My Male Nurse: The Other Man in My Life

The eversmiling Tom B. Kuhn

The eversmiling Tom B. Kuhn

It occurred to me yesterday that some weeks I spend more time in the presence of my nurse Tom than with my husband.

I should tell you all first–and this will shock some of you–I am not easy to work for.

I admit it. I demand a lot of myself AND my staff. Unlike many before him, Tom has kept up with, tolerated, and at times, bold facedly (it is a word) challenged me (AKA “She.”) This will be his 6th year with me.

It surprises some folks that we have flipped stereotypical gender roles around in my office—”She” is boss. Tom is nurse. But, it works…as in REALLY works. Patients love Tom. He keeps me grounded. And, we laugh…a lot.

A few weeks ago, Tom saw me fumbling with some big boxes I wanted to get into my car for the move. Being the gentleman that he is, he offered to carry them out to my car while I gathered my mountains of other stuff. Hours later, I got to the new office–final destination of said boxes—only to find my trunk empty. It turns out many of our patients drive black Volvo SUVs and one such patient is the lucky owner of two gigantic medical waste boxes and an armful of red biohazard bags. He will not live that one down for a long long time.

Yesterday, at the end of a long work week, I found myself laughing alone about an anectode Tom shared with me about his boys.

The night before last, his two teenage boys went out for the evening leaving behind several spent soda cans on the coffee table. Tom, being the well-groomed neatnik that he is, decided to trim his toe nails while relaxing in his empty family room. Recall he is a neatnik. One thing neatnik’s DON’T do is let toenail clippings fly indiscriminately around. So, Tom made great use of the empty cans and dropped toenail clippings neatly into one.

Hours later, his son is witnessed gagging, choking and “throwing up a little.” Apparently, when the boys returned, they were thirsty. Why let the last drops of the afternoon’s soda go to waste? You guessed it—JK slugged warm, flat soda with a side of his Dad’s toenails.

On any given workday, I may get –let’s just say—worked up. It could be about anything. Two people are capable of settling me down when I am in such a state: Chris and Tom. Tom thinks nothing of looking over the counter at me and simply say “Bring it down–K?”

He keeps me moving and on time. He has patients ask for him by name when there is an issue with a medication or if they are sure “HE is the only one that can get my veins!”

Several months ago, I heard from a patient that she had chosen to leave my practice because she wanted an “all female team—including NURSES.” Being the FB addict I am, I immediately posted a question about people’s thoughts on the matter of a male nurse. The results? A whopping 129 comments virtually ALL in support of male nurses in general and Tom in specific. It is one of the most responded to FB posts to date.

He keeps me grounded, keeps the office humming, keeps us all laughing but most importantly, he makes our patients feel at home.

Obviously, I am biased. But, what do you all think? Would a male nurse affect your choice of doctor one way or another?

Comments

  1. Nancy says:

    Christine and Tom both know this already, because I have told them more than once; Dr. Meyer and Tom Kuhn, RN, are THE TWO reasons I love this practice and will hopefully remain a patient of it forever! Since the blog post is about Tom, I will unabashedly proclaim that he is the finest nurse ( male or female) that I have encountered in 30+ years as a pharmacist. Ever. And my arm veins would give a shout-out to Tom as well if they could!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Tom is your work spouse!

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is the attitude of nurses, office workers, and the doctors that matter to me. Their gender has no bearing on feeling welcome. Tom is always calm, cool, and collected. He is also courteous, kind-hearted, and let’s not forget, cute. He makes everyone feel like they are welcome, no matter what reason they have come into your office. Your office would not be the same without him.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Christine,
    Tom’s a great nurse he make u feel like everything will be ok and omg he is so funny and can get a good joke, as I can be a real b— breaker and yes that’s just what I did when I found out he put the box’s in the wrong car.
    From a man’s side I would rather tell another man whats wrong as a female nurse some thing’s r just easer said to a male nurse then a female nurse( sorry girls).

  5. Anonymous says:

    Nope not at all, had male Gyno’s..would make no difference to me.

  6. PS… I LOOOOOVE Tom. He has always been so awesome any time I have been in. I have never had any kind of odd feelings about having a male nurse. I LOVE that you have one. It causes people who may live in a box, to step outside and enjoy someone who is really good at his job. One of the MANY reasons why your practice is hands down the best in the area. You get it. And so does he.

  7. Anne Marie Hanson-Tyre says:

    I have been all over the US, Germany & England and have never experienced the quality of care that my family & I receive from Dr Meyer & Tom. That is what is important – gender is irrelevant.

  8. AO says:

    and not many others got to witness his other talents as I have….his mechanical bull riding talents are second to NONE!

  9. Rachel says:

    Tom is great! You two are a GREAT TEAM! I was a male doctor’s office nurse and we were the same way, we just clicked and we worked very well together! When it’s right….it’s shows!! :)

  10. Laura says:

    Tom is a wonderful addition to your practice! Very patient, kind & funny – always smiling and so easy-going. You guys are a great team :-)

  11. Sheila Meyer says:

    I totally agree with everyone! I love Tom and he can take a joke and laughs with me. He is always polite and very professional. You, of course, know I love you Christine, and the rest of your staff, but especially Tom and Judy…. I am so happy that I found Healthy Steps and then you when you came to join your hubby… I am a forever patient.

  12. Nurse have always been my favorite part of any hospital or medical interaction. The care the nurse provides is th determining factor, not the nurse’s sex.

  13. Barb Isaacs says:

    I think Tom is great, have felt completely comfortable with him and he has helped me with my prescription refills each month! He is a great addition to your team and extremely professional.

  14. Tony Coloe says:

    Tom is a keeper, you are right, he make everyone feel comfortable. I will be his sons done leave soda cans around any more.

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