Ask a male nurse

I am a “male nurse,” and have been for 10 years. It still surprises me when I see or hear the term “male nurse” in the media. Why the distinction? I can certainly understand why some female patients may wish to have a female as opposed to a male, and that’s OK. What I don’t understand is the stereotype that most male nurses are homosexual. It almost seems to be a running joke in movies and such, but a majority I have worked with are not. Personally, I am happily married and straight, and my first two sexual experiences were with female classmates in nursing school. Let me lay it out on the line…I now work in long-term care, and there is an advantage to being one of the only males in a 99% female work environment.

I have 2 engineering degrees. AS is a reference to an Associates degree. Most of the RNs I know around here have that instead of a Bachelor’s.

I have nothing to ask. I came just to express my admiration for the people who do this job.

Over the years I have had a lot of good nurses. It is a tough job, and I could never do it well, but I have mostly had good genuinely caring nurses. I admire the people who do this job.

I thought I’d jump in here and comment. I switched from Oceanography to Medicine at about the age you are. I landed on my feet, but I was very lucky, and I probably wouldn’t do it again if I had a time machine.

Free advice: do everything you can to know everything about your proposed switch-to field. Medicine is tough, and a lot of good people hate it. You could be one of them. Keep your options open, specifically your option to go back to your old career. Also, be aware that there is an amazing amount of BS in medicine. I would say don’t do it unless you have a damn good reason to do it, as a bird in the hand is worth a hell of a lot. In 4 years you’ll be 40, and at the bottom of the heap in seniority, wages, respect.

If you’re seriously considering this, please feel free to PM me. I’ll be frank with you, which may be helpful.

No, not at all. I think the first time I’ve used it was for this thread title.

I have a family friend who I see maybe once or twice a year. When we see each other, he often says, “are you still a male nurse?”

A few times I’ve answered, “not since my surgery.”

He still asks.

You’ve just made my day. Thank you.

“My sister was the first woman to qualify as a male nurse in the state of New York.” - Woody Allen

I trained to be an LPN back in the early 1980s (back when hospitals actually used LPNs). That’s not a “real nurse” in the sense that an RN is a real nurse, not even the equivalent of a BSN, but I learned quite a bit of human bio back then. I liked medical science and patients a lot better than hospitals though. EDIT: never finished clinical rotation, didn’t get my LPN.

The only time I felt like I was being hazed for being a guy training as a nurse was on the PP (postpartum) rotation. The patients were not sick people, they were (almost universally) healthy recently-delivered mothers, and the established nurses got some amusement from watching me march my newbie student-nurse self into those rooms to explain that I needed to see their episiotomy stitches and examine their perineum. :eek:

Do you feel too rushed to provide the kind of care you want to provide?

Do you feel pressured by the hospital to technically “do and document” 100 things (even if it’s done slapdash) rather than do things properly and perhaps get behind?

My bro’s a nurse. He likes it a lot; recently started training to become a nurse practitioner.

I have been nursing for almost three years in what I suppose is considered one of the more “manly” areas of nursing (I’m female, BTW), critical care (cardiovascular ICU to be specific). I have found that men tend to gravitate toward critical care and ED, but just like the women, they don’t all survive. I suspect the reason is the same as why the women who go into it do - it’s more exciting when things go bad, and they kind of enjoy that adrenaline rush. However, in my limited experience (including routinely training new nurses who are hired to work in my unit), I would say that fewer than half of the people who aspire to work in critical care, the men included, really have what it takes to handle the expectations along with the necessary brain skills.

I guess to summarize it, there was a nursing student who was following my manager around for a few days as part of his management clinical, and he looked to be about my age (I’m 23) and your typical young 20s, kinda full of himself and still kinda dumb, guy. Someone asked him what he planned to do when he graduated, and he responded along the lines of, “Definitely emergency or critical care,” and all of the nurses who heard him say it? We just rolled our eyes.

Pulp Friction, I do apologize on behalf of most nurses for our tendency to look instantly for the man when heavy things must be lifted. :slight_smile: I will admit to pulling the “damsel in distress” card at times when I might not necessarily have to; being a bit of a big girl, I can usually hold my own in lift situations. (I also am regularly called upon to help people with their technical computer problems. Just yesterday I had to go to the OR to bail the anesthesiologist out of some major trouble with monitoring equipment!)

More often than not in both instances.