of Gender Neutral Nursing Assignments
The medical profession is generally thought of
as gender neutral. In his article “Patient
Gender Preferences in Healthcare”, Dr. Joel Sherman
argues “Modern medicine is assumed to be gender neutral,
that is providers, nurses and assistants are equally able to
offer their services to all comers no matter the genders involved”
While it may be true that the mechanics of medical care can
be provided by either gender to patients of either gender, there
are two important issues hospital administration should consider
if “patient centered care” is truly a priority.
1.) Many patients have gender
preferences particularly for intimate care.
2.) The potential for abuse
during intimate care is great particularly when patients are
compromised either by medication or by their physical condition.
Thus, hospitals should think carefully about
how they assign their staff to care for patients.
Many patients and family members are unaware
about how gender neutral hospitals have become until they or
a loved one is hospitalized. Today it is very common for a male
nurse, for example, to give a female patient a bath or to administer
intimate procedures (e.g. urinary catheterization or vaginal
prep for surgery) without the patient’s or family’s
knowledge or consent. Male patients also endure intimate care
from female nurses against their wishes.
Some Labor & Delivery and gynecology departments
at hospitals have a policy prohibiting male nurses in their
departments. This is very wise because many women would be very
upset about having male nurses involved in their care. Especially
since Labor & Delivery nurses are required to participate
in many intimate procedures that involve constant contact with
a woman’s genitalia including checking the cervix for
dilation, shaving the perineum, giving an enema, changing pads,
assisting in the expulsion of the enema, inserting urinary catheters
for women who have C-Sections and other gynecological surgeries,
and sterilizing the vaginal area. The birth of a baby is a very
special time, and L & D units should strive to make women’s
experiences as positive as possible. There is a big demand for
more male nurses to work with male patients who are modest and
uncomfortable with a female nurse. L & D units and gynecology
departments should always encourage interested male nurse applicants
to apply in other departments at the hospitals or urology clinics,
because many male patients feel there are not enough male nurses
to accommodate their male intimate health issues.
Labor & Delivery and gynecology departments are also taking
a high risk when they hire a male nurse, because there is potential
for sexual abuse. They can face potential lawsuits from women
and their families who request that only female nurses or assistants
be included in their care. This could as a result give the hospital
bad publicity. We believe that only female nurses should be
allowed to work in the L & D and gynecology departments.
A thirty-four year old lady, Courtney Rosenberg recovering from
surgery to remove an ovarian cyst was sexually abused by a male
nursing assistant at a hospital in the Los Angeles area (See
Awards Woman $65M In Punitive Damages After She’s Sexually Abused
At Tarzana Hospital for full details). There were also other
victims the male nursing assistant abused. Other women had complained
about the abuse, but the hospital did nothing. Rosenberg sued
the hospital, and the jury awarded her $65 Million in punitive
damages. No amount of money can bring comfort to sexually abused
women. This case only goes to show why male nurses and nursing
assistants should not be permitted to work in Labor & Delivery
and gynecology departments and do intimate procedures on women.
Departments such as cardiac heart unit, ICU, general surgery,
orthopedic surgery, and psychiatric that serve both female and
male patients should hire nurses of both genders. There should
be plenty of male and female nurses available to accommodate
patients of both genders at all times. It is wonderful that
we have an increase of male nurses, but there is a very serious
problem as a result. Many nursing departments randomly assign
nurses to patients regardless of their genders for intimate
procedures without the patient’s or family’s consent.
It is very common today for male nurses to give women a bath.
This is strange because there are plenty of female nurses around
that could give women a bath. Male nurses should only be allowed
to give men a bath and do intimate procedures on them such as
urinary catheterizations and preparing private parts for intimate
male procedures because of potential sexual abuse. Male nurses
can certainly help with non-intimate procedures on women such
as changing IV lines, lifting them, administering medicine,
giving shots, etc.
Many male patients feel very strongly against having a female
nurse for intimate male procedures, and hospitals should work
hard to accommodate men’s wishes for modesty by having
enough male nurses available for that reason. Many men are less
likely than women to speak up about how they feel about their
modesty, because men usually do not like to communicate their
feelings about personal matters. Many men actually avoid medical
treatments due to concerns about their modesty. Men should always
have the option of having a male nurse for intimate procedures
if they wish. Many men actually prefer that their wives give
them a bath in hospital, and medical professionals should respect
their wishes and allow wives to bathe their husbands in privacy.
It is certainly possible for female nurses to sexually abuse
male patients, but it is rarer.
It is wise for hospitals and nursing homes to make a policy
prohibiting male nurses and assistants from doing any intimate
procedures on female patients to prevent sexual abuse and meet
women’s wishes for modesty.
Some hospitals and nursing homes may use an excuse
about using a male nurse or assistant to assist women in the
1.) A male nurse has to assist in bathing
some women for the purpose of lifting them and ensuring that
they are not dropped. This is not true. Due to the potential
of sexual abuse, this is very risky. A female nurse or assistant
should always bathe a woman. A male nurse or assistant could
help to lift a clothed woman in the bathtub if necessary and
leave while a female nurse or assistant bathes her. Then the
female nurse could call for the male assistant to come back
to get her out of the bathtub after the woman has been dressed.
Sponge baths can be given to very frail patients in their beds,
requiring no lifting or male assistance whatsoever.
