Male nurses in Slovakia: Patients do not know how to address us

Meet some of Slovakia's male nurses. There are very few of them.

Illustrative Stock PhotoIllustrative Stock Photo (Source: Gabriel Kuchta, Sme)

Miloš Čakloš was a primary-school pupil when he was badly injured, with torn tendons in his right hand. He underwent two surgeries in the hospital, two plastic surgeries in Bratislava and then home care. The three years that he spent in the hospital environment inspired him to choose the profession of a nurse.

“I observed the work of nurses in the hospital, they were with their patients 24 hours a day, working at 100 percent,” Čakloš told The Slovak Spectator.

His mom is also a nurse, so he says the job might be in his genes. He has never thought about a career as a doctor, he always wanted to be near patients. He has been working in National Oncologic Institute in Bratislava, his first job, for four years.

Čakloš is one of few men in Slovakia who has chosen this profession. In fact, looking for a male nurse is a little bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. From the total number of registered nurses and midwives, only 2.4 percent are men, according to data of Slovak Chamber of Nurses and Midwifes.

“Even though there are definitely more male nurses in Slovakia than five or 10 years ago, the opinion still persists that it is a women's profession,” Milan Laurinc, office director of Slovak Chamber of Nurses and Midwifes, told The Slovak Spectator.

Language makes their life harder

The Slovak language does not help overcome the stereotype. In Slovak, a nurse is “zdravotná sestra” or only “sestra”, which literally translates as “healthcare sister” or simply “sister”, reminiscent of the old days when the profession was mostly performed by nuns. There is no linguistic equivalent for men working as a nurse.

“Once I picked up the phone at work and introduced myself as a ‘sister’. A nurse from surgery was calling and she started to laugh very hard,” Čakloš recalled.

The rest of this article is premium content at
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on and

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Theme: Health care

Read more articles by the topic

Top stories

Teachers trust conspiracy media, they think the government is not handling the pandemic well

One-third of teachers think the coronavirus vaccination is a preparation for implanting chips, recent poll shows.

The school in Trenčianske Stankovce.

News digest: Security Council will meet to discuss nationwide testing

Overview of news from Monday, October 19, 2020.

PM Igor Matovič announcing some details about nationwide testing on October 18.

PM wants to test everyone, Kotleba already positive in neo-Nazism

Nationwide testing is less utopian than the blackout but it is driven by the same ambition.

PM Igor Matovič shows the antigen testing kit that should be used in the nationwide testing project in Slovakia.

The best concert I have ever heard was in Bratislava, says Dutch ambassador

Ambassador Henk Cor van der Kwast cycles with Slovakia's mayors and loves the Slovak capital for its rich music history.

Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok, centre, with the Embassy team, including Ambassador Henk Cor van der Kwast, left of the minister, on March 15, 2019.