I was nominated as the first Murse [Nurse] of the Month!

I was nominated as the first Murse [Nurse] of the Month!

Murse = (M)ale N(urse)

We make up less than 10% of the Nursing profession, but the number of Men in Nursing continues to grow. When I started this profession over a decade ago, we made up less than 6%, and now we are breaching the 10% mark! (10% of 600,000)

One of the ways that we are growing is through mutual support. While I’m not a fan of annotating my title with my gender, I embrace the support, because we need MORE men in our profession.

A fellow Male Nurse, Michael Ward, has created a new online hub for all the men in Nursing called Have Mursey

A Male Nurse Blog for Dudes in Nursing

I met Mike some time ago on Twitter. We crossed paths like all Nurses do, sharing stories about our Nurse life. Mike has been around the profession as long as I have, he’s an ICU Nurse, Health Coach, Nurse Entrepreneur, Father, Husband and now a Family Nurse Practitioner student (Oh Yeah!)

I love Mike’s passion for the positive in everything he does.

Fun Fact: Mike plays 8 instruments and is learning how to play the violin. (His wife is a professional violinist.)

Have Mursey also touts the Murse of the Month:

… highlight some of the many male nurses who are doing big things in the nursing profession. There are also a lot of up-and-comers using their unique talents and gifts to make a huge impact in the world of healthcare

I was chosen as the inaugural nominee! I couldn’t be more honored. Here are some excerpts from my interview:

…It was during that time that I learned it exactly what a nurse can and did do

…although I do spend a great deal oftime on the peripherals of our world. I love teaching the newbies how to survive.

…Our colleagues are finally saying enough is enough with the double standards, low pay-rates, lateral violence, and unsafe staffing ratios

I hope you’ll go check out my interview and subscribe to Mike’s blog.


If you haven’t noticed, comments have been disabled on my blog. I would love to hear your comments, questions and concerns.  So let’s connect. Or drop me a message on Snapchat @seanpdent:

 

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-Sean

 

Dear new nurse: An Open letter of advice and wisdom on being a male nurse

First of all, congratulations on making it. Congratulations on graduating, and good luck on your national board exam. Not everyone makes it this far. congrats-new-nurse_22948237243_oNot everyone is cut out for this job. So welcome to an elite club, you’re one step closer to joining  the ranks of one of the most trusted and largest health care professions in the nation. Over 3 million nurses and still growing. As a male entering our profession, I’m pretty sure you’ve figured out that we are the minority.

We only possess roughly 10% of the nursing populace, which I might add is encouraging. Seeing as that percentage as a whole has grown by 4% over the past decade (rough estimates). Not too shabby that every single year (over the past decade) more than 10,000 new men entered this profession.

I want to be the first to welcome you.

I also want to be the first to tell you to stop referring to yourself as a “male” nurse. From this point forward you are a nurse. Period. You are not a male nurse. You’re not special. Your degree wasn’t in male Nursing studies was it? If I’m not mistaken it probably just says Nursing.fe76a10477a3e15e5534f1f2a128ac4d

I apologize for being obtuse or curt. I’ve been a nurse for over a decade and I’ve never been comfortable with the term male nurse. Nor have I been introduced as the male nurse. My colleagues don’t address me as a male Nurse Practitioner.

I want you to be an advocate for transparency and unity within our profession, don’t fall victim to the unneeded nomenclature. You and your female colleagues are in this together. No need to draw a line in the sand and form comparisons.

I think you get the point.

Do disparities exist? Yep. But don’t encourage such negativity. If you approach this profession as a Nurse, you’ll never go wrong.1968ca31a05b1be3983725be00f1cee2364e91981d4e2938ed6088aaadcae73b It’s about your patients, it’s not about your gender.

Let’s clear the air about some of the more popular misconceptions that are out there concerning this darn “male” nurse stereotype.

Wait, before we get to that. I almost forgot. You can’t use the term ‘murse‘ either. Seriously. Just don’t.

OK,  here are some popular misconceptions out there and some suggested responses you could use. male-nurse-joke-meme

Gay Focker

Uhm, no. You don’t lose your “man card” just because you became a Nurse. Compassion and empathy are actually quite manly. (Just ask my wife, she’s also a Nurse. We met in Nursing School and were married 4 months after graduation.)

Doctor drop-out

I actually CHOSE this career. I’m smart enough to have a Nursing degree. Not everyone who enters Nursing School actually makes it. er6y6m9Nursing school requires a didactic and collaborative learning environment that includes traditional classroom time coupled with physical anthropomorphic skill assessment.

