1. Health
Trisha Torrey

Men, Medicine and Modesty

By June 18, 2010

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Three words that just don't seem to fit well together in the world of healthcare:† men, medicine and modesty.† Just in time for Father's Day -- a post you might even forward to the man in your life!

There are two kinds of men in this world:† Men who take charge of their own healthcare -- and men who don't.

I mean healthcare in the broadest sense, perhaps in a few categories:

  • Prevention -- taking those steps necessary to stay as healthy as possible:† eating good foods in the right amounts, exercising, keeping good hygiene, sleeping, laughing, and maintaining good emotional health.
  • Pro-action -- taking those steps necessary to manage symptoms or health challenges, getting check-ups, and sticking up for themselves (self-advocating) in the face of healthcare system difficulties.
  • Responsibility -- being preventive, pro-active, and understanding that maintaining his best health is a shared responsibility between a man and his doctor(s), requires shared decision-making and research using good resources (medical professionals and medical literature both.)

According to this article in the Wall Street Journal, too many men are falling short in these categories.† Too often, that is costing them their lives or at least the quality of their lives.† The article provides a host of reasons, and reading them over I picture many men I know who find it much easier to avoid healthcare all together than to deal with this set of responsibilities....

Hold that thought -- we're going to shift gears here, just for a moment.

Several months ago, one of this site's readers (who calls herself MinuteMoon) took me to task for writing too many of my blog posts and articles from a female point of view.† In particular, she raised the point of modesty -- that I was too inclined to talk about the issue of disrobing or wearing hospital gowns that won't close from the point of view of women.† That I should recognize that so often the nurses we encounter in a doctor's office are female and that it is equally as embarrassing to men to have to disrobe when females are around.

I agreed with her, and told her I would write about that one day.† So when this WSJ article came up, I realized these two problems are related -- that men aren't stepping up to the self-healthcare plate, and one reason is very likely this modesty issue.† The WSJ also cites the embarrassing nature of prostate and rectal exams - well-related to the question of modesty.

So let's examine that (no pun intended) for a moment...

Yes, I realize guys think differently from the female-me.† They don't want to appear weak or helpless.† They don't want to admit a problem exists they can't fix.† If they are embarrassed, just the fact that they are embarrassed is even more embarrassing, so they don't want to admit that either.† I get that!

From a man's point of view, he is stuck with a female nurse if that's who is available in the doctor's office. And to MinuteMoon's point, sometimes women are asked if they mind a male nurse -- but men are rarely (if ever?) given the same option. On the flip side, even though we women are probably used to male doctors, we can usually make a change to a female doctor if we so choose.† However, it's rare we'll find a male nurse in the doctor's office.† And it's highly unlikely, as we are choosing which doctors we want to work with, that we will know whether the nurses in any given medical office are male or female.

In the hospital, I think it's much more equal.† I even think some hospitals consider gender when they staff certain departments.† I know that when my dad had a heart attack and needed angioplasty, his nurse was male - and fantastic, too.

All that said -- and back to the original premise about men, medicine and modesty...† what we really need to do is shift the conversation to one of responsibility.† When it comes to our health and medical care, responsibility trumps modesty no matter what gender we are. For anyone, male or female, to avoid health or medical care because of embarrassment or modesty issues is not a responsible choice.

Further - if someone has early symptoms or warning signs, and chooses to ignore them because of something like modesty, that's just foolhardy.† If you don't have the where-with-all to handle your embarrassment now, how will be able to handle it when you get sicker and you need even more help?

My suggestions for you (if you're male) and the men in your life is this:

1.† Each patient, male and female, must take responsibility for his or her own medical decision making -- ranging from choice of doctors to choice of treatments and choice of adhering to that treatment.† No one else can do it for us.† Letting modesty or embarrassment overrule sound decision-making is irresponsible.

Irresponsible = weak.
Taking responsibility = strong.

2. We must also be responsible for the benefit of our loved ones.† Guys (or ladies) -- if you choose to avoid health or medical care because of modesty issues, it will have a negative affect on your health.† If you don't deal with symptoms, or if you end up with a chronic condition that is exacerbated by the fact that you aren't taking care of it, then you will die younger than† if you do take responsibility.

Dead = weak.
Alive and healthy = strong.

3.† Part of being healthy is emotional health (mentioned above.)† Part of emotional health is speaking up for yourself.† If you are modest or embarrassed or you believe the environment can change to accommodate for that in the doctor's office or hospital -- then speak up!† Say something!† Like my large busted, female friend who was handed a way-too-small exam room gown - thus asked for a larger one.† You can do that, too!

Not speaking up = weak.
Sticking up for yourself = strong.

So guys -- as you can see -- by avoiding these situations all together, you are really being much weaker than if you actually handle them and put them behind you.

And that's my message to you for Father's Day 2010.† Men!† Be preventive, pro-active and responsible when it comes to your healthcare. Teach your sons (and your daughters) about preventive, proactive and responsibility in their healthcare, too.

That's how to be strong.

(Find a follow up post to this here:† Men and Modesty - Revisited)

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Comments
June 18, 2010 at 11:36 am
(1) Joel Sherman MD says:

It would be better to suggest solutions to the problem of men’s discomfort with medical exams rather than just tell them to be responsible. Embarrassment and modesty are not issues that can be cured by responsibility. It’s an emotional reaction, not one that most people can control. Would you tell a women who was upset about exposure in a hospital that she should be more responsible?
Instead you need to explore possible solutions to the problem which would involve asking patients ahead of time if they have special modesty concerns and allowing for the possibility of same gender care for both men and women when desired.

June 18, 2010 at 1:39 pm
(2) minutemoon says:

Trisha:

I thank you for bringing this top up. But I agree with Dr. Sherman’s comments above. You still display the double standard in your solution to the problem — “Men, just suck it up. Be brave.” The solution is for the “system,” the be more proactive — to actually ask patients their preferences. The answer is for the female domianted occupations, like nursing, to actively recruit more male nurses into the profession. And the answer is for men to be responsible, yes, but be responsible by speaking up and demanding the same kind of dignified treatment offered to women. If women have a choice of gender in OB-GYN situations, men should be offerer gender choice in exam situations that are equally embarrassing and humiliating. That’s what activism is about. It’s not just about telling men to just put it behind them, unless, of course, you’re willing to tell women that they will have no choice of gender care and they should put it all behind them, too.
Still, I’m glad you’ve brought this topic to everyones attention.

