MEN IN NURSING
By: Veantha Naidoo
More and more, people are refusing to conform to outdated stereotypes, especially when it comes to their professions.
There are more men than ever doing jobs which were once considered to be for women.
According the South African Nursing Council, 91 413 nurses in South Africa are female and 5 302 are males.
Modern society has seen many males and females cross boundaries, when it comes to professional roles and capabilities. In the 1800s and during the times of Florence Nightingale,
nursing was a female’s domain, however now, the nursing profession includes both genders.
Mano Naicker, a nurse lecturer at the R K Khans hospital situated in Chatsworth said, “Nursing has become a popular career with many male nurses acquiring professional and
academic accolades in the field. Many individuals who pursue a career in this field are now able to travel overseas and share their expertise with others.”
Naicker added, “Nursing is one profession that has opened up doors for nurses globally, allowing nurses to branch off into different nursing faculties such as Nursing Education,
Community Nursing, Critical Care Nursing and Operating Theatre. I hope that in the future there will be more male nurses that will work at the various hospitals in South Africa.”
One individual who has risen up the ranks in the nursing profession, is Spha Ntombela.
Ntombela said, “I come from a very poor background. Even though I finished first in my class, I knew it was not going to amount to anything in life. When I was younger I always
wanted to study medicine but was accepted to study nursing. I have recently started studying towards my masters in nursing. Even though I was not able to become a doctor, hopefully one
day I will achieve my doctorate in nursing.”
Another male nurse, Rasool Khan said, “When I tell people that I am a nurse, people look at me in disbelieve.
I feel as though there is a stigma attached to male nurses and it needs to stop
immediately. People of all race groups and cultures need to become more open- minded and realize that men make great nurses and in this profession the world is your oyster.”
Melanie Chetty, a female nurse at Chatsmed Garden Hospital, said, “Many people in today’s society still have the attitude that says nursing is just for women. However in recent times
due to unemployment and people not getting into universities, men especially are opting for nursing.
I feel that this is very refreshing as there is also a shortage of nurses in general in South Africa.”
Chetty added, “When people think of nursing they think of picking up bed-pans, but in actual fact there’s so much more to this profession.”