Their strength as well as skills are valuable in achieving excellent patient care. And just like their female counterparts, male nurses also have the compassionate heart to provide that tender loving care to their patients.
So how well do you know these unsung heroes of the Nursing world? Here are 10 awesome facts about male nurses to get you started:
1. The first male nurse in America
Third-century Italians are considered to be the first male nurses in history. Fray Juan de Mena, on the other hand, was a Mexican nurse who came to the U.S. many years before the Pilgrims’ landing at the Plymouth Rock. Hence, he is considered by many as the first male nurse to ever set foot to what would become the U.S.
It’s interesting to note that Fray Juan de Mena only arrived in the U.S. after a hurricane destroyed their ship, and he was killed by an arrow in his back shortly after that.
2. Male nurses in U.S. military
Male nurses make up one-third of the U.S. military nurses. They outnumber the civilians who are within the remaining 4.9% of the population.
3. Male nurses as nurse anesthetists
Although male nurses only make up 7% of the total Nursing population, an estimated 41% of them work as certified
nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), one of the highest-paid specialists in the Nursing profession.
4. Male nurses experience discrimination
About 70% of the male nurse population consider stereotypes as their biggest challenge as nurses. Although they can be as caring and reliable as their female counterparts, male nurses still struggle to break some unfair misconceptions.
Most, if not all, male nurses experience unfair treatment from time to time. These include being looked down upon by male doctors, being unwanted in the maternity ward, and friends as well as family members asking the never-ending question “Why aren’t you a doctor?”
5. Walt Whitman, an American nurse and poet
Born on May 31, 1819, Walt Whitman was an acclaimed American poet and journalist. He wrote the “Leaves of Grass”, a poetry collection first published 1892. He was also known for volunteering as a male nurse during the Civil War.
6. Fictional male nurse
Gaylord Focker, a male nurse portrayed by Ben Stiller in the movie “Meet The Parents”, is one of the most iconic male nurses in movie history. He popularized the line “you can just milk just about anything with nipples.”
7. Most male nurses don’t prefer diplomas
About 53% of male nurses prefer to take associate degree in Nursing while 13.9% of them take the diplomas. For female nurses, it’s the exact opposite. More women (26.3%) take the diplomas compared to guys while fewer (42.2%) female nurses prefer to take associate degrees compared to male nurses.
8. Men in Nursing schools
Male nurses make up over 13% of the total Nursing school population in the United States. It might not be significant if compared to female Nursing students but the number is continuously growing–a proof that men aren’t afraid to enter the profession anymore.
9. Male Nurses: Past and Present
According to history books, most nurses were men until about the 19th century. Today, however, male nurses only make up about 9.6% of all registered nurses in the U.S.
10. The patron saint of Nursing is a male.
He is St. Camillus de Lellios who was canonized as a saint in 1746. He was known for founding the Camillan Order of Healthcare Workers and was declared patron saint of nurses and nursing groups by Pope Pius XI