Going Back To Wearing Whites and The Cap! - page 4

Yeppers......strongly thinking about it! There's a nurse on my unit who wears her starched white nursing dress, white stockings, white shoes, and her nursing cap every tiime she works. ... Read More

  1. by   Edward,IL
    An interesting discussion.
    A bit about the history.

    White caps where worn by maids historically to keep dirt, smoke, suet, etc out of there hair. This style of cap was sometimes adopted by some nurses.

    In Roman Catholic countries throughout Europe during the early reformation (1500's -1600's), many orders of women religious wore giant starched coronettes as part of their religious orders habit. ( think Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent DePaul, Sisters of Carondolet, Sisters of Bon Secor). A large, starched coronette
    was part of the appropriate day-wear for all middle-class women when going out in public. The sister in the full habit could be quite intimidating to those around her- no one ever questioned who she was, what she did nor for whom she worked!

    Prostestant countries developing nursing servces within hospitals often times retained the title "sister" and a veil or cap as part of the nurses uniform.

    Within hospitals today, with the deprofessionalization of nurses to become low-respected hospital workers, an all-white uniform and a large starched cap may command the degree of respect
    and order that nurses once enjoyed. People around you will be more respectful of you because you are a "real lady". Depending on your facility, you may want to give it a try. It will take some adjustment on the part of those that work with you, but it could have rewards in the long-run.
    Just my humble opinion, Edward, IL
  2. by   jnette
    Originally posted by roxannekkb

    However, I find the white cap and starched dress disempowering for nurses, the connection between whites and the "angel of mercy" image or the "White Angel" image too strong. Its association with nursing is also an association of the doctor's little helper, and the angel who doesn't need to get paid a decent wage, or earn real respect.
    What I find MORE disempowering for today's nurses are the "cutesy" scrubtops... little bears, angels, hearts, butterflys, etc.

    Now for Peds, I find them MORE than appropriate, if not necessary. But other than that, I find them to promote the image of .. well, I don't even know how to say it nicely.

    And while I DO understand that it's NOT what one wears that makes a good nurse, it still (to me) gives a false, belittling impression of a PROfession..again, IMO only. I could never envision a female doc wearing such, maybe that's part of my reasoning... dunno. Anyway, like I said, that's just my own personal take on it, so no offense...
  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Ah, yes, the 'butt shelf' (where your shirt or hikes up and sits on your butt as a big wrinkle). I have that problem with shirts.

    And let us not forget getting it tucked up in the pantyhose when you find that spare 15 seconds to go the bathroom.......

  4. by   lynndale316
    ABOUT A MONTH AGO I WORE ALL WHITE AND MY CAP TO WORK. FIRST TIME I HAVE WORN IT IN PROBABLY 10 YEARS. I GOT MORE COMPLIMENTS THAN I COULD HAVE THOUGHT POSSIBLE. THE PATIENTS LOVED IT BECAUSE THEIR NURSE "ACTUALLY LOOKED LIKE A NURSE." IT IS QUITE PROFESSIONAL. WHEN YOU STOP TO THINK ABOUT IT, IT VERY WELL COULD BE THAT LACK OF PROFESSIONALISM IS WHERE HEALTHCARE, RESPECT AND APPRECIATION FOR NURSES HAS WENT DOWN THE TUBES. TAKE THE ISSUE OF NURSE ABUSE... I LIKE THE IDEA OF GETTING BACK TO THE GOOD STUFF! LIKE CAPS AND WHITES AND PROFESSIONALISM. WHEN I WENT TO SCHOOL THE CAP WAS SOMETHING YOU EARNED. YOU WORKED HARD TO EARN IT AND AT THE CAPPING AND PINNING CEREMONY NOTHING COULD COMPARE! THAT CAP SHOULD BE A DISTINCTION OF A WONDERFULLY CARING, INTELLIGENT, HARD WORKING, PROFFESSIONAL THAT DESERVES RESPECT AND IS LOOKED UP TO. IT REALLY BOTHERS ME TO HEAR PEOPLE TALKING SMAK ABOUT IT. I UNDERSTAND THAT NOT EVERYONE LIKES TO WEAR HATS, BUT GIVE IT THE RESPECT IT DESERVES. YOU WORKED FOR IT JUST LIKE YOU DID YOUR LICENSE!! PROTECT IT.
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    Did that one waaaaaaay back in high school, when I was actually thin and cute and we wore miniskirts. I was late getting out of PE and had thrown on my clothes (does anyone else remember having to shower, dress, AND put pantyhose back on over damp legs in 5 minutes?) without stopping to check the mirror on the way out. I was wondering why everyone was staring at me and had actually gotten halfway across campus when my best friend caught up with me and said, "Your dress is stuck in your pantyhose!!". I'd been flashing the whole school!!:imbar