2.) A male nurse or assistant has to help lift
an obese woman on the operating table for gynecological surgery
to ensure she is not dropped. A female patient could stay clothed
while being lifted by a male nurse. He could leave after he
has done his job. A female nurse can easily strip her once she
is on the table.
Many nursing homes have some male nurses and assistants, and
this is wonderful for elderly male patients who are not comfortable
with female nurses or assistants. But at the same time, this
is bad for female patients. Nursing homes should never assign
male nurses or assistants to female patients for intimate care
tasks such as bathing, changing diapers, dressing, and cleaning
women’s private parts after bowel movements, etc due to
potential sexual abuse. Nursing homes could lose a lot of money
if sexual abuse happens. Many male nurses and assistants have
sexually abused elderly female nursing home residents. You constantly
hear of cases of sexual abuse by male nurses and assistants
at nursing homes in the news. Many people falsely assume that
elderly people do not care about their modesty. Many female
nursing residents would not even allow their sons, grandsons,
and male relatives help them with intimate care tasks. Why should
they have to give up their boundaries about men not helping
them with intimate care in nursing home and hospital settings?
Nursing homes certainly should continue to hire male nurses
and assistants to work with male patients for intimate care.
Male nurses and assistants can certainly work with female patients,
but they should have no contact with female patients’
private parts to ensure that sexual abuse does not happen or
the patient’s modesty is violated. “Elderly nursing
home residents are easy prey for sexual predators, because they
are often weak and defenseless. They may also fall victim to
sexual abuse because they had a stroke or other medical condition
that caused them to lose their speech or motor skills. When
a nursing home resident is unable to protect themselves or speak,
the likelihood of becoming a victim of sexual abuse increases.”
Abuse in Nursing Homes – Edgar Synder & Associates)
A number of relatives of elderly female family members
have expressed how upset they were to find that their female
relatives had male nurses or assistants for intimate care in
nursing homes. Here is a short list of cases:
1.) A son who was disturbed about his elderly
mother having a male nurse: “My mother who was hospitalized
with a broken hip. She was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's.
One day, I visited her room to find a male nurse cleaning her
up after a bowel movement. She was highly agitated and terrified.
My Dad, who was present, had not protested, so I didn't say
anything. I cannot believe that I was such a coward. Mother
passed away five years ago, and I have not gotten over the regret
of not speaking up for her. Given the opportunity again, I would
have insisted on female nurses and aides ONLY!
2.) A college student shared this about her
grandmother: “I have a grandmother in a nursing home that
requires help bathing, changing, and assistance in the restroom.
She is also not completely there in her mind. She can easily
be taken advantage of and cared for by a male. The position
my grandmother's in is already degrading enough, but to have
a male nurse taking care of her and seeing her exposed is wrong
in many ways. My family does not want to have a male nurse taking
care of her because of the degrading and immoral nature of the
Hospitals and nursing homes would be much safer if they had
policies prohibiting male nurses and assistants from participating
in intimate care of female patients. It is important that hospitals
and nursing homes work to ensure that female patients are not
sexually abused. Male nurses and assistants have plenty of work
with modest male patients. Medical facilities need to stop giving
gender neutral nursing assignments for intimate care to protect
patients from sexual abuse and to respect many patients’
wishes about only having same gender intimate care. Male nurses
and assistants should continue to be hired to help with intimate
male care and non-intimate care for women such as administering
medicine, fixing IV lines, etc. The number of sexual abuse cases
and lawsuits would go down significantly when medical facilities
set policies prohibiting opposite sex intimate care. Some hospitals
have lost millions of dollars as result of lawsuits due to sexual
abuse by male nurses or assistants.
Check out some sexual abuse cases in the mainstream
hospital sued for male nurse's sexual assault of patient
– A burn ward patient objected to a male nurse who groped
her while washing her, but he said that he was just doing his
job. After this, the nurse briefly left the patient's room.
He returned a short time later, climbed on top of her, and assaulted
the patient by having non-consensual sex with her. She was in
a vulnerable position because she had a difficult recovery.
suing Bethesda Memorial Hospital for alleged sexual assault
by a male nurse and Woman
Suing Hospital, Says Male Nurse Touched Her Inappropriately
- A female patient who was treated for dehydration was sexually
abused by a male nurse in her hospital bed. This male nurse
had no criminal history. This proves that even male nurses with
no criminal history can easily sexually abuse a female patient.
Awards Woman $65M In Punitive Damages After She’s Sexually
Abused At Tarzana Hospital – A 34 year old lady recovering
from ovarian cyst removal surgery was sexually abused by a male
nursing assistant. This is exactly why it is wise to not permit
male nurses or assistants to work in women’s health services.
Nurse's assistant molested women in his care – A male
nurse assistant sexually abused several women at a rehabilitation
Molested Female Patients in Emergency Room - A male nurse
is allegedly sexually assaulting two women in the emergency
room three years apart. He molested one woman after giving her
pain medicine that caused her to pass out.
6.) Elderly Abuse Nursing Home Law Center – Sexual Abuse
– This article lists some cases where male nurse assistants
sexually abused elderly female nursing home residents. In one
nursing home in California, a male nurse aide sexually abused
two female patients while giving them a bath. This is exactly
why nursing homes should not allow male nurses or aides to give
female residents a bath.
7. ) Nursing
home residents abused – Sexual assault of female nursing
home residents is very common. This article discusses how a
71 year old woman with advanced dementia was raped in her bed
by a male nurse.
Abuse in Nursing Homes - This article illustrates that the
one of the most common types of abuse in nursing homes is sexual