Male CNAs: How to Deal With Refusal of Care After CNA Training

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If you are a man entering CNA training, you probably already know you are entering a field dominated by women. And that’s okay. You don’t have to love pink to be a fantastic CNA; while this job may be full of women, that doesn’t mean it can only be performed by this gender.

Even with this reality firmly in place, though, it isn’t shocking to find there are plenty of myths and stories surrounding the male CNA. Many believe men don’t have the emotional capability to survive CNA training and care for patients correctly. Others think that men might become too angry, impatient, and uncompassionate to truly provide patients with the care they deserve after CNA training. Some believe patients prefer female CNAs, and often refuse male ones.

The majority of the time, these myths prove to be false. However, when it comes to a patient’s choice for individuals who have completed CNA training, there may be times when the latter myth turns into reality.

Being Rejected By Patients After CNA Training

While men can perform the same tasks as women after CNA training, there may be times when patients simply refuse their care because of gender. This is a reality every male CNA may ultimately face when working after CNA training.

Why do patients refuse treatment from men? It isn’t because they believe these male CNAs didn’t study hard enough in CNA training or that they may provide inadequate care. Most often, a patient’s refusal of a male CNA is based solely on comfort.

So, what do you do when a patient refuses your assistance after CNA training?

  • Stay Calm- If a patient is not comfortable with your assistance after CNA training, don’t get angry, upset, or irritated. Patients, especially women, feel extremely vulnerable in doctor’s offices and hospitals settings; often they have to share intimate details of their lives and health problems, and they may not be comfortable exposing those challenges to a man. Instead, they may prefer another woman to listen to their problems, especially if those problems are female-related.
  • Role Reversal- Take a step back. If you were the patient, had the same type of medical issue, and a woman who had recently finished CNA training had introduced herself and told you that she would be helping you today, would you have been comfortable? Or would have you requested a male CNA? Put yourself in the shoes of the patient and understand what they might be going through.
  • Advocacy- Remember why you started CNA training in the first place. You completed your CNA training courses and took this job so you could be an advocate for your patients. You wanted them to have the best care. While you might want to be the one to provide all that care, being an advocate for your patients means you have to step back and consider what they want, not what you want. It is their body, their choice, and their care; not yours.

Being a male CNA does not mean you will provide less than the best quality care for your patients, but it does sometimes mean your patients, especially those who are female, might be uncomfortable with that care after your CNA training.

Don’t let refusal of care irritate or upset you. Be an advocate for your patients after CNA training.

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