First let me introduce myself to you. My name is Charles, and I'm a nurse. I don't particularly care for the term "male nurse." I really don't see what my gender has to do with the care I give to others.
I've been a nurse for 20 years, and I've learned a few things along the way. Not only about nursing but about how nurses who are male are viewed by others, so I'm here to set the record straight.
A nurse is a nurse.
I've never heard a female nurse referred to as a "female nurse." So why am I a "male nurse?" Why can't I just be a nurse?
The "all male nurses are gay" belief. What's all this about? It's complete nonsense. There are gay nurses, but there are also plenty of heterosexual male nurses. Nursing is far from a feminine job. It's a very difficult job that requires a lot of physical and emotional strength. It's not for wimps. I do take offense to people who believe I'm gay, just because I'm a nurse that happens to be a man. It's stereotypical and highly incorrect and offensive. Not that I have anything against gay people, but I am not one of them, and I don't like being accused of being anything but what I truly am, a straight male.
But, regardless of my sexual preference, I go to work and do my job, and I really don't understand what my sexual preference has to do with my career.
One of the other things that irritates me is people who ask, "You're a guy, why aren't you a doctor?" I'm not a doctor because I don't want to be a doctor. Yes, I'm intelligent enough to be a doctor, which isn't saying that much, cause I've met a lot of really dumb doctors, but that's another story for another day.
I enjoy being a nurse and would not want to work the hours doctors do or be on call the way they are, so I chose to be a nurse, and it's a decision I'm very proud of.
Now, I know I'm going to annoy a few female nurses when I say that one of my other pet peeves is when male nurses are taken advantage of because they're male. They're often expected to lift heavy patients and equipment because they're physically stronger than females. Sorry, but I make the same amount of money as my female counterparts, so they need to pull their weight just like I do.
I recently broke two vertebrae in my neck lifting a patient for a female nurse, because she said she was "unable" to lift him. If you're not able to do your job, them get a different one. Don't expect male nurses to do your job for you.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all about helping others. But, I do have a problem with nurses who take advantage of me and don't even try.
I have a major problem with patients who choose to tell me that they don't want me caring for them because I'm male. I understand if they feel uncomfortable. I'm a PACU (recovery room nurse), and I know that some female patients who have had female procedures do feel better when cared for by a female nurse, but save the rudeness. You can gently say, "If you don't mind I would rather have a female nurse." Male nurses have feeling too.
The bottom line is this; I love being a nurse. It's a secure career with a pretty good salary. I enjoy caring for my patients and making a difference in their lives. I'm a nurse, and that's all that matters. My sex, race, creed, color, age or sexual preference don't have a darn thing to do with how good a nurse I am. I'm a great, heterosexual, white, 40-year old nurse. But I prefer to be known as just the nurse.