Gender stereotyping and nursing care


  • Deborah Dillon McDonald,

    Corresponding author
    1. Assistant professor in the School of Nursing, University of Connecticut
    • School of Nursing, U-26, Rm. 113, University of Connecticut, 231 Glenbrook Road, Storrs, CT 06268
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  • R. Gary Bridge

    1. Associate professor of psychology and education at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York
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The effect of gender stereotyping on nursing care was examined. Eight conditions were created in a posttest-only experiment by completely crossing patient gender (male/female) by memory load (low/high) by patient health status (stable/unstable). One hundred sixty nurses read the same patient vignette. The vignette differed in patient gender, memory load, and patient health status. The nurses then estimated the minutes needed for specific nursing interventions with the patient. Nurses planned significantly more ambulation, analgesic administration, and emotional support time for the male patient, despite the presence of individuating information. More accurate, effective nursing care is possible when nurses are aware of the effect of gender stereotyping on nursing care.