ABU DHABI // A family history of nursing inspired Mark Fielding to pursue the career path himself and he urged other men not to be “fooled by the image of bedpans and blood pressures”.
“There is so much more,” said the Australian, a clinical coordinator with Amana Healthcare in Abu Dhabi. “Nursing is dynamic, autonomous and one of the most respected professions in the world. If you are looking for a rewarding, challenging, diverse and expanding career, nursing is definitely suited to you.”
Mr Fielding said he had always been interested in healthcare.
“I feel nursing has a greater ability to influence patient outcomes and the way the wider community interacts with health care,” he said. “I have family members who are nurses and they gave me a greater insight into the ways nurses can influence and help the community.”
Mr Fielding studied nursing in Australia before specialising in critical care, completing a masters in nursing and a second masters in organisational leadership. He joined Amana Healthcare 10 months ago.
“Essentially, I am responsible for the management of nursing manpower and to ensure that the clinical care delivered by our nurses maintains the standards we have set for them,” he said.
Mr Fielding said he was honoured to call himself a nurse.
“When people ask me what I do for a living, I proudly state that I am a nurse,” he said. “They are often surprised by the level of autonomy and independence I have. Nursing today is a very different profession from 20 years, 10 years, even five years ago.”
On gender stereotyping, Mr Fielding said: “As the community is exposed more to male nurses, I feel they will become more accepting and tolerant,” he said. “Any change to societal norms takes time to gain acceptance.”
He felt more men were keen to become nurses.
“Positions such as critical care, emergency nursing, information technology and advanced practice nursing all have a greater appeal to men,” he said.
Abhilash Mathew, in nursing for 11 years, said gender made no difference.
The Indian, a nursing supervisor with VPS HealthCare, said: “When every other profession is meeting saturation for young men, nursing boundaries are still open.”