Debate Topic of "Wearing Uniform Enhances Nursing Profession?"

  1. The hospital where I am working, will be holding an in-house debate for nurses. And I am in one of the team. Our topic is "Wearing Uniform enhances Nursing Profession." We happened to be the opposition team, so we are against of wearing uniform. Though this is an old and on-going topic for a long time, I would still like to ask you all to give some strong pointers for us to rebuttle back my opponents.
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    For many white uniforms brings up memories of Nurse Ratched or porno clips (not professional images). They are also reminders of the time when nurses were simply doctors' handmaidens. They do little to attract men to nursing (can you imagine a guy with a white cap and an apron?). A uniform doesn't mean professionalism (waitresses, maids, etc. wear uniforms). Docs don't seem to need a standard uniform to be respected, why would nurses?

    And my personal favorite: I already wear a uniform. My scrubs aren't something I'd wear to the pub.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    there exist a couple of
    VERY heated threads regarding nurses and uniforms/professional appearance. If you do a search, I am sure you will find them. One was quite recent. I will see if I can pull it up for you....

    meantime, yes this one has been debated here before, so you will find what you are looking for if you look! Good luck.
  5. by   gwenith
    Uniforms - the advantage is that it is easy to tell who you are.

    The disadvantage is - it is easy to tell who you are.

    Think of it!! Without a uniform you can always slide into the background, pretend you are one of the public. Doctor in a foul mood looking for someone to chew out "I no work here!"
  6. by   Aellyssa
    ah uniforms. what do they do?
    they
    pros
    - identify you as a member of a group and thus foster a sense of belonging
    - free you from the the fashion police so you don't have to decide what to wear to go to work.
    - can take all the dirty work so that your real clothes don't have to.
    - instil a sense of discipline into you so that it tranfers into your work
    - allow you to develop a persona that is different from your own
    cons
    - try to mould you into a stereotype
    - often suppress thinking outside the square
    - used as a way to discipline nurses about what they look like rather than what they do
    - don't determine the quality of care that you give
    - identify you so you be abused & ridiculed & have other people's baggage about the profession thrown at you
    - can be used a shield against the world
    - allow you to develop a persona that is different from your own

    but do they enhance professionalism? professional people enhance professionalism imho - it is who & what they do that is important, not what they wear or what they look like. can you be a nurse without a uniform - definitely. can you not act like a nurse when in uniform - definitely. uniforms enhance conformity.

    despite all of the above, i do like military uniforms etc 'cos they are designed to look good. :chuckle i don't like what the military does and that's my personal bias. i also must confess that the first time i put on my nurse's uniform - i preened but mainly because i knew that i belonged. but generally i think that they are used as a tool of oppression. :angryfire

    aellyssa
  7. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Great post, Aellyssa.
  8. by   baby&mommynurse
    When you say "Uniform", I assume you mean white nursing uniforms. Wearing white uniforms takes me back to my nursing school days. I couldn't wait to graduate and not have to ever wear them again. Then I got a job at a nursing home where we had to wear white! So much for getting away from them. Now I'm at a hospital where I can wear any color scrubs I want to. Scrubs are very functional for the type of work nursing entails now... unlike long ago.

    I believe you can find the thread Deb is referring to at this link...

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthre...white+uniforms
  9. by   snowfreeze
    If the facility buys me the uniform and pays me well, heck I would wear shorts and t-shirt. But back to realistics, we wear what we can work in. A hat does not work for me, nor does a skirt or dress. Can I wear what I wear to work in a social atmosphere? Nopers, wouldn't be caught looking like a nurse in public...might as well give away free CPR at the local buffet. There dosen't seem to be much respect for nursing like there was when my grandmother was a nurse.
  10. by   snowfreeze
    Uniforms are a thing of the past, remember the boys who pumped your gas and checked your oil? How about the car-hops at Eat-N-Park? Uniforms made the ice-skating arena workers obvious. Walmart uses conforming uniforms so that we can tell who is the person to ask a question of.
    Maybe if nurses were respected by the public instead of thought of as a bunch of idiots who kill grandma we would like to wear the uniforms. Lets put the media in nursing uniforms for a few hours and let them see what they have created.
  11. by   VEVINA
    Can scrubs cause uniformity in certain areas, such as OT or ED too?
  12. by   Aellyssa
    actually when i use the term uniforms, i don't mean white - i mean any type though white uniforms are the most stereotypical. as for scrubs, my gut reply is yes and worse anonymity. there are many uniforms these days that don't look like a stereotypical uniform, and i think that is a good thing.

    and just to play devil's advocate (i'm good at that) :chuckle , uniforms do engender trust and confidence in patients but i would ask at what cost to the nurses?

    aellyssa
  13. by   VEVINA
    Quote from aellyssa
    actually when i use the term uniforms, i don't mean white - i mean any type though white uniforms are the most stereotypical. as for scrubs, my gut reply is yes and worse anonymity. there are many uniforms these days that don't look like a stereotypical uniform, and i think that is a good thing.

    and just to play devil's advocate (i'm good at that) :chuckle , uniforms do engender trust and confidence in patients but i would ask at what cost to the nurses?

    aellyssa
    thanks, aellyssa! but i really don't understand your last sentence means?
  14. by   Aellyssa
    sorry vevina, didn't mean to be obtuse :imbar could also be cultural and idiomatic problems. (damn where is that kangaroo smiley?) :d i mean the word cost not in monetary terms but in personal cost.
    let me see if i can clarify it.
    when a patient sees a white uniform, they usually think that they can trust the person wearing it. that's good, they relax and help with their own healing.

    but
    when we as nurses put on a white uniform, it comes with all of the adverse effects of wearing a uniform.

    so

    the questions are:
    do we have to put up with all of the adverse effects of wearing a uniform because it (the white uniform) causes the patient to trust us?

    is the patients' trust = or > than our distaste for uniforms.

    do the patients' needs always come before our own?

    aellyssa

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