Going Back To Wearing Whites and The Cap! - page 9

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   live4today
    ARIKO.........Apology accepted!

    Mannnnnnn....I've been off the computer times two days since I had to work and all......just getting caught up on the threads here, and I am totally sold that I should wear white and a cap again. The only problem I am having is finding a place to buy my school's cap.

    I went to the website titled "Kays Caps" and I couldn't really tell if my old cap was among their selection. So, soon as I find the hat and get the right stripe on it, I'm in business. Now...if I could just find someone to press my white uniforms for me, I'll be in business as I do NOT iron! :chuckle
  2. by   barefootlady
    Well, cheerful, you had better learn how to iron. I am all for promoting the professional image of a nurse. I just think it does not matter what color you wear, but how you act and care for your patients. I hope wearing the "whites" is a great experience for you. Please let us know how your patient's react. But, you still have to do your own ironing.
  3. by   JefferyRN
    Professionalism lives in how we perform our nursing functions, not in what we wear. I do, however, have an opinion on whites.
    I stood by and watched as the administration took away our white uniforms and our professional edge.

    I am a professional. I operate under a specific body of knowledge. If you take the time to notice, there is a certain amount of respect that patients offer anyone wearing white. When I wear a white lab coat with my royal blues, I get more respect from the staff and the patients I serve. My scrubs are always starched and ironed (by me) because I take pride in who I am and what I do.

    In the United States, history dictates that nurses wear white. It WAS our universal uniform. I lament that loss. Let the units keep their scrubs. On the floors, I would like to see all white! I don't care if women perfer dresses or pant suits. I would like to see nurses who take the time to take care of themselves and their uniform before they go in to take care of debilitated patients.

    Working in a hospital as a nurse is not a fashion show!!!!!!! We are nurses!!! We go to work to take care of the imfirm!!!! We don't go to show off our new Sponge Bob Square Pants Scrubs and shoes!!!!!!!!!!

    If white makes you think of "the doctor's little helper," then you now have an opportunity to turn the white uniform into a badge of honor. Claim it as your own!!!

    BE PROUD! FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO WEAR WHITE!
  4. by   live4today
    well alright jeffrey!!! speak your mind and don't hold back brother!!! :chuckle

    thumbs up to you for being strong and passionate about our much needed profession of nursing. the sick could not do without us, the doctors cannot do without us (that's a given understatement if i say so myself), and we as nurses love what we do........it's how we are made to do our jobs that sucks!

    we've lost our autonomy...or have we ever had it, and can we get it back? how?

    it is quite obvious that education doesn't help because there are more than enough well educated nurses in nursing today.

    what is holding us back but we ourselves?

    we don't need unions to fight for us! what we need is to fight for ourselves and stop relying on some "nursing savior" to come along and wave her/his magic wand and turn our profession back around to a much respected one today.

    before the two and four year degree grads became popular, the nurses who cared for the sick were mostly diploma grads wearing white and the caps and receiving mucho respect by their patients.

    can't expect much respect from some of the docs now can we, so it's up to us to draw the respect we need from every health professional we work alongside each shift we serve. if you are a nurse who allows a doc to intimidate you, why do you allow him/her to 'dis' you? do you feel any "less" a person than he/she? what is your worth as a person? what is your worth as a nurse? do you truly value yourself and what you have to offer to the public, to your inpatients, to your clients, to your peers, and to your "upper management"?

    there is absolutely nothing wrong with the white uniform and white nurse's cap we honored for so many years before it got boxed up for the colorful scrubs and cartoon characters our kids love (and some of us too...go ahead...admit it). (my personal favorite is tweety bird).

    the problem....or challenge i prefer to name it...comes in the attitude projected from ourselves towards being a nurse in today's employment market. it also stems from the way we carry ourselves: our manner of appearance and presentation to those we work with...the patients we care for while on duty. yes.....we are on duty! and, duty requires much of us. what are we giving towards that duty we are called to protect and serve? we are not doormats, maids, handmaidens, peons, and people without a voice! we are in this profession to give that which others cannot give themselves when they are sick. we don't do it for free, but our hearts must say we are passionate about giving to the sick. if they don't, then we shouldn't be nurses.

