Thursday, August 29, 2013

Being a Male Nurse

If you've seen the movie, Meet the Parents, you very early on painfully realize the torture than Ben Stiller goes through as his character Greg Focker is a male nurse. Of course, there is parody and good ribbing from Robert De Niro but what's it really like to be a male nurse.

No, this is not my co-worker.
Evidently, being a male nurse is becoming a little less rare. Male nurses have tripled in the work force since the 1970s and 1 in 10 nurses are male. You can read more about male nursing statistics here

I wouldn't know personally but I do work with one-- yes, just one right now. He really is a great nurse and pretty quirky so I thought I'd ask him-- "What's it really like to be a male in this profession?"

And his first response was, "It's f***ing hell. If I would have known working with this many women would have caused me this much anxiety I would have chosen another profession. Oddly enough, it only took me three years to start menstruating."

As you can tell-- he's somewhat of a jokester. And no, he doesn't use that kind of language around his pediatric patients. They love him . . . seriously-- tattoos and all.

So what is unique about being a male nurse? What does he face that the rest of us estrogen laced cohorts don't?

Here's his list.

1. I'm either a brother or a therapist. I now have two-hundred sisters.

2. I'm asked more often to deal with difficult people-- those that are under the influence or intoxicated. Difficult family situations.

3. I don't know who can handle my antics and who can't.

4. It's the first time I was a minority as a white male. I got tons of money for grad school.

5. If it wasn't for my tattoos it would probably be assumed more often that I was a doctor.

6. I'm not disrespected by doctors like my female co-workers are.

What's it like working with women all the time?

1. Taxing. Because I have to watch what I say. For instance, I got pinched in the butt by a horny old lady in front of supervisors from five different units one time in the elevator. Exactly what do you say?

2. I've got to be careful what I share and I can't be on Facebook. All Facebook did was cause me problems because co-workers would look at my pictures and ask me who I was in relationship with.

3. I want a lot of alone time after I work three twelve hour sifts in a row because I also live with two women. I need to hang out with guys or just have alone time.

4. I receive a lot of unwanted and unwarranted advice.

Any other male nurses out there? What's your experience like?


  1. Being a counselor in a nursing college and a friend of Jordyn's I loved todays post. I told several students about it but guess no one was brave enough to comment or maybe they just haven't got around to reading it yet.

    What is your best advice for new male nursed entering the workforce?

  2. When I worked in the ICU and the ER, I had a lot of male nurses I worked along beside. To be honest with you, I never thought of their perspective. I just assumed they felt the same way I did about working as a nurse. I had at least 2 on every shift I worked. Became very close friends with some of them. This was a great post. It's good for us to hear from another perspective about issues.

    1. Glad you liked it Katrina and thanks for leaving a comment!