    I wouldn't be 16 again for all the money in the US Treasury.......but that's a subject for another day.
  6. by   P_RN
    ppssssst Lindale ALL CAPS on the net means SHOUTING!
  7. by   KatznKidz
    If wearing a cap and whites is what you want to do, go for it! As for me I think that would scare my patients. I work in a children's hospital. The children like the colorful scrubs that we wear! Some of the tops with characters on them (Scooby, Bugs Bunny, Clifford, Sponge Bob) help to start conversations with the younger ones!
  8. by   lynndale316
    P_RN Thanks for the info. I usually do that just so I don't have to push the shift etc all the time. (lazy) On the other hand, when I whisper you can hear me in the next roomm. People think I am shouting most of the time anyway. No offense please. I'm tippin' my hat to ya now. lynndale316
  9. by   roxannekkb
    Originally posted by Edward,IL
    Within hospitals today, with the deprofessionalization of nurses to become low-respected hospital workers, an all-white uniform and a large starched cap may command the degree of respect
    and order that nurses once enjoyed. People around you will be more respectful of you because you are a "real lady". Depending on your facility, you may want to give it a try. It will take some adjustment on the part of those that work with you, but it could have rewards in the long-run.
    Just my humble opinion, Edward, IL


    Umm, in those good old days when nurses were "real ladies" and dressed in starched whites, they also scrubbed floors, washed linens, sterilized needles and syringes, rolled their own bandages, and laundered and bleached linens. In addition to caring for 30 patients or so.

    As far as garnering respect, they stood when the doctor entered the room, gave the doctor their chair, were invisible politically, were at the complete mercy of their hospitals because unions and negotiating contracts were almost unheard of, worked long hours for a pittance. In the 1960s, secretaries and female factory workers made more money than nurses.

    And for all that respect, there have been chronic nursing shortages since the 1950s.

    So I don't know where this comes from, that back in the good old days of white uniforms and caps, nurses garnered some high degree of respect that is since lost. Nurses have more clout now than ever before, are paid better, have better working conditions, are developing political muscle, and are treated a helluva lot better by doctors than they were in those golden days you speak of.

    If you disagree, I suggest that you read a little more history, about what life was like for a nurse, circa 1932. And then tell me how much better it was back then, as compared to now.
  10. by   jnette
    heh heh... good points, Roxannekkb ! And what is a "real lady", anyway ? I've seen many a welldressed woman, but would hesitate to say that all were a "lady"...
  11. by   Tink RN
    Guess I will always be a rebel. When I was in Nursing school, we were forced to wear hats and starch stiff Mary Poppins dresses that resembled a Catholic nun more so than a nursing student. Some of the older nurses have told me that "back in the day", wearing a nurses cap was an honor because you were capped AFTER you finished nursing school. When I was in school, I couldn't wait to finish so I could take the darned thing off! I bumped my hat on every freaking thing I came near. I think the children enjoyed it during my Peds rotation - they laughed and pointed because I had a "marshmallow" on my head. I do not even own a dress uniform - I love scrubs. I agree white uniforms do look nice and professional but where I work, they are not practical. (charcoal anyone? lol)
  12. by   TinyNurse
    Wow, what a great post!!!!

    I also wore all white in school, and remember this one nurse I worked with that always wore her dress and cap. She was stunning!! Even the other nurses would compliment on her awesome attire!!

    I'm a new grad and have recently started my job in an ER, and I wear white pants and solid colored scrub top but with a dressy white overcoat ( not a scrub coat, but not a lab coat)

    White is completely classy for a nurse. I enjoy wearing it, it differentiates the nurses from the rest of the staff.

    Also there is no color code where I work, and my school did not give caps.
    Thanks Jen
  13. by   live4today
    I'm lovin' these comments nurses! Some for and some against and some don't care one way or the other and.......keep it going.

    I'm still going to show up at work one day soon wearing my full garb. Won't do the dress thing I don't think. I hate dresses outside of work let alone at work. I wore a nursing dress at graduation though because it was required. Then, I would wear a dress on occasion as a traveler when I had one less body to carry around on me.

    So, guess I'll get the pants and labcoat with white top and the hat and a real nurse's watch with the red second hand and white band. I'm simply bursting with joy over here in "realityville" where I live. :chuckle Can hardly wait to see the faces on the staff!

close