Men In Nursing
UK nursing shortage is not only damaging the healthcare industry, but affecting individuals across the country in need of emergency, planned, and residential care. Whether in hospitals, GP surgeries, medical aesthetics or in nursing care establishments, the industry is in serious need of nurses but are receiving fewer and fewer applicants.
With this in mind, it’s worth noting that in 2017, only 11.4% of the UK’s registered nurses were male. Can the current nurse shortage be eased by scouting more male nurses for the future of nursing?
Of Course – if job posts and the nursing profession as a whole was marketed on a wide scale towards those seeking a new career path, regardless of gender, it’s likely that the nursing shortage would be populated with male candidates. But, due to ever-remaining social stigma still hanging on, there’s still a long way to go before male nursing becomes commonplace, despite the benefits men in care positions could find.
A Shift in Society
In the past, nursing has been a predominantly female profession. Going back to wartime nursing where women were caring for male soldiers, mothering female figures were the sole providers of nursing care. Now though, the nursing career has shifted with the demands of society, and there’s a call for more men to step into care roles.
The nursing career has excellent employee benefits, a high level of job security, flexible hours, and a great pay package to boot. Most nurses find that their career isn’t so much a ‘job’, but provides them with a sense of purpose and well-being, knowing that their biggest reward is helping to improve the lives of others.
Male Nurses for Male Patients
There are a lot of benefits and opportunities for those following the nursing career path, and now more than ever before there are particular fields where male nurses could be the answer to providing exceptional care to a wider range of patients. Just as many female patients may ask for a female care assistant or nurse to assist with personal tasks, it’s more apparent now that male patients may also find having a same-sex carer comforting in times of ill-health. There is also an argument that male nurses can aid in providing safer care when mobilising and transporting patients to and from beds, units or wards, due to their generally larger stature than their female colleagues. There are similar studies that show male nurses actually perform exceptionally well in speciality, high-adrenaline care roles, such as in transport or emergency positions. Male nurses could be an excellent addition to medical teams in fields that may otherwise be considered intimidating or comprising higher risk.
Care from either male or female nurses is vital, and they are as equally important as each other when fulfilling the essential role of nurse. However, studies have shown that the small percentage of registered male nurses are more likely to climb into management and leadership roles within the field, and are usually the first to receive a higher pay packet.
With so much on offer to all nurses, and particularly men within the profession, the drive to change the face of nursing to one that includes all genders has never been more important for the stabilisation and growth of the industry.
Do you think you are reaching your full career potential? If you have any hesitation, forget the stigma.