June 18, 2010 at 3:04 pm
(3) David says:

Yet another example of the double standards that men have to routinely face when it comes to healthcare. WHY do you think some men avoid healthcare – COULD IT POSSIBLY be because they don’t want female carers involved while they are exposed, do you think that might just possibly be the case? If it applies to only 1 in 3 men (and I believe it is MUCH higher than that), that is still a huge number of men who are avoiding investigations and care. Little wonder life expectancy for men is shorter. Try considering an approach other than that men should go along with whatever women say should go in healthcare. MEN have rights too, its about time they were respected not mocked for their modesty.

June 18, 2010 at 9:32 pm
(4) minetochoose says:

I’m a little shocked that modesty is treated with such a cavalier attitude. While I appreciate the attention to this subject, I must point out that if all it took was someone to say “buck up’, then so many men would not be staying home without care. That is not a solution: it is a reprimand. The critical point is that they ARE choosing modesty over medicine. What we need now are choices. Everyone will not have the same set of ethics, but to decide one is right and one is wrong is rather narrow minded.

June 22, 2010 at 9:40 am
(5) Steve says:

Sherman is correct. The emotional factors that keep patients from speaking up are not overcome with “suck it up” admonitions. Would you say the same to women who are physicially or emotionally abused? Suck it up. If you’re getting beaten up its your fault for not fending for yourself. Shades of the Stockholm syndrome affect everybody. When you are in an enviornment that takes away your dignity by striping you naked, treating you like you are stupid, enduring paternalism, condescention and pandering one retreats and does what authority dictates. While we do have to take personal charge of our health for those suffering from years of intimidation its just not that easy.

Everything should be made as simple as possible but not simpler -Albert Einstein.

Suck it up is oversimplification of a very complex issue.

June 22, 2010 at 12:41 pm
(6) Jo says:

For most of history, women had no choice in the gender of their doctors. In many areas they still don’t. For instance, there has never been a female ob-gyn in our town. I may not like that, but I still “suck it up” and go if I need to.

Why can’t men do the same? Treat doctors and nurses like the professionals they are, and expect them to treat you the same way.

In fact, this is the “suck it up” message I took from this post: Go for treatment in spite of your modesty, and stick up for yourself if you encounter unprofessional care — NOT “Give up your modesty and let others treat you unprofessionally.”

@ Steve – Modesty issues are not comparable to physical or emotional abuse. It’s a body – everyone has one – look after it.

June 22, 2010 at 12:43 pm
(7) Modest Person says:

Men have the right to same gender care for intimate procedures or surgeries. I think that male patients should be able to have all male nurses and doctors for certain procedures if they wish. This is sad, but some men have backed out of having a vasectomy because they could not be assured that they would only have male nurses and doctors. Please look at some information about male modesty at http://www.patientmodesty.org/malemodesty.aspx

People wrongly assume that many men don’t care about their modesty in medical settings, but that is totally untrue.

June 22, 2010 at 2:07 pm
(8) minetochoose says:

We never said we didn’t treat them like professionals. Everyone is a professional something, but they do not automatically get entitlements that we are not willing to give. Same as DR.s and nurses. The term professional really isn’t in question.
The point really is that the medical arena long ago predominated the idea that a medical proceedure is sacrosanct, and should be treated as something entirely beyond the ideals of modesty or beliefs. The problem is that average/regular people are performing these tasks, not some sort of devine beings. So…the meds are saying they BELIEVE a proceedure is different. We are free to BELIEVE it isn’t.

June 22, 2010 at 2:29 pm
(9) Joel Sherman MD says:

Jo is correct that women have often had to ‘suck it up’ until recent decades IF they wanted care. But she ignores the substantial percentage of women who like men have refused care because of these issues. The percentages of women are less than men because few women will forgo obstetrical care (but they have still had the choice of a midwife at home).
The issue is not which sex has had it worse but how to bring adequate medical care to the 10-30% of people who refuse to get it now.

June 22, 2010 at 4:10 pm
(10) Jo says:

As I said above, I STILL have to overcome my modesty when I want care – I do not have the option of a female doctor.

I really think the “modesty” issue here is not so much about modesty as it is about modesty hangups.

A professional is simply treating your body and/or your illness or condition. Your modesty should be respected through adequate coverage, private discussion, and so on, but you – male or female – should be strong enough to put aside your hangup about which gender your medical care provider is.

June 23, 2010 at 1:13 pm
(11) David says:

Jo continues to COMPLETELY miss the point. She is entitled to her own views but then so are those of us who are TOTALLY unwilling to receive opposite gender care in treatments requiring exposure. I am not in the least bit interested in how she feels or how she feels everyone else should feel, I am only interested in how i do feel. I will NOT accept females involved in intimate personal care/treatment for me – end of discussion.

June 23, 2010 at 1:16 pm
(12) minetochoose says:

I certainly am happy when people can mitigate their own issues in healthcare. Glad you are getting care despite modesty issues.
But again, a percent of the population are not receiving care do to these issues. I would consider this a medical crisis that is not being addressed.
I would say advocacy in this area is in order….

June 24, 2010 at 11:38 am
(13) minutemoon says:

Jo’s comments: “I really think the ďmodestyĒ issue here is not so much about modesty as it is about modesty hangups.”

…represents the kind of problem patients, esp. men fact, in many medical situations. Bringing up “how it used to be for women” is not relevant, unless, of course, your point is that it’s get even time. With people like Jo, her values represent the standard, the nor. Those people who don’t agree with her values have “hang ups.” Patients sometimes face this intolerance in medical situations, and most don’t have the stamina or energy to bight that battle at that time. Frankly, it’s the medical community that has to “suck it up.” They need to read, and reread, and reread again those sentence and paragraphs that purport to be their core values and mission statements. Most say something about patient dignity. Don’t forget, the patient gets to define his or her dignity, not the institution — unless, of course, you’re in favor of hospitals becoming “total institutions, like prisons and some mental hospitals.
Part of the problem is that many patients don’t realize that in most hospitals there are absolutely no written polices about patient modesty. Each individual doctor or nurse does what he or she has been taught formally or informally. Patients need to realize that you, the patient, create the police at that moment. Decide what you want regarding modesty and inform the institution. If your request is reason, they may agree. If you get a hard time or determine that no one is listening, file a complaint. If you’re a man, claim gender discrimination and fight it. More times than not, patients will be accommodated if (1) it’s possible with staffing concerns; (2) you make it clear that you won’t shut up and will push your request as far up the food chain as it will go.

June 24, 2010 at 12:00 pm
(14) Jo says:

I am in agreement that, ideally, a patient should be able to have same-gender care if preferred. I am also in agreement that, currently, this is not always or perhaps even often the case.

Until advocating for this right actually brings it into existence, it is certainly anyone’s choice to put ordinary modesty ahead of health or even life. (I believe this article was addressing only ordinary modesty, not cultural or religious beliefs, and that was the focus of my comments also.)

