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Why do you find more Male Nurses in ICU?

Career News July 18, 2013

Male nurses, though not as uncommon as they used to be, are still far and few between in the United States and around the world. However, areas of the hospital such as the intensive care unit (ICU) and emergency room (ER) tend to have a higher population of male nurses than other departments. This phenomenon can be attributed to the fact that different areas appeal more to men in the nursing field, and the unfortunate reality that there is still lingering presence of discrimination against male nurses in some departments. Here’s a look at a few reasons why many men in the nursing profession choose to work in the ICU:

Adrenalin rush – While not as full of action as the emergency room, the ICU has its share of patients who have their ups and downs, which keeps nurses on their feet, both literally and figuratively. Patients in the ICU are in relatively stable condition, but there’s no guarantee that a life-threatening event won’t happen. When such an event does occur, most male nurses get a rush of adrenalin that they can thrive on for hours, or even days, thereafter.

High-Tech Equipment – A lot of men like working with high-tech equipment, and the ICU is full of the latest developments in medical technology. Men, from their genetic makeup, thrive on learning and doing new things, so it is natural that they will be drawn in to an area that is full of gadgets that help make people well and keep them alive.

Developing Patient Relationships – Most nurses, both male and female, get a lot of satisfaction out of the relationships that they have developed with their patients. Taking care of a person for more than a few days results in a connection, and nurses who enjoy creating and developing these bonds will receive great satisfaction out of caring for the patient, seeing them recover and return home. For nurses who enjoy this part of their job, the ICU is a better choice than the emergency room or a maternity ward, where most patients are in and out so fast that the nurse hardly has time to even remember the patient’s name. Since each nurse is usually in charge of just a couple of patients, not a dozen or more like floor nurses are charged with, nurses get to spend more time and give better attention to their patients.

Not overly welcomed by other units despite measures being taken to move society’s perspective of nursing to that of a profession for both males and females, it is still seen mainly as a gender. Doctors of either gender are referred to as nurses, female nurses are simply called “nurses,” but male nurses are singled out by referring to them by gender. Some hospitals and medical care facilities, or even units in a facility, are not overly welcoming to male nurses, and as such, men do not feel comfortable working there.

The Internet is full of tales of men who prefer ICU, or ER, to floors such as labor and delivery or pediatrics, since they weren’t made to feel welcome by their female counterparts, or the patients. In an article at Nurse Week, Vern Bullough, a registered nurse with a doctorate who also taught at University of Southern California and State University of New York, says that in the past, men were kept out of obstetrics and gynecology and women’s health floors, and while that is no longer the case, few men have ventured into this area of nursing.

Male nurses are allowed to work in any area of the hospital, and some are even choosing to become nurse midwives, an extremely female dominated subset of the profession, but there are some factors that make men feel more comfortable working in the ICU.

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5 Program(s) Found
  • Do you aspire to fulfill an evolving healthcare role as a highly-qualified nursing professional? GCU is the place for you.
  • RNs, pursue your BSN or MSN conveniently online, backed by the legacy of GCU's traditional campus.
  • GCU's bachelor's and master's programs prepare students to fill roles in direct care, management, health education and administrative disciplines.
  • The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at GCU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
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1 Program(s) Found
  • Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
  • Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
  • Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015.
  • Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
  • 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Ranked 8th among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • A private, co-ed college founded in 1821 and located in downtown Washington, D.C.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 13:1, and 55.1% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has distinguished alumni including Senator Harry Reid, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, and actress Courtney Cox.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

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