Partial Transcript: Alright so just describe for me...
Segment Synopsis: Grew up in rural Indiana in a very small community. He worked on a farm growing up, went to Ball State University where he got science degrees which led him to nursing school. Men were not considered qualified for nursing, and even his family did not think that they should go into it. His grandmother was very influential on him, as her sickness led him to want to be involved in caregiving. He experienced her death very intimately. He graduated from high school in 1967. He was born in 1948. One of his female neighbors was a nurse but he reiterates that men were not expected to go into nursing as a career choice, but rather that they would be dentists or doctors, or some similar career choice.
Keywords: Indiana; gender roles; male nurses
Partial Transcript: So what was your perception of nursing school...
Segment Synopsis: He had no idea what he was getting into. He considers himself as stumbling into nursing. He had no medical experience, so when he asked the university how to get into medicine they recommended he go through the nursing program. His friends picked fun at him, and he mentions that his peers referred to him as a “male nurse” rather than just a nurse. He had taken some classes at UW- Madison which had happened to line up with the nursing requirements. He moved to Madison with his first wife so he chose that location. He had been to Madison before as well, and he had liked it. Madison was still the most liberal school in the country, and everyone was generally very educated.
Keywords: liberal; male nurse
Partial Transcript: How large was your class size...
Segment Synopsis: Each class was about 100 people, but he remembers that at that time there were about 100 girls and two men. The two men the year before him were the first two men to join nursing as far as he could remember. He relates how men were not considered appropriate for the nursing profession as they were generally considered incapable of nurturing. Particularly the older counselors or instructors held that belief. They handed him a pamphlet which questioned his ability to nurse which he rebuked. He says he relates to the prejudicial stories of engineering or otherwise which were prejudicial towards women. The girls around them were also difficult to get along with them and their female instructors. He believed that many of them were challenging him in different ways, and thinks he was targeted. He remembers several incidents of that sort, and he says it made him stronger as a nurse.The younger professors treated him normally having a liberal mindset. They helped him get a job in the emergency room and found acceptance through them. The older nurses were more reluctant in his view. He said that they didn’t relate to men very well at all. He says that they were given a lot of doctor stories in which male nurses treated the female nurses as handmaidens, pretty poorly. He believes that because of these experiences they didn’t particularly like men. He says that the teachers saw the students as fairly naïve, so there were many lectures about toughening up. The relationships with doctors and nurses could be uncomfortable or difficult and that they needed to be prepared for that. Once they were in a clinical setting, he says they were not treated any differently. In his second year, he remembers being the nurses. They had to be very on top of their game, which he did not find very difficult being that he was the co-president of the class. He had a good idea of what was going on. He also became a tutor for many of the girls who struggled with the material. He tells a story of how he believes he may have been targeted and other funny stories. NP describes how he had to learn how to work with so many women when he was an isolated man. It was a good education for him, he said he learned how women react to each other and to the situations they were in and he felt that it helped him grow as a man.
Keywords: gender roles; tutoring
Partial Transcript: So bring us back to the main practice...
Segment Synopsis: He lived with his friends a couple blocks away from the school. The friends he lived with became engineers, but one now is in the paper business and one teaches education. They were all athletes, so he said they all worked out and drank beer for the majority of the time. He said he did make plenty friends from the nursing school.
Keywords: athletics; engineer; friendships; recreation
Partial Transcript: So gearing towards your education...
Segment Synopsis: After the first year of basic classes, they jumped right into the hospital. They learned how to use tubes and medical equipment, and even went so far as to deliver babies as students. He describes a trauma story where he misplaced a tourniquet and a doctor almost attacked him, but a professor got in the middle of it. In essence, as students they were put under tremendous amounts of pressure. He also describes how they had to do a lot of math by hand, whether it be for IV’s or otherwise. Nowadays, computers do most of that work. The school at that time had a laboratory set up in the school itself, and they would practice all of the actions they did in the hospital. There was very close relationships to practical experience and what they were being taught.
Keywords: IVs; pressure; stress; tourniquet
Partial Transcript: Ok cool well were there any particularly...
