Article written by

Lauredhel is an Australian woman and mother with a disability. She blogs about disability and accessibility, social and reproductive justice, gender, freedom from violence, the uses and misuses of language, medical science, otters, gardening, and cooking.

10 Responses

Page 1 of 1
  1. tigtog
    tigtog at |

    I’d never thought of the contamination issue with the T-shirt style scrubs tops: there must be occasions when the nurses are covered with bodily fluids as well. So what are they supposed to do to avoid contamination?

    The male nurses did/do, I presume, just use the zippered styles as the surgeons do.

    The gumboots are surely an issue for nurses as well.

  2. MissPrism
    MissPrism at |

    Thanks for this interesting post. Another one of those 101 ways we’re made unwelcome.

  3. Lauredhel
    Lauredhel at |

    Tigtog: in some settings, definitely. On this specific OB theatre unit, the nursing roles weren’t generally in the line of fire – the scrub nurse stood off to the side of the field, and circulating and anaesthetic nurses were well out of the way of the deluge. So clogs were adequate for less major contact (e.g. with floor contamination).

    I’m actually hard pressed to recall any male nurses on that unit – midwifery was an almost completely female profession at the time, which it still mostly is today. I met plenty of male nurses in ED and psychiatric nursing specialties, however, and a few in orthopaedic nursing. Nursing specialties seem to be, if anything, even more gender segregated than medical specialties in the environments I’ve worked in. Hospital pharmacists were almost 100% male, physiotherapists a mix, and occupational therapists almost 100% female. I wonder how that tallies up with the average pay in the different jobs?

  4. Kate Harding
    Kate Harding at |

    That’s unbelievable.

    I’m reminded of how the first generation of airbags were designed for the average height man, and just happened to decapitate shorter people, i.e., women.

    It is stunning how often “male” is still the default setting for “human being,” and women are seen as freaks who require special accomodations.

  5. Cristy
    Cristy at |

    This is one the things that I like about traveling in SE Asia – things are designed for people who are about my height in contrast to here where nothing is.

    Airline and coach seats are my pet hate – the neck support in the head rest pushes the top of my head forward and the lower back support pushes my upper back forward, while the seat belt seems poised to cut my head off. It is not comfortable to say the least.

    Great post. I always find it amazing how such a simple request to be treated as a equal human seems to be so frequently met with bemusement and allegations of being ‘difficult’. “Why won’t you just put up with inequality? The other women do.”

  6. Helen
    Helen at |

    Thanks for this post Lauredhel. It’s the sort of thing the rest of us would never know. And Cristy, that was a very perspicacious last paragraph.

  7. tigtog
    tigtog at |

    The rostering of junior doctors generally is a disgrace. Every now and then an article about the overworking of interns, residents and registrars hits the mainstream media, and there’s a bit of tut-tutting, but it never seems to stick. One resident I was working with was a diabetic, who was deliberately running himself into hyperinsulaemia(?) to give himself more energy to get through his rosters.

    I think it’s largely the complaints of women doctors about the insane rostering that is starting to make a difference. Just enough women are actually complaining about inhuman expectations that endanger patients as well as doctors that some impetus into addressing the problem is being generated. Prior to women entering medicine in large numbers the men (and the occasional female exceptionalist) have put up with as some sort of hazing ritual.

    Just one example of the ways feminism can benefit men too, in forcing the acknowledgement that some superman expectations are bloody stupid and dangerous.

  8. Ms Kate
    Ms Kate at |

    Jeebus on Crostini, haven’t these guys ever gone to a discount store and hit the kids section for rain boots?

    We have at least two pairs of outgrown size 5 rainboots that are in the charity pile. (I wear size 41, men’s 7.5). Too bad I can’t send them to Australia for you!

Comments are closed.