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Thread: Sexual Harrashment towards Men in the nursing profession!

  1. #1

    Sexual Harrashment towards Men in the nursing profession!

    I currently work as a CNA in a LTC/Rehab nursing home, but I have to share with you the few incidents and occasions when I have witnessed sexual harassment towards male employee's in my facility.

    First incident occurred when a male nurse working the daytime shift was trying to get buzzed into the building. I work noc shift, and the building doesn't really open up until 6:30 am. A fellow CNA walked up to the surveillance camera to identify who was at the door, she noticed who it was, pressed the speaker button and said "Come on in, sexy!". I only overheard the comment that she made, and it made me feel uneasy... even though her comment wasn't towards me. This nurse was the temporary rehab 7-3 am unit charge nurse. I was kinda expecting him to say something to this girl, but it looked as if he just went with it. It is so obvious this girl crushes on him, she practical drools whenever he is within six feet of her.

    Second incident occurred when a PCA was watching a high-fall risk resident of mine during the night. Before the night shift began, he wanted to excuse himself to use the bathroom. Before he reached the restroom, a CNA co-worker of mine stopped him and said "It is good to see you. It is always good to see a young, strong, handsome man like yourself." She said this, all the while slowly caressing his arm up and down. He showed a look of disguist on his face... same as I. I was pleased to hear him say "When a man sexually harasses a woman, all hell breaks loose. But when a woman harasses a man, nobody pays it any thought."

    Next a recent incident occurred. The daytime shift was beginning to start. A male CNA arrived about ten minutes early to gather linen and supplies to start his day. As another 7-3 am CNA walked by, she loudly screamed "Heyyy, lover boy!" The look on her face was appalling. She looked at this gentleman like a dog to a big, juicy steak. I felt embarrassed for her. Yet at the same time (although her comments weren't made towards me) I wanted to confront her, and remind her that her language is inappropriate... but thought it wise to keep my mouth shut.

    What do you think I should have done? Should I have confronted my co-workers about their comments? Would you have, and if so, how would you phrase it? I regret now not saying anything. It seemed that on the first and last incident I described, the male co-workers just brushed their comment aside as if it didn't phase them. But that is still no excuse for the co-worker using the unprofessional language. This question is towards males of the nursing profession: Have you ever been sexually harassed? If so, what were your actions? What would you say or do in cases like these?
    Last edited by hv; 03-02-2012 at 10:30 PM. Reason: remove broken image link that appears to be spam

  2. #2
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    Sunflower,

    Good question.

    Yes, I've been sexually harassed by coworkers of both sexes and patients of both sexes. I've also been profiled by a female director because of my gender. Speaking for myself and about my personal experiences with this issue: What did I do? Nothing. Why? It wouldn't be worth the trouble. Was it wrong to not take action? I don't believe so and for several reasons; first, I was the "victim" and made the choice to not pursue action based upon my own, uninfluenced judgement; I wouldn't win anything that I would want because mandated or legislated respect means nothing besides, financial damages seem petty and secondly, I don't think my taking action against such behavior would make any significant impact on society's tendency toward committing it.

    R

  3. #3
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    I've experienced and witnessed sexual harassment quite a few times over the years since I started working in healthcare. In most places it is a double standard.

    I had a confused elderly female patient try to take off my scrub pants in the hallway. I was using a computer in a corner of the nurses station and she came up behind me. When I turned around she grabbed at me and was saying, "Let me see your penis. I bet you have a nice one. I want to see it and touch it." while she was grabbing at me and trying to pull down my pants. The female nurses were standing around laughing instead of trying to help defuse the situation. If I stood around and laughed when a confused male patient tried to undress a female coworker, I'm sure I'd e in trouble.

    When I was a new nurse on orientation the first few months after graduating one of my preceptors said to me, "You have strong legs. I like men with strong legs. They can thrust hard and give it to me hard. That's why I liked my husband at first." If I said anything close to that to one of my female coworkers about her physical attributes and sex, I'd be out of a job and probably facing a lawsuit.

    One of my unit managers said to me and most of the other male employees that she hired, "I don't like men working for me. They only stay a few years then move on to other positions of go back to school. Also, keep it in your pants and stay away form my nurses." It was rather ironic since many of the female nurses on the unit were after any single guys working in the hospital and they would talk about the guys working in the hospital and how good they looked, who they found cute or sexy, etc...

    I was talking with a few female coworkers about the hospital uniform policies and how they aren't enforced. If we push it too far, then management may start to enforce them again. I mentioned that one of my former nursing school classmates who worked at the hospital wore scrub tops that may be considered inappropriate for work because they were too revealing and had sections that were see through. A female coworker said to me, "Did that get you hard and horny seeing her in that revealing top?" I told her it didn't and I've seen her that woman in a bikini before without that affect. However, I wonders if I said something similar when they were talking about a certain male coworkers strong arms or how "good his ass looks in scrub pants" if I would have kept my job.

    I was told by more than one female coworker, "You are a guy, I expect your patient rooms to be messy and disorganized because men are messy and disorganized." If I said, "You are a woman, I expect you to be emotional and moody because women are emotional and moody." I'd probably be fired.

    I could go on and on with examples of double standards when it comes to sexual harassment.

    If there was an issue with a patient's foreskin or testicles, it was always the guy who was called for assistance. I wondered what makes me a foreskin and testicle expert? The best nurse for foreskin and penis issues I ever worked with is a lesbian.

    I avoided dating women who worked for the hospital I worked for. Twice I dated a women who worked for the same hospital, but at a different locations. The rumors started flying because I wouldn't give out many details about them.

    If I acted friendly toward a female coworker, while staying professional in our communication and contact, especially one that was single or the other staff through was, the rumors would start flying. Based on the rumors, apparently I was involved with two lesbian coworkers(I guess everyone else didn't notice they were dating other women?) and a doctor at the same time. LOL

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    others just take this issue as a joke, but I guess this is serious

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    I've been working in health care for over thirty years and nothing has changed. Yes, there is a double standard. Men can be sexually harassed and are expected to take it but women cannot be sexually harassed and if it happens, are expected to complain. It is a challenge challenge with no solution on the horizon so, what is the guy supposed to do about it. Say nothing and do nothing. If the situation presents red flags for him, he should tactfully extract himself and continue to say nothing. If the situation becomes unbearable, he should work elsewhere.

    R

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    That's truly unfair..In today's society, everyone should be treated equal as in the case of sexual harassment, but I have no idea how can that be, as the perception does not change over time! As you said nothing has changed for over thirty years!tsk!

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    Quote Originally Posted by malenurse354 View Post
    That's truly unfair..In today's society, everyone should be treated equal as in the case of sexual harassment, but I have no idea how can that be, as the perception does not change over time! As you said nothing has changed for over thirty years!tsk!
    While I stand by my (unedited...) post and have personally experienced it several times in my career, I don't think male sexual harassment is all that common and is generally limited to sexual or gender based comments.

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    That's the good thing about it!

  9. #9
    Do like women do, use it to your advantage. If you don't want to do that, get over it and drive on.

  10. #10
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    I wish it was that simple.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaffey Student View Post
    Do like women do, use it to your advantage. If you don't want to do that, get over it and drive on.

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