nurse – SneezingCow.com https://sneezingcow.com Home of Michael Perry - New York Times Bestselling Author, Humorist, Singer/Songwriter, Intermittent Pig Farmer Mon, 21 May 2018 14:00:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 https://sneezingcow.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cropped-Site-Icon-200x200.png nurse – SneezingCow.com https://sneezingcow.com 32 32 53371033 Male Nurses https://sneezingcow.com/2018/01/05/male-nurses/ Fri, 05 Jan 2018 18:06:41 +0000 https://sneezingcow.com/?p=22270 Lots of people sending me this link today. First thing I saw when I walked into the men’s locker room at the school of nursing in 1984 was a line of graffiti scrawled beside the toilet: MALE NURSES ARE HOMOS. Didn’t really bother me. I had just spent the summer working as a cowboy in Wyoming,…View post

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Lots of people sending me this link today.

First thing I saw when I walked into the men’s locker room at the school of nursing in 1984 was a line of graffiti scrawled beside the toilet: MALE NURSES ARE HOMOS.

Didn’t really bother me. I had just spent the summer working as a cowboy in Wyoming, so A) my personal perception of “manhood” wasn’t easily threatened, and B) the things the other cowboys said when they heard I was going to nursing school had pretty much vaccinated me against anything to follow. The only cliché that regularly pissed me off was when someone who should know better would ask me what I was studying in college, I’d reply “nursing,” and they’d say, “Oh, so you want to be a doctor.” “No,” I would explain, in tones of deepest faux-patience, “If I wanted to be a doctor I would have gone to medical school.” I’d always enunciate “medical school” as if it was drawn in all capital letters with a fat crayon.

I’m writing this on the fly, so gimme some wiggle room, but I’d argue that women in nursing suffer far more stigma and cliché than most males. Women in nursing have been operating at all levels of care and all levels of professional independence and haven’t worn white caps in decades, and yet to this day if you wanna lazy shortcut to hospital hotsexy, you trot out the white cap, the short white skirt, and drooling reference to sponge baths. When a passenger collapsed on a flight my family was aboard last year, three of us helped out: Me, a male nurse out of practice for twenty-five years and operating at a first responder level, and two highly-trained actively-practicing women both of whom worked in critical care settings. Over and over–even after I twice told her the other women were far more qualified than I–the flight attendant kept asking me what we should do next.

I never really felt any “stigma.” If anything, I reveled in bucking it. One of my fondest professional memories is of being berated by a surgeon known for reducing nurses to tears. He was just getting rolling when I stepped up to him in my best I been wrasslin’ wild cattle all summer, how ’bout you? pose and informed him that when he was ready to talk to me like a professional he could come find me down the hall. With that, I turned my back, so I’ll never know how many times his face went from that red to that white, but I did take great pleasure in his incoherent spluttering. Side note: I was wearing a bright pink shirt at the time. Kinda tight around the biceps.

In Off Main Street the essay “Scarlet Ribbons” explores how my nursing background influences my writing to this very day; Danger: Man Working, contains “Mike Is A Nurse,” a piece I wrote about the past, present, and future of male nurses. Nursing–the art and the profession–continues to imbue everything I do.

My nurse colleagues and nursing instructors remain among my most cherished mentors. I of course had no idea I’d veer off into writing. It happened almost without me realizing it. I renew my nursing license every two years, and use it every day, because nursing is about human assessment…and what is writing but human assessment?

Anyway, every now and then I like to sign off this way: Michael Perry, RN, BSN

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Still Reaping the Benefits https://sneezingcow.com/2017/02/05/still-reaping-benefits/ Sun, 05 Feb 2017 18:11:51 +0000 https://sneezingcow.com/?p=20566 Of that UW-Eau Claire B.S.N.

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Of that UW-Eau Claire B.S.N.

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You’re In Good Hands https://sneezingcow.com/2016/02/23/youre-in-good-hands/ Tue, 23 Feb 2016 15:16:49 +0000 http://sneezingcow.com/?p=19410 Hi, my name is Mike, and I’ll be your student nurse today, if today is in 1987. Relax. It’ll be fine.

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Nurse Retouched

Hi, my name is Mike, and I’ll be your student nurse today, if today is in 1987. Relax. It’ll be fine.

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Rare Sighting https://sneezingcow.com/2012/05/29/rare-sighting/ Tue, 29 May 2012 14:38:37 +0000 http://sneezingcow.com/?p=12203 Me in a gown, me in a tie. Thanks Jay for the pics. Note logger boots, worn as always to remind me of my brothers and others like them.  

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Me in a gown, me in a tie. Thanks Jay for the pics. Note logger boots, worn as always to remind me of my brothers and others like them.

 

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Double Dads, Beer Tents, Hair Fires, and Male Nurses https://sneezingcow.com/2010/11/09/podcast-1/ Tue, 09 Nov 2010 16:41:13 +0000 http://sneezingcow.com/?p=6203 Sneezing Cow Podcast, Episode #1: Mike and Al discuss yodeling, spit cups, and fatherhood, and Mike reads an essay about fatherhood. LIVE AUDIENCE CLIP: Mike tells the beer tent story (and the hair loss story, and the nursing degree story).

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Sneezing Cow Podcast, Episode #1: Mike and Al discuss yodeling, spit cups, and fatherhood, and Mike reads an essay about fatherhood. LIVE AUDIENCE CLIP: Mike tells the beer tent story (and the hair loss story, and the nursing degree story).

NOTE: This is our first podcast…there’ll be a learning curve (for example, in future episodes with Al, I shall strive to be less giggly).  Please note the download link below if you prefer to listen on another device.

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With Respect https://sneezingcow.com/2009/08/18/with-respect/ Tue, 18 Aug 2009 07:57:35 +0000 http://sneezingcow.com/?p=2867 This was a tough woman. Ms. Wagner was the dean of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire school of nursing during  my college years.  She was a woman of strength and dignity.  Look at her photo, and then imagine her in 1986, having summoned a certain well-mulleted, pickup-truck-driving, roadie-dressing, night-shift-working male nursing student into her office…View post

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This was a tough woman.

Bea Wagner

Ms. Wagner was the dean of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire school of nursing during  my college years.  She was a woman of strength and dignity.  Look at her photo, and then imagine her in 1986, having summoned a certain well-mulleted, pickup-truck-driving, roadie-dressing, night-shift-working male nursing student into her office simply to ask how things were going.  She had concerns, you see (more implied than stated, but sometimes stated), that perhaps I wasn’t wholly focused on the art of nursing.  In some ways she was correct.  She wanted me to drop the jobs and focus on my studies, but I needed the money for tuition.  Plus I liked alternating between assisting with surgery and wearing a Snoopy suit and roller skates.  I always had the sense that we were fencing a bit.  But I also remember how she blended firmness with respect.  She really did care about me, and as her life demonstrated, she was profoundly dedicated to the art and practice of nursing.

As I type this I have just returned from her memorial service, and I am so glad I went.  Thanks to those who eulogized Ms. Wagner (both during the service and in conversation after), my own decades-old memories (I visited with her a handful of times in the interim) have been given richer depth.  One of the eulogists shared a powerful image of Ms. Wagner as a young woman of Nebraska, splitting firewood.  The image was unexpected, but not at all surprising.

Today in honor of this strong woman, this compassionate educator, this nurse, sign me: Michael Perry, R.N., B.S.N.

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