help for article about nurses' uniforms

  1. I am writing an article about nurses' uniforms and how they vary country to country. Maybe there isn't a difference? I would appreciate any input, advice or resources I can check out to make comparisons. Also, within the States, how is it decided what nurses will wear to work? Is it dictated by employers? By specialty? Do nurses choose for themselves? Thank you for any input
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  2. 29 Comments

  3. by   crazygirl
    I can only speak for Utah but here it is based on employers preferences and/or requirements. not too strick to say the least
  4. by   adrienurse
    I don't see many differences between uniforms in Canada and the US -- Except you have a heck of a lot better selection in your stores. Cheaper too!
  5. by   nursewriter2
    thanks for the response. do nurses have say in what employers choose? are uniforms different in different units and specialty areas? who pays for them? thanks
  6. by   Jenny P
    DonMurray once listed a uniform site for the UK and their uniforms were different-- especially some of the ones from 30-40 years ago. Here in the US, we would never have worn a red uniform, and solid navy blue uniforms weren't seen either. They also had some sort of uniform sleeve covers that I've never heard of before (these were in the older pictures). There was a thread on uniforms or uniform catalogs here that we were talking about at one time-- you might want to try looking up that thread here. I'm sure if you asked for uniform sites from some of the nurses from different countries here you should be able to pick up some of the not so subtle differences that way.
    I think that throughout the US, most employers are the ones who dictate any uniform guidelines or rules, and then it is up to the individual nurse to follow those rules-- or not.
    Last edit by Jenny P on Sep 23, '02
  7. by   Nurse Ratched
    In many places certain departments (OB) wears different colors for security reasons. Surgery people often wear the traditional blue scrubs that are provided by the employer. Psych dress is often casual street clothes.

    Some hospitals have certain color coding for different employees - nurses in one, aides in another, etc. Some have no restrictions, and people are free to choose from the myriad of colored and printed scrubs.

    As for me, give me good old fashioned whites. They always bleach clean and everyone can spot their nurse.

    I have a nagging suspicion that mgt has allowed the proliferation of everyone wearing scrubs to subliminally mislead the patients into thinking there are many more nurses working than there are. Where I work, patients are always asking housekeeping for their pain meds.

    In the facilities I have worked, only OB and surgery had scrubs provided. Everyone else buys their own uniforms.
  8. by   ktwlpn
    Originally posted by nursewriter2
    thanks for the response. do nurses have say in what employers choose? are uniforms different in different units and specialty areas? who pays for them? thanks
    Sometimes administration is open to the nurse's preferences and sometimes not...I have worked in facilities with strict dress codes and others' with very liberal ones and sometimes no uniforms are required at all....Most facilities in this area do have some kind of uniform allowance-I now get a stipend in my check every year and any thing goes as long as its scrubs..last facility I worked in ordered the pieces from a catalogue-we had several styles we were free to choose from...Licensed and un-licensed staff wore different colored scrubs...at our local hospital each dept used to wear a different color scrub....Now (new administration) anything goes but they do not get an allowance...Hope this helps
  9. by   RNConnieF
    Where I work it's white pants with any top or navy pants with white top. Some areas have different requirments. In the ped practice I worked at it was all white, at the LTC facility I work at anything goes as long as it's scrubs
  10. by   KarafromPhilly
    I find that the whiter the scrubs, the more intense the "pull" they exert on dark fluids that stain. ("You must be my nurse--you have iodine spatters all over your uniform."):imbar
  11. by   MarcusKspn
    At my first job we all had to wear color coded scrubs. Blue for nursing, red for housekeeping, and green for kitchen. Licensed personnel was allowed to wear blue pants with any kind of scrub top. The other places I worked we were allowed to wear whatever kind of scrubs we wanted. (Allthough being a male nurses aide put a severe restriction on my selections, lol). Now in nursing school we have to wear white shoes, white socks, white pants, white underwear (I know it sounds kind of weird to demand white underwear, but other colors show through your white scrub pants (did you see the student with the pink heart panties)), white t-shirt, and ceil-blue jacket. Personally I feel mixed about the white nurse outfit. Yes it attracts more stains, but it bleaches clean and you can bleach disinfect it.
  12. by   2ndCareerRN
    Where I am at now we can wear just about anything, as long as it is neat and presentable. I often wear Dockers and a polo shirt. If not that then I wear scrubs, I wear soild tops and usually black, green, or white pants. Many people in the facility wear the provided blue industrial scrubs. I presently work in an ED in eastern WA.

    Where I worked before it was the same as now. Another hospital dictated navy blue and white (any combination) as their nursing uniform.

    I alway make sure my pt's know I am their nurse but other people may be through the area or even ask them questions but if they have any questions they should ask me, or someone else they have identified as a nurse. You just can't rely on clothing any more!

    bob
  13. by   Brownms46
    It used to be that nurses wore white, and could only were a navy blue or white sweather or cape with there uniform. NAs, who weren't certified at the time, wore white uniforms, but didn't wear white stockings. Your shoes were polished, and no sneakers allowed then. You had to have your hair up off your collar, and the only jewerly you could were was sm. piered stubs in you ears....only one in each ear! Your skirts had to be below your knees, and your pants tops had to come to over your hips! Every female nurse had a nice uniform dress for interviews, and staff meetings. Everywhere I worked was very strict in what you wore. Then most places paid gave nurses a uniform allowance...at least in the states, and places I worked.

    But sadly nurses today wear just about anything to work! For some people there should always be rules...to keep folks from going over or under board! Now you will find just about every kind of uniform, or non uniform being worn! I have traveled across the country, and back....and had seen enough to make me wish for the olden days at times..! Most hospital have decided they don't care what you wear, as long as you show up...breathing..:chuckle
  14. by   nursewriter2
    Thank you all very much. And what wonderful humor too! Do nursing schools in the U.S. discuss dress and what to expect as part of your curriculum? Or do you just find out on-the-job? Does what you wear signify seniority or years of experience? I've also seen sites about nurse badges and buttons. Are those important, or extras?

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