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?

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