Men in Nursing: Can Stereotypes Be Broken?
Background of Males in the Field of Nursing
Have you ever heard about a male nurse? You definitely have. It is not a new concept and it stands to reason that nursing is a good area both for men and women. The analysis of historical background shows that the first nurses were male. In the times of Ancient Rome, men used to give care to the patients. During the epidemics of plague and the horrors of Crusades of Europe, men would care about the wounded, the sick, and the dying. Nursing is indeed a beautiful blend of art and science, as it requires both technical skills and compassionate care. You can learn more about this blend by visiting Nursing: A Beautiful Blend of Art and Science.
In the times of the Civil War in the United States, the nurses on the battlefields were also male. Both for the Confederate and Union armies, men in the nursing teams were a norm. However, the entire system changed with the established Army Nurse Corps (ANC). Thus, serving as nurses was forbidden for men. The gap was filled with women nurses and the nature of the following field changed and got the status of a female area.
During the World Wars, men were gradually losing their standing in the field of nursing. Instead, the recruitment of women into this profession got more and more intense. The field was short of male nurses. The society experienced a shift in demographics which went on in the second half of the twentieth century.
Nursing Field: Gender Roles
Each field has a certain distribution of gender roles. Women naturally tend to be effective caregivers. A traditional role of men is to earn the money and be breadwinners for their families. There is a misconception that men lack qualities important to caregiving. It is absolutely wrong to think that only women can be good nurses.
A common belief is that doctors ought to be male, while nurses are mostly women. Thus, a lot of male students are discouraged from getting nursing degrees. The entire healthcare industry suffers from this because there is a significant shortage of men there. Urgent measures ought to be taken as this problem affects the US communities.
Daily functions of male nurses are the same as those of female ones. They do diagnostic tests, deliver treatment, give medications, and do a lot of other things daily. Gender has nothing to do with being an effective nurse. What is needed is sufficient training as well as knowledge, dignity, and compassion. More than that, nurses have to keep to the principle of confidentiality and have equal treatment of all people, notwithstanding their age, gender, background, sexual orientation, ethnicity, financial status, sexual orientation, religion, military status, or any other factors.
Stereotypes related to the Field under Concern: Role of Men
Even in the 21st century, men are chased by common stigmas related to their professional choice of nursing.
- Nursing is a job for women only
- Nursing cannot be the first choice of men
- Real men cannot be nurses
- If a nurse is male, he is homosexual
- It is not difficult to be a nurse
- Empathy is typical of female nurses only
A large part of society still maintains the idea that only women can take care of the patients at a high level of professionalism. It is not reasonable to keep to this viewpoint. Domination of women in the field of nursing is doubtless throughout the years. Still, a lot of excellent male candidates are giving help to the patients as they have joined the profession despite the prejudice. Nursing has to be the field without inequality in gender roles.
Some people believe that only if a man has not got sufficient knowledge or skills to become a doctor, he aims to become a nurse. However, the career options for men in nursing are exceptional. They cover a huge potential for growth, good salaries, opportunities to develop and get to status of an advanced practice after they get a Master’s degree, for instance. In healthcare facilities, nurses can do a lot of different types of research, managerial, and clinical work no matter whether they are men or women.
Actually, the factor of physical strength is important in the area of nursing related to surgeries, practical support, rehabilitation, flight nursing, and other fields. According to another prejudice, men are traditionally strong, emotionally stable, and calm in challenges. Their stamina is thought to be greater than that of women. In addition, they tend to choose work oriented to performing practical tasks. So, men have a lot of chances to be successful in nursing.
A male nurse is usually associated with a homosexual man. In some cases, a patient may feel insecure because of their own ungrounded fears. Thus, a male nurse has to be extraordinarily patient. A stereotype will be combatted only if patients are educated in gender-specific roles in nursing.
A stereotype implies that it is much more complicated to be a physician than to be a nurse. So, a male nurse can be viewed as a bad candidate for the career of a doctor. In fact, nursing is a career that demands great mental abilities, physical strength, and emotional stability. Both men and women need to demonstrate integrity and resilience to excel in this health care profession.
Almost every boy is told that crying is for girls only. Children grow up with an idea that men are not to be empathetic. In clinical settings, it is typical of men to show compassion and behave in the same manner as women do.
Excellent performance of male nurses is always interrupted with the mentioned common stereotypes. The situation can be even more problematic as some patients feel suspicious of competence male nurses have.
Why Men Choose a Nursing Career
Men can find a nursing career really advantageous as it offers them stability, high salaries, diversity in the working environment, and a lot of other benefits.
- Growing demand for male nurses
- Competitive compensation for men in nursing
- Diverse nursing specialties
- Male nurses make the field more accessible
- There is a gap in the nursing gender policy
They expect an increase in the number of nursing job openings by 7% to the year of 2029. This growing demand makes it important to hire not only women but also qualified men.
On average, a registered nurse gets as much as $82,750 annually. According to the statistics, the earnings of male nurses are higher than those of females. It happens even if the share of women in workforce is dominant. The difference between the salaries can be as much as $5,000 per year. Stability of the career is also an encouraging factor.
The environments in patient care are different. In the nursing field men can find trauma nursing or anesthesia really appealing. They might also like to explore such areas as pediatrics, oncology, administration, management, psychiatry, education in nursing, practitioner’s practice, and others. Both for male and female nurses, nursing gives a good choice in specialties. Thus, one can pursue his or her own areas of interest.
Healthcare is needed for a lot of different patients. It may happen that a patient feels more secure with a nurse of a certain gender. Thus, a certain percentage of population requires exactly male nurses who are the answer to a growing demand for specialists. The needs and expectations of different patients differ. Some male patients feel embarrassed or shy if a nurse is a woman. They are afraid of looking fragile or weak. In that case, a male nurse will help the patient to feel more secure and confident.
Unfortunately, our culture is still full of gender stereotypes. With the growing number of men in the nursing profession, the stigma of men will gradually disappear. It would be great if this bias could be forgotten forever. If your ambition is related to nursing, all the roads are open to you, no matter whether you are a male or female candidate. A career of a healthcare worker is perfect for a person, capable of learning and caring about others. It is an honor to be a nurse and everybody ought to understand that.
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