I AM NOT COMFORTABLE WITH MALE NURSES.
I have once heard about gender discrimination against men in nursing but I never knew it was real until I experienced it.
One day,a lady of about 28-30 years old presented in our GOPD(General outpatient department) with complaints of bleeding per rectum on defecation and foul smelling vaginal discharge with itching.
The male doctor who attended to her,assessed her, carried out a digital rectal examination on her(a type of medical procedure in which the examiner inserts a well lubricated gloved finger into your anus/rectum in order to check for abnormalities like rectal tumors, prostatic disorders, hemorrhoids, fecal impaction etc).
He made a diagnosis of first degree hemorrhoids and candidiasis based on his clinical findings and then recommended that the lady does some laboratory investigations including high vaginal swab( a sample of discharge collected from the vagina with a swab stick which is then sent for microscopy, culture and sensitivity tests).
About 45 minutes later after the consultation, she came back to the clinic holding a swab stick.
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Excuse me Nurse, I would like to see Doctor XYZ,he was the one that attended to me few minutes ago,she requested.
Doctor XYZ is unavailable, he is currently on ward rounds and I don’t know when he will be done… is there a problem? I inquired.
Yes…I mean no,actually there is no problem just that he sent me to the lab and I was given this (showing me the swab stick and lab from)…
He said I should meet any of the nurses to collect the “vaginal sample” for me ,she further added.
OK,that won’t be a problem, I will do It for you, I replied.
Do what for me? She disgustingly asked.
(You need to have seen the condescending look on her face)
Don’t bother,I need a female nurse…I am not comfortable with male nurses.
(Like seriously?wow! that sounded strange to me…I have never heard that from any patient; male or female)
Without letting her countenance piss me off,I inquired to know if there was a particular reason why she wasn’t comfortable with male nurses and “privacy” was her response.
(In my mind, I was like mtcheeew,this one is not a serious fellow… High vaginal swab collection that I have been doing for many female patients even when I was just a student nurse let alone now that I am a registered nurse.
Well, I can’t change my gender because of you)
But a male doctor attended to you some minutes ago and even performed a DRE on you, don’t you think you have double standards?
Assuming you were pregnant with labour pains and then rushed to the labour ward where male midwives are on duty, are you saying you wouldn’t let them attend to you ? I further asked.
(There she stood staring at me without uttering a word)
Madam,a nurse is a nurse, gender irrespective!
Well, I just want to inform you that we are 3 nurses running this shift and we are all males.
You may have to come back tomorrow when a female nurse will be on duty, on the other hand, you can still wait for Doctor XYZ to finish his ward rounds…I excused her to attend to other patients.
Maybe she had a second thought or something but after spending some time in the waiting room, she came back asking me to do the HVS collection for her.
I don’t know the number of people out there who are not comfortable with male nurses but I want you to understand that men are capable of being compassionate, caring and empathetic just as women.
Male nurses are as efficient , effective and competent just as their female colleagues.
Being a man doesn’t prevent a male nurse from rendering a quality dignified care to his patients.
It will be folly of you to reject the services of a nurse just because he is a guy.
Nursing care is deeply rooted in compassion, knowledge, expertise skills and not in gender.
A nurse is a nurse, gender irrespective!
EFFIONG PRECIOUS BASSEY is my name.
I am a male and I am a Nurse.
I love my profession.
©Effizy Reloaded 8/5/19