Busting the myths on male nursing – Part 1

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A gap medics student doing ward rounds in a Tanzanian hospital. There’s no denying that nursing has traditionally been a female domain. But the reasons behind this are quite unclear. The only plausible explanation for this disparity is that it is ‘tradition’ and the only reason this tradition has managed to persist is because of the many myths that surround it. Fortunately for everybody concerned – the medical profession as well as patients – this is changing as more and more men are busting the myths on male nursing and making inroads into this challenging profession. It’s about time too. 

 

 

 

If you have been holding back because you’ve heard some of the myths associated with men becoming nurses, this article aims to debunk those myths and helps you understand the facts as well as the true impact that male nurses bring to this profession.

 

Myth #1

All males going into nursing are wannabe doctors – no male nurse actually wants to be a nurse

Fact

 There is no truth to this at all. Not all male nurses have aspirations of becoming doctors. Many males who choose this profession have made an informed and conscious decision to enter this field for several solid reasons. Some men choose to become nurses because of the many diverse career paths it offers. Others choose it because they are looking for a role where interacting with and caring for patients plays a larger role as opposed to diagnosing and treating the patient’s symptoms. Besides, today’s nurses do not play a largely secondary role as before. Today’s nurses are leaders, decision makers and managers – all roles that offer male nurses the best of both worlds. 

 

Myth #2

Hospitals and clinics are usually reluctant to hire male nurses

Fact

 This may have been true a few years ago but it’s a completely different scene today. Today, an increasing number of hospitals are actively hiring more male nurses for several different reasons. One of the main reasons is their physical stature. There is a lot of strenuous physical work associated with nursing – patients need to be turned over for their sponge baths or just to prevent bed sores, patients need to be lifted and re-positioned from the stretcher to their bed and vice versa, mobility-restricted patients need to be supported when going to the bathroom. In all of these scenarios, a male nurse would find it more within their physical capabilities as compared to a female nurse. The second reason why hospitals are looking to hire male nurses is because they change the dynamics of the work place and bring new energy to the unit. Last but not least, males are more task-oriented and are often better suited for some of the more challenging hands-on nursing specialties such as the emergency and trauma units and the ICU. 

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