Friday, October 21, 2011

Working as a Male Nurse in a Gender-Biased World

If you’re working as a male nurse, you know the odds are stacked against you. Women, who have been monopolizing this role for decades, may resent you stepping into their employment territory, especially in this economic downturn. The media pokes fun of male nurses, and a lot of older folks don’t trust a male nurse. However, you can shine in your position if you take the following steps:

Show Off Your Strengths
One of your primary strengths is probably exactly that—physical capability. Offer to help other nurses with the physically challenging duties such as moving patients, lifting equipment, and carrying supplies. You may also be one of those men who possess admirable emotional strength, which will come in handy in your position as well. Be ready to step in when tempers flare or drama floods your floor. You can be the source of strength your core group of nurses relies upon.

Overdo Professionalism
You can’t take professionalism too far in this role. It’s too easy for some homophobic old guy to accuse you of inappropriately changing his bedpan or some suspicious woman to accuse you of leaning into her in a sexual way while you moved her from her gurney to her hospital bed. You’ve got to be on your guard at all times to make sure you:
  • Treat others with respect, even if the patients (or visitors) are not respectful of you
  • Use professional medical language
  • Ask permission when appropriate
  • Explain what you are doing and why you are doing it before you perform your nursing duties, especially if those actions could possibly be misconstrued
  • Get another nurse in the room with you if you have to perform any task on a patient who you suspect might not trust you

Develop a Sense of Humor
Sure, there are going to be guys who take pot shots at you and other nurses who might not give you the respect you’re due until you’ve worked with them awhile. Still, it never helps to be defensive or sour-natured. Come up with a few dismissive lines and learn to laugh off anything that smacks of an insult. Remind yourself that in time, you’ll show both your coworkers and your patients who you are: a strong male nurse who can carry them across the room, handle their breakdowns, and drug ‘em up so they feel better again. What’s not to love?

Erinn Stam is the Managing Editor for scholarships for nursing students. She attends Wake Technical Community College and is learning about nursing scholarships for men. She lives in Durham, NC with her lovely 4-year-old daughter and exuberant husband.

Friday, August 12, 2011

23 Years Old

The lake shimmered like a silver mirror, as the full moon casted it's rays upon it. Nostalgia hits me as I remember seeing the same scene not long ago. In my head I told myself, "OMG! I'm as big as the moon!". My emo moment ended right there and I was saddened by the thought that I'm actually outside 10 at night jogging. MLIA.

I then forced myself to think of more serious thoughts and remembered that in a few hours I was going to turn 23 years old... Gawd, I'm this close to being an old man and die.

I then reminisced and thought to myself that my life hasn't been a total waste. It was exciting actually. Although the majority of my life was wasted in pursuit of academic excellence, I did have a taste of social life. Like I met friends, enemies, and people who at one time were special to me. I do not regret my decisions in the past as regretting will not not correct my mistakes or alter the consequences. I do on the other hand relive these mistakes in order for me to learn from them and at least become a better person. I am sorry though for the people I've hurt and offended in the past. No excuse or apology will atone for my crudeness and selfishness. Hopefully in the following years we can learn to forgive and forget and start afresh.

I thank the people who have stayed by my side despite my shortcomings and unpredictability. I hope our friendship and camaraderie will stand the test of time and all other obstacles on the way. To the people on Facebook who took a few moments of their time to greet me, I am honored and thankful. I appreciate it a lot and I am glad to hear from all of you again.

I am now 23 years old... I am a young adult. It's scary how time has passed so quickly. I now start a new chapter in my life. I am excited.

Photo Credits to Thinaar's Blog

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Muslim Are Our Neighbors

With the recent events such as the September 11 attack, many Muslims have become a centre of fear and hate. Many Muslims become victims of stigma; Stigma is defined as an occurrence of labeling, stereotyping, and discrimination. Stigma is usually caused by lack of education or knowledge about the Muslim culture.

This is why My Fellow American is such a wonderful website. It helps people realize that Muslims shouldn't be outed because their culture and religion is a bit different. My Fellow American showcases many stories from real people whose lives were touched by Muslims. Here is a video of how someone helped a Muslim family helped feel more at home in their neighborhood:

Just like with any other group of people, it is unfair to be making generalizations and assumption about someone based on stereotypes. Sure, relying on stereotypes to help us make sense of someone is easier but it's just wrong. Take this for example, you go to a school with a really bad reputation like having really low grade averages. Just because you come from that school doesn't mean you are stupid, because you might actually have a 4.0 GPA (or A).

I have several Muslim friends, and I can honestly vouch that they are very different from stereotypes.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Rejection Sucks

This is how I feel right now... my heart feels heavy and I'm about to cry right now. I guess I should start getting used to rejections if I want to be dating people. Well let's do a post-conference on my short-lived romance:

Let's name this person K, to protect their privacy. K is a 23 year old Filipino, and we met on an app on the iPhone. What a great way to start a relationship right? Well we were chatting and I started liking K because K had a great sense of humor and K was smart. We then met one day and I was just swept off my feet. K wasn't really attractive but I was into K a lot. We spent the whole day and the conversation was fantastic. Well I thought so anyway, I don't know what K was thinking...

Well I just talked with K and K said that K was more into a friend and K didn't want to  mislead me or anyone else... which was kinda misleading because previously, K said K was in no rush to be in a relationship... but whatever. At least K told me head-on on what to expect.

My heart hurts right now, but I still am thinking of K. K says we could still be friends when I asked, but I have a feeling that this is actually the end of the road for us...well for me at least, since there was no us to begin with.

I'll be ok somehow, I'll be able to move on. I feel horrible and uhm... rejected? Things will be better?  I have no idea... I don't care anymore...
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