Increase in male nurses causes social change
Stereotype of mostly female nurses dispelled due to more men entering nursing program
Male nurses do exist, and many of them are learning the tricks of the trade at Austin Peay State University. One of them is Kenneth Chessman, sophomore nursing major. "I always wanted to do something medically," Chessman said.
When the word "nurse" is mentioned, a womanly figure is instantly placed into the minds of most people. The stereotype of all nurses being females has been consistent ever since nursing became a common job.
"All the guys were going to war, and the females would help them out when they were shot or blown up," Chessman said, referring to the early wars when nursing became common. The word "nurse," along with "teacher" or "secretary," is most commonly associated with women.
"There's a stereotype that goes with it," said freshman Ceantanna Harrison. Some of these stereotypes spilled over into punch lines in the hit movie "Meet the Parents" where Ben Stiller plays a male nurse (and no one lets him forget it). As the years go by, male nurses are increasing slowly, yet they are still looked at strangely.
"It is typical that when you go to the hospital or doctor's office, you do see female nurses ," said Marissa Chandler, director of Trio Student Support Services at APSU. "But with times changing, and there being such a high demand of nurses, I think that slowly it will evolve. Male nurses can add a whole new ballgame to the field."
Mark Gray, the tutor coordinator and computer lab supervisor for Trio Student Support Services, agrees with Chandler. "There are times when a nurse has to move or roll a patient over, and a male nurse might be stronger and able to move a bigger patient," said Gray. "I think male nurses are definitely a good thing," Chandler added.
With the world always evolving and changing, many people find male nurses can be very helpful. Jeanine Thurmond, junior nursing major, has been a licensed practical nurse for seven years. "I've had the experience of working with many male nurses," Thurmond said. "I found it to be phenomenal. They're really awesome when it comes to carrying out duties."
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