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Published by Afterschool.my on Aug 27, 2012, 02:09 pm
Women in crisp white uniforms giving shots, taking temperatures and passing out pills. That's the traditional image of nurses and, like many traditions, it is changing. In Malaysia, male nurses are now becoming a common sight in hospitals. According to an article by Shanti Gunaratnam, patients welcome male nurses, who happen to be as dedicated as women. As the nursing profession has become more open to men over the years, males with a strong call to caring have chosen nursing, said Gunaratnam. In a relevant article published on the American Journal of Men's Health November issue, the nursing profession is said to be attracting males who hold a high degree of masculinity.
Humaizie Abdul Rahman, 26, a staff nurse at University Malaya Medical Centre, says his parents were supportive of his decision. His father did all the research for him after he finished secondary education. He said,"I have absolutely no regrets becoming a nurse. I try my best to help the seriously ill or injured patients who are brought in to the emergency and accident department where I work on shift every day."
While male nurses are often drawn to more intense practice areas, such as emergency services or critical care, no basic difference exists between them and women in the profession. Patients are often surprised when Humaizie tells them that he is a nurse but not as shocked when they meet his superior, nursing sister Kho Kheng Siong. Kho might be a "sister" but he is also a male nurse. Kho, 30, is one of University Malaya Medical Centre's two male sisters. His nursing rank of "sister" sometimes puts patients and their families in a spot as they do not know how to address him.
"The patients have no problems calling a female nurse 'sister' but with me, I suppose they find it a little awkward or even amusing. "Even some of the senior female nurses who report to me, have difficulty calling me sister." Kho joined the nursing profession to fulfil both his and his mother's dreams. Stereotypes that nursing is a female-only profession are slowly crumbling. Male nurses who receive a lot of queries from patients are using this an opportunity to change the misconception that nursing is a strange career for a man.