Unemployed Bodybuilder

male-nurse-jokesContrary to popular belief “How much ya bench?” was not on my state board exam. I actually did get hired for my knowledge and skill. I do however pitch in wherever I’m needed.

This last concept isn’t a stereotype, but more an urban legend.

The belief that (female) patients will refuse to be cared for by a “man”. Does it happen? Of course. Does it happen often? In my short decade in this profession it’s happened twice in my career.

If you ever have a patient request a re-assignment because of your gender, don’t get upset (like I did initially). Remember, it’s not about you. It’s about the patient. It’s about their care, not your skill or knowledge. Why would you force a patient into an uncomfortable scenario? Respect their wishes, and make sure they know you’re OK with it.

Remember, your new job will be just as stressful as the other newbies out there, regardless of your gender. I thought I’d finish with some random thoughts concerning those first 2 years of your career:

  • Your feet will hurt just as bad after a long shift.
  • You’ll have to chart just as much.
  • The lives you save won’t care about your gender.
  • Compassion is not gender specific.
  • Take pride in the care you provide.
  • Education and skill are sharpened by passion and aptitude, not by chromosomes.
  • Yep, your first patient death will hurt just as bad.
  • Work schedules are not separated by sexual category.
  • Your heart will jump into your throat during your first code, fear doesn’t have a sexual preference.
  • Your bladder will also grow ten times larger from a lack of taking a break, no matter if you sit or stand to do your business.
  • This job will make you cry. Period. Just accept it.
  • Some patients are just mean. I mean, really mean. Don’t take any of it personally.
  • You will make a mistake. We all do. But demand you learn from it.
  • This profession will make you laugh louder and smile longer than ever before. It’s a blessing.
  • What you do affects lives. Don’t. EVER. Forget. That.
  • You will cross paths and befriend some of the most intriguing and genuine people. Don’t take it for granted.
  • Getting out on time is a rare thing. Get used to getting home late from work.
  • You’re going to learn to push yourself past your limits.
  • And you will feel a sense of fulfillment and joy that simply cannot be described until you walk the walk.

Best of luck to you young squire.

If these words have spoken to you in some way, be sure to connect with me. I’d love to hear from you.

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If you haven’t noticed, comments have been disabled on my blog. I would love to hear your comments, questions and concerns.  So let’s connect. Or drop me a message on Snapchat @seanpdent:

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I hope to hear from you soon.

 

-Sean

 

congrats-new-nurse_22948237243_o

Men in nursing: Treated equally or just a hired hand?

I thought I’d chat a bit on the whole gender inequality debate with male nurses (again). The topic surfaced somewhere in my world recently. The questions remain: Do we get treated differently simply because we’re men? More specifically, am I simply the hired hand? Are male nurses just needed for there muscles?

I always enjoy this urban legend because I bought into the concept early on in my career.  I bashfully admit, I don’t think it helped that I have a semi-athletic build.

As a brand-spankin new green-behind-the-ears nurse, when I was still learning everything there is to know about the basics, I got asked to help with the ‘lifting’ tasks and anything that required you “putting your back into it” quite often. I thought I was being treated as the dumb-jock, but I came to find out later it was just me being the new nurse.

It wasn’t that I was only needed for the manual labor, it was simply the progression of the learning curve. I was not very proficient at many skills right out of school. Cannulating IV’s were way down the road on my journey to being on my own. I mean, I was still trying to master the language let alone be in charge of sick patients. And contrary to popular belief there is a right and wrong way to ‘lift’ and ‘move’ your patients. So I was being introduced to my new world and career in a step-wise manner.

As time progressed, and my learning and skills progressed I was asked to do more than just help with a ‘lift’.

In my opinion, I am (was) treated equally for my knowledge, critical thinking skills and clinical expertise that has developed over the years. I however personally feel that men and women cannot be completely “equal” in the work place perse’, when it comes to physically laboring tasks.

Let me be clear. It’s not an intentional or bigoted approach to the task, it’s just simple physiology. All things being relatively equal, men are stronger than women. It’s not that men are better or worse than women, it’s just physiology. In that respect, me being the ‘guy’ on the floor, I still do (did) get asked to help more than most of my female co-workes for team-lifts, and patient care that requires a degree of physical labor.

The truth of the matter is, when having to turn, lift or transfer a patient who can weigh in excess of 500lbs some times, you’ll always choose a team member who is strong, or at least stronger than others. And in most cases, men are stronger than women.

No bias, or inequality, just simply exercising safe work practices.

P.S. I know I sound like a broken record, but I have to say it once again. I REALLY hate the connotation ‘Male Nurse’. It’s almost as intelligent as saying ‘Female Doctor’. Grr.

Image Source: Deviant Art