As a male nurse, I know that patients often think I'm a doctor, but do you think that physicians, patients and other medical staff give you more respect when you're male?
I've been a male nurse for 30 years and during my career I've experienced a lot of discrimination because of my gender. Female nurses often ask and expect me to help lift patients, because they're not strong enough to do it on their own. Several years ago I broke two vertebra in my neck lifting a 400 lb patient for a female nurse.
I've also been told that I was only hired because they had to meet the female/male ratio quota for the facility. Wow! Nothing like making a guy feel wanted.
I think some patients do treat you with more respect when you're a male nurse, but other patients treat you badly because they feel you don't really meet the stereotypical, nurturing and caring example of a female nurse that they envision as "normal". Some patients simply prefer a male nurse if they're male and a female if they're female.
Overall, I think that male physicians give male nurses more respect, because they know they can be more open and business-like with them. I have been approached by female physicians and ask to go on dates and other times female physicians steer clear of me, because I think they may be slightly intimidated by male nurses. I've definitely noticed that many physicians do treat male nurses with more patience and certainly treat them better when talking on the phone, discussing patients.
There is a belief that nurse managers are extremely disrespectful to male nurses because they feel threatened by males in general. Some nurse managers want to "prove themselves", to the upper management and are willing to throw male nurses "under-the-bus", to get ahead. These are just my experiences and may not represent the feelings of other male nurses.
I am an extremely straight male, and I do get very fed-up with patients, physicians and management all having the stereotypical view that all male nurses are gay. This simply isn't true. In fact, most of the male nurses I know are not gay.
In conclusion, I do think being a male nurse can have its benefits, but it also has its problems depending on the situation. I think female nurses will agree that in certain situations it helps to be a female nurse and other times, it can hurt you.
Only 5% of nurses are male, which can make it difficult for male nurses when it comes to being accepted and taken seriously as a nurse.
What's you opinion on this? Do you think male nurses get more respect than female nurses? Comment below!