Is there power in the color white? - page 15

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   RNsRWe
    Quote from manettohillnurse
    Power - who needs it? As long as you believe that you are doing a good job and at the end of the day you know that you've made a difference with a kind word or fluffed pillow, then you can be satisfiedwith yourself
    Not sure what kind of setting you work in, or what kind of nursing you do, but power is a relative thing, and in many cases we NEED power in order to do our jobs effectively. I need the power to have MDs respect my assessments and opinions on patient care. I need the power to have families and patients LISTEN when they are being taught how NOT to land back on my med/surge unit. Yes, I need power for all that, and obviously I can earn and create that without a dress code. However, IMO, dressing like a cartoon character doesn't convey that very well.

    It doesn't HAVE to be white, it has to be professional in appearance.

    But the reason I'm really responding to this is the notion that at the end of the day if I've offered a kind word and fluffed a pillow, I can be satisfied with myself! Frankly, if that's all I've done at the end of the day, I've REALLY fallen down on the job....at the end of the day, if I've kept someone ALIVE or kept them free of infection or further pain, I'm much more likely to be satisfied with myself. I could have saved a whole lotta money and time and effort if what I really wanted out of life was to be a candy striper.
  2. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from WhimsieRN
    I sincerly doubt that there was any insult intended to the Nurses of yesteryear.

    With Nurses, the phrase, "you've come a long way." really applies here. Nursing practice has expanded and has become even more delineated from medical practice. Honestly, Nurses of the 40's, and 50's weren't expected to do near the amount of stuff that nurses today are.

    I don't believe the nurses back then were as subjected to the administrative certification pressures and patient caseloads that they are today either. Consider the population back then vs the population today.
    Neither were and so have doctors, Whimsie. Same population, same pressures. If I have 42 beds in LTC and ONE doctor is rounding for a frail, debilitated, living-very-long census, how much does s/he need to know and do? Isn't his/her license also on the line all the time? Sounds like a lot of pressure and responsibility all around to me.
  3. by   weirdRN
    Quote from Suesquatch
    Neither were and so have doctors, Whimsie.
    Please excuse me, This is a Nursing Board. I was not discussing the entire healthcare profession. Only Nurses.
  4. by   weirdRN
    Quote from RNsRWe
    It doesn't HAVE to be white, it has to be professional in appearance.


    Yeah that!
  5. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from WhimsieRN
    I sincerly doubt that there was any insult intended to the Nurses of yesteryear.
    I could have agreed with that, if that post's last words weren't 'did much of nothing.'
  6. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from WhimsieRN
    Please excuse me, This is a Nursing Board. I was not discussing the entire healthcare profession. Only Nurses.
    Ah. A thousand pardons. I thought that we were all part of the same game, and the same paradigm. And given that only advanced practice nurses can perform anything other than nursing interventions without orders from, you know, a physician, I thought that a mention of how the entire health care profession has changed in the past 50 years might be relevant.

    Doctors aside, I do not believe that a nurse trying to save a child dying of diptheria in the era before antibiotics was doing any less than the nurse of today.
  7. by   *RubySlippers*
    Quote from stevielynn
    No, I don't think there is power in the color white.

    And as I mentioned in another of these long threads, the answer to not being recognized is to introduce yourself.

    Do you walk into a bank and know for sure who the teller is or who the loan manager is by the clothing they wear?

    steph
    I agree....., now where my mother works they have been allowed to wear any colors or patterns, now they are going to certain colors for certain departments and levels of staff. Now, what patient coming into a hospital is going to know that cnas are in green, and resp. is in blue, and lpns are in gray? No lay person will know that. Or there are some hospitals that all cnas, lpns, and rns are in white??? That makes no sense, all that does is confuse the patients.
  8. by   *RubySlippers*
    However, I do admit to not wearing my whites when I know school clinicals are going to be in. All the local programs, both RN and LPN, wear whites, in different styles. And I worked too hard for too many years to get mistaken for someone in her first month of school![/quote]

