So after three years of studying and training, three years of struggling to make ends meet and have a social life I was very excited about finally putting my new skills to the test and my first day as a staff nurse. So I was a little bewildered on my first day when the opening sentence was "oh brilliant, we have a male nurse, we have some boxes in the store room that we need to move". Huh, I must have missed this lecture at university. How to move boxes from A to B.
I mean, I know I am quite burly, and I go to the gym (dances his boobs as he types). But I would like to think I am just as caring as my colleagues and peers. The reason I decided to be a nurse, was I wanted to help people; I wanted to be there for them when they need help. Not to move boxes.
Is this something that is embedded in us from an early age? With blue roles and pink roles? The young boy dressed in blue playing with his action man and the young girl in pink playing with Barbie. Why can't they both play with Barbie? I mean she had a lot more accessories anyway, and seemed a lot more fun, sorry I am going off topic. But why can't they both play football? Surely in this day and age they can. Well, surely in this day and age a female nurse can move some boxes and I can hold someone's hand. I can tell them everything is going to be okay, even when I am not sure that it actually is. I can go home after losing a patient, I can cry, I can suck it up and come back in the next day and start caring all over again. Or I can move some boxes.
It's amazing though, it's not just my colleagues that have a misperception, the patients do too. I always get asked, "What made me want to be a nurse?" Well, I enjoy helping people. Then it's the, "You don't seem like the type" why? Because I have a penis? Of course I never reply with this answer, just the usual "I enjoy helping people, I enjoy caring" Then comes the next question, once they notice I am married "oh, I assumed you were gay". Well, you shouldn't assume, it makes an ass out of u and me. Again, I wouldn't actually say this. But in this day and age, is it that inconceivable that a straight man would want to be a nurse? That he would be caring? Then comes the most condescending question of them all. "Didn't you want to be a doctor?" sigh, nope, as crazy as it might be, I just wanted to help people.
Even with all the above going against me, I still love my job. I have the most amazing gift in the world, the gift of being able to help people, being able to help them get back to their best in any way I can and also being a part of a team that helps to save people's lives. I just don't get a cape. Damn it.
So if I have to move a few boxes in between, I guess I better keep going to the gym.