But I have some questions for you to consider.

If you make that choice, will you blame “the system”? What wouldl you do if you were conscious but no longer had that choice (eg., paralyzing stroke, incapacitating injuries requiring hospitalization)? Why does your body require different treatment than the bodies of thousands of other patients who are willingly screened, tested and treated for identical issues?

It’s the only body you’ll ever have – if you cannot make the effort to put things in perspective, and retain your sense of humor and your sense of humility, you could pay a terribly high price.

June 24, 2010 at 12:11 pm
(15) Jo says:

@ minutemoon

I posted before seeing your comment #13, so would like to address it now.

I believe that the experience of women in the past is relevant in the sense that most have had to get past ordinary modesty long ago, and may be able to speak from experience.

June 24, 2010 at 12:17 pm
(16) Jo says:

@ David

Would you be willing to tell us if you had negative experiences that have led to your feelings on this issue, or if this is a cultural or religious objection, or some other causative issue?

June 24, 2010 at 4:40 pm
(17) Dennis (Investigator/Negotiator) says:

I’m 51 years old and male. I’ve never been at all modest. I have a probably irrational preference for female doctors, but I’ve ahd physicians of both genders. Personally, I’m not modest. The nurse who assisted at my vasectomy several years ago was far more embarrassed than I.

That said, I understand how important modesty is for some people. I think anyone should have the right to expect to have their modesty issues addressed honestly, regardless of gender. Now, understand, addressed doesn’t necessarily equate to complete accommodation. If the doctor admits that, yes, there will be a female nurse present, but that he will explain your concerns and ask her to avert her eyes when possible–well, that’s what you get. At that point, you have the right to choose a different doctor. Eventually, though, if your modesty is that uncomfortable with a cross-gender look or touch, you’ll probably run out of options.

That said, back to the original point, absolute refusal to attend to basic health needs because of a fear that someone might see my private parts is, frankly, stupid. What’s more important, in the scheme of things? Would you die of prostate cancer to prevent having someone’s finger in your backside for a few seconds? Would you rather suffer a painful death from colon cancer to avoid the possibility that a female nurse might see your genitals?

Really, Trisha is right: this is a no-brainer.

June 24, 2010 at 6:16 pm
(18) minetochoose says:

Dennis:

You certainly have a right to your opinion. You have no modesty….that is your issue. But to call others stupid because they do not agree is just being ridiculous.
I would hope this conversation is not reduced to such tactics.

June 24, 2010 at 6:57 pm
(19) minutemoon says:

Jo says “I believe that the experience of women in the past is relevant in the sense that most have had to get past ordinary modesty long ago, and may be able to speak from experience.”

Nonsense. A significant number of women choose female doctors these days, especially young women, for intimate kinds of exams. In some OB-GYN floors, male nurse are not even welcome. It’s clear in the medical world that women’s choices of doctor/nurse gender will be most likely respected and accommodated. No so with men.
Posters like Dennis seem to think they represent “truth” as it came down from the mountain. What they believe, how they feel, what they value — that’s the standard and everyone else is stupid. Real intelligent reasoning. Actually, I do agree with Dennis, that one’s life is more important than one’s modesty. But why do people like Dennis always reduce this issue to a life and death scenario? Most modesty situations, don’t involve life and death. They involve basic exams and procedures. But the, either you believe in patient autonomy and informed consent or you don’t. If a patient refuses treatment for what ever reason, that’s his or her business.
Until this issues is viewed not just as a medical issue, but as a human dignity and a gender discrimination issue, we’ll be talking to the walls. What’s available to one gender, under the law, must be available to both genders, especially if we’re talking about basic human rights and human dignity. It’s not up to the medical profession, unless they’re psychiatrists, to classify patients who insist on same gender care as crazy or unstable, or ridiculous, or neuritic. And even the psychiatrists better be able to quantify their diagnosis.
Where’s Trisha in this discussion? I’d like to see her jump in with her thoughts now that she has cracked open up the hornet’s nest.

June 24, 2010 at 7:04 pm
(20) D.Hampton says:

I have to tell you, I am a Dad and a Vietnam Vet and I can tell you I will not go to the Doctor unless I am half dead because of the emotional trauma I have had in the Doctors office and Hospital. I just do not want the hassle of fighting the female nurses who are almost vigilante and hostile at the suggestion that I do not want them around me during invasive checkups or medical procedures.I cannot tell you how many guys I know who feel the same way. Suck it up? really? whatever!!!! So all you female Doctors, CNA’s, Assistants,, Nurses , technologists, just remember, it is not just some guy you never met that feels this way, it is your husbands, boyfriends, sons, uncles, Grandfathers and other males in and around your life that prefer to ignore our health, because we just do not want to deal with the issue. If we want a male Doctor or male staff, we want a male doctor or male nurse or staff, you cannot convince us that you are professionals and have seen it all and don’t care,it is so easy to say that when you are the clothed on in the encounter.

June 24, 2010 at 10:12 pm
(21) Jo says:

Another way to view the human dignity issue is to realize that just because your health care professional is of your gender does not mean you will be treated with respect or dignity.

I have been treated with respect and courtesy by both males and females, and I have experienced lack of respect and courtesy from both, also. Where I am able to have a choice, I will choose a person with whom I feel comfortable – and it has nothing to do with their gender.

June 24, 2010 at 10:19 pm
(22) Jo says:

One thing that will have to happen before men can truly expect to have male nurses available is to remove the stigma that males encounter when they enter the nursing profession. Male nurses are a scarce commodity where I live. I would guess that the same is true of most places in North America.

June 25, 2010 at 1:34 am
(23) minutemoon says:

