Is there power in the color white? - page 13

Hi all. I'm looking for some opinions on whether you believe that returning to wearing all white uniforms might give us back some power. Now let me explain power. I've been an RN for 21 years and... Read More

  1. by   betmic2002
    When I was a young nurse, i wanted to wear whatever I wanted. I guess, that is what all"teenagers" would want. But, i realize, as a professional, that if what society associates nurses as wearing white, then we should. i don't know about you, but I want my patients to know

    i am their nurse or a nurse but I introduce myself. I worked hard for my degree. And if a uniform color is to distinguish me, than I welcome it!




    know who I am by my uniform! It saves alot of confusion. I am an RN by my abilities and m knowledge, not by my uniform. On the other hand, if people associat real nurses as wearing white, i wol think it is easier to wear white then. Where is the problem?
  2. by   piper_for_hire
    The problem lies in pretending that forcing nurses to wear white or any other color will actually change anything meaningful. As if the color of the uniform really has anything to do with any nursing issues. Consummate red herring.

    -S
  3. by   4lifenrn
    Quote from bbfw2
    Hi all. I'm looking for some opinions on whether you believe that returning to wearing all white uniforms might give us back some power.
    Now let me explain power. I've been an RN for 21 years and we (the profession) seem to have gone from "thank you nurse" to being treated less than a house keeping staff (and their role is important in hospitals too). I just find patients, their families, government, even our own supervisors do not treat "hands on" nurses with the respect we deserve.
    Please be bluntly honest.
    Power does not stem from a color. Power, by definition, is a marked ability to do an act. Our (nurse's) power will be known when we reveal our ability to do our jobs with EXCELLENCE! Now, studies do show that our patients prefer the color white but know that most of these patients are baby boomers and their parents who grew up with the traditional nurse in the white dress and cap. Not everyone can handle change or understand that our role has evolved, including our ability to choose our own clothing.

    I'm not against the white. I do find myself very conscious about what I might get on my newly pressed white uniform. My problem is that some people believe that respect and power is going to be bestowed upon us because of what we wear. In that case, I think that we should wear lab coats because that deems respect to many people. I work with some doctors who keep asking when this ridiculous charade will end. Both a male and female doctor said that we look ridiculous and too old fashioned. They're treating us the same- the nurses who show competence get all of the respect!
  4. by   sarahbellum
    I am a student and for Halloween my husband wanted to be a WWII pilot. So I decided to be a WWII nurse, complete with cape, hat, dress, white stockings and low heeled mary janes.

    We went to the store to get a camera on the way to a Halloween party and I was amazed at people's reactions.

    Men opened doors for me. An elderly woman came up to me with tears in her eyes and told me I looked beautiful. My husband even treated me with more respect It was very strange.

    I have had several patients remark that they really like my white student uniform. I have asked them why and most remark they are "neat and clean" looking.

    I do think the white uniform fosters respect if it is worn properly. Mine was just a Halloween costume (however authentic) and people really reacted to it.
  5. by   slou!
    Now I am not a nurse, so I can not answer as a nurse, but whenever I am in the hospital, I could care less what the nurse is wearing. As long as they know how to do their job and ACT professional, then that is what matters. I know not everyone thinks that though.
    I guess I could see how it could LOOK more professional, but I also think solid uniforms LOOK it. But I don't think that reflects on how they act. I was visiting my uncle in the hospital and his nurse had on BRIGHT neon orange scrubs, I mean it looked like a prison uniform haha, but anyway she was awesome! She was really funny and nice, and did her job really well. My uncle was saying how great she was, and that made him feel better about being in the hospital. We came the next day and she was there wearing Neon yellow and black, like a bumble bee or soemthing haha, but not only was she a good nurse, but I respected her because she was a good NURSE, not because she dressed like one.
    I don't know what kind of scrubs I would buy if I were a nurse, I still have 4 years and right now the only things I am looking forward to wearing is those navy blue student nurse scrubs in 2 years I will probably buy colorful scrubs, but I love clothes and matching and stuff so I can't see myself just buying plain white. Also I am one of the palest people ever, so if I wear white I look pale and sick!
  6. by   Nurse 56
    Yes, I think white has power. Where I work the nurses are required to wear all white every day except Friday. We are not even allowed to wear designs on our jackets. I have had so many compliments on how nice the color white looks on nurses. Familys have said at least they know who the nurse is.
  7. by   bzmom
    Just my opinion, but I do think that there is increased recognition of our skill, knowledge and position when we wear white. I am an LPN in a VA in SD where we have government supplied uniforms which are blue pants, blue jackets and multi colored tops. All nurses, regardless of degree, and nursing assistants all wear the same uniform. One day, I dressed in all white (my own uniform) and nearly everyone from patients to staff commented on the fact that I decided to "dress like a nurse" for the day.

    My position is this, I worked very hard for the degree that I hold, as did every nurse I know, and it IS nice every now and then to have that recognized. However, I don't like keeping them white and pressed! :spin:
  8. by   Amethyst Veralyn
    I see emergency room nurses that where green uniforms and it's

    tranquilizing to look at. White can hurt people's eyes. Wearing a

    white uniform makes me feel like a phoney.
  9. by   weirdRN
    I like white. Esp. in LTC.

    I think there is a power in having a uniform that looks like a uniform and not like Pajamas.

    I like khaki or white pants with a white polo shirt with a warm up top over it. I like clean shoes. I like hair up with conservative jewelry and make-up.

    I also think that people who wear uniforms have to take a little more time with their appearance, and as busy as we all are, I know a good many nurses who let that aspect go to the side.
    Last edit by weirdRN on Dec 13, '06
  10. by   GingerSue
    I wish staff would wear their name tags
  11. by   TrudyRN
    Quote from GingerSue
    my own experience has been that my supervisors were respectful toward me

    wearing all white uniforms might contribute to a sense of power, along with high standards re: care, although I think that other coloured uniforms are fine (I am thinking of how a person is perceived)
    as I think of some of the items that I see for purchase in the uniform section, I dread what I might be expected to wear (I see things that look like pyjamas, tops that don't fit and look ridiculous - but they are my size, and some of the functional clothing that I will be ashamed to wear - no wonder people don't experience respect when they see someone approaching them who comes dressed like that). When I wore my white uniforms that fit, I felt quite fine. (I also had yellow, blue, or pink uniforms that fit and looked professional).
    that's my two cents
    Is it possible for you to go back to wearing them?
  12. by   TrudyRN
    [quote=Critical LPN;1892752]
    This is very confusiong to the patient who is older, posssibly slightly confused anyway, and wonders why if "nurse jane" is on the board for the whole 24 hours and sometimes days, then why do they not see her?


    ROFLMBO NURSE JANE ON DUTY FOR DAYS ROFLMBO
    :roll :roll :roll :chuckle :chuckle :smiley_ab :xmas_smilies_daz: :icon_lol: :Snowman1: :Snowman2: :spin:
  13. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from Nurse 56
    Yes, I think white has power. Where I work the nurses are required to wear all white every day except Friday. We are not even allowed to wear designs on our jackets. I have had so many compliments on how nice the color white looks on nurses. Familys have said at least they know who the nurse is.
    :yeahthat:

    I've been wearing white since I started working as a nurse, all of five months ago. I can't tell you how many patients and families have commented favorably on it. If you want them to go really wild with happiness wear polished white shoes, a dress, and stockings.

    They don't need to read a badge, find my initials, ask my name - they see me and know they can call, "Nurse!" It relaxes them, too. They KNOW a nurse is on the job at a glance.

    Yes, it's a little more bother to launder whites and I have less freedom of expression. But I'm not dressing for me.

close