Male Nurse 101
Sean Dent | Scrubs Magazine
• Male doctor posers
Yes, most patients will initially mistaken you for a doctor. It’s not your fault, it’s that society brainwashing mentality of genderizing roles. The public thinks men = doctors and females = nurses. The majority of our geriatric patients have a very difficult time grasping this concept sometimes. Let me be clear, any nurse worth their weight in water won’t even stutter their step when confronted with this social misconception. The care you deliver will never be forgotten, but your gender will.
• Bodybuilder wannabees
Most of your female colleagues will single you out for the heavy-lifting and more laborious responsibilities. Suck it up and get over it. The reality is men in most cases are stronger than women (not that there aren’t exceptions to this rule), so be the ‘bigger’ person and lend the hand they need. This does not say anything about your worth as a co-worker or nurse. Your female colleague is being smart and efficient by recruiting the help that is needed. Just be sure you become valued for your contribution as a professional, not just a pair of broad shoulders.
• Stereotypes shmereotypes
Don’t listen to anything anyone has to say about being a man in a woman’s world, or being a male nurse means you’re gay, or that you chose nursing because you flunked out of medical school. In the end, your actions and your reactions will define you. I always love the question, “Oh, so you’re a male nurse?”
My humble yet ear-to-ear grin response is always, “No. I’m a nurse.”
Set your own standards, play nice in the sandbox, don’t be bullied into any way of thinking or practicing and by all means remember you are not alone.
Nursing is the greatest profession out there. You are going to get out of nursing what you put into it. Good luck out there!
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