Men proud to take place in nursing field

(News Leader) Joe Long first thought of becoming a nurse when his wife was hospitalized for a week during her pregnancy with their second child.

He now works at Mercy Hospital Springfield, taking care of patients in the intensive care unit.

“Nursing is manly,” Long said. “It’s not just for women.”

About 6.6 percent of nurses nationwide are male, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. In Springfield, about 7.3 percent of nurses at CoxHealth are male. At Mercy, about 11.4 percent of the nurses are male.

The American Assembly of Men in Nursing was formed in 1971 in Michigan to provide support for male nurses. An Ozarks chapter is being started. There are also chapters in St. Louis and Kansas City. The organization also is open to women.

“It’s a very female-oriented world and we’re OK with that, but men still need to socialize,” said Paul Pope, the chapter president and a nursing instructor at Southwest Baptist University.

The executive director of nursing at Mercy Hospital Springfield is a male nurse, Kurtis Abbey.

Nurses like him have faced some of the obstacles that women entering predominantly male fields have faced. There have been lawsuits and complaints about isolation.

Rick Leroux, a nursing instructor at Southwest Baptist, got into nursing with the encouragement of his aunt. He learned how to make chitchat with children and to be absolutely honest about whether a medical procedure would hurt.

He treasures moments such as an encounter with the adult daughter of a man he had cared for who had a heart attack. She hugged Leroux and thanked him.

“Those are the moments we live for,” Leroux said.

Female employees at Mercy said they appreciate male nurses when it comes to lifting patients. They also value other qualities such as help in dealing with sometimes-disruptive families.

“We have a lot of difficult patients,” said Becky Pierce, who has worked at Mercy for about 40 years. “For each difficult patient, you have family members who sometimes need the physical presence of a man.”

Dr. Tobey Cronnell said male nurses tend to be more supportive of female doctors.

“I particularly enjoy working with male nurses as a female physician,” Cronnell said.

Long recently tended to John Goar, 73, who was admitted to Mercy Hospital Springfield after having trouble breathing.

Long gave him insulin and some other medication and then told Goar that his relatives were on their way to visit.

“He’s as good as a woman,” Goar said.

Long left Goar’s room. He was about halfway through his 12-hour shift. He doesn’t miss his previous career as a loan officer for a mortgage company.

“It’s the first time I have a job where I actually look forward to going to work,” he said.


Nurses not so thrilled about MTV’s Scrubbing In

MTV has released the trailer for their upcoming nursing docu-series Scrubbing In, and the initial response from the nursing community has been overwhelmingly negative.

Via the show’s “about” section:

‘Scrubbing In’ follows a group of travel nurses assigned to work at an Orange County, CA hospital for 12 weeks. Relocating from across the country, these nurses have left their hometowns and lives behind for short-term hospital contracts, with the added benefit of exploring a new city. For Tyrice, Chris and Fernando, this isn’t their first tour and they’re considered experts of the program. For first-timers Adrian, Chelsey, Michelle, Crystal, Nikki and Heather, this is a new journey they’re embarking on together, looking for a change from their nursing jobs in Pittsburgh, PA.

The first footage from the show features the girls and guys living the life while a narrator tells us they’re hell raisers, heart breakers, life savers and fun seekers. There’s bikini bodies, a serious six-pack, partying and, oh yeah, working!

We are talking about reality TV entertainment here, but folks from the nursing community have been voicing concern about how Scrubbing In will portray their profession in a negative light:

Caitlin Gardner wrote: “I am disgusted with MTV and these “nurses.” As a “20-something-year-old” RN, I have to express the shame I feel now for having to be associated with this swill! What kind of an institution would allow this to be aired, Jersey Shore Medical Center?”

Via the comments section from the trailer’s post on MTV:

Tiffanie stated: “this is absoloutely an insult to the profession!!!!! These girls are not an example of what a PROFESSIONAL is. You should be ashamed of yourselves. As a nursefor 13 years this saddens me that this is the future my profession.”

