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I'd like to respond to the question posed by Terence K. Mason regarding men in nursing (Letters, September 2003). Mr. Mason asks, "I wonder who helps with the lifting and turning when no guys are around?"


I can assure Mr. Mason that we don't need a guy to help lift or turn our patients. All nurses should be trained in proper body mechanics. Of course it's always nice to find a co-worker to help reposition a patient.


When it comes to working with violent patients, it's been my experience that a woman can defuse a potentially violent situation more quickly than a man, especially if she's had appropriate training. Women are perceived as less threatening to a patient who's out of control. But if the situation calls for it, I can safely "take down" or restrain a patient according to protocol (and I'm considered petite).


With not enough of us to go around, we can't wait for administration to fix what isn't working. We need to be proactive and help co-workers for the benefit of our patients and remember to thank those who extend themselves and render help.