We talk a lot about women here at Towne, because a large percentage of our employees are female. But International Men’s Day has us thinking about the challenges of the men who work as CNAs, LPNs and RNs.
Male nurses and nurses aides are often mistaken for physicians or asked if they are on their way to medical school. Old habits die hard, and even in the twenty-first century, many people are still stuck on gender roles that have ceased to be true. Luckily, this is becoming less common, and as more men enter the field of nursing, stereotypes are slowly dying. Most male nurses shrug off these types of comments or respond with humor.
Many male CNAs report that they are always called upon for the heavy lifting. While it may be true that they are physically stronger than most of the female staff, it can be frustrating to fall behind on calls because of interruptions like these. While some men find this disturbing, others look at it as an opportunity to utilize their natural talents in the service of their patients.
Female patients or their families sometimes ask to be treated by females only. This limits the male nurses aides, who can only treat men, while their female colleagues are able to treat everyone. Women may (understandably) not be comfortable with men taking them to the bathroom or washing them, but this preference can slow down the entire staff.
On the other hand, with a few adjustments to assignments, both men and women can care for their patients efficiently and compassionately. And some male patients are happy to be treated by a man, so they don’t feel they need to put on a tough-guy act.
Although gender discrimination is usually against women, there are men in the nursing profession who have reported reluctance to hire them simply because of their gender. But, in recent years, facilities have become more conscious of the need to hire a diverse staff, and that works in favor of men, who are still very much in the minority.
Ultimately, nursing is a profession with tremendous impact, and both men and women can be fulfilled and satisfied by caring for those who can’t care for themselves. The percentages of men entering the profession is constantly increasing and is now up to 13%. We expect the trend to continue and for more men to join one of the noblest professions out there.
We wish a Happy International Men’s Day to all of the men on our team! We are so happy that you have chosen a career in nursing and have elected to work at Towne.