"It surprises me that some people still think nursing is not an option for men. I never feel prouder than when I’m making a difference in people’s lives day in day out. I’d recommend a nursing career to anybody – man or woman," said Frankie, a Senior Orthopaedic Practitioner from William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Kent. However, the truth is that even in the UK nursing is still a female-dominated career and men are staying clear of it and to solve this campaigns like 'Train, Work, Live' (2019) in Wales and 'We Are The NHS' (2018) is proving to be a great success.
There is too much demand for staff and this is exceeding the supply
The NHS recently reported that there has been a 9 percent spike in male nursing applicants at University after the campaign was aired on national TV and social media. The NHS has been working for a long time to encourage more young boys and men to take up a career in nursing and while many people think that the career is limiting, this is actually a myth; there are so many roles within the field. Not only did the campaign break down the barriers of regarding male nurses, but there was also a need for an upheaval in the way people perceive nurses; Why do they always have to be women? Nurses are at the heart of medical care in the UK and all over the world and they have changed and still changing the lives of millions of patients. Since the last few months, the NHS has been reporting a shortage of staff and many UK hospitals have had to restrict staff due to this reason. There is simply too much demand for staff and this is exceeding the supply. If this continues, this gap is likely to worsen and will pose a problem to the UK's aging population.
One of the biggest obstacles is that a majority of nurses are underpaid
"When I was at school, careers advice sent boys down the route of plumber or electrician. However, the reality that caused the stereotype has long since changed. I think we need to convey to everyone, including young men and career changers, the incredible opportunities available to nurses. The levels of responsibility and respect have changed," said Darren, a male registered nurse. One of the biggest obstacles is that a majority of nurses are underpaid due to the fact that care work seems to undervalued in the UK too, like many other countries. Men still are the sole breadwinners in many households and this means that they will choose a high-paying job over a lower one. However, there is a massive lack of awareness among men about the field of nursing and diversity drives and campaigns must actually reach their ears in order for there to be a difference in numbers in health services.
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