“Another way to view the human dignity issue is to realize that just because your health care professional is of your gender does not mean you will be treated with respect or dignity.” Jo — You’re absolutely correct. I agree with you 100 percent.
But consider — what does it mean to be treated with respect for any given patient? Who defines “respectful” treatment? The doctor? The nurse? Some medical committee? A group of psychologists, sociologists and philosophers?
There is a minority of patients who, for whatever reason, define their dignity and respect based upon being treated by the same gender. By the way, this goes for both male and female patients. Maybe some of these patients were sexually abused in the past. Consider the number of foreigners who come to this country to escape death and torture and who have been tortured. Consider average men and women who have been raised in various cultures who’s definitions of bodily dignity and respect differ. Consider how we regard bodily modesty in our general culture — on the streets, on beaches, in public rest rooms, at swimming pools, in schools. When a person enters a hospital, he or she just doesn’t stop being a person connected to the cultural norms outside the hospital. There’s no magic wand at the receptionist’s desk that makes people all of a sudden completely open to people they don’t know seeing them exposed.
What’s considered “respectful” and “dignified” treatment is defined by the patient. Are there extreme positions? Of course. Do you think most patients take an extreme position in this regard? I doubt it. They may take a reasonable position that just differs from the “habits” or “policies” within a hospital.
But let me also suggest this. Few if any hospitals have specific written polices on patient “modesty.” Individual doctors, nurses, cna’s, med techs, do things their own way or how they were taught (in school on on the floor),or how their supervisors say to do it. Different patients can be treated quite differently in the same hospital on the same floor, by different caregivers depending upon who’s on duty. “Polices” on modesty can differ from room to room depend upon who on duty. And caregivers are very reluctant to criticize or report each other if they see things that should not happen. Patients need to realize this, and realize that they, the patient, decides how they want to be treated when it comes to their modesty. If you don’t feel comfortable, speak up and make your needs and values known. Don’t just be pushed around based upon the convenience of the institution. Men especially. The irony is, some men consider it not macho to complain about things like this. I think it’s the opposite. I think men lack macho who won’t stand up for what they feel is right regarding how their want to be treated. Same with women. Speak up and be heard.

June 25, 2010 at 7:45 am
(24) Trisha Torrey says:

In response to all these comments, please find a follow up post here: Men and Modesty – Revisited

June 25, 2010 at 6:39 pm
(25) Alan says:

Jo I agree you are missing the point. We all have different levels of comfort. If someone from the nudist colony called you ridiculous becasue you might not feel comfortable like they are, are you the odd one. Would you feel comfortable with the male electrician working on a light while you shower. You can not make that call for everyone.
I personally am modest, but I have ” sucked it up” when I felt i needed to for surgery etc. However there are several aspects that really set me off. First is most of these issues are for the ease and convience of the staff not nesecesity. I had a vasectomy, guess what my Dr. did it by himself. And even when male staff are present I have never been asked if I care. I had a testicular ultra sound one time, the female tech did it, I sucked it up, we walked out into the waiting room, she picked up the next chart, called the women over and said, I have to run upstairs for a few minutes and the only other tech on duty is a male, if you would be more comfortable with a female I will be back in about 10 minutes…I turned and stared, she just smiled and went on. When I was in college there was a lof of effort to encourage females to become Dr’s to even out the dispairity, now over 50% of med students and new Dr’s are female, 90% + of nurses are female, and no one cares. It isn’t just the issue itself, its the lack of recognition that guess what…men can be the vitims of discrimination and the double standard to….oh and for ob/gyn’s the vast majority of ob/gyn’s are female becasue female patients are avoiding males when they have the choice…

June 26, 2010 at 12:16 pm
(26) Trisha Torrey says:

And now — an article put together for all of you on this topic of medical care and modesty – plus your chance to share your stories. If enough people post, we’ll be able to provide them to medical professionals so they can see why it’s important their attitudes and approaches, be changed to accommodate for patient modesty.

June 28, 2010 at 2:33 am
(27) PT says:

The very comment modesty dooms the intent of what
should be delivered in these messages. I’ve never had
a positive,respectful professional experience with
opposite gender care. That said,tell me how modesty
enters into the equation. I believe the reasons of why
people are here stems not from modesty issues but
rather instances of unprofessional behavior by opposite
gender providers. I am male and have woked in health
care myself for over thirty years. Not only have I experienced unprofessional behavior first hand,I’ve seen
it practiced.

June 29, 2010 at 2:47 pm
(28) PegFeod says:

I love this conversation! I love that there are so many passionate people “out there” who are so concerned about their and others modesty in a medical setting. I am a female and live in a very medical-institution heavy area. It is relatively easy to find wonderful docs and nurses of any gender. I prefer female docs and my Primary is a terrific woman who has all women assistants. My oncoliogist is male and the most empathetic, warm, caring, young doc I have ever known. But truthfully, I didn’t care if he was a llama if he could help me get rid of my cancer! My husband has a female doc and thinks she is great. He is a VietNam vet, USMC, and one would think he would not want a female doc, but there she is, and she is Vietnamese, but she is a superb clinician and that is all he cares about.
I too am passionate about modesty. So much so that I started a business with my 2 sisters when 2 of us were diagnosed with cancer at the same time. We saw the lack of modesty and dignity time and time again as we sat in waiting areas, radiation areas, infusion centers, doc offices, scan areas, etc., etc.. We decided we could and should change the paradigm in which hospital wear is delivered. As a matter of fact, we consider it a mandate from a Higher Power to do just that. So, we started a company, Spirited Sisters Inc. and we design and manufacture garments called Healing Threads. These garments have a revoloutionary system of break-away panels that allow only the body parts that need to be exposed to BE exposed and only when necessary. Not only are our garments revolutionary, the way they are obtained is also revolutionary. We sell on the Internet to people who want to take charge of their own illness, who want to be part of the team of individuals whose job it is to treat whichever disease/ailment they have. One way to do that is to say, “No” when told to “take off your clothes and put this on”. I ever so nicely, “no thank you, I have my own, and I am wearing it”.
I will tell you, when some medical person has told you that you have cancer, all your independence, strength, fortitude, confidence, ability to reason, etc., lands in a puddle at your feet. To be able to come back to them with a declaration of “I have my own” is to take those puddled attributes back. It declares that you are not just a patient “patient” who will sit back and have things done to them. No, you are a walking, talking, intelligent, meaningful human being worthy of respect, dignity, and modesty who will do everything in her/his power to fight this diagnosis.
It may seem like a small thing, but never underestimate the power of the word “no”. It has empowered people to take ownership of their diagnosis, to research it, to get 2nd, 3rd, or 4th oopinions, to investigate complimentary therapies, and to make the disease a PART of their lives, not a piece of their lives seperate from themselves.
There are a number of breast care centers, hospitals, medical institutions of all sorts that “get” what we are trying to do. How do I know? Well, they purchase our garments at a wholesale cost and GIVE THEM to their mastectomy patients. Where do they get the money? We work with the foundation(s) affiliated with the facility and they provide the funds to purchase 20 or 40 or 50 or 100, etc. to keep on hand for these people undergoing this type of surgery. Do these facilities care about the modesty, dignity and respect of their patients??? Absolutely. Do patients appreciate the caring and thoughtfulness that this gift says? Absolutely.
We need to take ownership of our ownn healthcare, to be a participant whether for a routine yearly exam or a full-blown frightening diagnosis. Why depend on a medical institution to provide you with apparel to wear while being exmained? Bring your own! It will make you feel empowered, dignified, respectful, and above all, modest. A simple solution to what seems to be a huge problem, empowerment.
Thank you.

