As the global recession trudges along, unemployment rates remain high leaving many young men laid off or graduating without job prospects. Luckily a new avenue of employment for men has opened up in Japan.

Up until not long ago, nursing in Japan was exclusively done by women. Even as more and more women took on careers as doctors, the idea of a man being a nurse was about as absurd as a cow being one. However, nowadays more and more Japanese men are beginning to follow in the footsteps of Florence Nightingale.

So what are the pros and cons of becoming a male nurse?

Any guy considering this line of work surely comes across the notion that he’d be constantly surrounded by women. Heck even if you’re more on the homely side of the gender, being the only Y chromosome around has to up your chances.

That seems like a pretty good job perk, but is it really?

According to one male nurse, “Working in a virtual garden of women certainly helps your chances of getting together with one. There are a lot of office romances and over 90% of male nurses are married to another nurse.”

So while the numbers are good there are pitfalls to the situation. “If you try to hook up with many women you’re going to get a reputation in the hospital. Rumor spreads like wildfire in a workplace full of women.”

Another nurse points out, “When you’re the only man you tend to stick out and get attention. Some guys can confuse this with another kind of attention, get an inflated ego, and can come across like a jerk.”

So while opportunity to meet women is huge compared to other workplaces, one would have to tread carefully in the “garden of women.”

Even if the women don’t find you attractive, employers definitely will.  Male nurses are widely in demand.  They don’t need maternity leaves, are more likely to work until retirement, and tend to be stronger on average.

Patients seem to be initially put off by a male nurse while still under the influence of a very strong stereotype in Japan. However, guy nurses have proven to be a big hit with elderly female patients, who tend to enjoy having strapping young men carry them around.

According to current male nurses, a man in this profession is free to change jobs as much as he wants without losing value and pretty much has his choice of hospitals to get the best compensation deal he can.

However, compensation may not be the biggest selling point to becoming a nurse. Compared to other jobs which traditionally hire women, nurse is one of the highest paying.  For men, it’s another story.

The average salary for a male nurse is 4.6 million yen (US$55,000) per year with is right around the average salary of a man working in a typical office job. That might seem fine but when you’re carrying a 250 pound heart attack victim to the toilet at 3am you start to feel underpaid.

It should be noted, however, that this average figure is also a result of men being new to the nursing field in Japan.  Most if not all male nurses haven’t had the time to achieve more senior nursing positions. Given time and more men entering that figure is certain to go up.

All of this seems like a pretty good deal for a man looking for work. It’s pretty much a recession-proof line of work that you’re guaranteed for life – unless they perfect those robot nurses I’ve been reading about.

However, speaking as a man myself, guys don’t seem to have the same capacity to care and same tolerance of icky things that I have seen in women. I could be wrong, but nevertheless, nurses deserve all the respect they can get, because I know there’s no way I could deal with a job like that.

So I’m going to stick to writing poop jokes, since I’m not woman enough to handle helping someone with their own poop.

Source: Excite News (Japanese)