Segment Synopsis: Multitasking was probably the most prominent difficulty of his education and generally in life. More technically, handling childbirth and child illness were challenging as a student. Close relationships with patients made the reality of illness difficult to handle sometimes.The emergency room work was exciting for him, and the ability to be hands on was generally fun. When he graduated, he interviewed members of different sects of the hospital to see what they did. He describes stories of transitioning through different departments.
Keywords: Multitasking; child birth; child delivery; transition
Partial Transcript: Were there any practices or methods...
Segment Synopsis: Students then did not really use gloves in their work, nor handwashing. There may have been a little bit but not like the focus today. They didn’t have monitoring. The challenges led them to a stronger ability to react, and created an environment in which they worked very hard and solidified their skills. He says that Madison General was the best experience he had education wise, and he believes it was a shame that they stopped preparing them in that way.
Keywords: handwashing; monitors
Partial Transcript: So what was the transition like...
Segment Synopsis: There wasn’t much transition in his experience, as the environment they were in made them extraordinarily ready for the real world of nursing. His first couple of years were exciting, as his generation of nurses would have fun in their work and after work lifestyles. After he entered the ICU, life became much more difficult. It was necessary at that time for doctors to be around all the time, as nurses couldn’t be independent.
Keywords: ICU; experience
Partial Transcript: And so what were some examples of...
Segment Synopsis: The education was paid for through his grant which allowed him to pay off his education by working full time for five years after. Every day was pretty challenging, as work is intense with alarms going off all the time. They also were in an era of nursing pioneering, where they were building the skills which future nurses would pick up in later years. He felt they contributed greatly to the nursing occupation.
Keywords: learning; skills; stress
Partial Transcript: And so what was that like kind of going through...
Segment Synopsis: It was very exciting for them, as all the new equipment made their experiences more standardized. It also became much safer for the patient, as the technology streamlines all the work.
Keywords: equipment; streamlined; technology
Partial Transcript: and were there any memorable moments that stood....
Segment Synopsis: Almost every day was fairly memorable for him, and death really stuck with him as memorable. He also still has letters from patients which he holds dear. Started a hemodynamics course.
Keywords: death; hemodynamics; letters; memories
Partial Transcript: And is there any advice you would give to nursing students...
Segment Synopsis: He worked on a panel to admit nurses to the CCU. He does not think the was good at advice. He wanted to work with nurses who would be there for the long haul. He still uses his "nursing process." He notes that male nurses are widely accepted.
Keywords: CCU; ICU; advice; dedication
Partial Transcript: And then you also mentioned in the previous interview...
Segment Synopsis: NP explains that as he was becoming a nurse, it was becoming more of its own profession, not just being a servant to the doctors. At that time, there was also advanced life support, so the doctors gave them more responsibility and respect. He also notes that doctors were very derogatory to the female nurses but as men became involved the relationship changed. NP explains it was like CPR, treating people without help of doctors. He explains the nurses hadn’t been saving lives by themselves, once they learned that, then they did save more people. NP explains that around 1976-1984 was the beginning of open-heart surgeries and dialysis machines and ventilators so that is when that push really came.
Keywords: CPR; Ventilators; dialysis; relationships
Partial Transcript: And that kind of feeds into my next question...
Segment Synopsis: In the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), there were no real protocols, so they wrote them in their individual units. NP provides an example about reading catheter gages. NP doesn’t think they shared these protocols, but then once there was groups like the National Heart Association, they organized that and approved everything. But nurses that would move around hospitals would informally share if they were visiting.
Keywords: Gages; ICU; National Heart Association; protocols
Partial Transcript: So were there any aspects of nursing...
Segment Synopsis: NP says that up until recently, family members could not see what the nurses were doing in the ICU and he thinks that gives people more appreciation for the nursing care. He explains that decision making is easier when the families understand and be around, and nurses could explain better what was done as they became more educated. NP also describes how hectic the ICU would be before technology. He explains comradery and stress that was involved. NP says that a lot of the nurses were ready for the change of role from handmaids to actual profession. This older generation was doing a lot of the training this way. He thinks Madison was probably more progressive on this topic.
Keywords: ICU; comradery; family; technology