From the beginning of civilized society, both men and women have been providing nursing care to the sick and injured people. But when nursing education was introduced, it was offered predominantly to women. The women behind the introduction of nurse education, Florence Nightingale, believed nursing was a natural extension of women’s roles as caregivers. In the mid-1800s, she started the first nursing institution with a group of women.
Though at the beginning of nursing, males were deprived of nursing education and enrollment, now they have enough opportunities to pursue nursing as their carrier. And a good number of male nurses are already working as a proud nurse all over the world.
Nowadays many male persons are doing nursing in different health institutions, but since nursing started with the women conducted by Florence Nightingale herself and also dominated by women, a patient or hospital visitor becomes puzzled thinking what does he/she should call a male nurse? If you are among those people, here you will know what exactly you should call a male nurse.
How You Should Address A Male Nurse?
Basically, the way we treat other professions beyond gender difference (like businessmen, driver, tutor, even doctor) we should call a male nurse just ‘Nurse’.
Actually, most of the people around the world use the term ‘Nurse’ to address both male and female nurses. However, few exceptions are also noticed such as…
- In the USA male nurses are known are ‘Nurse’, sometimes ‘Murse’.
- A male nurse in the UK is called a Nurse, there sisters are called Charge nurses, and the Matrons are called Lead nurses.
- In India, male nurses are called by different surnames, like Nurse, Masterji, and sometimes Brother.
History of Male Nursing
The introduction of men in the nursing profession happened back in the third century in Rome. At that time in Rome, an organization of male persons called the ‘Parabolani Brotherhood’ provided care to the sick and dying people during the great plague in Alexandria. To provide uninterrupted nursing care to the sufferers, men in the Parabolani also established a hospital.
Also, during the civil war in the United States, men served as battlefield nurses in both the Union and Confederate armies. The Confederate Army assigned 30 men in each regiment to take care of the injured soldiers.
Serving the plague patient in Alexandria and providing treatment to the injured soldiers during the civil war were two major incidents that helped to break the stereotype conception of only female can join the nursing profession. Later, as people’s conception about nursing changes, the male individuals started to involve themselves with this humanitarian profession. And now a good number of male nurses are serving the patients along with their female coworkers all over the world.
6 Memorable Name in The History of Male Nursing
Nursing is founded by female, but in the history of nursing, there are some males who proved a male can be a good nurse too if he wishes and works hard. Some of the notable male nurses from history are St. Camillus de Lellis, Edward Lyon, Joe Hogan, Luther Christman and James Derham.
Recent Statistics of Male Nurses in Nursing
Historically, the majority of the nursing workforce has always been female. But since 1970 a good number of male persons also have been joining this health service forces, and the rate of joining is increasing at an increasing rate.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a leader in health journalism and health policy analysis, as of April 2017, there were roughly four million professionally active nurses in the United States. Among those active nurses, only 333,530 identified as male, which is 9 percent of the total nurse force in America. Comparing with the ratio of female nurses, this number is not a significant one, but the good thing is the number of male nurses has increased.
That was the most recent statistics published by the Kaiser Foundation, but even if you go back, you will see that the number of male nurses also increased significantly in past.
- In 1970, only 2.7 percent of the USA’s registered nurses were men. Later in 2011, this number reached 9.6 percent of total nursing professional!
- Also, the percentage of men working as licensed vocational nurses or licensed practical nurse increased. Where in 1970 in the USA the percentage of males in these fields was only 3.9 percent, in 2011 the involvement of male persons grew to 8.1 percent.
Factors That Back Males from Joining This Profession
Nursing is one of the fastest growing profession in the USA as well as around the world. This profession has both monetary benefits and social benefits, but still males in society find this profession not so promising for them. Though statistics show that since 1970 the number of male nurses has been growing, but it is not growing at our expected rate.
In this part, we have discussed 2 key reasons that back the male individuals from entering this noble profession.
It Is Awkward!
Since the Florence Nightingale era when people hear the word nurse, they draw a scratch of a person with caring gesture in their mind, and of course, it’s a female. Also, in the hospital, when a doctor tells his patient he/she is going to appoint a nurse for his/her look after, the patient expects it will be a female. Thinking about these kinds of situation, males do not want to be in the nursing job, they think what if they have to face this kind of situation!
Low Paying Job
In a male-dominated society, a male is the caretaker of a family and sometimes he may be the only bucks-earner of his family, as a result, he has to earn more. Though nursing provides an attractive wage to the employees, some males may find the starting wage is insignificant for them.
Tips for The New Male Nurses and Who Are Planning to Be
As you know men shy away from the nursing field because of the perception that nursing is a female-dominated profession. Though the expected number of males is not joining this nursing force, the number of male nurses is increasing day by day. So, if you are a male and you want to pursue nursing as your career or just joined in this profession, here are 6 tips for you.
Gender Biasedness Actually in Our Head
If you join as a nurse, during your service hours when you take care of the male or female patients, do it with confidence. You’ll find that most patients are accepting male nurses positively. Somehow if you find yourself not accepted, it can be a cultural consideration or requested by the patient. So, the diasedness of male and female nurses we bear in our mind is hardly reflected in work.
Just as a female patient wants someone of her gender to care her, a male patient also wants a male to deal with his injuries. So as a male if you ever be refused by a female, you just accept that and move on from the refusal and work as you do. Moreover, another awkward felling a male nurse encounter is half of your patients will think you are a doctor! It may feel frustrating, but keep yourself pride as a nurse.
Always Be Prepared to Face Those Awkward Moments
During the learning period, some awkward moments are inevitable, you can’t avoid them. So, to deal with those uncomfortable moments, you have to be professional and focused on the tasks of helping people to make them feel better.
Just Avoid the Myth
There is a myth, in nursing college a male student has to work harder to prove that he can be just as competent as his female counterpart. Don’t have any fear, nursing school faculties will provide male nursing students with the same opportunities given to female students all the time.
Male student nurses are expected to be stronger, that’s why sometimes they are called to lift heavy patients and preferred for doing some other heavy tasks. Use those opportunities to prove yourself, then you can establish yourself as a valuable resource for your institution.
Break the Gender Barrier
Remember, your female classmates are not studying to be a “female nurses.” Like them, don’t study to be a male nurse, study to be a Nurse. Just as female medical students break the gender blocks in medicine, you male students have to break the gender barriers in nursing.
Basically, the golden rule of any type of addressing is you can call any professional by any surname unless it is abusive, mocking or somehow disrespectful to himself/herself. So, you can call a male nurse by ‘Nurse’/ ‘Male Nurse’/ even brother depending on your cultural.
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