    let's fight to regain control of our profession! we don't have to let "the powers that be" tell us how to be nurses, or what to wear, or how to function. did we not successfully pass the nclex exam? do we not hold the privileged title of being a licensed nurse? no matter your educational level of how you sat for those same state boards; what matters is that you were awarded the privilege of being a licensed nurse, so let the level of respect start there with yourself, with one another, and then perhaps the level of respect will come from your patients and some admin who have chosen to forget the respect nursing once held.

    the docs of "yesteryear" may not "get it" where nursing is concerned, but i am noticing that the new wave of docs coming on board today seem to respect nurses so much more. perhaps many of their moms, aunts, cousins, sisters, brothers, uncles, and school friends were or are nurses themselves, and they hear and see how rough we have it in today's world of nursing.

    the change will only come if we make it come!!! what's holding you back?
    Last edit by live4today on Aug 11, '03
  5. by   roxannekkb
    Originally posted by JefferyRN
    In the United States, history dictates that nurses wear white. It WAS our universal uniform. I lament that loss. Let the units keep their scrubs. On the floors, I would like to see all white! I don't care if women perfer dresses or pant suits. I would like to see nurses who take the time to take care of themselves and their uniform before they go in to take care of debilitated patients.

    Working in a hospital as a nurse is not a fashion show!!!!!!! We are nurses!!! We go to work to take care of the imfirm!!!! We don't go to show off our new Sponge Bob Square Pants Scrubs and shoes!!!!!!!!!!

    If white makes you think of "the doctor's little helper," then you now have an opportunity to turn the white uniform into a badge of honor. Claim it as your own!!!

    BE PROUD! FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO WEAR WHITE!
    That is not true at all. White is merely one phase of nursing uniforms, and that's all. Early nurses did not wear white. In fact, nurses in the early training schools resisted uniforms altogether because they felt it lumped them together with being a maid.

    The first uniforms were usually striped dresses, or another color, with a white apron. Nurses didn't work in hospitals until the 1930s (hospitals were staffed entirely by students wearing their school uniforms up until then, and those uniforms were not usually all white. Again, white apron over colored dress was prominent). So white hospital uniforms are really something from the 1930s, and that started to change with the advent of intensive care units where nurses began to wear scrubs.

    Styles change. Nurses in the good old days used to wear floor length skirts. Should we go back to our roots and do that?

    And nursing has changed. In those good old days of pearly starched whites and caps, nurses scrubbed bedframes, mopped floors, sterilized syringes, prepared meals, care for about 30 or 40 patients at a clip, worked 12 hr days for less money paid to a secretary or factory worker, was treated as a handmaiden to the doctor and expected to act inferior to the doctor...do you want to go back to those days? I fail to understand why some nurses think that wearing white and especially a cap garners them respect, when it's quite clear that wasn't the case at all.

    Nurses had virtually no organization back in those good old days, no power, and were at the complete mercy of the hospital.

    If you want to wear white, then fine. But white is not the historical color of nursing by any means, and removing caps somehow seems tied in with nurses demanding a change in image. Nurses finally got the right to strike in 1974, about the time caps began to disappear. A neighhbor of mine was in nursing school in 1978, and they already didn't have caps.

    And being, as you say, that nursing isn't a fashion show and we're here to take care of the infirm, it seems to me that wearing scrubs in the most comfortable means of doing that. Especially scrubs supplied by the hospital, which you can throw in the laundry if they get soiled, and put on a clean pair.

    So, I don't understand this obsession with white. Nursing conditions, however poor they still are, are better than they ever have been. Without wearing white. There is no correlation between better nursing and wearing white, and in fact, the correlation seems to be worse.
  6. by   live4today
    My hat came in the mail today, but it is the wrong width.
    No need to fear.......I reordered another one, and will be returning the one I received in exchange.

    The 4 inch width cap is waaaaaaaaaaayyyy too big for my head, so I reordered the 2 1/2 inch regulated cap for nurses. Hope it's right. I had sooo much hair when I graduated 16 plus years ago that I guess I didn't realize how much hair I no longer have.

