From Economics Lecturer to Perioperative Nursing – Paul’s Story (Part 2 of 2)


On Monday we published part one of Paul’s two-part blog.

Prior to commencing his nursing career Paul Hanrahan was a lecturer at Melbourne University, working across three faculties, Economics and Commerce, Information Communication and Technology; and Education.

Paul chatted to us about why he made the move to nursing, his study and career to date, and what he thinks should be done to attract other men into nursing.

In the course of his work he has found some older patients do not want a male nurse attending to their personal needs or in some cases even bringing in a meal tray.

Paul on his second last placement at Maroondah Hospital - Perioperative nursing, his future focus and interest in nursing for 2012 and beyond in graduate year.

“I sometimes ask is your doctor a male? Females can be doctors and males can be nurses. It’s a professional choice and vocation.”

Paul said nursing is a professional calling that leads to a plethora of occupational opportunities.

“Some males are beginning to discover this but much more could be done in our secondary schools in vocational and workplace careers, education to surface nursing as a viable, interesting and challenging, rewarding vocation.

“The latter is not done and most careers education in secondary schools is still delivered along traditional gender lines, with the token girl surfaced as an electrical apprentice to show how ‘contemporary post modern’ the workplace is, a lot more needs to be done to free up insights and possibilities for nurses/males.”

Mature aged men moving into nursing appears to be on the rise.

Paul said he has never been given a ‘hard time’, but many of his peers and colleagues have asked “why nursing and the loss in income?” My only retort is ‘because I want to’ and my view of many others is many people go through their entire life wondering ‘what if?”, I don’t.”

Paul suspects there are many more nurses out there in the community than in employment. He believes many have left due to the change in workplace/heathcare culture. The total pre-occupation with performance and KPI’s and not on care.

“The preoccupation with the ‘economics of everything’ has resulted in many nurses being disillusioned and have left, too hard, too fiscal and not enough intrinsic reward to continue. Let alone the shocking salaries!”

“The technical aspects have attracted more males into nursing, but I think society still views males as the income providers and unless the salaries increase to perhaps the same levels as a secondary school teacher at least then perhaps more males will not be attracted into nursing.”

Paul says more men need to be encouraged into nursing. Youth, and the community in general, need to be made aware of this as a career vocation, and the potential. There is much ignorance out there about what nursing is, and requires, of people, both young men and women.

What are your thoughts? What is the gender balance in your work place? Would you like to see more males encouraged into nursing?

Tell us in the comments section below!

Image credit: Paul Hanrahan

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