June 30, 2010 at 3:24 pm
(29) alan says:

Pegfood. You touched on an improtant issue that ties into what Trisha’s main point was getting at. Take control of your own. After the incident I put forth above, which actually triggered my resistance, I contacted the patient advocate through e-mail, when I did not get a response I contacted the management of the hospital and I got a call from the patient advocate, the public relations rep, and the head of nursing/radiology section. They told me they understood, apologized, they had actually put a new policy in effect at central scheduling to ask if the patient had a preference of gender on certain intimate exams etc. I asked them if they would simply put a note in my file that for exams and proceedures that involved exposure, I preferred a male if they were available. They said they would, I have not had the need to use them since so I will see when the time comes. While we shouldn’t have to do this, if we don’t it won’t happen. And I love the bring your own garment, if you want a perfect example of how little they care about your feelings or modesty, how could any facility justify forcing a patient going in for wrist surgery under a general to wear the open back mini skirt with nothing on under it, knowing patients hate those things. There are alternatives, its just not worth the effort or cost to them to do so. Side note, I was complaining about them to a friend who is a nurse, she said why do you think we call them ICU gowns as in I See You…she thought it was funny…thats the menatlity we need to be prepared to deal with

July 13, 2010 at 2:03 pm
(30) lefteddie says:

Jo and Trisha,

Iíd like to point out something you brought up about more men needing to get into nursing and your reference to the shortage being the ďStigmaĒ of men being nurseís. Iíd like to point out a different train of thought, that its probably not the ďStigmaĒ you think it is at all keeping the number of male nurses at such a low percentage. In any profession that is dominated by one gender, who protects and keeps that gender a majority? If you look at any of the hospital websites on the internet look at the chain of command from the bottom levels of management up to the very top. Virtually all positions are held by WOMEN all the way up the ladder till you get to the top, the CEO is usually male. Look at who is in charge of hiring, I can almost guarantee in 99% of the hospitals itís a female. This situation is females protecting females majority status. This was how it was in male dominated jobs in years gone by. How was this corrected to get more women into menís jobs to equal out the gender mix? Affirmative Action, it didnít just happen by saying ďWe need more men to apply for nursing positions.Ē Maybe we should have said that to women trying to get into those male dominated occupations years ago, WE JUST NEED MORE WOMEN TO APPLY. It doesnít just happen when you have an unbalance like this in nursing. The females now in those positions feel threatened by all these modesty and gender discussions. They feel, and justly so, that their positions would be threatened by hiring more men, the same as men did when it happened to them in the past. Thatís one reason in my opinion these modesty threads get shut down over at All Nurses, they want this issue to go away, they donít want it discussed. They know if they provide same gender care for men and accommodate them as they now do women their jobs will be in jeopardy . Men have been getting the short end of the stick in healthcare far too long. The double standard is blatant, its in your face in healthcare. Womenís Health matters, menís health isnít even mentioned in the media. Women go for a mammogram and the last thing they would ever expect to see at the clinic is a man. The front desk is all female, the mammographer is female, any assistant is female, the female patient is comfortable and doesnít have to feel embarrassed by any males present during her visit. Flip things around now and see what a man goes through when he goes to see his male urologist. He arrives, the entire front desk is staffed by female receptionists to help get the all the personal details of his visit (just what a man wants, to discuss his ED with six females present). Then he gets to see his male urologist, if the doctor needs to be assisted with a procedure it will 99% of the time be by a female RN. Now if the man is sent to the hospital for an ultrasound of his testicles or needs a prostate ultrasound he has a 99% chance the sonographer will be female. I checked with my local hospitals, not one of them staff one single male for this procedure. Itís very apparent there is no concern for menís privacy or modesty in our society. Iíve seen advertisements on television for Prostate Screening in my area, I went and it was an all female team, what are these people thinking? We donít do that for womenís health. Gender is considered for women especially when its breast health or Gyn. Doesnít it just seem normal that when men go in for urological care that they would also be subjected to same gender care being that its of an equally sensitive nature? Until either the hospitals and or doctors offices voluntarily start staffing more males or the government steps in to even out the gender mix via Affirmative Action I donít see much changing for men in healthcare, were an after thought. Anyway, just saying we need more men in nursing isnít going to solve the problem, A friend of mine just got his nursing license, heís applied to several hospitals, its been four months now and he still hasnít been hired. Itís the female protecting the female monopoly keeping him from being hired. Get some men in position in these hospitals in administration and maybe some male nurses will start showing up. Please set up some Menís Health Clinics staffed entirely of men. Watch and see if more men donít all of a sudden start taking better care of their health. Give us choice when if comes to having a Foley Catheter placed (bring back the male orderly), a Sonogram or our Prostates or Testicles, a Surgical Scrub in the O.R. etc. This has gone on far too long and the men of our society are dying early needlessly. These men are your fathers, brothers, husbands, uncles, sonís. Women, if you care, help us in this endeavor, or donít and healthcare for men will remain the status quo.
Treat us like the other half of society is being treated, with the same dignity and respect, is that too much to ask?

July 13, 2010 at 11:08 pm
(31) PT says:

Imagine walking in for a mammogram and seeing nude
photos of women from playboy magazine in the facility bathroom while the male mammo tech greets
you for your mammogram. Imagine now for real that
while you visit your son or husband in the ICU that
you use their bathroom and immediately notice nude
photos of men from playgirl magazine covering every
inch on the walls.What would you think.
This is exactly the mentality in healthcare
today. Most privacy violations in the hospital with
a cellphone involving photos of the genitals of a
male patient involves female employees,fact!
Virtually every hollywood celebrity that has had
a major hipaa violation involved female employees
selling the data to inquirer magazine,fact! The
justice department states that more female guards
than male guards were arrested for rape of male
inmates,fact.
You think for one minute I’m willing to trust the
healthcare industry and “suck it up.” I’ve worked
in healthcare for over 30 years. You want websites
and examples,I’ve got truckloads!

July 14, 2010 at 10:32 pm
(32) lefteddie says:

Trisha,

Under the heading on your modesty blog titled ďWhatís the problem with Modesty & Medical Patient CareĒ Iíd like to address the statistics in this statement.

“But some people develop that sense of modesty to the point where they will not seek medical care because they fear that judgment. Some deny themselves preventive care like check-ups because of that sense of modesty. A report in the Wall Street Journal reviewed a study that showed that only 54% of men get checkups – presumably the other 46% have modesty issues at least to some extent. About 74% of women seek preventive care – again, we can assume that some of the remaining 26% avoid care due to modesty issues. Some are so fearful of that judgment that they won’t even seek medical care when their symptoms are obviously problematic like severe pain or bleeding. At an extreme, a patient’s death could be blamed on modesty as easily as it could be blamed on the disease or condition that caused his or her body to die.

