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Brian Keogh, Madeline Gleeson
British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 15, Iss. 21, 23 Nov 2006, pp 1172 - 1175

This article presents the results of two small qualitative studies, which examined the experiences of six male registered psychiatric nurses (RPN) and five male registered general nurses (RGN) when caring for patients of the opposite sex. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect the data. The focus of the interviews was an attempt to describe the male nursesí experiences of caring for women with a particular emphasis on interventions that involved physical touch. Themes were generated from both studies and the common themes are presented here. Male nurses in this study were often apprehensive about using physical touch and they used coping strategies in response to their fears of being accused of using touch inappropriately. Several factors also influenced the male nurses when using physical touch as an intervention. These findings suggest that learning about caring for female patients needs to be included in the undergraduate curriculum and that further research on the experience of men as nurses is required.

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