Tuesday November 4, 2008
Feedback from the 'Guy' Show
Whenever we present a show, we like to guess which parts of it will get the biggest reaction from you. Sometimes, it's not hard to predict. For instance, our interview with geriatrician Dr. Janice Lessard on systematic ageism in health care (replayed on this week's White Coat, Black Art and available on the November 3, 2008 podcast) seemed destined to tweak many of you, and it did.
Last week's show on men (October 27, 2008) however, generated an unexpectedly strong reaction to our interview with Emmett O'Reilly, a male nurse, about the stereotypes he faces every day at work. There was something about the passion and charm he exuded in the interview that obviously touched some of his nursing colleagues and you.
Linda Meyer had this reaction to the interview:
"My son Ben decided to be a "Boy Nurse" when he was in grade 6 and my father was recovering from triple by-pass surgery. He told us it was because he wanted to help people like those who helps his Gramps. Until then, I had no idea he was interested in medicine other than watching a show called "The Operation". A couple of days post-op we visited my dad where Ben checked out the incision and promptly claimed "I've seen better on TV". It's 6 years later and other than a few months where he thought being a Paramedic would be more manly (I think about grade 9ish) he's set on a career in Nursing and will be applying in the next month or so. His goal is to be a flight nurse on an air ambulance, work in ER or a trauma unit. Today's podcast will be downloaded...it will give him a good insight and response to anyone asking why a nurse (not doctor)."
Heather Senkler sent us this email:
"Dear White Coat Black Art: A friend of mine has been a nurse for many years and while he loves his job and in general has the respect of his colleagues he has come across glitches from being a man and a nurse. In training, when the subject of personal care for patients in hospital who were menstruating came up, the teacher sniggered with a "Well we *all* know how to deal with *that*. No point in *wasting* class time," and then changed the subject. This could have been not only a teaching moment for my friend, but also an opportunity for the women in the class
to understand what a man's concerns and fears might be about this kind of care. This information would have been essential when they were instructing a spouse or other family members preparing to care for someone at home.
The other problem he had early in his career was being treated as an orderly or even a janitor rather than a nurse. While orderlies and custodians are *essential* members of a health care team, they are not nurses and nurses are not them. Being asked to carry boxes, push equipment, or otherwise not use the skills and training he sought and
worked so hard to acquire was insulting. In the first case, my friend asked his wife for assistance, which helped
him but the other students were still missing useful information, and in the second case he stood his ground regarding his abilities and the skills of the other staff members.
I admit that he is still an anomaly in my experience in the health care system. However, I know that his skills and dedication to his profession leave a good impression with everyone he encounters."
Karen Babaian of Winnipeg writes:
"Thank you for featuring a male nurse on your program. What a great idea! I have been a nurse for over 30 years. You would think that being involved in childbirth that I would not have had much exposure to male nurses. I am proud to say that Winnipeg has had several excellent and dedicated male nurses work in our birthing areas and our special care nurseries over the past 25 or 30 years years. For the most part, the patients love them and it seems completely natural for them to participate in the birthing process. Thank God for those who are willing to cross those artificial fences erected by tradition and preconceived gender roles."
And finally, Ben Reitzel, a second year nursing student contributed this:
"I appreciated your interview with the male nurse regarding the preconceived notions that clients, colleagues and the public have regarding male nurses. I have noticed the same things with regards to older clients assuming I am the resident, people assuming I will be in management or people questioning my sexual orientation. "
Ben and two other male classmates have gone a step further. They've made a country music video. Check out Save a life, Be a Man Nurse on youtube.
And here's an extended version of our interview with Emmett for you to enjoy:
REMINDER ABOUT THE 'ASK DR. BRIAN' SHOW:
Before we wrap the current season of White Coat, Black Art , we want to turn an entire show over to you. Got a burning question, a nitpick or a pet peeve about the health care system (not about your diagnosis or treatment) that we haven't covered thus far? Call us at 1-866-648-6714. Give us your name, where you live, and the question you want us to answer, and your phone number in case we need more information. We'll choose the the most interesting questions and put our crack team to work trying to get you an answer or at least an explanation. Though we prefer voicemail questions, we'll take email questions too. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we answer your question on the air, we'll send you a White Coat, Black Art bone as our way of saying thanks.
Previous Comments (1)
In regards to male nurses; I been a nurse for over 10 yrs and have worked in acute care, long-term, and presently community nursing.
At first I couldn't understand why I was being ask personal questions regarding a "wife", but I quickly learned why. The Doctor question too was there, but more easily answerable. Can you believe there are men and women who reject me based soley on my gender. (some have legitimate reasons) most are irrational and even insulting.
after 10 yrs and countless questions, its time to move on.