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Posted By: Callum - Student Nurse

Being a male Nurse in a “female” nursing world

My experience within the veterinary practice has been great fun throughout the 3 years I have been working. I started when I was 15 as a kennel assistant on a Saturday placement and really enjoyed being part of the team. Since then I have worked my way up through the ranks and I am now a full time student nurse, studying one day a week at college and 4 days at the practice. I have always loved caring for animals and no two days are ever the same. I really enjoy meeting clients and their pets in nurse consults, where I get to build a good relationship with them and see them regularly. I have learnt valuable knowledge and great skills along the way. However the position does face its barriers.

Callum when she started at the age of 15

Society has been trained over time to stereotype certain jobs with a certain gender, for example the position of a nurse or midwife which is more commonly associated with that of a female position. Although it is becoming more and more common that you see males in these occupations, whether it be on TV or even in general practice it is still very clear we are a minority. In my year group at college, I am one of only two men on the course.

One of the main ways it’s shown is through interaction with clients, as many expect that I am training to become a vet, not a vet nurse.  Although personally I feel that when a client says “I have never met a male nurse before” it definitely helps to break the ice.

Although this is the case I feel a male nurse can bring a lot to the table in regards to the position and its responsibilities.  Although on the outside we may appear more stern, whereas the female nurse may appear to have a more gentle and calming presence, I feel I bring a level of professionalism which enables me to relate well with most clients and their animals and I can still provide a high level of care.  From experience I feel I help to boost morale within the nursing team, although I am the only male I feel it helps to add a new perspective to situations as well as hopefully creating a more enjoyable environment within the workplace for myself and my colleagues.

In my opinion I believe more males should consider these occupations, and they should not be deterred by the stereotypes attached to it; caring roles do not just have to be for women. Veterinary nursing is an incredibly rewarding job with constant challenges to face along the way. I believe more males in the profession will create a more balanced environment and therefore hopefully a better practice. The outcome, co-incidentally will help to contribute to better client and patient care, helping us to form stronger bonds with pets and pet owners.

So my advice is don’t be put of by gender stereotypes, if you love animals and would like to work with them veterinary nursing is a brilliant job for anyone.

 

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