    This quote is a reason not to wear white, if all non-student nurses start wearing white??? that will be a mess. I am graduating in May 2007 with my RN, and when the white comes walking in, it is all students, the xray tech students, the Lpn students and RN students all where white and everyone sees them coming. So, If I where white all the time when I graduate, everyone who just comes into the hospital will think I am a student???
  9. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from *RubySlippers*
    However, I do admit to not wearing my whites when I know school clinicals are going to be in. All the local programs, both RN and LPN, wear whites, in different styles. And I worked too hard for too many years to get mistaken for someone in her first month of school! -end quote

    This quote is a reason not to wear white, if all non-student nurses start wearing white??? that will be a mess. I am graduating in May 2007 with my RN, and when the white comes walking in, it is all students, the xray tech students, the Lpn students and RN students all where white and everyone sees them coming. So, If I where white all the time when I graduate, everyone who just comes into the hospital will think I am a student???

    Well, since I wrote the quote you're referencing, I'll toss in a "yep" IMO! I like wearing white, although lately I've morphed to more seasonal colors most of the time. Still no cartoon characters <grin> but brighter garb. There's no confusion with the patients, of course, since everyone dresses this way and usually gaudier than me And I always make sure on my FIRST introduction to the patient that I say "I'm Blank, I'm an RN, and I'm going to be with you through the night tonight"

    I do like the whites, for all the reasons I stated earlier in this thread. But I DON'T like that wearing it on "student days" means that (prior to introductions) the patients think I'm part of the crew that was there earlier with their instructor
  10. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from CapeCodMermaid
    No offense, but if all you expect from yourself and your nursing education is to say a kind word and fluff a pillow....that's turning the clock back 50 years when nurses DID wear white and did much of nothing.

    What a completely obnoxious thing to say. Were it not for the expertise of those older nurses, you would have had no one to teach your instructors, who in turn, wouldn't have been there to teach you. I dare you to say that to the nurses who served in WWII and Korea. Yeah, they did plenty of nothing. And I dare you to say it to the many nurses who pioneered many of the nursing specialties you must take for granted. Go ahead.

    Good grief.
  11. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from WhimsieRN
    I sincerly doubt that there was any insult intended to the Nurses of yesteryear.

    With Nurses, the phrase, "you've come a long way." really applies here. Nursing practice has expanded and has become even more delineated from medical practice. Honestly, Nurses of the 40's, and 50's weren't expected to do near the amount of stuff that nurses today are.

    I don't believe the nurses back then were as subjected to the administrative certification pressures and patient caseloads that they are today either. Consider the population back then vs the population today.
    That is comparing apples to oranges. Their work was just as difficult respective to that time.

    Really, will you appreciate it when future nurses say you "did nothing?"
  12. by   manettohillnurse
    Thank you Suesquatch for your comment defending us more senior nurses. To whimsieRN, you sound as though you need to get away from the "icky stuff". this is what a lot of nursing is all about. I'm sorry if people are rude to you and it affects the way you work. If you command respect, then you'll get it. As for CapeCodMermaid, no I do much more than fluff pillows and give kind words. You'd be surprised how much a dying or seriously ill patient cares little how much technology you know, but they do care for a kind word and a fluffed pillow which you seem to scorn so much. I was recently in the hospital, very sick and the back rubs and kind words went a long way to my recovery as of course did the ultimate technology, although that didn't keep me from being the recipient of 3 med errors!
  13. by   Mr_Nurse
    Hey ya'll lots of great thoughts posted. My feeling is that the image of the nurse in a white dress and cap can not be the image of nursing today or the future if more men are to come into the profession. I agree with pom poms posting but also believe nurses ought to have their own professional attire if we are to be percieved as professionals and not labor staff. Its tough to say if one uniform can fit all nurses in all area's. I don't believe thats possible since some deal with more body fluids than others, but I'm glad this is being debated by so many. It will hopefully lead to something most will agree with.

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