“Confessions of a Male Nurse”–so you want to be a nurse?

Ferri, Richard S. “Confessions of a Male Nurse”, The Haworth Press, 2006.

So You Want to Be a Nurse?

Amos Lassen

We hear so much of what happens in the medical profession but you have not heard anything until you read Richard Ferri’s “Confessions of a Male Nurse”. Ferri puts the truth out there—every outrage, every observation and every appointment in this very funny look at the nursing profession. We learn what it is like to be a male in a profession that is dominated by women. Ferri tells us that being a male nurse means dealing with the most incompetent of administrators, with doctors who are addicted to drugs, with a bunch of crazy women and having long hours and patients that defy description.

It is one thing to be a male nurse but it is even something else to be a gay male nurse. The book starts in the early 1980’s B.A. (before AIDS) and goes up to the present. This is a very funny book laden with black humor.

It is an uncensored story of a gay man who wishes to make a difference with his life by helping those who need help. His training was insane; his residency was almost beyond description. We see him on a pediatric ward and in the psych section and in the Intensive Care unit. We meet his friends and the crazy people he works with. He falls in love, is seduced by a movie star (female), he has a tough ten year old girl patient, deals with a suicidal maniac and handles a sundry collection of medical supplies.

Even though everything is fairly predictable, you can’t help but laugh at the goings on. His love life is very, very funny and the hilarious situations he finds himself in keep the story moving. Steele, our nurse, is one of the old fashioned kind we used to have—he cares, he’s warm and he’s compassionate. He also can just about control any situation he ends up in.  If nursing students would read this book, there might even be a greater shortage of nurses. But then again it is written as a comedy and should be taken that way.

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