Is there power in the color white? - page 2

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   nursecher
    As a student our required uniform consist of white scrubs, white lab coat, and white shoes. I am so excited to wear this traditional look, and I'm sure putting on my uniform will make me "feel like a nurse" just a little more. I don't think that a white uniform is going to make a person a good nurse or a bad nurse, that is obvious. I agree with looking the part and keeping it professional. At this point I am so excited to be going to nursing school I would wear whatever they told me to.
  2. by   ZASHAGALKA
    No, thank you.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  3. by   Ms Kylee
    Look like crap in white, but darn it, I wish the caps would come back. I always thought white was a bad color choice, especially with everything that gets spilled. I remember Grandma coming home from work and having to wash her uniforms twice to get out all of the blood and stuff out of her uniforms. How she ever got all of that stuff out is still beyond me.
  4. by   S.T.A.C.E.Y
    I completely disagree with white being a colour of power. As a student, I've had to wear all white scrubs whenever we were doing hospital clinicals. I just bought new non-white scrubs for preceptorship which made me feel far more professional, confident and 'powerful' than any white uniform I have ever put on. I do agree that free-choice-uniforms may have something to do with the lack of respect that nurses see. However, I feel that has more to do with the ill-fitting, stained, worn out, and inappropriate cartoon patterns that so many nurses wear. Personally, I don’t feel that white is the answer, but I think there is some middle ground. I think it looks really nice when all the nurses are wearing the same/similar colour(s)…..more of strength in numbers & teamwork vibe. But that’s just my opinion. I see white as being subservient and associate it with far more of the innocent handmaiden image, than the confidant knowledgeable 'powerful' nurse. Other professions which demand respect: police officer, teacher, judge, lawyer, firefighter, paramedic, etc. None of these professions would ever turn to an all white uniform as a power colour… I don’t see why nursing sees it as a saving grace
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    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
  6. by   Multicollinearity
    I do think white has a powerful effect. But only for women in this society. For men I would think that they would tend to feel like the ice cream man or an orderly from 1950's movies. So white for all nurses won't work now that men are in nursing (and thank goodness men are in nursing!).

    In my former career I was an insurance broker. I catered my dress each day depending on the type of client I was meeting with. For example, if I was driving to the border near Mexico and meeting with a couple originally from Mexico, I would wear vibrant colors since their culture tends to use vibrant colors. If meeting with a very caucasian person I would dress differently. I tracked my statistics for years and you bet what you wear has a definate effect.

    People did indeed respond more favorably to me in a white suit. It's like I had a halo on my head or something. I would be treated in a more respectful manner. I didn't want this to be so - because white shows dirt, you know.

    Next time you see Hilary Clinton on TV - look and see what color she is wearing. She must have 1000 turquoise/aqua suits. I think it has a cooling/calming effect on her appearance/demeanor. I bet some high $$$ image consultant told her to do this.

    Recently I was a patient at Mayo Hospital. All the nurses wear white there. Mayo is one of the best hospitals.

    I don't know what the answer is, because men are part of nursing and they aren't appraised the same way in white as women are. I do know that if I have the option to wear white when I graduate - I will. Years of delivering presentations to clients and running my stats regarding color/type of suit worn proved this to me.
    Last edit by Multicollinearity on Oct 8, '06
  7. by   LeahJet
    Quote from StNeotser
    No, I think the disrespect has to do with management inviting patients and family members to treat us this way.
    Agreed.

    The hospital I work at now requires all the nurses to wear white.
    I have not heard ONE person that likes this. In fact, most hate it.
    It has been tried many times to reverse this "rule"....to no avail. Personally, I think it is a kind of mind game/control thing.
  8. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from rebeccajeanrn
    i posted in here once before in agreement to white again, as singularly reserved for nurses, but of course not old fashioned starched dresses, hose & caps...and there was an avalanche of disagreement in reply. the problem that i see with other colors reserved strictly for nurses is keeping the color coding for scrubs (which everyone wears) straight in any given hospital. but if you can consider this website as a microcosm of general opinion, the overwhelming majority of nurses would never go for it. so we are stuck with being mistaken as just anybody else in the hospital, forevermore. and don't tell me that one's professionalism will set you aside. that may be true after someone witnesses a professional exchange, but before that happens, your typical hospitalized grandma will still think housekeeping is their nurse, and even new residents won't know if an rn is a cna or a lvn or resp therapry, etc...
    [font="comic sans ms"]if the problem is that nurses wearing scrubs can't be distinguished from housekeeping, dietary, pharmacy, etc. then perhaps nurses should be the only ones wearing scrubs. if someone doesn't do patient care, i fail to see the need for them to wear scrubs.
  9. by   Retired R.N.
    Quote from Kylee45
    Look like crap in white, but darn it, I wish the caps would come back. I always thought white was a bad color choice, especially with everything that gets spilled. I remember Grandma coming home from work and having to wash her uniforms twice to get out all of the blood and stuff out of her uniforms. How she ever got all of that stuff out is still beyond me.
    The secret to laundering white uniforms is to let a professional laundry do the job for you. I always found their rates to be quite economical when I compared their charges to what it would have cost me to pre-wash in cold water, wash in hot water, treat with chlorine bleach, starch, and iron them at home. The laundries I preferred even supplied special color-coded bags for "Nurses Uniforms" which alerted them to take the special measures necessary because of the nature of the cleaning required.

    I will agree that not everyone is up to the challenge of wearing white. While some think it demands that they live up to an old-fashioned attitude of servility, I prefer to think the white uniform and the cap are primary symbols that show all the patients and their visitors (in no uncertain terms) just who the nurses are.

    For whatever it's worth, I never once had a doctor treat me without respect when I was wearing that cap and white uniform.
  10. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from Retired R.N.
    The secret to laundering white uniforms is to let a professional laundry do the job for you. I always found their rates to be quite economical when I compared their charges to what it would have cost me to pre-wash in cold water, wash in hot water, treat with chlorine bleach, starch, and iron them at home. The laundries I preferred even supplied special color-coded bags for "Nurses Uniforms" which alerted them to take the special measures necessary because of the nature of the cleaning required.

    I will agree that not everyone is up to the challenge of wearing white. While some think it demands that they live up to an old-fashioned attitude of servility, I prefer to think the white uniform and the cap are primary symbols that show all the patients and their visitors (in no uncertain terms) just who the nurses are.

    For whatever it's worth, I never once had a doctor treat me without respect when I was wearing that cap and white uniform.
    Yes, but welcome to modern nursing where men are here and growing. That cap would look pretty stupid on me.

    And a white uniform on a guy DOES bring to mind that funky ice cream truck music. . .or images of a washing machine repairman.

    Again, No, thanks.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Oct 8, '06
  11. by   Multicollinearity
    Timothy, I'm just brainstorming here. What about white shirts/tops/jackets for male nurses? I suppose it could be the same for female nurses too.

    So white tops and white or colored bottoms. It seems to be the white pants that wig out men and women alike.
  12. by   Still Riding
    But it also had the power to make my But look big. I would be happier with a uniform of navy Blue or hunter green.

    Does it have to be white?
  13. by   Retired R.N.
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Yes, but welcome to modern nursing where men are here and growing. That cap would look pretty stupid on me.

    And a white uniform on a guy DOES bring to mind that funky ice cream truck music. . .or images of a washing machine repairman.

    Again, No, thanks.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    What does the U.S. Navy demand in the way of uniforms for their nurses?

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