Although the field of medicine has grown more accepting of male nurses, there are still a lot of antiquated stereotypes. A lot of controversy has sprung up around the topic of male nursing and nursing a baby. Male nurses commonly complain that they aren’t allowed in maternity wards. Sometimes people can take issue with the fact that a male is present.
More often than not that discrimination comes from older professionals who believe that things should be done the way they always have been. In the military a lot of male nurses work in delivery and labor, and they say that it doesn’t cause a problem. Unless the patient themselves asks specifically for a woman nurse, then there isn’t any reason a male nurse can’t be there.
But there are still doubters, and most times male nurses find themselves restricted from working that closely with women patients. Some have made a fuss about that, and been granted the positions they were seeking. They state that all nurses are professionals regardless of gender, and when there is a medical crisis, the last thing that most of them are thinking about is gender.
More often than not it isn’t going to matter to the patient, it shouldn’t matter to anyone else. Why shouldn’t a male nurse be present during breastfeeding? If he’s a nurse chances are he’s seen things like that before, and if he’s a good nurse, chances are high that it won’t affect him in his duties at all. After a while it becomes second nature.
The nurses themselves really don’t see what all the fuss is about. They conduct themselves with utmost professionalism on the job. They are there for the same reason the women nurses are, they want to help sick people get better. Nine times out of ten it is just as awkward for them as it for the patient. If a patient is uncomfortable with a male nurse in the room, that’s one thing. But for doctors and other nurses to make that decision for the patient, is not only unacceptable, it’s also kind of illegal.
It’s going to take some time before the stigma of men as nurses goes away. Until then these kind of things are going to keep happening. The best thing a male nurse can do is smile and keep going. It’s the job you do that makes the difference, and male nurses are proud to be helping save lives.
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