Look at the professional, not the gender – male nurse

GENEVIEVE SERRA genevieve.serra@inl.co.za



African News Agency



FROM a young age, Yunus Tiry knew he wanted to pursue a career in male nursing. Today, Tiry wears many nursing hats, from general nursing to midwife, radiology and lecturing. He said the world had to move away from the stigma around male nurses, and instead treat them as professionals and not look at their gender. Tiry is one of the 9.1% of male nurses in South Africa. According to the African Journal of Health Professions Education report of 2021, men comprise about 11% of the nursing population globally, and 9.1% of the South African (SA) nursing workforce. On May 12, International Nurses Day was celebrated and the Western Cape Health Department revealed that the public sector employed 13823 nurses. With 15 years of experience under his belt, Tiry is fortunate enough to have worked at hospitals both in the Eastern and Western Cape. He is now the operational manager in radiology at Groote Schuur Hospital. “I started out as a student nurse in 2007 in the Eastern Cape at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, it is now known as NMU. “I wanted to do nursing, I always wanted to be in the health sciences field and I never thought I would be a nurse – I was more inclined into pharmacy or medicine – but for some reason I leaned towards nursing. As a young student, we were exposed to the clinical field and the clinical practice and the hands-on part of it. “I have trained in the Eastern Cape and did most of my training leading up to my registration as a professional nurse, through their academic hospitals, from Livingstone Tertiary Hospital, Dora Nginza Hospital. I did my maternity rotation there as well as Port Elizabeth Hospital. I worked for about 10 years at Uitenhage Provincial Hospital,” Tiry said. He said that he specialised in nursing education. Tiry said that while he had moved around in nursing, he still had a lot to learn and was enjoying the experience. “I have done a bit of lecturing and training at the university during an acting position at NMU. I was registered to complete my Master’s in midwifery science and the outstanding component is my research component. “I moved to Cape Town in February 2021. I am an operational manager in the radiology department, very new, very exciting. I think this will be my home for the next five to eight years. There are always ups and downs, it is how we see it,” he said. Tiry said he would never forget his first delivery of a baby, when he was 20, and said hearing a new baby cry for the first time was an amazing experience. Tiry said the stigma around male nursing meant changing how people saw the profession and not the gender. “We are still the minority and there is a big move now, with more males moving into the nursing profession. It is so diverse and you are not just restricted to nursing. There are avenues and gates to other stuff like corporate, CEO, facility manager. It is my aspiration to do an MBA (Masters of Business Administration) in Management Sciences. “A conservative patient will prefer their own gender to provide the nursing… But we are reaching a time where we need to look beyond gender and gender conformity,” he said. Tiry and hundreds of his colleagues were at the opening of the Groote Schuur Training Centre this week which was attended by MEC Nomafrench Mbambo and head of department, Dr Keith Cloete. The training centre will provide short courses, a learning lab, basic life support training, compulsory competency assessments, teaching, nursing leadership and basic research training.