Letís compare apples to apples and not apples to oranges. It states 54% of men get check ups versus 74% of women. These 74% of women are getting their check ups by a system staffed almost 95% by Women (Same gender care), not opposite gender like men are forced into. That skews the statistics by quite a bit. If women were forced into a system staffed almost entirely by men that number would not be at 74%. So again I say, lets show some accurate statistics when talking about this issue. Its very easy to make it look like its just men not being responsible, make healthcare for men gender friendly like it is for the female gender of our society and men WILL take better care of their health and be more responsible when it comes to their health, we need the same choices that are now available to women.

July 17, 2010 at 10:02 pm
(33) PT says:

For years male nurses were considered criminals by female nurses for no other reason than being male. Yet
the vast majority of privacy,unethical and unprofessional
behaviors were committed by female nurses.
This is very evident when you look at state nursing boards across the nation as most make public who
has been reprimanded and who has had their license revoked. Studies state that 10% of all nurses are
habitual drug users often stealing their own patients
medicines. More and more nursing licenses are being
revoked for previous felony convictions.
This is evident by the common place pixis units located
in every er,icu and nursing floors. Essentially a steel safe
that requires a password and is specific for what medicines are removed. Dosen’t keep nurses from stealing
patients medicines,only keeps tabs on who took what out.
These machines cost over $10,000 each and some
hospitals have as many as 25 or more. Only demonstrates
the mentality of people and how the cost of health care
increases and is passed on to consumers because of
dishonesty.
Privacy violations and unethical behavior costs lives in
that many men simply refuse to seek healthcare just to
avoid such people. Perhaps most have had bad experiences. Just think if 95% of all mammographers were
male how many women would forego a mammogram?

July 24, 2010 at 7:40 pm
(34) PT says:

Regarding my above comment and excuse the correction,
but,when I said “pixis” I meant pyxis,sorry.Additionally,
the price I quoted per machine was $10,000 each which
that was 1990 prices.Today,they are between $25,000
and $30,000 each.

July 26, 2010 at 9:45 am
(35) lefteddie says:

PT makes a good point, reverse the rolls, if 95% of mammographers and GYN clinics were staffed by males my guess is very few women would be making regular appointments to be tested. If healthcare had 95% males in all areas of healthcare pap smears would be done by all male teams, chaperones, assistants, etc. you can bet we would have to drag our women to the clinic The rolls would be reversed at home too, men would be urging their wives to get tested. Commercials would advertise free wellness clinics with all male teams for breast health check ups and free pap smears in your local cities, husbands urge your women to go get checked, donít they realize the importance this test is to their health? You women donít want to be compared, judged, ogled at by us men (even though were all professionals, weíve seen it all before, its just so much skin), men donít feel comfortable being judged and compared either. When female nurses complain that ďNo oneĒ should have same gender care. Females already have this option, and have had it for many years. What they really mean is, we have a system that works for our gender, but men donít need same gender care, we donít care about their privacy or modesty. Its easy for them to say ďWe donít need same gender careĒ when in essence the females already have this choice. Menís health is an after thought in this society. . I understand some women see a male OB/GYN, Some men also see Female urologists. The big difference is women have the choice to have all female teams for their comfort and to protect their privacy and avoid embarrassment. Men donít have this choice, probably 35-40% of men are EXTREAMLY embarrassed to have intimate care done by an opposite gender team. When are we going to see ďAll Male Urology clinicsĒ to make it more comfortable for men to take better care of their health? Choices in the hospital during intimate care, for who inserts a Foley catheter (as in male orderlies), same gender surgical scrub, same gender imaging as in sonograms of our prostates or testicles? Can we have choice? Us men care about our women, we want them to be comfortable, safe, have their privacy and modesty protected, donít you want the same for the men in your lives? Farm animals are treated with more dignity and respect than men are in the healthcare system.

July 30, 2010 at 8:09 pm
(36) PT says:

In nursing school nurses are taught to provide privacy to both genders yet,in the medical
environment it seems that privacy is provided
only to female patients. Why?
According to state nursing boards this is
considered unprofessional behavior. In some states
the wording even includes leering at patients as
part of the bylaws.On one of the predominate nursing
forums several years ago one female nurse said it
was ok for other nurses to leer at a male patients
genitals because” it didn’t hurt him.” In her mind
then a peeping tom is acceptable. Would it be
acceptable if someone leered at her daughter through
the window? Whats the difference? What then.
Until these problems are solved I consider the
entire nursing industry unprofessional. No they are
NOT the most trusted profession!

July 31, 2010 at 5:09 pm
(37) Modest Person says:

Modest men can find good tips about what they should do when they have to go to the urologist or have any urological surgeries at http://patientmodesty.org/urologypatients.aspx.

Does anyone know of any good hospitals that have enough male nurses and work hard to accommodate modest male patients’ wishes?

August 5, 2010 at 3:03 am
(38) PT says:

There are currently about 3200 hospitals in the united
states and not one makes accomodations for men as
far as surgery. At these sames hospitals you won’t
find one single male working as a mammographer
nor will you find one in labor and delivery either.

August 6, 2010 at 5:17 pm
(39) PT says:

Whats this world coming to?

1866: Equal rights regardless of race and color.

1968: Equal rights regardless of national origin and religion.

1974: Equal rights regardless of gender.

1988: Equal rights regardless of disibilities and familial status.

2008: Equal rights regardless of sexual orientation.

2010: Men still don’t have fair and equal rights as far
as privacy in health care!

August 14, 2010 at 11:11 am
(40) minetochoose says:

I certainly agree with many of the points being made about the lack of choices in male heathcare. For whatever reason, the medical arena is not responding to the pleas of men requesting the moral and ethical attention that they deserve, and is afforded to women.
And, female caregivers are not likely to voluntarily or easily give up their majority control, therefore unlikely to participate in any earnest attempt at gender equity. It will eventually have to be a market driven decision.
When looking to make/boost profits, you look to markets not being tapped at a high percentage. Information (including statistics here) prove that in medicine it is men not seeking heathcare: this is a large monetary opportunity. “What can we do to attract more men into spending heathcare dollars?”
The obvious answer would be to make heathcare feel more practical, comfortable, and a less tramatic and humilitating situation.
Simply ‘telling’ men to go seek heathcare is not working. Demeaning them as ‘silly’ for having modesty concerns is certainly not working. Perhaps the savvy business person would finally offer them a less stressful environment and perhaps less humiliating experience?
Unfortunate but true, if it translates to dollars then profits should generate the interest needed. I have no doubt that money was the driving force behind the ocean of choices for women, not the fact that we are such fragile and gentle creatures. That too was simply a marketing tool to get our dollars….which apparently worked.

