Variety attracts Duncan to career in nursing

A man wearing nursing scrubs stands in a treatment room.
Rockingham General Hospital Registered Nurse Duncan Axten
August 28, 2019

After struggling to find fulfilment in his career, Duncan Axten began to focus on his mental health and what he could do to help others. This change of focus led Duncan to studying nursing and he hasn’t looked back.

Now a Registered Nurse at Rockingham General Hospital, Duncan shared his insights into being a male nurse in the modern age for Nursing Now, an international awareness campaign which aims to raise the profile of nursing and midwifery.

“As a casual I bounce between the day procedure and aged care rehab units. I enjoy both these wards for the variety of tasks, presentations and opportunities for professional development,” Duncan said.

“We nurses work hard but we are seldom ever bored and I don’t think there are many careers where you can say that.

“I feel lucky to have a job that keeps me stimulated and a working environment where I am never alone and feel appreciated.”

As a young male nurse, it’s not uncommon for patients to automatically assume Duncan is their doctor when he enters the room.

“It’s important for me to politely correct them in a way that is memorable as that’s something I can do to help deconstruct gender stereotypes.

“Although, I also encounter just as many patients who recognise the nursing collar and proclaim their approval, feeling that there should be more men in nursing. So I think attitudes are changing for the better.”

Despite stereotypes about men in nursing, Duncan has also found being a male in the profession to have its benefits.

“There are times where I think being male makes me more approachable to a patient, maybe because of their personal experiences or perhaps cultural or religious reasons.

“Having the option of a male nurse is an important part of promoting empowerment and preserving dignity for those we care for.”

Duncan would recommend nursing for the limitless opportunities it offers for career pathways and development.

“I think more men should consider nursing because it’s such a fulfilling role to play in people’s lives, having the opportunity to make a difference.

“Nursing gives you a passport into so many different specialties. If you get a job and don’t like it, you don’t need to go back to study and find a new career, just try another role!

“There’s something for everyone, no matter if you’re attracted to the excitement of emergency or looking for a role with a more personal touch, or after a career that can help you travel the world – nursing has got it all.”

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