Bust a stereotype today - male aged care nurses

23 Oct 2016 7:22 PMDPT DPT
Bust a stereotype today - male aged care nurses

4 stereotypes you may have seen in the workplace or in the media.

Gender Stereotype No.1. Women are more experienced at caring and nurturing than men.

This may have been true up to the 1950’s.  Women were expected to be the main homemaker and child carer but since then men have had a more active role in children's care, so this stereotype is untrue. How men and women nurture and care may be different.However, it is beneficial to the aged care industry to have all types of people on the floor to reflect the diversity of residents.

Gender Stereotype No.2. Aged Care male nurses are more feminine than typical males.

Enough evidence exists to conclude that male nurses should not be stereotyped as feminine. Just because they work with a majority of women staff and female residents, does not mean they are any more or less masculine than your average male. In most jobs, there is an element of caring and nurturing and 'looking out for your work mates’ ethic. Aged care nursing is no different.

Gender Stereotype No.3.  Aged Care male nurses are good for their strength.

A bit of muscle is helpful in rare cases and often male nurses are prized for their strength in lifting. However, “lifting” is a big no-no in nursing. Some males will lift incorrectly or transfer residents when a person is really a 2 assist, mostly for time reasons. All nurses should stop this stereotype so correct manual handling practices are used.

The workplace should be safe for all nurses. There should be enough walk belts, hoists and staff available so lifting is minimised. Male nurses should not be expected to use their strength.

Gender Stereotype No.4. Male nurses are poorly represented in the media

Television dramatises everything - that’s its job.  Most people don't choose a career based on how it is portrayed on TV but the attitude of general society is influenced by the media – see “Just a nurse” blog. Studies have shown that men are mostly portrayed as gay, feminine or are made fun of.  Also, male nurses are often mistaken for doctors on TV or in movies.

The above stereotypes are real and not myths. Most importantly they need to be busted. Play your part and encourage any males you know to enter the professional and not be put off by these stereotypes.