October 20, 2010 at 7:46 pm
(41) Dan says:

I’m a 49 year old guy who’s tended to avoid medical care due to modesty, even from a same gender provider. I’ve been able to do some things a couple times, but avoided intimate exams for years. I did allow the DRE a couple of times but don’t plan to again anytime soon; I had a colonoscopy when I was 40 and doc keeps trying to get me to do it again since the original order was every 3 years due to one tiny benign polyp, but I don’t plan to go through that again either.

Anyhow, I recently had surgery on my shoulder and did run into some of this attitude from female nurses. First, when I got there and was getting prepped, I had to change into the gown. When I was getting ready to go onto the gurney, the nurse came up behind me and opened my gown and saw I’d left my underwear on. She told me to remove my shorts and I told her simply, it wasn’t going to happen, they are working on my shoulder, I don’t need to take off my underwear. She called down to the OR and apparently they told her it was no big deal, but I know I caught either her or another nurse saying to the doc that “there’s one other thing we need to take care of”. Fortunately when I woke up, my shorts were still on.

Then, after I’d recovered some, they told me I’d have to go to the bathroom before I could be discharged. Of course it was a bit tough to get around, I had my dominant arm in a sling under a nerve block and the IV was still in, so the nurse followed me into the bathroom. As I was about to ask her to leave the room so I could try to go, she reached in the back of my gown and tried to pull my underwear down. I grabbed it with my good arm and told her I could take care of that for myself, thank you.

Now imagine that the genders were reversed. Would it be acceptable for a male nurse to open the back of a woman’s gown to check to see if her panties were on? Would it been OK for him to, unsolicited, try to remove them for her in the bathroom? It’s been a couple months, but I do think I’m going to write a note to the hospital about this…I do have a survey form I think from them waiting to be sent back.

December 15, 2010 at 1:15 am
(42) joe says:

i am also modest, however my major problem is the attitude most medical staff have that if a patient attempts to deviate from the prescribed mode of treatment, he needs a physchiatric evaluation to determine his sanity. for example, an automobile accident victim where EMS suspect a spinal injury, the patient is immobolized on a spineboard and transported to the ER. i am severely claustrophobic and unable to tolerate any restraintn including seatbelts. in order for me to be boarded in this manner i would need to be sedated unconscious. another area i have problems with is insertion of a urinary catheter. the mere thought of having the foley inserted causes me severe anxiety problems to the point that i could not lay relaxed and cooperate with this. i am not refusing and certainly not doubting the physicians recommendation. i simply need to be sedated to allow the insertion of the catheter. like the EMS responder in the above incident, the medical staff is going to refuse, stating that sedation carries risks which are not dictated by what needs to be done. in a nutshell, i need to be immobolized, and i need to be catheterized, but i also need to be sedated before either will happen. the choice whether i accept these risks should be mine. noone knows better than i what i can tolerate and what is in my best interests.

February 28, 2011 at 5:23 am
(43) John says:

Jo,

I’m a 43 year old male growing up on the south side of Chicago. I got into several fights when I was younger, but after my reputation was established, I didn’t get into many. The most guys I ever fought at once and beat was 4. The most guys I ever fought was 8. I got pummeled so bad I was in bed 2 days (didn’t see the doctor). I’m about as physical tough as can be.

I’ve always listened to my mom. I hate hearing children cry. I’d rather face those 8 guys again than heard my girtlfriend or mom cry. My big brother fought 4 guys once (and won) while I waited in the car. When people asked why I didn’t help, he didn’t want any because he didn’t want to have to explian to mom if I got hurt. Guys have no defense for emotional trauma. Often times it is more hurtful than physical abuse.

I’ve grown up in more modest times. I have female friends and relatives who are doctors and nurses. I don’t have a problem with the relatives, but the firends I won’t see.

I’d rather die than get embarrassed. I have a responsibilty to care for my emotional well being too. It’s not just nudity. A female nurse once commented that I shouldn’t be afraid of a shot because I had muscular arms.

What if you speak up and aren’t accomodated? To just “suck it up” won’t fix the problem. Why would providers change if they know that if they don’t you’ll just “suck it up”?

April 29, 2011 at 9:30 am
(44) Jean says:

This post is directed to Dan who posted in Oct. of 2010. I don’t know if you still check this blog out but I hope I can give you some information to add credence to your decision to not undergo another colonoscopy. I also had a colonoscopy about a year and a half ago. It was a very upsetting experience for me primarily due to the modesty issue. (I am a woman) I also had one small polyp removed and was advised to have another colonoscopy in 5 years. I, like you, do not plan on doing that. I have done a lot of research on the matter and I would urge you to visit a blog by Gary Schwitzer on health care. He posted an article in March of 2011 titled “Questioning Colonoscopy Evidence”. I was finally able to get a doctor to answer a question about the nature of polyps and their prevalence. The answer was enlightening and especially surprising to me was the comment at the end that “the polyp scare is good example of overdiagnosis”. I have to wonder why doctors do not give patients full information about their actual risks and let the patient decide what is acceptable to them. There are also less invasive, more dignified ways to test for colon cancer. If you are interested in this mind set, I would strongly recommend 2 books by Dr. Gilbert Welch. One is “Overdiagnosis” and the other is “Should I Be Tested for Cancer: Maybe Not and Here’s Why”. He makes a great case for rethinking the current trend to screen healthy people and label so many with “pre” conditions and pseudo diseases. Has anyone considered that this is another reason that our health care costs have skyrocketed: too many healthy people overusing the system? Jean

June 20, 2011 at 12:34 pm
(45) alan says:

There are a couple things that play into this that I didn’t see really addressed. First off, a male challenging a female provider has been accused of sexism, more in the past but the concept is still there. A female doing the same is considered justified and protecting herself. Google Keagalgirl and see the female urologist who called a male patient sexist because he refused care from her becasue she was female but admits she would never see a male gyn. There is as I understand it only been on area where BFOQ has been supported by the courts, that was allow not hiring male nurses for L&D., yes it is important for men to take care of themselves, yes we need to just accept some things, but..it is easier to say advocate for yourself than to do in a profession where men have traditionally been attacked or degrarded for doing so. Why are we so willing to accept historical treatment for females as reasons to accomodate today and dismiss them for males. Some emotional barriers are difficult to over come even when we know we should for our own good. Suck it up and do it assumes we all are emotionally capable of doing so. The other side of this is procrastination can be just as deadly as avoidance, and we all procrastinate from things we dread. So, telling guys to suck it up takes the issue off the providers table and places it squarely on the patient who may or may not be able to deal with it. If we had told females to just suck it up and deal with the injustices forced on them rather than use affirmative action and equal rights laws, would they be where they are today…just not as simple as sucking it up

December 12, 2011 at 4:56 pm
(46) Dan says:

Modesty is certainly a major issue for me, but it’s all a matter of the circumstances. If I’m having a medical problem that leaves me in a situation where there is no choice but to be exposed then I’ll get care. But I see no need to come in when I’m feeling fine and be embarrassed and humiliated by a doctor who wants me to undress, expose intimate areas, have fingers put where they don’t belong and the rest…..all just to find out that I need to lose a little weight, watch what I eat and everything is OK. Except if I’m having a minor symptom, then a bunch of tests are ordered that always result in “oh, it’s nothing”.

