When you first think of a nurse; typically, a female comes to mind. This role has been traditionally held by women, but this isn’t the 19th century! Many countries around the world are in dire need of quality registered nurses. Men are getting with the times as they realize what a fantastic career nursing can be, and the whole “you can be anything you want” applies to both sexes. While this field is still dominated mainly by women, with a 1-to-19 ratio in the United States, the numbers are slowly changing. Do not allow stigma to keep you away from a fulfilling career path. Let’s discuss a few of the key differences between male and female nurses today.
Getting Past Prejudice Towards Male Nurses
As prejudice and stereotypes against male nurses fall away, and pride concedes to practicality, the number of men pursuing this field has risen. As any pioneers before you, you may have to have thick skin, as people sometimes fight change even when it is inevitable. One third of female nurses have reported some form of conflict in the workplace and oftentimes by the exact patients they look after. Men have it even worse, as half of all male nurses have reported the same. Often being hospitalized, sees people at their lowest ebb, and while many curse the nurse making them get up and walk through the pain to recover, many will also bless them when they do recover and walk out of the hospital’s front doors. This is certainly a job for a man or woman with courage.
The Vulnerability Factor
Vulnerability is a significant issue for nurses, both your own and your patients. When people are ill they often feel extremely vulnerable and afraid. Many people prefer the traditional role of a woman taking care of them as this may help alleviate some of their fears. Female patients may feel this especially towards male nurses. This is their own personal issues, and the hardest part as a male nurse is not to take this personally. If a female nurse is requested more often than not it isn’t about a male nurse’s qualifications or the good job they are doing. It can take time for people’s mindsets to change, just do not let it get in the way of a good career choice. There are many people who will be grateful for the attentive care, regardless of the gender of the nurse.
While nursing is still a female dominated field, male nurses are now being welcomed and appreciated in this lucrative field. It may seem like there are many differences between female and male nurses, but the truth is both sexes typically pick this career for the same reasons. They like to care for people, they want a job that makes a difference, the pay is good, and the outlook for the future of the career is good. The only way to make the male nurse more accepted and expected is if more men enter the field.