Mothers' Responses to Care Given by Male Nursing Students during and after Birth

Authors

  • Karen H. Morin RN, DSN,

    Corresponding author
    1. Karen H. Morin, RN, DSN, Eta Beta, Nu, Kappa Rho, Professor; Barbara J. Patterson, RN, PhD, Eta Beta, Assistant Professor are both at Widener University, Chester, PA. Barbara Kurtz, RNC, MSN, Eta Beta, is Perinatal Nurse Manager, Riddle Memorial Hospital, Media, PA. Barbara Brzowski, RNC, MSN, Alpha Nu, Adjunct Clinical Faculty, Widener University, Chester, PA.
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  • Barbara J. Patterson RN, PhD,

    1. Karen H. Morin, RN, DSN, Eta Beta, Nu, Kappa Rho, Professor; Barbara J. Patterson, RN, PhD, Eta Beta, Assistant Professor are both at Widener University, Chester, PA. Barbara Kurtz, RNC, MSN, Eta Beta, is Perinatal Nurse Manager, Riddle Memorial Hospital, Media, PA. Barbara Brzowski, RNC, MSN, Alpha Nu, Adjunct Clinical Faculty, Widener University, Chester, PA.
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  • Barbara Kurtz RNC, MSN,

    1. Karen H. Morin, RN, DSN, Eta Beta, Nu, Kappa Rho, Professor; Barbara J. Patterson, RN, PhD, Eta Beta, Assistant Professor are both at Widener University, Chester, PA. Barbara Kurtz, RNC, MSN, Eta Beta, is Perinatal Nurse Manager, Riddle Memorial Hospital, Media, PA. Barbara Brzowski, RNC, MSN, Alpha Nu, Adjunct Clinical Faculty, Widener University, Chester, PA.
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  • Barbara Brzowski RNC, MSN

    1. Karen H. Morin, RN, DSN, Eta Beta, Nu, Kappa Rho, Professor; Barbara J. Patterson, RN, PhD, Eta Beta, Assistant Professor are both at Widener University, Chester, PA. Barbara Kurtz, RNC, MSN, Eta Beta, is Perinatal Nurse Manager, Riddle Memorial Hospital, Media, PA. Barbara Brzowski, RNC, MSN, Alpha Nu, Adjunct Clinical Faculty, Widener University, Chester, PA.
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  • The authors thank Therese Meehan, RN, PhD for her critical review and critique of the manuscript.

Dr. Morin, Widener University School of Nursing, One University Place, Chester, PA 19013. E-mail: Karen.h.morin@widener.edu

Abstract

Purpose: To describe the rationale maternity patients use in determining whether to accept care by a male student nurse. Information about the activities that women are comfortable having male nursing students perform is inconsistent and the reasons for women's comfort or discomfort are unclear. Furthermore, little is known about what factors patients consider when assigned a male nursing student. Yet, knowledge of such factors can enhance understanding and guide the selection of students in maternity units.

Design: Focused ethnography using a purposive convenience sample of 32 women, aged 20 to 40 years, who spoke English, and who had given birth to normal newborns in one small community hospital in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Patients were excluded if they or their infants were in an unstable physical or mental condition. The study was conducted in 1995.

Methods: The women were interviewed using a semi-structured format.

Findings: Data from participants pertained to personal and contextual factors. Personal factors were perception of postpartum self and personal feelings. Contextual factors were student characteristics, establishment of relationships, nursing care activities, and partner viewpoint.

Conclusions: Women during and after giving birth have definite thoughts about male student nurses caring for them. Nurse educators should consider these when assigning men. Educators should encourage professionalism and competence in their students.

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