As a nurse, you should do whatever you can to
protect patients' modesty and dignity. Many patients value modesty.
Think about how you would feel if you had to strip naked in
front of a bunch of people. Listen to patients' concerns about
modesty carefully and work hard to meet their wishes. Many people
don't feel comfortable having certain parts of their body exposed
to the opposite sex except for spouse. They are not crazy. Many
people would not be comfortable using public restrooms with
people of the opposite sex. Do not take it personally. Many
patients who are modest welcome care from opposite sex nurses
for procedures that do not involve handling or exposure of private
parts. One man shared that he would prefer a male nurse with
a little experience than a female nurse who had 30 years of
experience for intimate procedures. The number one priority
should be the patient and the number two priority should be
the patient's family. Listen to their wishes for modesty and
work to accommodate them.
If a male patient requests an all male nursing team for surgery,
please work hard to accommodate his wish. You should allow the
patient to wear as much as he can. For example, there is no
reason for a person to take his/her underwear off for many types
of surgeries. One man had a wrist reconstruction surgery with
his pants left on. There is no need to catheterize a person
for many surgeries such as knee, wrist, etc. Be sure you ask
a male patient if he wants a male nurse for intimate procedures
such as catheterization. Be sensitive to a male patient if he
says no that he doesn’t want a female nurse to do intimate
procedures on him such as urinary catheterization or give him
If a female patient requests an all female medical team for
surgery, please work hard to accommodate her wish. Be sure you
ask her if she wishes for a female nurse to do intimate procedures
on her such as prepping her for surgery and catheterization.
Let her wear as much as possible. There is no need to take underwear
off for many surgeries.
Work hard to drape people's bodies so private parts would not
be exposed necessarily. We encourage you to let spouses in room
during intimate procedures if the spouse wishes.
Keep the doors closed when you do an intimate procedure or prepping.
Never walk in a room that is closed because the doctor may be
doing some intimate procedure. Be sure you ask the doctor what
he/she is doing before entering in a room.