The two overarching themes related to the chemical dependence of the male nurses were related to ‘person’ (which is to say the individual) and the profession (which is to say how their roles as nurses and the nursing profession itself contributed). Two factors which related to the work habits of the female colleagues of these male nurses that the male nurses indicated contributed to their abuse at work were the way that the female nurses seemed to exclude the male nurses from bonding experiences and the way the female nurses seemed to exclude them from social activities. These exclusionary behaviors on the part of the female nurses made the male nurses feel as though they did not have the same quality of professional bonding with their female colleagues. In other words, because the female nurses did not engage with the male nurses in non-work settings, it was more difficult for the male nurses to engage with their female colleagues in the work setting.

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With regard to masterminding, the author describes this phenomenon as the use of manipulation in the context of human and professional connections, primarily through the use of controlling behaviors. It is not clear that masterminding is an exclusively male behavior; in fact, it seems possible that female nurses could equally engage in such behaviors. Given the many connections described in the article that the male nurses manipulated, it seems that practice areas involving friends, professional peers (especially those who may also be friends), subordinates, students being taught in clinical environments, and even patients could become victims of masterminding. With regard to risk-taking and sensation-seeking the common threads included that such behaviors began in childhood (prior to substance abuse) and continued as a part of the abuse behaviors.

These risk-taking and sensation-seeking behaviors seemed to override their moral judgment regarding whether they should engage in the abuse behavior or not. These behaviors were enforced by having friends who were also abusers.

  • Dittman, P.W. (2008). Male nurses and chemical dependency: Masterminding the nursing
    environment. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 32(4), 324-330.