Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Male Nurses

NOTE: I've gotten some good feedback from some folks who want to try their hand at guest manswering. I'll be contacting you folks soon. In the meantime...

Hello Dr. Awesome
I'm currently in my third year of a four year bachelor of science in nursing (BScN) program. Going into this profession I have heard all the jokes and ridicule you can imagine, especially for big guy like myself (6'3", 265lbs). My question is, am I less of a man for this career choice, or are those who remark about my career among the ranks of the sissies?



I understand the idea of women being more prone to nursing rather than men. For example, here you are in your third year of school still perfecting this art, while my wife was able to nurse immediately after giving birth. With no training whatsoever! So this stereotype does hold water due to the fact that men don’t lactate naturally. Wait, it just occurred to me that you are probably talking about nursing as a healthcare profession. That makes much more sense. Frankly I'm relieved, because lactating scares me.

Let me offer you my sincere apologies, Ryan, for that first paragraph. I can see from your manquery that you are already suffering some serious undeserved scorn for your chosen vocation, so I’m sorry for insinuating that you could extract milk from your chest. You have to understand though, that I have lactation on my brain these days, what with Baby John Awesome doing his best baby calf impression on Mrs Awesome every 2-3hrs and all. He’s treating her as his own personal dairy section at the grocery store. The only drink he likes is the Mrs Awesome blend, unpasteurized. So see, it wasn’t a personal attack, just a product of my environment these days.

As far as male nurses, I actually kind of like them. Nurses have to do some nasty stuff, and I think we should applaud anyone who is willing to do the dirty work of cleaning up sick people's vomit. Again, as I am learning with Baby John Awesome, cleaning poop off the walls, off the carpet, out of hair, etc is not something that should be limited to only one gender. I know it’s not limited to one gender in our household at least. My Y chromosome does not exempt me from cleaning couch cushions that have been annihilated due to diapers not being able to withstand the forceful excretions of my son. And though I was slightly embarrassed that it happened while my pastor’s wife was holding him, I'm thankful that she only had to take three showers to get rid of the smell. It usually takes 5-6. But, more to my point, I don’t think your gender matters when it comes to the dirty work that nurses do.

Honestly, I think we need more male nurses. I know the stereotype, and there are times when a male nurse would make me uncomfortable. For instance, if there ever comes a day where I am unable to bathe myself, I'd rather die in pools of my own filth then have another man touch me with a sponge. I'd rather just go on to heaven early than be dabbed by a dude. So yeah, sometimes it's female nurse all the way. But other times, female nurses are a hindrance. If I've fallen and I can't get up, who is going to be able to help me? A 125 lb petite female nurse, or a 6'3" 265 lb beast of a male nurse? Or let's say some pervy doctor thinks I need a catheter...who is going to advocate for me? A woman who could never understand just how vile and evil these things are? Or a man who won't let cathers be done unto me because he wouldn't want them done unto him? There are lots of ways that women are better at nurturing than men, but there are things that only men can understand about each other. And in those instances, male nurses are needed.

In conclusion, just because women are better at nurturing generally speaking, it doesn't mean that nursing is off limits as an occupation for men. I applaud anyone’s efforts, male or female, who commit to caring for the ill. After all, isn't that (HYPER SPIRITUAL ALERT) what Jesus does for us? Don't we all spend our lives just puking all over ourselves, in a spiritual and occasionally literal sense, only to have Jesus come in and clean us up again and again and again? I should probably punch myself in the face for suggesting this, but Jesus is the ultimate male nurse. So there can't be anything wrong with it. Throw in the fact that every night when I get home I'm helping nurture my son by cleaning up his disgustitude, and it becomes clear that the stereotypes about male nursing are wrong. Me and Jesus are male nurses, so you are definitely not less of man for going into nursing. Unless you begin to lactate. Neither I nor Jesus ever lactated. If that's what this question was about, then all bets are off.

Dr Awesome


Bethanna March 23, 2010 at 8:37 PM  

"I should probably punch myself in the face for suggesting this, but Jesus is the ultimate male nurse."

I'm curious what you mean by this comment. If you're defending male nurses, why the punch in the face?

Dr Awesome March 23, 2010 at 9:09 PM  

A couple of reasons...the stereotype, the potential for that sentence being taken out of context, the possible irreverence or blasphemy...that kind of stuff could warrant a punch in the face I think.

Anonymous March 25, 2010 at 1:28 PM  


Dr Awesome March 25, 2010 at 3:41 PM  

Anonymous, I am disturbed now. Thanks.

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