We’ve all worked with male nurses and typically they are gems of the unit. Everyone loves a male nurse who can minimize the estrogen overload every once in awhile, tame a combative patient with ease, and help identify with other male patients when necessary. So, this post is an ode to the various types of male nurses and the unique talents they bring to the table.
The Veteran is reassuring type of male nurse. These male nurses have grown some grey hairs and have been around the block a few… ahem… 100 times or so. Previously, these male nurses were EMT’s turned paramedics, turned flight nurses, who couldn’t work the 48-hour shifts anymore, so they transitioned into the ICU. They, of course, only work night shift to avoid the B.S. of day shift. Other nurses may refer to them as “Dr. (Insert name here)” because of their years of experience and you may see them park a Harley in the lot. They are the fatherly figures on the unit who not only can handle any dying/hemorrhaging/crazy patient assigned to them, but they have hearts of gold under their extra tough, typically bearded, exterior. They are there to give life and love advice, nurture your bruised ego, and make the coffee for 0200 deep talks.
The Military Nurse
The military nurse went to nursing school while serving in the army, marines, navy etc. These nurses are calm, cool, and collected. Really, nothing can shake them because they have seen more madness than any of us can imagine. When a patient crashes, a military nurse can clear the weak links (aka code whores) from the room faster than you can blink. Their delegation skills are epically strong and their poker faces will not waiver. If you are lucky enough to work with the keenest example of a military nurse, note their ironed scrubs and shined up Danskos.
The baby nurse is typically under 30 years old and went to nursing school for one of several reasons. He was in a career he disliked previously and decided to test the waters in healthcare by going back to nursing school. He may have wanted to serve humanity or simply needed a life change. These nurses might be on a path to become a CRNA, but either way we love them. Their youthful vigor, easy-going attitudes, and never-ending energy bring life to the unit. They usually workout and don’t hesitate to flex their muscles when we need a hand lifting, walking, or turning a patient. If they don’t hit the gym as much, they can charm the pants off anyone. The other female nurses are protective over them in a sisterly or motherly sort of way. And while they are smooth with the ladies, they won’t hesitate to take a selfie with you and always remember which women matter most (their coworkers). Oh, and if you need a snack, they always have a protein bar to share.
The Life Long Nurse
The life long nurse went to nursing school because his mom or sister was a nurse and encouraged him to join the club. He might have been a little lost in college, but knew he could have a dependable career in nursing. Many of these nurses end up in the ICU or ER, but any floor or department is fair game. With each anni-nursery the life long nurse gets another tattoo. He thinks he can cover up his undeniable love for the career and vulnerability with these tattoos, but the insiders know better. The life long nurse is a sensitive breed and typically the best at connecting with patients. They are the nurses who precept, know the technical ins-and-outs of the unit, can solve literally any problem, and are exceptionally intelligent, but don’t boast regarding this fact. The life long nurse gives, hands-down, the best hugs and words of encouragement to his counterparts. These nurses have grown to not only love nursing, but the entire culture surrounding it.
The Fabulous Nurse
Every unit has a fabulous nurse or two. These nurses wear tailored scrubs, smell the best, and make a bed with zero wrinkles in the sheets, ZERO. There is nothing better than following a fabulous nurse because you know, all of the IV tubing will be changed and labeled, the room will be spotless, and so will your patient. The fabulous nurse will become your new BFF, or the one you chase around and convince to be your BFF. When you befriend a fabulous nurse, you suddenly have a personal fashion/makeup/hair consultant who will not mince words regarding your appearance, but will also be the best work husband imaginable. The fabulous nurse will be your right hand man when you are blessed with an unbearable patient assignment and will bring you Starbucks when he is off and you are working without him. He is the one you will confide in when you have had a hard day and the one who will walk you to your car in the parking garage after work, even if he parked in another garage. Every unit needs a fabulous nurse, but you’ll have to fight me for him first.
Have I forgotten any types of manly nurses? Maybe you know nurses who are exactly like one of these or a mixture of several. Either way, thank you manly nurses for your service, nurse life would not be the same without you. As always, we get each other.