Male and female nurses in intensive-care wards in The Netherlands


Mr T Dassen, Department of Nursing Sennas University of Limburg PO Box 6J6 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands


This article presents the results of a national survey among intensive-care nurses, establishing whether male nurses and female nurses can be distinguished with respect to issues such as professionalizahon, career orientation and their preference for technical departments The study showed that there is an over-representation of men in technical wards At IC/CC-units the percentage of male nurses is twice as large as in the hospital as a whole (IC/CCU included) The distribution of labour among male and female nurses is taking place according to traditional sex-specific role patterns Male nurses are more oriented towards professionalizahon than female nurses Male IC-nurses see their jobs more in a medical perspective and they also show a higher frequency in the performance of medically reserved activities Male IC-nurses seem to be particularly directed at upgrading their own profession The differences between male and female nurses can also be explained by culturally determined differences between men and women regarding their own career perspective and career development, as well as by internal staff policy