It’s not being irresponsible skipping out on the so-called “routine annual physical”. It’s just avoiding a complete waste of my time and money and being needlessly humiliated to maybe find something wrong that statistically is very very unlikely. I’ll go when I’m sick or hurt but otherwise it’s just not worth it (and a lot of us guys think women go too much too).

February 4, 2012 at 1:08 am
(47) hecter says:

Exactly why I never go to the hospital. I would rather die with my dignity than humiliation. Without dignity you are not alive.

You can’t talk someone out of how they truley feel about something. To some people being exposed in front of people is what nightmares are made of, and there are some people that go out of their way to expose themselves. That’s what makes this world so beautiful is that we’re all different. It can’t be that hard to rectify a simple thing such as
equality in patient modesty.

There is a double standard obviously. Anyone who can’t see that is a moron.

September 7, 2012 at 3:47 pm
(48) Pat says:

Try finding a pain management office that claims the patient is discriminating a “competent female doctor” for refusing to go to her, but in the same breath state that they must have a chaperone in the room when the male doctor is treating a female patient. Men that refuse to be seen by a female doctor is always mocked and accused of being “Intimidated” by women, but women are always granted same sex care etc, if she speaks up about her modesty concerns the male doctor is at fault, and if he speaks up about his modesty concerns the male patient is at fault… Men are a catch 22, screwed if we dont go to the doctor and die or do go and get degraded by female staff.

September 14, 2012 at 2:14 pm
(49) john says:

A double standard exists. That much is clear.

November 8, 2012 at 12:02 pm
(50) Mike says:

I am a man and I am an RN. ( I do not call myself a male nurse because women do not call themselves female nurses) I have been on both sides of this issue. A few years ago, I went to an urologist a few years ago for urinary problems. The practice has a male and a female doctor but I just called for an appointment. I got the female doctor. (I should tell you that before this, I would not even go outside unless I had a shirt on and I would only go shirtless in front of my wife.) My wife had no sympathy for me as she reminded me that is what she had to endure going to male doctors. I reminder her that she did not have to worry about certain autonomic reactions, namely an erection however I know every female doctor and even nurses, RN LPNs and aides included have seen. Still I did not want it to happen to me. I also had a cysto. I did not realize the medical assistant would come over, remove the drape and insert they lidocaine. (I have had 5 cystos now and each time, I only had the drape on when I was alone. When both women were in the room, the drape was mid thigh exposing my penis which of course was essential but my testicles as well. I have had 4 ultrasounds for my testicles too. The first time, the tech was very professional and she only exposed my testicles, being very careful to have my penis under a multi folded sheet. The second time, two women were doing it and I was covered by a light towel, or so I was suppose to assume. I know my penis was exposed too.

In the past few years due to several medical problems and total knee replacements, I have been fully naked in front of at least 50 women. In a nursing home where I was reshaping from the TKR, I had to have women with me when I showered. Once, a new woman had another with her to instruct her, when a third brought in a male resident to shave him. To protect my privacy, they had HIS back toward me.

November 8, 2012 at 12:04 pm
(51) Mike says:

I know many say female staff could care less about seeing males naked but I know from both sides of the desk this is not true. I had a couple of nurses helping me clean up and one told me to let the gown drop. I was not wearing anything under it but when the gown dropped, so did their eyes. Not just for a second, but for some time. I had a couple of nurses who were quick to help me get my leg(s) in the constant motion machine and they watched through a couple of cycles. I wonder if it could be due to the gown raising up and my not wearing anything else because of the friction. That reminds me, at the time the two nurses helped me clean up, for a few days before that, I was often sweating up a storm although I was on a 1,000 cc fluid restriction. I had my knees up to help relive some intense pain I was in when my wife walked in the room and told me she could see “everything” This had been going on for two possibly three days but none of the nurses told me that I was exposing myself. I thought I was covered since the gown came down to mid thigh. (They could have said “I know you are not use to them but the gowns are not as modest as you may think”)

I am not worried about what they saw, I know they have all seen hundreds of nude males. I was more concerned about their thinking I did it on purpose.

November 8, 2012 at 12:05 pm
(52) Mike says:

I do strongly agree with Pat (# 54) that the female staff of most hospitals are very fast to cover up women who even expose a bit too much leg but they often leave males fully exposed even though their genitals are exposed to hallways. I know one nurse who was doing a male cat who had her female roommate come into the room to talk to her as she was putting the cath into his penis. Others allowed males to go down the hallway to a community shower in full view of female visitors. Often female nurses totally expose the males genitals although only one part needs to be. I have never heard about this being done with female patients. I have had some women handle me a bit more then they needed to. I would say it was molestation but they would respond they were just trying to feel for the right spot but I also can not help but to wonder if they were not actually trying to get “a rise” out of me. (pun intended)

When I was in the service, I worked on OB and when I was ready to be discharged, the chief nurse asked me for suggestions for my replacement. She refused to accept one as he was not married. I remind her that I was not married either AND that she allowed about a dozen female candy strippers to watch male catheterizations The medic was well over 18, the candy strippers were from 14-17.

I have worked in mental health and anytime a female was on status, a female staff had to be assigned to her since they had to watch them shower. Females however can be assigned to male status patients even though the regulations state they have to be observed on a side or full frontal. The males have no option but to expose their genitals to the female staff.

There ARE double standards and some of the female staff DO enjoy seeing nude males. I also know some enjoy the feeling of empowerment that they can see nude males while often their male counterparts are not able to see nude females.

November 8, 2012 at 12:06 pm
(53) Mike says:

Until men do not have to worry about being accused of things like molesting someone, the double standards will remain as that is the most common reason I have heard for not assigning male staff to female patients.

For those who say that there are not that many men in nursing, I ask, where are the incentives for men to go into nursing? The Ads, the scholarships, the recruitment? I have noticed they actively try to get more women into any field dominated by men but there is absolutely no effort to get men into what has been considered women’s fields.

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