Nursing– a man’s job too
By Leon Suseran
Whenever nurses are mentioned or talked about, the mind races instantly to
the female; so much so that we have come to associate the profession as being one in which only women serve. However, on this International Nurses’ Day, there are numerous guys who have dedicated their lives and made the choice to become nurses.
A few male nurses are in training at the New Amsterdam School of Nursing in Angoy’s Avenue.
Anesh Humphrey, Andrew Malroop, Selwyn Semple and Ryan Mallay are four male nursing students at the Nursing School. They are among a dozen other students– females– at the institution. They are pursuing the Professional Nursing Programme, which they started six months ago.
Commenting on what brought them to the field of nursing, Humphrey said that he always wanted to be in the health sector “and I find nursing well suited. I always wanted to help and give care and assistance to society and family members”.
Nurse Malroop, who was the most vocal of the four, said that so far he has learnt a “great number of things”.
He added, “In various areas of the programme like Psychology, we were able to appreciate human behaviour.” The nurse noted that he enjoys the sociology course which exposes him to new knowledge and how to socialize, as nurses, and with people in the society.
Nurse Semple added that without the training, they would not be able to communicate with patients in the hospitals “so I think the programme is really interesting.”
When the time comes for him to fully engage in the tasks associated with his profession, Malroop is expecting to put all the skills he would have learnt at nursing school into practice. “I am expecting to help all peoples in the society because nursing is a helping profession. After the training for three years, I will like to be a part of the society. We just want to follow the rules and the guidelines in the training, because according to the Nightingale Pledge, I will expect my behaviour and delivery of health…to be that eminent and sufficient that the clients and people in the society can say, ‘ok…they are pleased to administer good health and good care to people after the three years”.
Semple added that he is prepared to deal with the challenges that come with the profession especially when it is time for him to go out to the hospitals and health centres to work.
Some of the subjects being pursued and dealt with by the trainees include Fundamentals of Communication, Anatomy and Physiology, Psychology, Sociology, Maths and English as well as the crux of the entire training, Nursing Professionalism.
He was angry that people “say it is a ‘gay’ profession, and most of the times when they [society] would see you in the uniform, they would say, ‘what ya’ll doing to yourselves’, — there is a lot of stigma against male nurses.”
Malroop added that “men who come in to do nursing are real men, because some of the things they face up in nursing, some people can’t face them.”
Being just six months in the programme, the trainees have not had a taste of the outside as yet in terms of hospital on-the-job-practical. That will be done during the second year of training.
The trainees are quite excited about that, especially Malroop since he believes “that is what nursing is…it is a practice”. He said that it gets boring sometimes just sitting in a class, writing and reading. “
And so, on this International Nurses’ Day 2012, when we zoom in and focus on the caregivers among our midst in the form of our nurses in Guyana and around the world, let us be reminded that nursing, as much as it may be thought of as a woman’s job, one to which more women flock, is just a man’s job as well.
Today’s observances are being observed under the theme: ‘Closing the gap: From evidence to action’.