses like they are family.  Not to mention the clinical skills they have.  I thought I was a big shot going in there, but I am quickly learning that I have a lot to learn.

The other thing I am learning is male nurses are almost not existent in the clinics.  In my clinic, I am the only guy, out of about 12 nurses, 8 techs, several receptionists and other support staff.  Other than the physicians, I am the only guy on the entire floor.  And, I can tell they are not used to having a male presence around because they do not hold anything back in front of me.

The big things I have learned these past two weeks are:  1. I have a lot to learn and 2. Keep your head down and let the girls run the show.

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Rob Cameron

Rob Cameron is currently a staff nurse in a level II trauma center. He has primarily been an ED nurse for most of his career, but he has also been a nurse manager for Surgical Trauma and Telemetry unit. He has worked in Med/Surg, Critical Care, Hospice, Rehab, an extremely busy cardiology clinic and pretty much anywhere he's been needed.Prior to his career in nursing, Rob worked in healthcare finance and management. Rob feels this experience has given him a perspective on nursing that many never see. He loves nursing because of all the options he has within the field. He is currently a grad student working on an MSN in nursing leadership, and teaches clinicals at a local university.Away from work, Rob spends all of his time with his wife and daughter. He enjoys cycling and Crossfit. He is a die hard NASCAR fan. Sundays you can find Rob watching the race with his daughter.

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3 Responses to Stranger in a strange land

  1. Hi Rob! Thanks for sharing your so candid and humble experience at the Clinic. I do agree with you that there is a tendency for female nurses to dominate the clinic setting. However, the male nurse cultural contributions are much needed to help balance an often too one sided perspective. I praised your spirit of adventure in taking on this challege and thanks for sharing, I look forward to reading more of your short stories.

  2. mike dicamillo

    I am a male nurse,63 years old. I was a combat medic and worke mostly with males while in the military. After getting off of active duty I went back into the reserves and went to school to become a nurse on the GI Bill.Since I graduated in 1986 I have worked as an ER nurse,a Peds Nurse and a School nurse. As a school nurse and a peds nurse I was the only male and thought it was great as I brought a new prespective to the units. I did this for 23 years and then became a travel nurse for 2 years, working in a peds clinic on an Indian Reservation (it was a great learning experience). I have found that working with kids is my favorite thing to do, they all become “my kids” and I treat them like they were my own. Since I have stopped traveling I have taken a position as a supervisor for employee health for a major hospital in town. It is scarey going into management and although I have only been doing it for a couple of months I have had a lot of thoughts about going back to my “kids”. Enough for this time.

  3. Shawnee

    I’m a clinic nurse, too. Do you ever feel like the lone testosterone boat drowning in a sea of estrogen? That’s how one of our male workers described it. Believe me, if you’re stable and reliable (which I’m sure you are) then you’ll soon be looked upon as the solid rock of the group. Happy nursing!