Men seek to shine in female-dominated profession
They stood out among the hundreds of females decked in royal blue and white tunics.
When asked why they chose nursing, their reason boiled down to inspiration.
That’s what it took for the three young men in their early 20s to enrol in the undergraduate nursing programme offered by the University of Technology in Papine, St Andrew.
Now in their third and fourth year, they have already wet their feet on rotations and are eager to graduate so they can work as full-time nurses.
Krisard McIntosh, Norman Smith and Jerome Daley were among 254 nursing and 93 midwifery students who were presented with their symbolic stripes at the ninth annual striping ceremony.
McIntosh, 23, was influenced by his aunt who is a midwife.
“I grew up with her and I used to spend a lot of time in the hospital with her. After school, I would go there and wait until she’s finished working. Patients would see her on the road and the way they treat her, I just loved the level of respect that she got,” he said in an interview with The Gleaner after the ceremony.
He described his three and a half year as “interesting but stressful at times.
“Some patients weren’t so happy with a male nurse caring for them. I was dealing with a few females so the reception was different, but after a while they got used to it and things changed,” he recalled of his first rotation.
The aspiring nurse anaesthesiologist said as one of the few males in his cohort, he receives “special attention” from lecturers and students alike.
Like McIntosh, Smith was drawn to nursing because of his aunt. “I like critical care because of the adrenaline rush,” he said, as his face lit up in excitement.
His rotations have involved taking patients’ vitals, dressing wounds and administering medication.
“Recently, somebody saw me outside of the hospital – I didn’t recall her face because I take care of a lot of patients – but she remembered me. She hugged me and told me thanks for everything that I have done,” the final-year student said.
Daley hails from the parish of Manchester and resides with his uncle who prompted him to pursue nursing.
The Bellefield High School past student opted out of the second year of sixth form and spent the year working as a medical records clerk at Greater Portmore Health Centre.
Initially, he harboured dreams of becoming a chemical engineer and was not convinced about nursing, but after a year of seeing the medical practitioners in action, he was sold.
He has a year and a half to go before he completes the degree and is intent on contributing wholeheartedly to Jamaica’s nursing corps.