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Recently a young House officer has developed the habit of making some provocative statements to me to the effect that I am a man in a female dominated profession. He believes that my association with my female colleagues has removed something out of me and added something. This naïve Doctor thinks a male has no business in nursing. He thinks it has a way of making we male nurses become like women, therefore weak. True to his point of view, other
Doctors have certain fields of nursing where they feel male nurses should be in.
This stereo typing of male nurses has been on for quite a long time, we have heard smirking comment toward us as male nurses that tend to question our presence in nursing as if we are some aliens from another planet. As for me, I have consistently and persistently spoken out about my place in nursing. This stereotyping is not only from others outside nursing but sadly enough even from some of our female colleagues who believe we are too overbearing. But
I think that it is one area of our difference that we need to look into with a view to making it a tool for our collective progress.
I am a nurse, male and proud to be in a female dominated profession. If it is disturbing you I make no apologies for it. Am I influenced by my female colleagues? YES!!! Am I worried about it? NO!!! It makes me a more responsive person as I now think with my head and my heart. It makes me a better husband and father, but most especially a better nurse. They think we are a threat to them and I want them to keep thinking like that……… Touch any of our sister and you have us to contend with.
AM A MALE NURSE AND I LOVE IT, SORRY IF IT HURTS YOU. S.DANMORI
The first experience you get is how people relate to you on completion of you training; you can almost palpate it from the expression on people face. For the females, you remember when people older than you begin to call you ‘’aunty Nurse’’ or for the males ranging from oga to the very ignorant and weird ones calling you doctor. All this is just for the mere fact that you are a nurse, nothing else.
The second experience comes from meeting people in town whom you have totally forgotten calling their neighbours to ‘’come see the nurse wey take care of me for hospital’’ and the accompanying ‘’God bless you’’ that follows. Am sure a lot of us have this story to tell and the effect of greatness it leaves us with from our day-to-day encounter.
The third experience come from actual practice and not necessarily those procedure we like doing but the very ones we may dislike but most do. Some procedure are terrible and a lot of Nurse will not mind not doing them at all, it is those procedures that can easily give you more respect and even more prestige to the profession. I have heard many patients and relatives say ‘’una dey try’’ after carrying the procedures that some of us consider dirty. Passing NG Tubes can irritate even the nurse passing it, as for me it nauseate me profoundly, fungating ulcer smell like shit+rotten egg+rotten bean all put together, then shit[faeces] is one nasty experience too. However, despite how nasty those things are, passing NG Tube for feeding and aspiration can bring lots of respect to a Nurse, since feeding brings nourishment and aspiration brings relieve.
Imagine the look of appreciations coming from patients with fungating ulcers whom you have dressed and the ulcer is now clean and ready for grafting. Imagine the relieve coming from a patient with faecal impaction that you did enema for or even a MFE (Manual Faecal Extraction). These procedures will give a million dollar smile bankers, lawyer, doctors, accountants, teachers and engineers can never get as it comes from the heart. This is another reason nursing is great.
After seeing us battling to save a patient and all the effort and energy we put in it a patient who is a Major in the army was visibly shaken and he made this comment; ‘’ what you people do cannot be paid for, as for me even if you pay me a million Naira I cannot do this job’’.
Does that not make you feel great that even the Army is scared of the work you do?
Why do you think Nursing is great, share your experience with us.
Male make up of 10% of the nursing workforce in the UK, Nigeria is nowhere near to this, if we have sewn many great male nurses in this field in Nigeria that are doing good.
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