Many Chinese who pursue traditional concepts will be astonished by the appearance of male nurses. As a matter of fact, however, gender is no longer a barrier hindering Chinese men from joining the nursing field.
17-year-old Xu Lingzhi is studying nursing at Harbin's Secondary Health School. He said when he was in primary school and middle school, boys and girls accounted for 50 percent respectively in class, but now only two out of 50 students in his class are boys. This made him feel uneasy when he just started his study here and many of his relatives and friends regard male nurse strange.
Based on the traditional concept of Chinese, nurse is a profession that should be taken only by women owing to their patience and carefulness. It is unimaginable to let clumsy men do jobs such as injection and meal-feeding for patients. On the other hand, the appearance of male nurses seems to be essential for manic psychotics and heavy bed-ridden patients. It is generally considered that male nurses are energetic, agile and able to stay calm in case of emergency.
China's severe employment situation in recent years is one of the important reasons why men are paying attention to nursing and engaged in this industry. Fan Longquan, a nursing major at Harbin's Secondary Health School, remarked that nowadays hospitals see keen demand for male nurses so he does not worry about not being able to find a job.
Although 17 male students of the nursing major, who came to Harbin's Secondary Health School in 2004, will graduate next year, local hospitals have "reserved" all of them.
It was learned that in the United States and some other western countries, male nurses take up 6 percent to 7 percent of total nurses while in Finland the proportion even reaches 10 percent. In these countries, male nurses mostly work in ICU, surgery and psychiatric units. In the future, China's job market will face an increasingly large demand for male nurses.
(China News Service May 16, 2006)