Thursday is International Nurses Day and Xinhua has talked to some of China's male nurses to take a peek into their everyday lives and and the issues they face.
Female nurses readily admit the importance of male nurses, who generally have greater physical strength.
"Sometimes we encounter drunk patients, and it feels safer with a male nurse around," said Zhang Jin, a nurse at the hospital.
It is not easy to convince some patients. Misunderstandings often lead to ridicule from both patients and their families.
According to a survey by Ningbo College of Health Sciences, almost 80 percent of respondents did not know much about male nurses, and 40 percent said did not know the profession at all.
Embarrassment and ridicule have put some male nurses on edge, with many leaving the field.
At the end of 2014, China had about 3 million registered nurses, of whom only 1.9 percent were male, according to a report released march by Huazhong University of Science and Technology. In Germany, around 30 percent of nurses are men, while in the United States the figure is expected to reach 20 percent by 2020.
Guizhou Medical University has recruited 4,610 students since 1999, only 330 of whom were male. These same low figures have been reported by many health institutions. Liaoning's Shengjing Hospital currently boasts 104 male nurses, the most of any hospital in northeast China, but still only 3 percent of all nurses in the hospital.
With increasing demand for male nurses, many are calling for more understanding and respect.
"I hope our society will give us more understanding and trust, which will help us do better work," said Gao Binlin, a male nurse at a community health center in Anhui Province.
"Only when society understands male nurses will they have more respect," said another. "I'm sure that when the public no longer judges male nurses, more men will be willing to join us in saving people's lives."