Aimee commented: “I was really excited when I heard this was going to air a few months ago. Now to see the preview of it, absolutely disgusts me. For anyone in the nursingprofession, this does nothing other than shed bad light on this particular career. Being a student nurse, scheduled to graduate in May, this show portrays NOTHING close to what my classmates and the fellow nurses I have had the opportunity to work with. This will leave nothing but a negative stigma. MTV just took a professional job such as nursing, and have dressed it down as if it is similar to the Real World. Fact…There is no “partying” after a 12 hour day. Most nurses are lucky after working a 12 or 16 hour day to make the drive home, shower the mucus, vomit and blood off of them, and crawl into bed to get a hopeful 6 hours of sleep! This show will not portray the reality of what a nurses life is really like…. because if MTV actually did just that…. it would be cancelled after the first episode! We don’t party, we aren’t “slutty”! And we would like to be treated with some respect that we worked very very hard to earn!!!!!!!!!”

Lisa: This is NOT what our profession needs….more media portrayal of nurses as sex objects. This is a disgrace to the professionalism and integrity of a job many of us are truly passionate about.

Alexis: As a young nurse, I’m dreading this shows release. I am not at all what this trailerportrays, I am a professional and my private life is kept that way. This will portray all young female nurses in a horrid way that could affect our future jobs as well as our relationships with our patients. =( =( =(

Josh: As a nurse, this makes me want to vomit. Oh wait, I just did.

Via a forum about the trailer from, itzvalerie suggested the following. “I saw the preview & just was talking to my boyfriend about this. It could be good & draw more people into the nursing profession. I’m just worried that the way they will show it there will be excessive drinking, the nurses will be really clique-y & a lot of drama.” Squishy LVN replied, “Whatever people this show will draw into the nursing profession I doubt are the kind of people we would want in the nursing profession.”

Reality shows from MTV often face a backlash before they air. Buckwild even made national headlines when West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin stated he was “repulsed” by the trailer and penned a letter to the president of MTV requesting that they not air the show.

Scrubbing In is set for an October 24 premiere at 10/9c.

A day in the life of … a student nurse

Alex Collyer

(The Guardian)No two days are the same for student nurse Alex Collyer who used to work for the ambulance service.

Life as a student nurse means that no two days are the same, whether it’s clinical placements, lectures, presentations or simulated practice. It’s varied and challenging but that’s why I enjoy it. [Read more…]

Public health nurses must rise to growing care need

(Daily Progress) The last time you got a flu shot, had your school nurse examine your child’s vision, or had questions about an elderly parents’ care, did you thank your public health nurse? [Read more…]

TV may reinforce stereotypes about men in nursing

(Reuters) Fictional male nurses on television are sidelined in supporting roles, portrayed as the butt of jokes and cast as commentary providers or minority representatives, all of which makes it harder in reality to recruit men to nursing and retain them, according to a new study. [Read more…]

Nurses: The forgotten workforce

(Medical Express) A new national survey of nurses’ attitudes highlights a profession that sees itself as overlooked by management and constantly suffocated by too much red tape. [Read more…]

Survey shows female bias against male nurses

(China Daily) Although the nursing profession is widely respected by the public, nearly 30 percent of femalerespondents to a survey said they would not accept care from male nurses.

In questionnaires in May to 1,540 people aged 18 or above in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu,Shenyang and Xi’an, Beijing-based Horizon Research Group found that 94.7 percent of thosepolled said a career as a nurse is a respected profession and 54.4 percent said they would liketheir children to become nurses.

But in results released on Thursday, 27.7 percent of the female respondents said they do notwant to receive care from a male nurse if they were at a hospital. Less than 10 percent of malerespondents said they would not accept care from male nurses.

The survey did also reveal that respondents aged 50 or below have a higher tolerance toreceiving care from male nurses than the elderly.

Organization for men in nursing grows at Widener University

( In August 2012, Widener University in Chester, Pa., established a chapter of the American Assembly for Men in Nursing for the Greater Philadelphia region. Led by Widener University nursing alumnus Frank Poliafico and a board of students, faculty and practicing nurses, the chapter aims to increase awareness of the need for men in the field and to reduce gender discrimination, according to a news release. And since the chapter’s inception, it has continued to grow. [Read more…]

More men join nursing field as stigma starts to fade

(USA Today) Ryan McFarland never let gender stereotypes stand in the way of his decision to become a nurse.

He considers it “a manly job,” a description he is happy to explain.

McFarland is a registered nurse at Sumner Regional Medical Center in Gallatin, Tenn., where he has worked since graduation. [Read more…]

College’s new dental nurse apprenticeship

(DentalIQ) City College Plymouth has announced it will be offering 18-month apprenticeships in dental nursing from September. The programm will allows trainees to gain on-the-job training, underpinned by classroom-based learning at the college. [Read more…]