    Perhaps a real hair wig or extensions might help? :chuckle
    Last edit by live4today on Aug 11, '03
  7. by   crissyb
    When I graduated (20 plus years ago), we all wore white, we were even told what length of sleeves to wear. That was after the striped dress and apron during school.
    Caps were presented during our second semester, adn the ceremony was beautiful, adn more touching than graduation!

    The caps were constantly being pulled off our heads, tangled in curtains or a trapeze! We didn't have any stripes on our caps - and they were regularly washed (by hand), starched and then we "pasted" them to the refrigerator to dry!

    Spent may years in the OR wearing hospital supplied scrubs, before all units wore scrubs. Now, I'm in child/adol psych and wear street clothes.....Been thinking about the uniform, would love to do an "old picture" in all whites and cap - but the uniform isn't practical in my are

    Chris
  8. by   WhiteCaps
    "We are NOT doormats, maids, handmaidens, peons, and people without a VOICE! We are in this profession to GIVE that which others cannot give themselves when they are sick. We don't do it for free, but our hearts must say we are passionate about GIVING to the sick. If they don't, then we shouldn't be nurses.

    Let's fight to regain control of our profession! We don't have to let "The Powers that be" tell us how to be nurses, or what to wear, or how to function. Did we not successfully PASS the NCLEX exam? Do we not hold the privileged title of being a LICENSED NURSE? No matter your educational level of how you sat for those same state boards; what matters is that you were awarded the privilege of being a LICENSED NURSE, so let the level of respect start there with yourself, with one another, and then perhaps the level of respect will come from your patients and SOME ADMIN who have chosen to forget the respect nursing once held. "


    Well said, Cheerfuldoer!
  9. by   essarge
    I think that, as a profession, we do need to start somewhere to separate us from the rest of the healthcare workers. While I understand that we work from a specific body of knowledge, we don't have any offices to hang our diploma's on. Therefore, I think that perhaps changing the uniform to something different might help. Perhaps, plain colored scrubs with the name and whatever degree etc following it embroidered on it.

    I find most of the patients that I deal with, don't know the difference between nurses, CNAs, housekeeping, xray tech etc because we all where scrubs with no differentiation.

    I know that when I graduate (finally) in May, I'm going to try to wear something that differentiates me from the rest. I will be proud to be a nurse and don't want to "blend" with the rest!!!
  10. by   justjenn
    Of course I did not mean I would wear my cape while I work. I'm not that off the edge. BUT, the place I want to work at requires a white uniform and cap. Just hope I can get a job there after graduation. Seems it is the BEST LTC place to work at.

    After reading this post - for those that would like to wear white but don't want to wear the dress thingy, what about wearing something that looks like scrubs & a cap. There are uniforms that are not exactly scrubs but not exactly starch whites. Plus, the cap would just add the "distinction" that some of you/me are looking for?

    Then again, maybe I should just shut my mouth and see if I even pass school before saying too much.

    justjenn
  11. by   justjenn
    Of course I did not mean I would wear my cape while I work. I'm not that off the edge. BUT, the place I want to work at requires a white uniform and cap. Just hope I can get a job there after graduation. Seems it is the BEST LTC place to work at.

    After reading this post - for those that would like to wear white but don't want to wear the dress thingy, what about wearing something that looks like scrubs & a cap. There are uniforms that are not exactly scrubs but not exactly starch whites. Plus, the cap would just add the "distinction" that some of you/me are looking for?

    Then again, maybe I should just shut my mouth and see if I even pass school before saying too much.

    justjenn
  12. by   MishlB
    Autonomy also means choosing to wear what we want...and I agree with the poster about nurses not always wearing white throughout history...would everyone also like to see long gowns and aprons? Sheesh...times have changed. I am not the cute doctor's assistant nor the handmaiden...I am a nurse, and conduct myself professionally at work, and treat all patients the same. If I can't get respected that way, then I am not interested.
  13. by   AAHZ
    I don't think that I would look real good in a gown and hat.......The hair on my legs would poke through the white nylons.........YUK!! In addition, beards and frills are a real fashion no-no. Now the cape thing would be cool. I'd like one long and black...........with a hood. I could do the druid monk thing. I can picture it now...................I glide silently into the room, and in a deep low voice I say "I'm here to start your IV" followed by an evil, gutteral, laugh. Now that would get their attention!

close